Friday, 21 February 2014

Horror Review: The Faculty (1998)


Students suspect that their teachers are aliens after bizarre occurrences.


The 90's, not a great decade for the Horror genre. That doesn't mean there wasn't a few gems that shone through though.


Alien invasion movies are nothing new, even when this film was released it was an overused plot. That doesn't mean it isn't an enjoyable one though. It's still a plot that's used in today's films and one I still highly enjoy.

Robert Rodriguez is one of my favourite directors and I still regard this as one of his under-rated gems, you can see that a-lot of work went into this feature as it shows on-screen and you can definitely see his talent shine through.


The cast itself is a bit of a head scratcher on paper, with the likes of a young Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, Clea DuVall and Usher alongside the likes of Robert Patrick, Salma Hayek and Piper Laurie. But ultimately it works so well.

Everybody puts on a fantastic performance, Robert Patrick is 'Mr. Reliable', I've never seen him put in a bad performance and he doesn't disappoint here and Elijah Wood is an actor I've never really liked but he definitely won me over with his role here.


"The Faculty" is a fantastic Horror/Sci-fi film that definitely deserves a re-watch, it was one of the better releases in a bleak period. 


If you want to see "The Faculty" trailer then just click on the video below:



Miscellaneous facts about the film:

Jon Stewart plays Prof. Edward Furlong in this movie. Actor Edward Furlong played John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), chased by the T-1000 Terminator played by Robert Patrick (Coach Joe Willis).

At one point, the principal suggests saving money by reusing the set from "Our Town". The joke in this is that Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" has no set.

The role of Delilah was originally written for Charisma Carpenter. She turned it down because she felt the role was too similar to her character Cordelia on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997). Sarah Michelle Gellar, the title star of Buffy, also turned down a role in The Faculty (1998).

Near the end, Marybeth refuses to take the alien drug test by saying she's allergic. Jordana Brewster's character Delilah says, "Yeah, and I'm Portuguese." In real life, Brewster can speak fluent Portuguese.

A lot of the filming was done at the high school in Lockhart, Texas. The football team was used and the city was told to show up for the football game and were given fake t-shirts to wear in the stands.

When Casey nurses his wounds in the bathroom at the beginning of the movie, graffiti above his head reads, Tito & Tarantula. This is the band of Tito Larriva, who has composed music and acted in director Robert Rodriguez's other movies, Desperado (1995) and From Dusk Till Dawn (1996).

In a scene where students are being called to the principal's office, one name called is Thomas Nix. In reality, Tommy Nix is one of director Robert Rodriguez's friends from college. He helped Rodriguez write his second feature Roadracers (1994).

In exchange for product placement in this film for clothier Tommy Hilfiger's fashion line, the teens from the movie's cast appeared together in a TV commercial & print ad campaign for Tommy Jeans throughout 1998.

The girl student with the black top and tan skirt who laughs at Elijah Wood getting his balls smashed into a flagpole was Austin rocker Sarah Talbot, who at the time was the front woman for The Hollywood Wife Beaters. Laughing at Wood was her idea and the director kept it in.

Elijah Wood, Clea DuVall, Jordana Brewster and Shawn Hatosy appear in the music video for "Another Brick in the Wall, part 2", performed by the Class of '99, which is featured in the film's soundtrack. In keeping with her character Stokley, Clea DuVall does not lip sync the lyrics with her co-stars.

Gillian Anderson turned down the role of Valerie Drake.

Jessica Alba auditioned for the role of Delilah Profitt.

The high school band in the football scene is from Austin High School in Austin, Texas, which is the high school that President George W. Bush's daughters, Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush, attended.

The car Zeke drives is a 1970 Pontiac GTO.

Among the motivational banners in the school's locker room is a sign that says "The will to win comes from within" which is particularly appropriate considering the body snatcher nature of the alien invaders taking over the staff and student body.

The tattooed girl whom Marybeth asks where the office is, is director Robert Rodriguez' sister, Tina Rodriguez.

Harry Jay Knowles:  The bespectacled, red-haired teacher having his injury examined by Nurse Harper (Salma Hayek). Knowles, most famous for his movie news website "Ain't it Cool News," is a long time friend of Robert Rodriguez and a fellow resident of Austin, Texas, where this movie was filmed.

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