Although I consider myself to be a Cinefille, I have to admit there is one genre that I can hardly bear to browse when I hit the videostore/local megaplex: sci-fi. With the exception of my first favourite movie, E.T., the space cowboys awesomeness of Firefly/Serenity and of course, the Alien series, I find it really hard to take any movie that goes where no non-NASA earth resident has gone before seriously. Especially when said movie takes place in said space. But things get a bit more complicated when sci-fi flicks co-mingle with the one genre I live, breath and spend every single Christmas gift-card on: terrible late 90s teen dramedies.
No movie has made my sci-fi-terrified mind more confused than the epicness that is The Faculty. At most schools, the only thing terrifying the non-staff members is the tedious number of extra-curriculars they need to get into their choice college. But at Herrington High, things are getting downright extra-terrestorial. More specifically, body-stealing creepy crawlies are taking over the principals, teachers and various other staff members and make a group of totally unrelated students want to make like The Breakfast Club. Wait, it gets worse. The actors playing said students include Usher (yes, that Usher), Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood, Jordana Brewster and a couple random chicks that never really did anything else you’d remember! And the teachers? Salma Hayek, that creepy dude from Terminator 2, Jon Stewart (yes, that Jon Stewart) and Jean Grey (I mean, Famke Janssen). It’s time for a lesson in out-of-this-world awesome. Or it is awful?
– It’s called The Faculty.
– In general, the characters are ripped out of every other cliques-come-together-to-fight-the-system flick. There’s the nerdy dude who ends up saving everybody’s back in the end (Elijah Wood), the jock who knows more than you think (Shawn Hatosy), the popular girl who’s really misunderstood (Jordana Brewster), the innocent blonde new girl who’s more badass than she seems (Laura Harris)…
– Jordana Brewster’s alleged popularity has to do with her being the head cheerleader – and editor-in-chief of the school newspaper! Sure, sure – says the journalism major/former high-school floater.
– The aliens are the least creepy ever. They’re big thing? They like, totally need water to live. Like the steroid-filled walking fish from that lame Season 2 ep of Buffy. Or you know, just super-thirsty town creepers who like to sleep-walk into the middle of the sprinkler system and stock the coffee cupboard with bottled water.
– Also, their big post-kill line? “I’ve always wanted to do that.”
– One of Usher’s lines includes the words, “Anal probe.” RACY!
– Opening line of the movie : “Get off the field you fucking blow jobs!”
– Second line: (Football coach to Shawn Hatosy’s footballer character who’s practicing for the next big game) “You’re gonna be dead Friday night!” TOTALLY.
– They introduce Josh Harnett’s supposedly badass character by having him purposely park his car across three parking spots. Subtle, baby. Subtle.
– They introduce Elijah’s supposedly super-loner nerd by having him strung up his underwear and cry alone in the bathroom. And if those cliches weren’t enough to hammer the point home, they give you “Eating Lunch Alone” (actual scene title) – a wideshot of him eating a sammie by himself in the empty bleachers set to some overdramatic instrumental.
– Casey doesn’t get mad when his dad eventually rummages through his room, looking for a drug stash (of course, they don’t believe a word of this teachers are from another planet, nonsense). But he gets totally high-pitched when his dad rips his textbook open. “That’s government property!”
– Salma Hayek plays a not-so-sexy school nurse. Before she goes alien, she refuses to stay home, even though she’s coughing and sneezing all over her patients. She says she’s “saving [her] sick days for when [she’s] feels better.”
– This dude’s face, as he waits to get treated by Nurse Salma.
– Stokely (Duvall) to Jordana Brewster’s incessant insinuation that she only wears black (true) and is hot for the ladies (not-so-true): “Fuck you, gutter slut!