Never has a terrible movie been more specific to how terrible movies were in a certain era. And that’s not to say that all films of the late 90s were bad, of course not, but when they were bad they were horrid, and they were horrid in exactly the way that The Faculty is horrid, and if you think I’m using the word ‘horrid’ too much you have definitely not watched this movie yet. It’s among the worst of the worst, but somehow perfectly captures the time and the mood of the time; even while it’s being unwatchable it’s still being so perfectly en pointe.
At a typical high school in Ohio, a variety of teenagers are going through typical troubles and fulfilling their typical roles. Casey is a dweeb, Stokely is a misfit, Stan is a jock, Delilah is Ms. Perfect, Zeke is a stoner, Marybeth is the new girl; you get the drill. But they’ll all have to work together as one to overcome a brand new problem, one that most teens don’t usually deal with; aliens. An organism has taken over the school, starting with the teachers, and its goal is world domination, which would definitely change some summer plans.
What a hilarious movie, but mostly because it’s uproariously bad. It really is everything that was wrong with movies from this era, every cliche and bad choice and gimmick, nothing timeless or classic or interesting at all. You could look at it as a joke I guess, but it never really feels that way, it feels like they were trying to be cool, and boy did they fail. Rodriguez is an eclectic director (El Mariachi, From Dusk Till Dawn, Spy Kids, Sin City, Machete, Star Wars series), and on top of that, this is a very random cast: Wood, Hartnett, DuVall, Brewster, Summer Phoenix, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen, Robert Patrick, Jon Stewart, Danny Masterson, Usher for some reason. And it watched just like that, all over the place, like a fun idea at a party, not a real film at all. The acting is terrible, the plot is silly, the action makes very little sense, and the only real reason to watch The Faculty is to make fun of it and to relive the absurdity of 1998.
My rating: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆