Monday, February 15, 2016

The Faculty, Grease with Monsters

High School! The best times of our lives? I think not. At Herrington High in Ohio, one can safely assume an all-star cast were subject to the most terrifying years of their lives. Salma Hayek! Elijah Wood! Famke Janssen! Jason Patrick! Clea DuVall! Jordana Brewster! Piper Laurie! Josh Hartnett! And more! So picture "Grease," take out the sappy music and sickeningly sweet smiles, add in tentacled parasite creatures and illegal drugs and we are left with 1998's "The Faculty." Oh! One more thing! This movie was directed by Robert Rodriguez!
Stokes (DuVall) emerges as our favorite character. An outcast high school student, pseudo-Goth, and big science fiction fan. Her biting theory, a correct one, is Herrington High is going through an 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' type transition. With no friends, she forms an alliance with Casey (Wood), the picked on nerd. The teachers have all been infected with an alien parasite which causes them to seek water all the time and to crank up the AC. World domination is their quest.  We see the gory take-over of their human hosts, including the pretty school nurse (Hayek). Now six students come together to fight the menace and save the world.  This motley crew includes the cheerleader captain (Brewster), the class drug dealer (Hartnett), the star quarterback (Shawn Hatosy), the sultry new kid, Marybeth (Laura Harris) and of course Stokes and Casey.
Uh oh! They may be the last humans at Herrington.  Double uh oh...Zeke, the dealer, may have the only solution.  Zeke, a big cocaine dealer, accidentally finds out that Cocaine will kill the parasites. He finds this out when he stabs his science teacher (Jon Stewart) in the eye with a pen filled with coke. As our group conspires and plots, the infected faculty and students plot to branch out. Thanks to Stokes, the group figures out that the parasitic fiends must have a queen who controls them, and they must kill it.  Is the queen a teacher. another student, or one of them?  Time is running out and the aliens are closing in.  The final half hour will be gory, horrific, and action packed. Oh yes, we are treated to a classic scene when a beautiful teacher, Famke Janssen loses her head, revealing a tentacled menace.
Perhaps "The Faculty" is a metaphor of how lonesome and alone outcasts are in our high school culture. Or, perhaps this is just a gory horror film with some great looking actors and actresses. "The Faculty" works on both levels.  So you kids out time you feel compelled to tease the Goth or the nerd who hangs out in the AV room...remember, that poor soul just may be the sap who ends up saving the world.  "The Faculty" is available on Netflix.


  1. Metaphor or not, this story + cast = an add to my watchlist!

  2. Great fun flick. I always think it's from 80s, just has that feel to it.