Title: The Faculty
Year: 1998Synopsis: Students suspect that their teachers are aliens after bizarre occurrences.
Tagline: Take me to your teacher.
Truth be told, I hadn't actually seen The Faculty since 1998 when it first came out. I didn't remember much of it, except Josh Hartnett played a staring role and something weird was going on with the teachers at Herrington High. Of course, all of that can be guessed by simply looking at the cover of the DVD.
This movie delivered surprise after surprise for me. Not with the plot, I had that figured out fairly early on, but with the ensemble cast. Jon Stewart, Clea Duvall, Famke Janssen, Salma Hayek, Jordana Brewster, Usher, Danny Masterson, Robert Patrick. I mean, the movie was so crammed packed with familiar faces I was beside myself with merriment. And so many of them are still acting today. I mean, I just watched Robert Patrick in an episode of Sons Of Anarchy!
My mind was blown.
But it went into overdrive when I saw the final credits and learned the movie was done by Robert Rodriguze. Not sure how I missed that little factoid. This man is one of the masters of cinema and his list of hits are long and impressive with such blockbusters as Planet Terror, Desperado, Sin City, Machete, and From Dusk Till Dawn. Unfortunately, the dude also has some misses, like Spy Kids and The Faculty.
The idea isn't bad, but like Disturbing Behaviour, we've been here before with better movies. And with Disturbing Behaviour. Looks as though 1998 proved to be the year MGM and Dimension films were battling it out to have the best Invasion Of The Body Snatchers inspired adolescent Sci-Fi/Horror movie! Honestly, I can't tell you which one won.
Have you ever noticed this happening? Two major distributors releasing similar movies in the same year. Think about it. Snow White and the Huntsman came out around the same time Mirror Mirror did. The Prestige battled The Illusionist, Friends With Benefits fought No Strings Attached, The Cave went head-to-head with The Descent. And the list goes on and on. Actually, to prove my point, take a look at this blog right here. (Someone did the work for me and actually put the posters next to each other and everything.)
This was keeping me awake last night. I kept thinking, why does this happen? Is it because these powerhouses in film want to beat the other out? Or are they simply trying to monopolize on the other's idea? Maybe this is all a coincidence.
Regardless, both The Faculty and Disturbing Behaviour ended up being misses, in my book. They weren't entirely disappointing. Both had attractive leads. And surprisingly robust casts. But I just can't tell you to go an watch them. You aren't missing out on anything if you don't see them, and that my friends is how you can tell if a movie is good or bad.
Though I will give props to the alien aspect of this. Most movies shy away from showing the 'monster'. This one didn't. And Famke's head crawling around on the ground with tentacles was priceless.
With this review the nineties weekend comes to an end. Needless to say, it's been a slice.