Aliya Whiteley wrote an essay, "Revisiting Robert Rodriguez's The Faculty", which identifies the film's influences: Mix Invasion Of The Body Snatchers with The Thing. Throw in some Terminator, a spoonful of The Breakfast Club, and a pinch of The Stepford Wives, and you've got a big mess of a movie set in a school that's being taken over by a conformist alien, one teacher at a time. You've got the very funny, occasionally scary, quite gory, and extremely entertaining 1998 Robert Rodriguez film called The Faculty. Whiteley added, "It's all about examining the tropes of science fiction with a smart, funny angle. Half of the fun in this film is in identifying where you first came across a certain character's name or saw a particular special effect. For instance, there's a brilliant moment with a head on legs that I defy you to watch and not think of a certain John Carpenter film." Whitely concludes, "The Faculty is very definitely a big mess of a movie. But if you love all things sci-fi, it's a good mess." Keith Phipps described the nostalgic homage when he described the film as "a Kevin Williamson-scripted high-school variation on Invasion Of The Body Snatchers." See more »
(at around 22 mins) While the students are walking toward the fish tank to examine the creature, the tank reflects a crew member in a blue shirt. See more »
You got to pick up the line. God damn it! Get off the fucking field you limp ass blow jobs!
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The female teacher who was decapitated only to have her alien-controlled head rejoin her body, is seen (also very much alive) wearing a scarf around her neck, presumably to hide the scar. See more »
Trailers include several scenes not present in the final theatrical release:
Piper Laurie's character breaks the glass of a door;
Casey tosses a chair at Mr. Furlong when he attacks the students in class;
after Mr. Furlong's death, Casey looks out the window and Stokely asks the question "Isn't this usually the point where someone says 'let's get the hell out of here'?". Casey responds instead of Stan.
Gabe says "This is some weird shit."
Coach Willis pops up behind Delilah in a stall in the girls' bathroom.
One of the teacher's finger turns into a tentacle while holding a coffee cup.
Coach Willis yelling: "There's no way to run!"
Coach Willis locking a door or a gate and then saying:"Now We're gonna have some fun!"
Mr. Tate holding up Venus and sticking her to the wall & then saying: "Where are your friends?"
Campy, ridiculous, but entertaining high school version of Body Snatchers
This film fuses elements of the Breakfast Club with Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Robert Rodrigues makes entertaining films, and does so consistently. The Faculty is no exception, though the formula is radically different from his standard approach. In place of large guns, spectacular stunt choreography and a silly soundtrack, Rodrigues made "The Faculty" with a classy ensemble cast and some awesome special effects. The script is also very good, featuring strong characterization and interesting dialog. All of these elements make The Faculty a very watchable film, and make up for the completely unoriginal and not very coherent plot.
The film begins as a paranoiac comedy about a typical high school where the students and faculty see each other as alien species. Ho hum. However, after about 20 minutes of set-up, the faculty really starts to become an alien species, as they are assimilated by water-loving parasites with very bad attitudes and a kind of group consciousness straight out of Invasion of The Body Snatchers and Star Trek's Borg. Six kids, very unlikely team-mates representing the archetypal teenage personalities of the postmodern world, team up to try to save the world, once they realize that the aliens can be driven off by, of all things, caffeine. Especially impressive are Elijah Wood, Piper Laurie, Robert Patrick, Josh Hartnett and Clea DuVall.
Like most of Rodrigues' films, The Faculty never loses its sense of humor, and pulls off its own absurdity with artful visualization and a tight, driving pace. Unlike many of Rodrigues' films, however, The Faculty is disposable - it's not really meant to be viewed more than once. See it if you're a Rodrigues fan, or somebody who enjoys the obscure but growing genre of horror-comedy.
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