Cooties Blu-ray Review
EWWW! She touched me, now I have Cooties! While a temporary fix might be to say, “Circle, circle, dot, dot, now you have the cootie shot,” when I was kid the only sure way to avoid cooties was to have your fingers crossed. The culprits of Cooties were usually anyone I deemed gross or more probable, the opposite sex that I secretly had a crush on. COOTIES takes this childhood game or lesser form of meanness and ups the ante. After a virus contaminates the school lunch through the usually preferred choice of chicken nuggets, elementary kids become infected with a literal case of the cooties. Only this time, the side effect of grossness turns them into flesh-eating zombies. A group of misfit teachers must work together to find a way out of the school without being devoured.
The R-rated, B-horror comedy is a hard genre to pull off, but COOTIES is as infectious as its living dead disease. The screenplay from Leigh Whannell and Ian Brennan along with the direction from Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion mine the horror and comedy to gold perfection. To do this, casting was key, enlisting a slew of talented funny people to play the teachers – Elijah Wood (LORD OF THE RINGS) as Clint the struggling writer turned substitute teacher, Rainn Wilson (“The Office”) as Wade the alpha male P.E. teacher, Alison Pill (“The Newsroom”) as the overly optimistic Lucy, Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”) as the worrisome, insecure Tracy , Nasim Pedrad (“Saturday Night Live”) as the hateful, tough as nails music teacher Rebekkah , Leigh Whannell (INSIDIOUS series) as Doug the socially awkward science teacher. All the actors are clearly having fun with their roles, bringing the exact right amount of seriousness to their absurdity.
COOTIES is almost a reverse of 1998’s horror THE FACULTY, instead of the teachers coming after the students, the teachers must flee from the students with a much more comedic spin. Elijah Wood happens to be a protagonist in both films moving from student to teacher. Wood also happens to be a producer of the film with his production company SpectreVision, which focuses primarily on horror films. COOTIES has a great time, knowing exactly what type of movie it is – a comedy about schoolyard prepubescent zombies who maintain their playful tendencies by jumping rope with intestines or playing kickball with a teacher’s severed head. The film is completely disgusting and ridiculously funny. It is a near perfect comedy horror film that provides both the gore and the laughs.
The writing is clever, the killings are gross, the jokes are funny, and the actors hit every morbid tone when mixing horror and comedy. The ending isn’t as strong as it could be, but COOTIES is one of the best of its difficult genre. I highly recommend it for the niche group of fans who enjoy this sick sort of bizarre brand as I do.
Video: (1080p High Definition) A great looking picture.
Audio: (English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) The audio is superb.
The Cootierary (Cast & Crew Commentary): Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Leigh Whannell, Ian Brennan, Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion all give a playful commentary that is mostly fun but also a little crowded.
Circle, Circle, Dot, Dot …Catching Cooties (13:20): Interviews with everyone involved talked about how the project began and what it was like working with one another.
Deleted / Extended / Alternate Scenes (16:03): Twelve total scenes with the option to watch individually or all at once.
Gag Reel (4:03): Typical gag reel with a couple of bright spots.
Alternate Ending with Optional Commentary (4:13): Apparently this ending happened because a bunch of the money fell through at the last minute. The new one is much better.
Talking Cooties (9:18): This is the commentary spliced to a much shorter version but with the camera on the cast as they record the track.