There are two things everyone wants to know on the internet; what’s your zombie plan and how many five year olds could you take in a fight? ‘Cooties’ combines both of those into one gruesome horror comedy, made back in 2014 but released today on a world that still thinks it’ll be fine just heading on down to the Winchester for a pint and waiting for this to all blow over. This is………
Elijah “Frodo Baggins” Wood has come a long way since the shire; taking drugs with his neighbours dog and messing around with porn stars but all this real life is getting him down and all he really wants is to be left alone to finish his premier novel about a evil killer boat. I would make a ‘Christine‘ reference but the movie has me covered in that department. Anyway to makes ends meet while he gets somewhere past line one, he is back home with his Mum and subbing for primary school teachers. This takes him back to his old school where the kids are a lot more grown up than he remembers. You see these days make-up, swearing and cannibalism are all on the menu.
What oh the cannibalism, well it seems that there is a problem with battery farmed hens after all as it turns your sweet little angels into flesh eating monsters. Fortunately this only affects those who have yet to go through puberty meaning that everyone else is just an entrée, main course or dessert and boy does it affect them quickly. We go from the first attack to full blown epidemic in under two minutes and all before the movie hits the first third which is saying quite a bit considering some horror movies these days.
Once we’ve hit peak crisis it is up to our elite band of Teachers to come together and survive long enough to come up with a plan. We have the sub; of course, the happy peppy one, the right wing. gun nut, creationist, the gay one, the weird one; who of course gets to teach sex-ed because sex-ed is always taught by the creepiest teacher and finally the muscle headed P.E teacher.
What’s fun about this roaming band of teachers is that by the end they all manage to pull their character around so that you actually want to see them survive. Well except for the gay one who is still just kind of the gay one. Heck I even want to see the gun nut and meat head with a literal cock on the back of his massive truck survive more than him. This isn’t a critisicm against the actor just that he isn’t really given much to do except come out to a load of rolling eyes mid way through and then shut up for the rest of the flick. This is praise for the writing and acting on some parts however. Especially for Rainn Wilson, formally of some small obscure little show called ‘The Office’ who really gives it his all. Working with the material given to him he really gives a character we can root for especially when he starts to realise that with him being the meat headed jock and Elijah being the bigger name and the smarter more tender one he is bound to end up with the chick by the end even if she is currently his future fiancé.
The characters aren’t the only thing the film pumps time and effort into with some of the imagery being cranked up to eleven as kids play a game of marbles with the eyeballs of the fallen and jump rope with somebodies spleen. See the movie plays it fast a loose with what kind of zombies we’re dealing with here as they say their brains are decomposing, who can tell with today’s youth, and that they are just able to eat, breath and walk, again who can tell. Yet despite this they can knock out the power, head for the phone lines and wreck the mobile phone collection of everyone in the school. See it turns out that this is a mobile free campus so mobiles aren’t allowed for teachers as well as students. Which quickly solves that old horror movie cliché.
Some of the foreshadowing isn’t quite so obvious such as the locking them out line that will of course come into play once the kids are all slavouring monsters. It’s not quite up to Cornetto trilogy standards in that regard but that’s like looking at a painting and saying it’s no van Gogh.
As for the plot, well that’s not quite so decent. Without going into spoilers I’ll say that in my opinion damn near every trailer I’ve seen for this thing does and it gives you a misjudged opinion on what you’re going to be getting. You also don’t get what some people would call the whole movie with the end only reflecting “half time”. The movie doesn’t know where it’s going but it’s gonna try and have a good time getting there with over the top gore and decent one liners.
Sure it isn’t perfect and despite the open end I’m not sure I’d want a sequel, because I’m not sure where else they could take it. Yet despite all this I enjoyed every blood soaked second, from the overly misty eyed speech about teachers to the slagging off of everyone under the age of sixteen with a brush stroke so broad you could cover the earth with it. It attacks the stupid names parents give to their kids, the way both groups spend too much time on their phone to notice what’s going one in the world around them and of course flesh eating monsters; who I’m sure you’ll agree are always fair game.