Monday, September 25, 2017


Clint Hadson moves back to his childhood home of Fort Chicken and works as a substitute teacher at an elementary school while writing his horror novel. He deals with insufferable, disrespectful children who intimidate him, which is normal, but then they start attacking and eating other teachers, which is not. Tainted chicken nuggets caused the children to turn into zombies and a small group of teachers with two human students try to escape with their lives and limbs intact.

Cooties is a fun film that features over the top characters and situations. The characters are all tropes of some kind. Clint is a pathetic failed writer who even has his students read his book out loud for critique. When he does receive honest criticism, it shakes him and he ignores it when his ideas are rip-offs and his writing lackluster. Clint is the most dimensional character. There is Doug the morbid science teacher, Rebekkah the ultra conservative teacher, Wade the macho PE teacher, Lucy the super optimistic teacher, the stoner security guard, the desperate and hypocritical vice principal, and the ninja custodian. Rainn Wilson as Wade is by far the best in the cast. He made me laugh the most and transformed for the role. I just wish the characters were a little more realistic because they seemed cartoonish and I couldn't really be on their side completely.

I had seen this movie years ago, but it's definitely a different experience being a teacher. The children are also stereotypes, but most became flesh eating zombies. Most of what was shown were disrespectful troublemaking children or run of the mill playing children. Their parents ranged from helicopter and controlling to cursing out their children to just being too oblivious with their other kids to notice them. These characters didn't have a lot of screen time and rang true as generalizations that I've often seen. The children as zombies are hilarious as they rip into other classmates and teachers. They cease to really speak or communicate, only attack and scream, which, if you have any experience with children in large groups, is a greatly exaggerated version of how they act.

The zombie virus originated from a rancid chicken nugget made from maggot infested meat. One girl caught it and then spread it through bites and scratches. It only affects children who haven't gone through puberty, so the older and more mature kids (of which there are two) are fine. The infected have blisters on their faces, move quickly, and have some intelligence in their murderous and hungry rage. The most dangerous part of child zombies are people's attitude towards them. People find them unthreatening and don't have their guard up, leaving then susceptible to being attacked. The parents and teachers are killed while other children are converted to the zombie horde and get to play and eat all day instead of sitting inside class. One particular scene had the zombie kids playing with macabre version of toys like intestine jump rope and a severed head tetherball.

Cooties is a fun, silly movie full of visual humor. The scene where Wade is shooting baskets and has no idea that teachers are dying and zombies are running around was hilarious. Teachers also treated students as they never would in real life like tackling them and throwing them drugs to escape them. The film shows teacher's anxieties and feelings about facing large groups of children and attempting to maintain order. The only part besides the cartoonish characters I didn't like was the ending. There was no real resolution, so it felt weak. Other than that, Cooties is definitely worth a watch, especially if you're a teacher.

My rating: 3.5/5 fishmuffins

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