The poster for the movie Cooties has truly caught my imagination since the first time I set eyes on it. I actually will go out of my way not to watch trailers for certain movies, not to read film synopsis’; I don’t want to know anything and go in with a title and maybe a poster image. The hype machine has been going on this flick since the first reviews permeated the internet. They set a high standard for a film with which my only benchmark was that the movie had better be as good as the goddamn poster. That was even a high bar to set admittedly. Then of course the print of the poster dropped on Mondo and sold out (as I had in my friggin’ cart). I was mildly devastated that I wouldn’t have a print of one of my favorite one sheets in some time. I kiddingly said with full on sour grapes in my mouth, a bet the movie won’t even be as good as the poster anyway. Turns out… I was right.
Cooties isn’t a bad movie at all and I encourage you to support it via VOD and or a limited theatrical screening. You’ll like it. Some of you love it. I did not love it, but I did enjoy certain aspects of it fully. The opening credits are perfectly disturbing especially if you’re a chicken nugget eater (which I am). I love the set up with Elijah Wood playing a beat down, depressed writer going back to his home town to teach to ends meet when he fails as a writer. It’s probably not all that different from many of our personal stories in some fashion. It’s easy to identify and love Wood; you feel moderately bad for him and up until the point where all Hell breaks loose I’m a fan of this movie. Then something happens…
Cooties goes from what could be a masterpiece of practical effects with dumped goo and puss and slobber; primed to gut turning perfection and then dumps us with fairly ordinary zombie-esque effects, a few nice intestinal pieces that look great but could use a few companions gore shows to sweeten the ride. What starts out as a familiar character, developing and identifiable gives up and decides to play around with jokes that we’ve heard before in modern, relationship comedy. If not for Rainn Wilson’s over the top performance I might have actually become bored.
There are a few tense chase scenes that are quite enjoyable, but aside from a clever one liner at the end, the finish is flat. Cooties looks good. Sounds amazing with a brilliant score that may be too much for what comes off as a straight forward zombie/infection flick with kids and comedy. The cast is actually pretty strong with plenty of familiar faces both Horror and not (including Leigh Whannel). After seeing an alternate poster for Cooties, I realized that maybe the picture wasn’t going to live up to my expectations. The alternative poster was ordinary, a bunch of actors in fighting stance. THAT is what Cooties truly is. It isn’t some abstract idea with a rather mysterious lollipop in the center. It’s a gang bang, comedy riff on zombie/infection Horror. When it says “vicious monsters” in the synopsis, I truly want to see vicious monsters.
You can catch Cooties on VOD now.
Synopsis from SpectreVision/Lionsgate:
Elementary-school teachers (Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, Rainn Wilson) come under attack from children who have been turned into vicious monsters by contaminated chicken nuggets.