What is the Film? Cooties
Who is in it? Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Leigh Whannell, Jorge Garcia, Nasim Pedrad.
Who is the Director: Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott
Who is the Writer? Leigh Whannell and Ian Brennan
When do we get it? September 18, 2015
What the hell is it about? “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” Wise words indeed from a great philosopher. I am a big advocate of this particular quote by Socrates in my line of work and practice. As a psychologist and as a teacher I can plan for most things that would allow me to understand and nurture the young eager minds that I encounter each day, and offering both food for thought and intellectual nourishment is key to the profession.
However, what if a zombie-like apocalypse hits and I’m faced with learners who are now incapable of rational and independent thought and are no longer present on the register to be intellectually nourished but instead are now eager and hungry for my brains? That’s where the horror movie comedy ‘Cooties’ can help!
We all know what Cooties are right? No…? Well in true teacher form, here is some information before we dig a little deeper into this long overdue release of a movie.
‘Cooties’ is a pseudo-germ and fictional childhood disease used as a rejection term, typically used in the USA and Canada, and is similar to the term known as the dreaded ‘Lurgi’ as more commonly used in the UK. A child is said to “catch” cooties through close contact of an “infected” person or from a person of the opposite sex of the same age. Often the “infected” person is someone who is perceived as “different”, such as being of the opposite sex, shy, or who displays peculiar behaviours or mannerisms. The phrase is most commonly used by children. Usually it is a phrase that little boys accuse little girls of having and vice versa E.g “now you’ve got girl cooties“. It is typically used in the context of a tease or playground taunt either in a cruel or playful way. However……… it has a more ‘real and deadly’ meaning in the context of the following film.
In Cooties, A band of teachers must fight for their lives when a mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. It’s a zombie comedy movie about kids who become infected with a virus and turn into bloodthirsty monsters. It’s teachers versus students, with Wood, Wilson, and Pill fighting for their lives against cannibalistic youngsters at the educational establishment known as Fort Chicken Elementary. The film hilariously seems to demonstrate that kids can literally turn into little monsters. It may even provide some preparatory advice for teachers who may encounter such an apocalyptic scenario in their place of work!
There’s a fun comedic cast and I am definitely looking forward to seeing Jorge Garcia (yes….Dude! The awesome Hurley from LOST!). The trailer seems brilliant and a lot of fun!
If the name of one of the co-writers sounds familiar, that’s because you have more than likely viewed his material before. Leigh Whannell is already known for writing films directed by his friend James Wan, including Saw (2004), Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), Insidious (2011) and Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013). Whannell made his directorial debut on Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015). Whannel wrote the first installment of Saw (2004) , co-wrote the second and third installments of the franchise, and appeared as the character “Adam Stanheight” in four of the installments. In Cooties, Whannell again plays another character “Doug”, a socially inept science teacher.
The horror comedy marks the feature film directorial debut for directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion. Cooties had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 but failed to find a 2014 general release anywhere. For some time we have been awaiting news on a proper 2015 release. Since premiering at Sundance the film has undergone reshoots and is now delivering a new ending. Cooties opened The Stanley Film Festival in April 2015. For horror enthusiasts out there, The Stanley Hotel, is the location that inspired the Overlook Hotel in the Stephen King novel The Shining.
It now seems that the best we shall get is a limited release for Cooties, and through a video on demand service beginning on September 18, 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate’s new distribution service Lionsgate Premiere.
I do like a good horror comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and if there are zombie-like beings served with some disembowelment and brains, and teachers taking down zombie students that’s even better! Let’s hope the movie meets expectation and is as entertaining a film as it sounds and that we are treated to seeing both conclusions when the film eventually arrives on DVD and Blu-ray.