Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Faculty is the greatest movie of all time

The Faculty. Most pro meth movie of all time. Saw it sophomore year of HS at the $1 theater (watched a shit ton of movies that year at that theater, remember it super fondly, RIP the $1 theater) and fucking loved it. At the time my favorite of the 700 high school movies from that year. I also got the soundtrack which was great. Had some Garbage, some Oasis, a Creed cover of "I'm Eighteen" which isn't terrible, and an awesome rendition of "Another Brick in the Wall" from one pop supergroup Class of 1999 featuring Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, and Stephen Perkins and Martyn LeNoble of Jane's Addiction/Porno for Pyros. That supergroup covered three of my favorite five bands at the time. Anywho, what I remembered about the film itself was that John Stewart was in it and dies hilariously via a Bic through the eye, they bet hard on Usher being a breakout star, and the movie was insanely pro meth. All of these things are true and are what you should walk away with from said movie. So of course it's still dope but way doper than I expected. In fact, greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Rip-off of other sci-fi thrillers. Ouch.

Pros: Great cast. Like amazingly so. Josh Hartnett is like the coolest. The plot was super fun albeit a total rip off of like 100 other science fiction flicks. Pretty good pacing. Wrapped up with a lot of personal nostalgia. Pretty ladies.

Cons: Basically Scream with aliens which was getting sort old by that point and is pretty dated as a movie from the late 1990s. Actually, looking at the credit list, wasn't shocked to see Kevin Williamson, who wrote most of the Scream franchise, wrote the screenplay for this as well.

Gist of it... A motley crew of high school student archetypes--the overachieving cheerleader (Jordana Brewster), the goth maybe lesbian (Clea DuVall), the new kid/southern belle (Laura Harris), the genius (Josh Hartnett), the miscast dumb jock (Shawn Hatosy), and the nerd (Elijah Wood)--must save the world from an alien invasion that for whatever reason has begun at their high school, first getting into their teachers' brains and taking control, then moving on to the town folk, student body, and their parents. Only not all of the archetypes are what they seem. Spoiler, some of them are also possessed by aliens. Movie was directed by one of the masters, Robert Rodrigues, who has done all kinds of dope ass shit (From Dusk Till Dawn, the Sin City movies, Planet Terror, El Mariachi, Machete, to name a fraction).

Got to give it up for the casting director in this flick. We get an insane 1990s ensemble, like if you were drafting 90s teens, most of these would be in your top ten, plus the faculty themselves are way more star studded than what I recalled. Some of the teachers and parents include an equally star studded bunch in Daniel von Bargen (Kruger in Seinfeld), hotty Famke Janssen who was Jean Grey in X-Men, super hotty Salma Hayek, Piper Laurie from Twin Peaks, Christopher McDonald (Shooter McGavin), Bebe Neuwirth (Lilith from Cheers), Robert "T2" Patrick, and Jon Stewart. Usher Raymond is also in the movie. This is when they were really trying to make him a movie star. But dude can't act so he has maybe like five lines even though he was on the damn cover. Even get some recognizable extras. Like playing "Fuck Up #1"and "Fuck Up #2"--those their listed roles on IMDB--are Fuck Up #1 IRL Danny Masterson (famous for Hyde from That 70's Show and rape) and Wiley Wiggins whom you might recognize as the main freshman kid Mitch Kramer in Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused which went instant classic, not sure what he's up to now but he doesn't appear to be raping people so I wish him the best.

Best line of the movie is "not the pole!" screamed by Elijah Wood when in his intro like six dudes pick him up, spread his legs, and repeatedly smash his genitals into a light pole. These guys are not chill. 

Favorite scene is easily the one where they recreate the old John Carpenter's The Thing blood test except instead of a hot copper wire they all do meth ("skat" that Hartnett's character makes in his basement) which turns out to be the aliens' weakness. So basically a slightly more exaggerated effect on the aliens than on humans. In it they each have to do a bump to prove that they aren't aliens. I couldn't imagine a worse way to get fucked up than doing meth with potential aliens that are trying to take over but maybe that's just me. It's also great that one of the hulks out when she takes it because she is indeed other worldly.

MVP is absolutely Josh Hartnett, awful hair and all. As The Ringer explains, Hartnett really had a moment and this was his greatest role in said moment. He plays a fifth-year senior who purposefully repeated the grade to sell drugs which is a good thing since it is mostly his ingenuity that stops the outbreak. How does this dude not win the movie is a better question. Some examples of his coolness. He's about to fuck his English teacher, played by Famke Janssen, before she gets turned into an alien. He gets her all... intrigued with his astute comments in class and then when she catch him selling meth out of the trunk of his car he offers her some then laxatives then condoms. She weakly tells him he is being rude. Then she is all over him as an alien and lays into him and talks hella shit to him in front of the whole school. But he acts all cool and signals to her to bring it on in this cool way. I get the feeling that alien actually just wants to fuck him. Her end is pretty great with Zeke crashing his hot ass muscle car into a bus. We get some crash and burn and decapitation. Movie wasn't nearly the greatest of all time without him. Good thing they did.

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