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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