The Faculty (1998)
WRITER: Screenplay by Kevin Williamson
Story by David Wechter & Bruce Kimmel
DIRECTOR: Robert Rodriguez
STARRING: Jordana Brewster as Delilah
Clea DuVall as Stokely
Laura Harris as Marybeth
Josh Hartnett as Zeke
Shawn Hatosy as Stan
Salma Hayek as Nurse Harper
Famke Janssen as Miss Burke
Piper Laurie as Mrs. Olson
Bebe Neuwirth as Principal Drake
Robert Patrick as Coach Willis
Jon Stewart as Mr. Furlong
Elijah Wood as Casey
QUICK CUT: Aliens decide to take over the world, and start with a school in the middle of nowhere. Because that's a good place for a takeover.
Casey - Before he was tossing rings into lava pits, he was saving high schools from aliens, and being pretty dorkly about it too. He's your typical photography geek. Shy, quiet, awkward, and the target of bully tortures. He has a thing for the hot cheerleader, which will surely go well.
Delilah - That hot cheerleader. She's the editor of the school newspaper too. She's hot, she knows it, she's a bit of a bitch. Picture Cordelia from Buffy, but with more common sense.
Stan - Delilah's boyfriend, and the star quarterback. But that's not enough for him, he wants to do more, he wants to use his brains, and get good grades on his own merits.
Stokely - The school's bad girl with a highly improbably name, and public lesbian, but that last bit is all a smokescreen so people will leave her alone. Which doesn't seem to work, since she gets tormented about it from Delilah frequently. That could have been thought out better.
Marybeth - The new girl, a cute southern girl from Atlanta, and she's every inch as 'aww shucks' as you might imagine. She's instantly drawn to Stokely because they're both outsiders. Yes, that's it.
THE GUTS: It's back to school time, and I sorely need a break from Full Moon crapfests. Oh look, a high school horror movie from Robert Rodriguez. How bad can it be?
The start is a good sign, I certainly can't complain about a movie opening up with music from Offspring. And hey, Robert Patrick! The T-1000 himself!
He's playing the gym teacher and football coach, Willis, and after the team gives him a crap-ass practice, he chews them out, then runs over to the bench of water buckets and towels and such, and tosses it over. At least he gets to show some emotion this time around.
And that's when the shadowy shadowness shows up and we cut to another scene.
In the faculty lounge, Fraiser's wife, er Principal Drake is going over the budget with her staff, and telling them everything they won't be getting so football can continue to be funded. Ahh, that old trope.
They adjourn for the night, but the principal heads back into the darkened school because she forgot her keys. Once she's all alone, Coach Willis shows up to startle her. Hey, if Agent Doggett appeared behind me suddenly, I'd jump too.
He asks her for a pencil, and to get out of there as quickly as possible, she gives him one. But the coach gives it right back by SHOVING IT THROUGH HER HAND. Ok, that was a little unexpected, and a little bit awesome. Drake tries a different approach, and slashes him with her keys to get away.
At least, until Drake reaches a door and finds it all chained up. While the principal continues to try and escape, Willis uses the PA system to taunt her. Another time honoured classic.
Drake almost escapes, but Willis comes charging at her blowing his whistle, which is way creepier than you might think. It actually seems like it would work as a surprising thing to throw a person off. She grabs some scissors and squirms away, making it back to the locked door.
There, she finds Mrs. Olson and tries to get her to unlock the door, but she doesn't have her keys either, and the principal's are still back in the office. I'll let that slide, since she was majorly distracted when she went to get them, what with the pencilling.
Drake grabs the keys and runs back to the door once again, with Willis at her heels. She barely gets out and gets the door locked behind her again. But just as she thinks she's safe, Olson grabs the pair of scissors that got dropped in the scuffle, and stabs the principal with them repeatedly. That's right, she's in it with Willis! Dun dun DUN!
The next day, the school has been nicely cleaned up for the students, our main characters to arrive. The movie does this almost silly thing of a cliche high school show from the 80s, where they freeze frame over the character, and flash their name on the screen. In a nice twist though, the names look painted in blood, and the freezes might not be exactly heroic or flattering all the time.
We start off with Frodo, er, Casey. We meet our resident chickenshit dork as he's catching an elbow to the face. Then the local bad girl psuedo goth proto emo, Stokely passes by. Which I refuse to accept as a real name.
Next we meet the tanned cheerleader Delilah, but in a twist, she's also smart! And the editor in chief of the school newspaper! At least we're breaking from type.
Her boyfriend is then pounced on by another football player, and we get another freeze and the name Stan. This confused me at first. Is Stan Delilah's boyfriend? The other football player? Or random guy #3 who also jumped into the scene? This becomes clear soon enough, but that was an awkward introduction, to say the least.
And then there's the new girl Marybeth, who just wants to find the office on her first day at the new school. Boy, did she pick the wrong day to start matriculating here.
Finally, we meet Zeke, the school troublemaker. To say the least. We meet him selling really terrible fake IDs to some fellow students, and he then tries to sell them his own homemade drug, Skat. Considering this guy just tried to give an ID with an asian photo on it to a very white guy to use, I would not trust his drug crafting abilities. Guaranteed to fuck you up, indeed.
We move on from students to meeting more of the staff, and what a wondrous cavalcade of stars we have. Famke Janssen as the glasses wearing geeky shy English teacher, Miss. Burke. Snerk, yeah right. Jon Stewart as the science teacher, Mr. Furlong. Salma Hayek as Nurse Harper. And Harry Knowles from AICN. Who wouldn't want to go to this school?? Well, aside from there being a psychotic coach. But that's almost normal, isn't it?
I have to wonder about Famke's character in the classroom environment. She's quiet, stammering, stuttering, and exhibits no sense of control over this middle of nowhere Tex...er, Ohio school. She wouldn't last a day in NYC, and I'm surprised she lasted even two where she is.
We catch back up with Stan, who is indeed Delilah's boyfriend, thanks for clearing that up, movie. He's thinking about quitting the football team, and actually try to get into college with his brain. Hey, I wish him luck. Delilah on the other hand hates the idea, because the head cheerleader is supposed to date the quarterback. I say if she can buck one stereotype by being a smart girl who edits the school paper, she can buck another one and date a guy with a brain and not a good arm.
She mocks him some more and walks off, scoffing at how some day he might find the cure for cancer. Pssst. If he does that he will be FILTHY STINKING RICH, Delilah. Oh, the horror. You best break up with that loser now. I bet she dumped Bill Gates, too.
After some thrilling bitchiness between Stokely and Delilah, Casey is finishing up his juice box on the football field, where he runs into Willis. He doesn't recognise the student, since he's been possessed...er, since Casey isn't very athletic, and says he doesn't feel like a person should be running unless they're being chased. Dude, did you SEE Terminator 2? Robert Patrick loves chasing, and running!
Casey found something in the field, and brings it to Professor Stewart. On the one hand, it seems hilarious listening to Jon Stewart try and deliver biological technobabble, and yet I know he's a smart guy so he should be able to do this better!
Zeke also shows an interest in it, showing he's actually rather smart himself, which is another nice change of pace. Although as questioned earlier, why IS he repeating his senior year, then?
Stokely accidentally spills water on the critter, and it starts coming back to life. As an experiment, they dump it into a conveniently empty fishtank, and it fully resuscitates, growing long flowing tendrils, and swimming around comfortably.
Curious to learn more, Stewart pulls on a ruber glove to poke at the beasty, and it spawns a duplicate instantly. I hearby dub the creature a Madrox. And then it opens its mouth and takes a chunk out of our Daily Show host.
Frodo hilariously asks where it got teeth. Probably the same place you did, skippy. But, you say, it didn't have teeth before? Well, keep your mouth shut, and see how visible your teeth are. Duh.
Meanwhile, Stan gives the coach the bad news about his new choice of careers. Willis takes it uncharacteristically well. I dunno, if the parasites make a football coach not be a dick, can they be all bad?
Stan goes to grab a shower, and gets interrupted by an old teacher wandering in with him, and tearing her clothes off. This is like one half fantasy, one half nightmare right here. Especially more nightmare with the sores on her face.
He tries to comfort the freaking out teacher, but all he gets for it is a large chunk of her scalp sloughing off into his hands.
Later, while Mrs. Olson tries explaining things away by saying Mrs. Brummel had cancer, Casey sees Coach Willis standing out amidst the sprinklers, soaking up the water. He's distracted enough that he doesn't hear Olson talking until the movie hilariously smash zooms over and over into her face. I shouldn't giggle at that.
Elsewhere, Zeke is selling these things we used to have called VHS tapes with nudity to some kids, when Famke comes over to talk to him about his extracurricular activities. I love the size balls he must have to try and sell her some drugs to calm her down.
Elsewhere, Casey and Delilah sneak into the faculty lounge to try and dig up any interesting stories, and he awkwardly flirts with her. Please, we all know his heart truly belongs to Samwise.
They get interrupted when Willis and Olson slip in to discuss their secret plans for school union domination. They hide in a nearby closet and watch as Olson tosses a cup of water into her face. Then those two get interrupted when Nurse Hayek comes in to take more drugs for her cold.
All this builds up to Willis spitting a Khan worm into Salma Hayek's ear as the kids watch. Things were going pretty well, until they accidentally find Mrs. Brummel's body and knock it over, drawing attention to their hiding spot.
The kids barely escape, but run right into the not-so-dead Principal Drake and another teacher, who seem awfully calm for her not being, y'know, dead.
It doesn't take Casey and Delilah long to piece together that every teacher around them at that moment is against them, and they make a run for it, bringing in the cops. But when they show up, all they find in the closet is the CPR training dummy. And Nurse Harper was only having a siezure.
All this ends up doing is handing a police officer or two right into the hands of the parasites. The principal is about to speak to Casey's parents as well, when he makes an excuse to get out of there, before they too are brain slugged.
Back home, Casey's parents raid his room for drugs, but find nothing. Instead, they decide to ground him, and take away all his fun stuff. I especially like the amusing detail of taking his stash of adult magazines. It's just so casually done, and treated like one of those secrets that everyone knows about but no one ever acknowledges. Wonderfully done.
Casey tries to sneak out, but sees three of the faculty standing on the sidewalk waiting. He's spooked and falls off the roof, nearly landing right in their waiting hands until his father shows up and shoos his kid back inside. I love how this scene was shot. The staff are almost completely in shadow, their faces utterly obscured, and it gives this dark, forboding feel that is just great.
The next day, Casey gets dropped off at school, and inside he finds the missing Delilah, in disguise as a geek with glasses and everything. Her disguise is about as effective as Clark Kent's.
What follows is another great, creepy scene, that almost flows like a dreamlike state as the faculty changes their lounge around. The coffee machine goes unused, water bottles are everywhere, refills for the water cooler pile up...it's just well done, and the slowness to it makes it all the more chilling, aided by the sound of chugging water. It's utterly mundane, but still gives you just the right amount of chill.
Meanwhile, the principal keeps calling students to her office in the background, and most people go about their day like the aliens aren't slowly taking over. Marybeth pushes Stokely into Stan so those two can flirt awkwardly with each other, and oddly enough, hit it off.
Kids are starting to notice things are getting weird, and Stokely tries to see into the office, but gets the door shut in her face for peeking. The whole thing is being covered up by an ear exam, but Stan wonders why that takes the police. Well, he wonders for all of two seconds before some geek girl grabs his arm...oh wait, that's Delilah! I didn't recognise her when she's not hot.
The two potheads come up to Zeke asking for more Skat, which he is more than willing to sell them. At least until they keep asking for more and more, every last pen tube he has, and Zeke gets suspicious.
And that's when the Famke we all know and love shows up. The glasses are gone, she combed her hair, the frumpy clothes are out the window, and they've been replaced by a slinky red top and black skirt. Again, what's the downside to these Khan worms?
In the library, Casey and Stokely are having a chat about the weirdness, and she happens to mention Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which gets Casey's brain churning. Again, always be careful of mentioning movies better than yours, especially if you're ripping off their plot.
And this leads to my one of my fave tropes, "That's just a story!" Whenever someone says this in a movie, it always breaks my suspension of disbelief. It might be the normal conversation to have, but flagging up your plot as a movie plot, always serves to remind me of exactly what I'm watching.
It gets funnier as they actually take this seriously. Casey thinks that maybe the writer of Body Snatchers had the same thing happen to him, and he wrote about it, since writers write what they know, and all fiction has an element of truth. But Stokely tells him that Body Snatchers was original, and just ripped off Puppet Masters by Heinlein, so his theories are flawed from the start. Ok, fine, just replace it with Puppet Masters then! And this all doesn't stop THIS movie from being a rip off of BOTH OF THEM.
And I just can't seem to escape Puppet Masters, can I?
Things continue to take a weird turn as Casey goes deeper down the rabbit hole and saying that all scifi writers and producers are actually aliens, making movies and such to make us believe aliens are only fiction, and there is no invasion. That is a lot of work, a lot of plotting, to cover up a school in Ohio being taken over by earworms. Also, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Robert Rodriguez. A secret alien.
Stokely and Casey bounce ideas back and forth, and they realise it can't be Body Snatchers because there aren't any pods, but then they remember that in Puppet Masters, it was parasites. Durhey, maybe it could be that new species we discovered!
Too bad it's gone missing.
Frodo delivers the line "We believe aliens are taking over the school" with such a straight face it becomes hilarious. I wouldn't believe him either, not even if E.T. was standing behind him.
All our cast of ragtag misfits (and the cheerleader) come together finally, as Stan and Delilah get dragged into it on the way to Professor Stewart's lab. While Zeke and Marybeth raid the storeroom for his drug supplies, they overhear the conversation and join in the fun.
That's when Furlong butts in and Zeke tells him that they think he's an alien. I've seen Daily Show, and he's weird, but he's not THAT weird.
So they try to leave, but Furlong keeps them in the room, which kinda blows his cover. This is some of Jon's better moments in the movie. He actually does creepy mind controlled teacher pretty well. Zeke removes the blade from a paper cutter, which is way easier than I ever would have imagined, and takes a gash out of the side of his hand. Later, Marybeth would come on his show and remove the stitches.
No wait, he gets his fingers sliced off, my bad. The fingers crawl away, and the red tendrils from the parasite exude from the stumps on the teacher's hand. And I feel like I've walked back into Colony of the Dark. He starts spitting something out, but Zeke rams a pen of Skat into Stewart's eye, which causes the wound to fizz and burble like pop rocks and Coke.
On the upside, everyone in the room now believes that aliens are taking over.
Our intrepid band of brothers (And the cheerleader) head out of the school, trying to remain calm, but everyone else is acting weird, and watching them. It's like The Birds with water bottles.
The gang of losers (and the cheerleader) cram into Zeke's Mustang, which must be a hell of a tight fit, and head to the lab he has in his garage. Zeke takes the critter that Casey grabbed on their way out of the school, and starts poking and dissecting it, and decides to feed a piece to his pet mouse.
Once the mouse is taken over, Zeke snaps its neck and pulls him apart, finding a completely grown Khan worm inside, which I will say is pretty amazing for only being in it for a few seconds. They figure out the parasites need someplace moist to replicate, drying out their hosts, and that's why Zeke's drug is effective on them; it's made up of caffeine pills, and is thus a diaretic. I knew coffee was awesome. *waves his mug around*
Stokely theorises that they might be able to stop the worms if they can kill the leader, and all the infected humans would go back to normal. Are we talking Khan worms or werewolves, people? I mean, this is based on what?
Delilah is all for getting out of town, but Frodo knows its pointless to run with how quickly these things are spreading. They try figuring out ways to tell aliens from humans, and that's when the paranoia starts. They all start pointing fingers at people acting strange in their little group.
Cue the scene ripped right out of The Thing, as they pass around pens of Skat to test who is the alien and who is human. If you've seen the other movie, you can now hit fast forward on your DVD player.
Of course, now we have half a dozen high schoolers high as kites, giggling, with headaches, trying to fight off and warn about an alien invasion. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, aside from Delilah being possessed, that is. They try to shoot her, and it takes Stokely to actually pull the trigger. Makes sense, what with the antagonism and such. Too bad she's a lousy shot, and Delilah escapes to a handy student driver sitting outside on the street. I'd complain about the coincidence of it all, but they did explain the creatures have a hive mind, so she called for help on the cosmic 911. Damn you, proper scriptwriting!!
So in order to save everyone, they're off to find and kill the queen, which means...off to the football game! Nice to see the aliens are sticking to our rituals. And wouldn't the players dehydrate faster playing sports? At least they give some excuse for all this by having the players on the other team being tackled and earwormed. You know, I will never look at wet willies the same again.
And another awesome soundtrack moment, with a cover of Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall. At least the music kicks ass in this movie.
The kids draw the principal to the gym, thinking she's the queen, getting the drop on her, tie her up, pull the gun on her, and drug her up.
Of course, Casey's a good kid, and has second thoughts about forcing drugs on an authority figure, not to mention threatening to shoot them. The parasite plays on this, at least until Zeke takes the gun and just outright shoots her in the head. I like the decisiveness.
To be sure, they want to stab the dead body and expel the creature, and Casey really starts having second thoughts as blood pours out of Drake's head. Thoughts which are quickly expelled when the dead body pops up like a puppet, and the creature's red tendrils start clawing their way out of the bullet wound.
Marybeth throws most of their supply of Skat into her face, and she shrivels up like a slug, which is the good news. Bad news is, they only have two pens left.
Stan decides he wants to check things out, see if it worked. It better have, since the rival team and all their infected players are driving off to spread the infection. He takes some of their limited supply of coke with him, and a good luck kiss from Stokely.
After running into the coach, Stan pops back up at the gym door, telling them the coach must be the queen, and to let him in. They won't do that until he proves he's human, but he dropped his pen test. Casey gives him the last one under the door, and instead of snorting it, Stan dumps it out on the ground. Gasp, shock. He's an alien.
Seeing not much choice, Casey and Zeke risk going to Zeke's car to try and find more Skat, and Casey serves as a decoy for the entire town. Let's see how he feels about running while being chased after this.
Casey hides on a bus, but Delilah finds him and taunts him while the footballers break in. Casey narrowly escapes up through an escape hatch in the bus ceiling, which I'm a little dubious about busses actually having. But on the upside, the distraction works as Zeke reaches his car. The bad news is, there's no Skat in the trunk, so this was a waste of time.
And that's when Jean Grey returns, still looking hot. In the alien collective, we have no need for mousy librarians! Zeke dives into his car, and so does Miss Burke, although she takes the route through a closed window. Fortunately, a bunch of pens fall on the floor, so that's something.
To get rid of her, Zeke crashes his car into a bus, sending her flying back out another window, and making...something explode? The bus tire? His engine block? I dunno, it's Hollywood. Every car is a Pinto.
After that disturbing bit of imagery, Zeke's about to shoot the wandering head, but sees it go over to Burke's body, which picks it up. That's about as much as he can stand, and he runs away with the drugs he found before this night gets any stranger.
Back in the gym, Marybeth thinks that maybe things aren't so bad being taken over, they look happy, things are calm and peaceful, there are no outsiders, totally trying to sell Stokely on the idea. Uh oh.
Casey arrives just in time to see Marybeth morph into a giant Khan worm, and the two humans make a run for it. Sadly, they run straight for the school pool, which is probably not the best place to lead a hydrophillic creature.
Which pretty much bodes ill for Stokely, as the creature bursts out of the water, grabs her, and cracks her skull on the poolside, dragging her into the depths. But somehow, she manages to get away, not get eaten, drown, or die of massive blood loss. Righto.
The creature morphs back into cute, southern, nice (naked!) girl Marybeth, and she climbs out of the pool. I appreciate the touch to actually think ahead and not have her clothes morph back too. Not in a sexual way, but clothes are often morphable beyond reason.
Zeke returns and finds Stokely hiding in the locker room, but he also finds naked Marybeth, who tries convincing him that Stokes is the queen. Fortunately, he kinda notices the bizarre nakedness and doesn't buy it.
I will say, their explanation for how Marybeth didn't take the test is actually pretty good. The parasite sealed up her nostrils, and another tendril popped off the other end so it poured out amidst all the confusion. And everyone being high helped her sell it, I'm sure. Also giving the queen extra abilities makes sense.
Zeke's about to pop her with another pen for real this time, but uh oh, looks like Stokely got turned at some point, probably while she was in the pool. Fortunately, Casey is there to toss her away and lock her in the equipment cage.
A fight ensues in the locker room, Queen Marybeth stalks through the lockers looking for Casey after tossing Zeke around, and there is some pretty cool effects of snakey shadows flickering and flowing all over the place as she walks around. Shadows don't work that way, but screw it, it looks awesome and creepy.
There is some really good stuff here, about how the creatures are all the same, part of that hive mind, and preying upon the kids' fears of being alone, unique, disaffected. That is a great route to go and really works well with what a person is going through at that time. We all want to belong, and the alien's offer SOUNDS good, but we all know now that the loss of individulaity is so much worse.
Frodo makes a run for it back into the gym, and under the bleachers, leading the queen back there as well, but not before he activates the automatic retraction system to close them up. Good thing the aliens didn't invade MY high school, we had to drag those suckers out by hand.
They've established Casey as fast, but they've also set him up as a klutz, so this scene works well. It's believable that he can get away, but has JUST the right amount of will he/won't he? to keep you in suspense when he trips. Once I learned about these kinds of bleachers, I was always terrified of being caught behind them. Heck, I snuck around our manual ones, and was still afraid of someone closing them on me by hand.
So yeah, he gets out, and the queen gets pinned. It's a good thing he has several pens of Skat, and stabs them all into her eye. She starts to bubble, but she's also spat up some children into Frodo's face, and they burrow their way inside. Fortunately, they all die when she dies, like they hoped. I have to wonder if that would have made a new queen had it worked. How IS a new queen made? Can there be only one? Am I thinking too much about this?
After Zeke asks if its over, I guess the answer is no since we cut to one month later, when things are back to normal. The coach is a prick, Jean's gone back to being a shy, quiet girl, Zeke's on the football team..wait what?! OK, whatever. All this while a news reporter talks about the mysterious disappearances of staff, and that the kids tried to say it was all aliens, but no one believed them.
And it is weird to see Miss Burke flirting with Zeke. This must be why they made him stay back a grade or two, so he'd be old enough that their flirting wouldn't be too icky. Oh, and she's wearing a scarf around her severed neck wound. That'll be a story to tell the grandkids.
Stan and Stokely are a couple, and so are Delilah and Casey, so everyone has their happy ending. Casey's on the covers of papers and magazines for his possible heroism, and Delilah asks him how it feels. Pff. Half the country doesn't believe it was real, that it was all a hoax, and this heroism is nothing compared to what Frodo does. Ask him in five years.
I do like how while the people most closely involved have pulled together, and things are better, but overall, it's still high school, and not much changes. Although, there is the question of why the entire school wouldn't corroborate Casey's story. And the giant slug in the bleachers. I guess everyone being drugged up didn't help any. Oh well.
Video: The video quality is actually pretty decent, although this DVD's presentation is in a 4:3 format, cramming the widescreen into that with BIG black bars. I *hate* when they do that. But that gripe aside, yeah, the video is sharp, the colours are good, and the blacks have depth without being overpowering, which is important in a few scenes.
Audio: Also pretty good for an early DVD. The vocals are strong, and the sound fills out the available space, which works real well with the creatures and the creepiness.
First Blood: Principal Drake, death by stabbity scissors
Best Corpse: The alien possessed Principal Drake when she gets Skatted in the face with a massive overdose, and crumbles to dust like an overripe mummy.
Sound Byte: "I might have some more Skat." "Where?" "In my trunk." "In your trunk. In your car. Amongst the aliens. Oh, THAT'S convenient." Zeke and Casey.
Blood Type - B: The effects in this are pretty good. The physical stuff with pens in the eye, sliced off fingers, and more are all done very well. There's a nice amount of blood and gore, especially when the chunk of head comes off Miss Brummel. But it is still pretty light with room for improvement. But what there is is good, good stuff.
Sex Appeal: A little something for everyone! Guys taking showers, and Laura Harris wandering around naked for almost the entire third act.
Movie Rating: This is up there with the best of the best for this site. I was hoping for something not as painful as usual, and I got it. Robert Rodriguez is a great director, a visionary, and the script is mostly solid too. This is what you get with a budget and the movie isn't shoved out the door to make money, and have a good cast. It is not without flaws though, since there is some unintentionally hilarious bits that completely undercut any mood they're going for, like Mrs. Olson tossing water right into her face. That, with a few other cringe worthy moments, and some other off putting moments keep this from being a great film, but for this site, it is gold, and it is hard to get better than this. Four out of five severed fingers.
Entertainment Value: And the movie is equally entertaining, which is nice. Sometimes the quality stops it from being purely entertaining, and laughable, but this movie has plenty of that too. The cast borders on being almost too 'all-star' and distracting at times. But that gives you plenty of jokes to make, as I showed. Having such a great cast kept me entertained just shouting things like, "Frodo, nooo!" at the screen. Watching a younger Jon Stewart try and act is worth the price of admission alone. And there is just enough cheesy goofiness to make this movie more than at home here. Elijah Wood's overly earnest line reading of the school being taken over by aliens is great. If you haven't seen this quirky little gem of a movie, and you only see one movie mentioned on this site, it should be this one. Four out of five coked out pens.