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The Faculty

USA 1998
produced by
Elizabeth Avellan, Robert Rodriguez, Harvey Weinstein (executive), Bob Weinstein (executive) for Los Hooligans, Dimension Films
directed by Robert Rodriguez
starring Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Shawn Hatosy, Elijah Wood, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen, Piper Laurie, Christopher McDonald, Bebe Neuwirth, Usher Raymond, Robert Patrick, Jon Stewart, Daniel von Bargen, Jon Abrahams, Summer Phoenix, Susan Willis, Pete Janssen, Christina Rodriguez, Danny Masterson, Wiley Wiggins, Harry Jay Knowles, Donna Casey, Louis Black, Eric Jungmann, Chris Witeychuk, Jim Johnston, Libby Villari, Katherine Willis, Mike Lutz, Douglas Aarniokoski
screenplay by Kevin Williamson, based on a story by David Wechter, Bruce Kimmel, music by Marco Beltrami, special effects by K.N.B. EFX Group

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After an endless prologue mainly there to feature every known highschool cliché, Casey (Elijah Wood at his most annoying), the nerdy weakling who will turn out hero in the end, and Delilah (Jordana Brewster), the bitchy highschool beauty, witness two teachers attacking and killing the school's nurse (Salma Hayek), but when they report this to the police, the nurse is very much alive ... but it seems her mind has been altered, just like almost everyone else's.

Soon Casey and Delilah and four other students who neatly fit every cliché needed for a highschool flick since at least Breakfast Club - the self-proclaimed outcast Stokely (Clea DuVall), the naive and innocent new girl Marybeth (Laura Harris), the football jock Stan (Shawn Hatosy) and the wild boy Zeke (Joch Hartnett) - find out the school is actually overrun by alien parasites determined to take over the town, the USA, the world, and it's in the hands of our sextet to fight them - but the only known weapon is wild boy Zeke's self produced Angel Dust. But first, our youngsters figure they might have a traitor in their midst, so they all have to take the Angel Dust themselves ... and indeed, Delilah turns out to be possessed, but before she goes down, she smashes Zeke's druglab, which leaves our heroes with pretty little supply to fight the aliens ...

For some reason, our gang figures the aliens can be stopped if they kill the alien queen, and thus they think it's only reasonable to propose the queen is the school's principal (Bebe Neuwirth) - while we, the audience, already know they are wrong. So they spend almost all of their Angel Dust on the principal ... but to very little effect (besides the fact that they got rid of their principal). Then they figure the school's football coach (Robert Patrick) must be the queen, but wrong again ... the queen is actually the innocent new girl Marybeth, and she has pretty soon taken over everybody but Casey, upon whom it is now to save teh world - which was pretty much clear right from the beginning.

And wouldn't you know it, in the end he aqctually does save the world, and as a thankyou he gets a now dispossessed Delilah as girlfriend ...


Now there's something I don't understand: With El Mariachi, Desperado and From Dusk 'till Dawn, director Robert Rodriguez made three films loved by fans and critics alike that almost instantly became cult items ... and then he teamed up with the very mediocre screenwriter Kevin Williamson - who was for a time hot stuff after he had written the overrated Scream and the instantly forgettable I Know What You Did Last Summer - to film Williamson's very mediocre highschool-horror script, as if he consciously wanted to damage his reputation. The resulting film is pretty much as weak as the script, it suffers from a serious cliché overload, totally neglects the satirical aspects of the story in favour of routine action and special effects, and is seriuosly hampered by Elijah Wood playing his nerdy weakling tole to the hilt, without any subtlety let alone ideas.

A very forgettable flick, that seems to prove only one thing: While Robert Rodriguez can occasionally be a brilliant director (especially within genre boundaries), he is also terribly uneven and every now and again turns out pure shit.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD