The Faculty (1998)

What was supposed to be a big success in the ’90s horror/slasher trend that Scream had initiated, we got something a little different from director Robert Rodriguez. Though not near as many had been aware of such things when this movie was released, many people would see the blatant correlation to one of the biggest conspiracies if The Faculty were to be rereleased today.

To the majority, the movie is a modern, high school take on the sci-fi/horror Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets The Thing set in middle class suburbia. In keeping with the ’90s horror trend, high schoolers were played by actors in their late 20s and early 30s, with a few just getting their careers off the ground before becoming the famous stars they are now (Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood, Usher). The film was nominated for eight awards but won none of them. Likely because the movie was primarily seen by an uninitiated audience who were expecting another Scream. Instead, it was an attempt to be the Scream of the Sci-fi genre. It is a cult classic now that was ahead of its time and thus never received the success it truly deserves. To those with an eye for esoteric symbolism and an affiliation with the occult and inter-dimensional intelligence, this movie is an hour and a half rush of dopamine to the brain.

The Faculty is about a group of teens who try to stop an alien parasite that has taken over the faculty and students of their high school. Essentially, it’s the Breakfast Club meets H.P. Lovecraft. It nails all the typical archetypes found within the realm of cliche—the jock, the nerd, the goth, the new girl, the popular basic bitch, the rebellious dropout (who’s actually a super senior), and the token black guy. The actors actually do a great job in their simple roles, bringing in an emotional, 3-dimensional aspect to each, making them more relatable to teens and more believable to adults. The film also does a great job touching on the obvious connection between aliens and the alienation one may feel in high school.

Stokely ‘Stokes’ Mitchell (goth): I always thought the only alien in this high school was me.


Stan Rosado (jock): I’m not an alien…I’m discontent

I’ve watched many reviews and analyses of this film, and have yet to see one mention the most significant part of the film, which ties it with the ultimate conspiracy that just may be occuring here on Earth today. The scene takes place in a classroom between Stokely, the goth (Clea Duvall), Casey, the nerd (Elijah Wood), and the jock, Stan Rosado (Shawn Hatosy) right before infected science teacher, Mr. Edward Furlong (Jon Stewart)—a tip of the hat to actor Edward Furlong who played John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which also starred Robert Patrick as the T-1000, who plays the football coach who is first to be infected—tries to kill them but has his fingers, or tentacles, cut off and eye punctured by one of Zeke’s pens filled with his homemade drug. There’s a long shot of Furlong with one eye open which we all know is the symbol of you know who.  Anyway, here is the scene:

Casey Connor: Everybody’s been acting really strange, especially the faculty.

Stokely ‘Stokes’ Mitchell: Tell me about it. It’s like they’ve all turned into fu**ing pod people…or something.

Casey Connor: Into what people?

Stokely ‘Stokes’ MitchellInvasion of the Body Snatchers. A small town was taken over by aliens…That was a joke.

Casey Connor: Look, what if it really happened?

Stokely ‘Stokes’ Mitchell: What if what really happened?

Casey Connor: I think something’s taking over our school.

Stokely ‘Stokes’ MitchellThe Body Snatchers is a story somebody made up, dingus. It’s located in the fiction section of the library.

Casey Connor: So is Schindler’s List. All fiction is based on some truth, right? What does Miss Burke teach us in English 101? Write what you know. How do we know this writer guy…Jack Finney, didn’t encounter aliens in his high school…which led him to write a book about an alien invasion?

Stokely ‘Stokes’ Mitchell: Your conspiracy theory is flawed.

Casey Connor: How so?

Stokely ‘Stokes’ Mitchell: Jack Finney’s The Body Snatchers is a blatant rip-off…of The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein. So you can completely disregard that entire work.

(Actually, her logic is flawed since Body Snatchers is a completely different story that ends with the aliens leaving due to humanity’s strong survival instinct; while Puppet Masters was more politically and occult inclined. Fun fact.)

Casey Connor: The point is they’re here, they’ve been here and they’re here again.

Stokely ‘Stokes’ Mitchell: You know what, Casey, it’s fiction. Okay? It’s science fiction.

Casey Connor: Everybody gets hung up on the science part, which has nothing to do with it. They’re getting at us through the fiction.

Stokely ‘Stokes’ Mitchell: So, aliens have just been setting us up over the years, creating this happy little make-believe existence…with their E.T. and their Men In Black movies…just so that nobody would believe it if it really happened?

Casey Connor: I think so. Yeah…You’re not buying this, are you?

Stokely ‘Stokes’ Mitchell: No, I’m not…But it’s kind of cool.

(Ya damn right, it is. But, I mean, all he really had to do was show her a picture of Nancy Pelosi...)

Stan Rosado: Let’s go alien for a second. Why here? Why Ohio?

Casey Connor: Cause if you were going to take over the world, would you blow up the White House Independence Day style…or sneak in through the backdoor?

(So I guess it’s safe to say Ohio is the backdoor of America. Sorry, Ohio.)

Zeke: Casey. Man, the only person in this school who is an alien…is you, man.

Oh yeah, the rebellious Zeke (Hartnett) walks in with new girl, Marybeth Louise Hutchinson (Laura Harris), who ends up being the alien queen who, of course, must be killed for everything to go back to normal. Before she is killed, she shows her true alien form, which is right out of The Thing, and preaches her contradicting propaganda of her liberal utopian paradise that had collapsed. (Go figure).

Marybeth Louise Hutchinson: You know in my world Casey, there were limitless oceans as far as the eye could see. Beautiful, huh? Till it started to dry out. So I escaped, came here, and I met you, all of you, and all of you were different from the others. You were lost and lonely, just like me. And I thought that maybe I could give you a taste of my world. A world without anger, without fear, without attitude. Where the underachiever goes home at night to parents who care. The jock can be smart, the ugly duckling beautiful, and the class wuss doesn’t have to live in terror. The new girl – well – the new girl she can just fit right in with anybody. People who are just like her. You see Casey, even Mary-Beth’s feelings can be hurt by a bunch of pathetic, lost, little outcasts who truly believe that their disaffected lonely life is the only way they can survive. I can make you a part of something so special Casey, so perfect, so fearless. Don’t you want that, Casey?

(This must be the speech that college freshmen get before they join their Marxist social/political groups.)

Casey Connor: I’d rather be afraid!

Marybeth Louise Hutchinson: Fine. Alright. Have it your way! ‘Cause this is where your land of fiction gets it right: we win. End of story!

(Wrong again.)

The students who enter college are away from their parents and friends for the first time in their lives, and are scared. They’re seeing if who they are will agree with the college collective and fear the loneliness that rejection would bring as a result.

There’s some weird sexual tension between Zeke and teacher, Miss Burke (Famke Janssen), so she picks on him after asking this question, not expecting the response he gives.

Miss Elizabeth Burke: So, what was Crusoe’s greatest fear? Anyone? Yes, Zeke.

Zeke: Crusoe’s afraid that he’d be stuck on that island forever, with nothing but calluses.

Miss Elizabeth Burke: No, that’s not correct. Isolation was his greatest fear.

Zeke: Yes, but…his external existence in no way compared…to the internal agony of the loneliness he felt.

Miss Elizabeth Burke: That’s very good.

Zeke: Like I said…calluses.

That’s high school for ya. An indoctrination into the system, which not only stomps out imagination and free-thinking, but instills fear, internal confusion, and identity issues by design, making obedient, callous robots out of students.

Zeke: Just doing my part in the deconstruction of America.

We all are, Zeke. We all are. Of course, he is speaking philosophically to deconstruction theory, which seeks to expose conflicting and contradicting ideas and beliefs to the masses.

He would have his hands full with the inverted world we have somehow found ourselves in today. This is also depicted in the film when everything goes “back to normal.” The new normal, that is, which is shown with Casey looking at Monarch Butterfly, signifying a transformation (Mk Ultra, maybe?), before he swabs spit with his new popular girlfriend. Now, the nerd is no longer the nerd, the jock is the nerd, the goth dates the new nerd, and the rebel is on the football team. It makes you wonder, did they really kill the alien?

Oh, I forgot to mention:
Especially now with the extreme totalitarian mandates of an experimental vaccine for a supposed virus with a 99% survival rate—a vaccine with ghastly side effects among the many fatalities and mass sterilizations. Did I mention that they called the alien in its tiny form a mesazoan? A mesazoan is a parasite found in the body spaces of various invertebrates including tissue spaces, gonads, genitorespiratory bursae and causes castration of the male host and destroys of ovary and eggs in its female host.

Sleep tight!