The Faculty 0.0 stars

Or: I Was a Teenage Body Snatcher. Scriptwriter Kevin Williamson (Scream, Scream 2), a dehumanized cine-cannibal in his own right, seems to feel that self-conscious acknowledgment of his pilfered sources constitutes sufficient originality: here, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which in turn was "a blatant rip-off of The Puppet Masters." (Yes, and what about Invaders from Mars, with its child's point of view and its mistrust of adult authority figures?) It's a slim plank on which to build a career. One tantalizing idea, tossed off as a wild theory and never followed up, is that the entire science-fiction genre is an alien invention calculated to inure humanity to the eventual takeover. Clea DuVall is appealing as a high-school outcast whose lack of pride in her appearance brands her as a "lesbian," but the rest of the kids simply hike up the level of self-consciousness. Elijah Wood, Jordana Brewster, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Shawn Hatosy, Famke Janssen, Piper Laurie, Bebe Neuwirth, Robert Patrick; directed by Robert Rodriguez. 1998.

Duncan Shepherd

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