why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

thefaculty.jpg (101788 bytes)

The Faculty

Starring Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Shawn Hatosy, Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood
Story by David Wechter & Bruce Kimmel
Screenplay by Kevin Williamson
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Website: www.dimensionfilms.com

IN SHORT:Story over slice 'n' dice. Best Scary Flick of the Year. [Rated R]

Long term readers know that Cranky, pretty much as a rule, doesn't watch horror flicks especially since that genre has devolved into 90 minutes of ritualistic flying body parts sorely lacking in substantial story. Writer Kevin Williamson breathed new life into the formula with Scream and its comedic counterpart Scream 2. This year he moves from horror to SF terror (meaning the story is stronger and the emphasis is not on how cleverly a character can separate an eye from its socket) with The Faculty, inspired by (and acknowledged as such) by one of the few truly classic SF movies of the 1950s, The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Williamson follows the pattern laid down in both Scream-fests, meaning a great opening sequence and a scene in which two principal characters discuss how their "real" lives are like movies that they've seen. The template still works and Williamson is smart enough to help out an old fogey like Cranky by making sure that all the characters played by the unknown actors listed above get their names mentioned a bunch of times; director Robert Rodriguez even paints the names across the screen in a Ralph Steadman font, so there's no confusion. [and yes, I know who Elijah Wood is, so don't flame me for generalizing.]

Ohio's Herrington High School, a run down institution where the teachers are pathetic losers and the kids are worse, is the setting for this tale of kidlet paranoia run rampant. Things have run akilter at Herrington: Stan (Shawn Hatosy), the Captain of the Football team has quit the team to devote his brain to getting the "D" he knows he's capable of. This means endsville with the head cheerleader/editor of the school paper, a knock down thumpa thumpa arrogant bitch with $67 lips by Estee Lauder named Delilah (Jordana Brewster). New kid Marybeth Louise Hutchinson (Laura Harris) from Atlanta is doing her best to make friends, targeting as her prey the top anti-socialist Stokely (Clea DuVall) and class punching bag Casey (Wood). The smartest kid in the class is the biggest loser, a walking convenience store named is Zeke (Josh Hartnett). This being his second trip through the twelfth grade and, motivated guy that he is, if you need a professional looking false ID, bootleg tapes, home brewed pharmaceuticals he's the man.

Shortly after Casey finds a tiny, strange looking animal kind of organism on the school football field, the normally strange school lifestyle (this is High School, after all) gets even stranger. Bio teacher Mr. Furlong (Jon Stewart) declares that Casey may have found a new life form, one with razor sharp teeth. Mousy English teacher Miss Burke (Famke Janssen), who had been trying to nail Zeke for dealing gets a makeover and, looking damn fine, attempts to nail him in a different way. Principal Drake (Bebe Neuwirth) disappears. Delilah and Casey see Coach Willis (Robert Patrick) get physical with Nurse Harper (Salma Hayek) -- a great story for the school paper except for the fact that  . . .

. . .nah, that would be telling.

The trailer and TV spots tell you that the kidlets think the teachers are from another planet, which leads to Williamson's history of SF horror mentioned above. That and a couple of references to movies like Alien and Outbreak and you're set for some high goosebump thrills.

I'll say it again. Cranky hates flicks that have body parts flying for the cheap thrill, preferring stories written well enough to give you that scare without severing arteries. The Faculty delivers the goods, and there are enough special effects and gore to keep the slice 'n' dice fans happy too. The Faculty is the last movie I will see in AD 1998, and it is also the last movie to make it on to my year end Best Of list. Highly recommended if you're looking for a thrill.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Faculty ,he would have paid...

$6.50

If Cranky were still a teen, deeply into babes, SF and Lovecraft-ian alien scares, The Faculty would easily hit the perfect, see it more than once, $8 rating.  I'm still into babes, but Jordana Brewster is probably young enough to be my daughter, which is something to take up with the shrink next Thursday at 5. It's either that or jealousy over Harry Knowles' credited bit part on screen <sigh>.


buy movie posters

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.