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The Faculty


The Filthy
Critic says:
"It's Pretty

If you want to see a remake of "The Breakfast Club," only this time with monsters, then you should find a doctor that can remove the shit from your skull and replace it with brains. In the meantime, the fine folks in Hollywood have found a diversion for you. It's "The Faculty."

The title refers to the staff of Herrington High, a group of teachers that are slowly being taken over by alien brainsuckers. It's up to a band of students to stop the aliens before they take over the students, the town and then, my God, the world. The teenagers are:

  • the reluctant jock
  • the loner chick who may be a lesbian
  • the brainy geek
  • the genius that isn't living up to his potential
  • the pretty preppy who's too good for everyone
  • the innocent seeming, pretty stranger

Five of these characters are stolen directly from "The Breakfast Club." The sixth is the queen alien. Can you guess which? In stealing the first five characters, screenwriter Kevin Williamson and director Robert Rodriguez have actually managed to leech away even more of the clichéd pesonalities they were back in the mid-80s.

This unlikely band, thrown together not by Saturday detention hall but by their awareness of the aliens, concoct a plan for saving the world.

I suppose that the asshole filmmakers would call all the stealing they do "homage," but that's because they are assholes and full of themselves. They're ripping off other movies and doing a piss-poor job of it. They rip off the ideas without giving them any life. An "Homage" would elevate and celebrate something they respect. "The Faculty" doesn't elevate anything except probably the wieners of some teenage boys looking at the pretty teen hotties.

It feels like Williamson was too God-damn lazy to think up any new ideas and so he just "borrowed." He has the courtesy to let his characters reference the original material, which I'm sure would get him extra credit at the high school he wishes he were still in. But, are we supposed to be thrilled when characters tell us exactly where he is stealing from? We aren't because:

  1. we aren't fucking idiots. When will the Hollywood assholes in their IKEA furnished offices figure that out?
  2. when you tell us what movie you are stealing from, we remember how it ended and can then guess how this one will end. Did it occur to anyone to try to make this original, thrilling or suspenseful?

One of the character says that in "Puppet Masters" they had to kill the Queen and then the followers died. Williamson figures, "Boy, that's pretty good, and it saves me from having to think of anything new." Wouldn't it have been cool if the characters thought these monsters would be like "Puppet Masters," but that turned out to only be sci-fi fantasy. Then the fucking teens would have to find a new solution and we'd be shitting our pants guessing what would happen next? Yes, it would have.

The acting is a notch above the Arvada Community Center's children's production of "Jack and the Fucking Beanstalk" (note, the "fucking" is mine and not the Arvada Center's). The teens all play their scenes with all the gravity their pussy-child-actor bodies can muster. The performances of the teachers are uniformly wasted. I kept watching and thinking "Why Jon Stewart? Why Bebe Neuwirth?" What's the point of having famous people in the cast if you aren't going to have them do anything? Maybe some brilliant moviemaker can answer that one for me.

The special effects are particularly lame. Why in hell would anyone make a sci-fi movie and not bother to have good special effects? Because they just don't fucking care, that's why. Rodriguez was too enamored with trying to be cool teenager for the first time in his life. One of the aliens looks like Kang from "The Simpsons." At other times, they are obviously superimposed images, looking like they came out of a rejected episode of "Far Out Space Nuts."

My biggest bitch of all is with the overall premise. Miramax thinks teens believe their teachers are aliens, and so this movie is some ironic joke. Miramax is stupid, kids have no such illusions. They just think their teachers are fucking assholes.

For the sake of argument, let's work with the premise given. Kids are predisposed to hating their teachers, so it's pointless to make the teachers likable until the aliens take them over. Then, after the aliens are gone, they are likable again. For a movie the kids will love, make the teachers mad as hell at the kids for not following their rules. All kids hate the fucking rules. Make the teachers resort to brainwashing and killing the teens to get the school in line. Make it revolve around an accreditation visit by the state, and this is why the teachers have to remove the rotten apples. That's much better than the moronic idea of blending the worst of "The Breakfast Club" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

After he wrote "Scream," Williamson was the hippest 35 year old teenager in the country. He could have probably gotten

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teenage boo until the cows came home. Now, however, he's a lot like the new kid at school that seemed cool until everyone found out he was autistic and could only do one thing. You're a broken record, Kevin, and you're schtick is wearing out. Your referential style is about as fresh as Dennis Miller's, so knock it off.

For the actors in this movie: I do not like any of you little pricks, but for your sake I hope you look better than the cast of "The Breakfast Club" in fifteen years. No matter how much I hate someone, I would never wish he turned into Anthony Michael Hall or Molly Ringwald.

"The Faculty," and teenagers in general, get two fingers.

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