The Faculty: Chock Full O' 90's (Back to School Week)
Dir. Robert Rodriguez (1998)
A group of high school teens must battle the evil aliens who have taken over their school.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
So it’s that time again: the time when the heat is starting to abate and freedom rings for every adult with children. Yes, my friends, it’s Back to School time! To celebrate this momentous occasion in all of our lives, we decided to watch some of the best horror movies focusing around school and the people who populate them, and we’re going to start with 1998’s cult classic The Faculty!
Holy star power, Batman! This movie may be the most 90’s movie ever made: it’s filled with 90’s actors, including Elijah Wood, Jordana Brewster, Clea Duvall, Josh Hartnett, Famke Janssen, Salma Hayek, Robert Patrick, Jon Stewart, Piper Laurie, and Usher, and it has a soundtrack featuring The Offspring, Creed, Garbage, Oasis, and “Class of ’99”, which was Layne Staley (Alice in Chains), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Martyn LeNoble (Porno for Pyros), and Matt Serletic (who produced Collective Soul, Matchbox Twenty, and I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing from Aerosmith). And the screenplay was written by Scream’s Kevin Williamson! Seriously, like… what the fucking shit? How is it possible to have this many amazing people in one movie? A lot of times, when you have this much star power in one film, things tend to go haywire and the entire production goes south. Not in this case: The Faculty is one of the best horror/scifi films of the entire decade, and I’ll stand by that statement for anyone who wants to fight me.
The story is about a high school that is being overrun by aliens, and they started by infiltrating the teachers in the school. They don’t stop there, however, as this Invasion of the High School Body Snatchers is all about paranoia and motherfucking ear worms. Elijah Wood is the hero, and he basically plays exactly the same role that he played in Deep Impact, except he discovers a new alien species instead of a giant space rock. Because this is more teenage fare than that other role, the audience spends just as much time wondering if he will finally get the girl (Jordana Brewster) as they do whether or not he’s going to get impregnated by the evil alien spawn. Spoiler alert: yes and yes!
I WANT TO PUT MY BABIES IN YOUR FACE!
The teens discover that a designer drug that is being peddled by the stereotypical dealer-with-a-heart-of-gold melts the aliens from the inside, drying up the water inside of them and leaving them as desiccated husks (so, I guess, whatever the opposite of melts is). But that, as previously mentioned, leaves the question as to who the aliens are? Is every teacher bad? What about the football coach? IS IT THE PERSON STANDING RIGHT BESIDE YOU?! Odds are that most of the people you know are now aliens, because these motherfuckers work on the quick. But fear not, there’s no existential horror here. The Faculty is all about creating a fun teen horror movie, and you’re unlikely to have trouble getting sleep because of the scares within. It strikes the perfect balance of gnarly body horror and laughs, two things that shouldn’t go together but somehow manage to form a symbiotic relationship within he confines of this film. The film is wall-to-wall badassery, with some of the craziest creatures of the decade.
Silver medal winner for “Things Living Inside Robert Patrick in the 90’s”
Look, I’m not trying to fanboy about this movie, I’m really not. It’s just that it’s absolutely impossible to watch the entire movie and be sad. It is the executioner of sorrow (badass metal band name), and I am never going to change the channel if The Faculty is on. It’s a killer part of any horror marathon, and it’s just so much damn fun. It’s filled to the brim with 90’s nostalgia and attitude, and it’s a thrill ride from start to finish. The scene with the football team getting all monstrous on the field and the action-packed last twenty minutes are just… mwah, chef’s kiss perfection. Love love love this movie.
This is NOT what he meant when he said he wanted a little head…
Who this movie is for: 90’s horror fans; High schoolers looking for a thrill; People wanting to watch the most 90’s movie ever made
Bottom line: This movie seriously rocks. Every single time I watch it I am surprised by how good it is, but it really is a fantastic movie. Robert Rodriguez is fantastic at making just pure, fun movies, and he’s clearly someone who remembers that watching movies is supposed to be an escape from reality. A truly all-star cast and one of the best movie soundtracks of all time blend together to create one of the best horror movies of the 90’s, and if you haven’t seen it, you need to rectify that immediately.