Sunday, March 6, 2016

Phil's Horror Watch: COOTIES (2014) from Lionsgate Premire-March 5, 2016

COOTIES Blu-Ray (2015)
Starring: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Leigh Whannell, Jack McBrayer, Nasim Pedrad, Jorge Garcia, Ian Brennan, Morgan Lily
Written by Leigh Whannel, Ian Brenna, Josh C. Waller
Cinematography by Lyle Vincent
Edited by Brett W. Bachman
Directed by Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion
Distributed by Lionsgate Premire

Today's film is crazy! It's absurd! It's bloody! It's messy! It's also hysterical in a sick and twisted sort of way, With a star-studded cast, over-the-top gore and grotesque comedy, COOTIES came out of left field when it was shown on the film festival circuit but it has since gained a huge following. After finally watching the film, I can can confirm about the glowing reviews the film has garnered since then. So what did think about this movie? Well, I'll tell you since you asked me so nicely.

The film's official synopsis: When a cafeteria food virus turns elementary school children into killer zombies, a group of misfit teachers must band together to escape the playground carnage. The film stars Elijah Wood (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings), Rainn Wilson ("The Office"), and Alison Pill ("The Newsroom") as teachers who fight to survive the mayhem while hilariously bickering in an uncomfortable love triangle on the worst Monday of their lives.

The premise of killing children is one of the biggest taboos in the film industry and remains very controversial to this day. However, screenwriters Leigh Whannel, Ian Brenna and Josh C. Waller firmly plant the tongue in the proverbial check as they constructed one of the best dark comedies about offing of kids. How do you do that? Make them zombies and then kill them all off in the most over-the-top and spectacular ways possible! Plus, by flipping the standard formula around and make the zombie kids the antagonists and the adults are heroes, the film breaks away from the traditional trappings of the horror genre and keeps it fresh and exciting, while throwing in a good dose of extremely dark humor for good measure.

Festival Movie Poster (2014)
Directors Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion make their directorial debuts and these guys knock it out of the park. Their framing, set-ups and pannings perfecting captures the sheer outrageousness and violent bloodshed plus the wonderful humor of the film. Balancing the fine line between horror and comedy, the keep swinging the pendulum evenly without having it stay in one genre for too long. Currently, these two gentlemen are currently working on their sophomore project entitled BUSHWICK so I can't wait to see that one!

The film has one of the best ensemble casts ever! For crying out loud, you have Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Leigh Whannell, Jack McBrayer, Nasim Pedrad, Jorge Garcia up in this film! And each one of them brings something special to their individual character. Wood and Wilson have awesome on-screen heat between them as we all know Wilson plays an excellent douchebag! And in the film he plays a douchebag gym teacher! So you know you gonna love to hate him. Miss Pill is great as the lovely an sweet Lucy. Overall, the entire cast is excellent in the film!

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2014 at their midnight screening. It was finally picked up by Lionsgate and the film received a limited theatrical release in 2015. But for some reason, the studio decided to release it on Blu-Ray, DVD and Video On Demand instead of actually getting behind the film and push it into theaters. This saddens me dearly because there's so many great off-the-wall, original and terrifying horror films that are being made in the independent world that it doesn't get a proper release. This bugs the hell out of me. If a studio picks up a film that's amazing then they should book it into theaters so audiences can go out and see it. That's why people make films. Ans since there's so much crap being put out by Hollywood, seeing this on the big screen would've have bee a great experience to share with the horror community.

COOTIES is a modern day cult classic that is destined to be seen by the masses! It has everything a horror fan would want and then some. Blood, guts, humor, gore, dead kids, it's fun for the whole family. So wake the kids up and bring grandpa into the living room and have fun watching this movie! 4 out of 5 stars! Recommended!

COOTIES is now available on both Blu-Ray and DVD at your local retailer. The movie is also available at your local Redbox as well as on Netflix and Video On Demand. 

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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