Chicken nuggets are probably the biggest staple of an American child’s diet in the ages between three and eight (and adults who have discovered that Jack in the Box puts cheese and bacon on them). Parents have no problem serving their kids these little patties of processed meat and breading…until now. After seeing Cooties, starring Elijah Woods, Rainn Wilson, and Allison Pill, parents might think twice about serving their young, able-bodied death machines–I mean children–anything resembling a chicken nugget for fear of starting a zombie apocalypse! This movie was flat-out hilarious, but it was also quite intelligently written in terms of scientific thought. From the very beginning, you know what is causing the zombie outbreak. You see a mangled and diseased chicken being slaughtered for food. From then on through the opening, you watch it being transformed into a grey-goo leaking nugget of processed meat and contagion, and despite your desperate pleas aimed towards the unsuspecting girl eating her lunch, it is devoured.
When I went to the premier, I was not sure what to expect. I was nervous about the gore, and most of my previous zombie knowledge was being thrown out the window. Certainly, this movie is very different from other zombie flicks. First, the zombie strain is spread through food instead of a bite or virus. Second, everyone is clueless about everything. But such is a comedy. Third, if you walk into any movie headlining both Elijah Woods and Rainn Wilson expecting a real horror film, you should probably look back at their most recent and most popular roles. Woods is well known for his epic portrayal of Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but his comical side was blasted to the public in Wilfred on FX for four seasons. Wilson has been a constant in the hit sitcom The Office as Dwight Schrute, a hilariously weird salesman. These two roles paved the way for a funny, explicit, and rather questionable comedy centered around the unhealthy obsession that Hollywood has had around the undead lately. But then again, I suffer from the same unhealthy obsession.
This film is full of surprises, punchlines, and great characters. Some of them follow rather stereotypical personality lines, and others are just disturbing. I myself found I was drawn very much to Wade and his beef-headed attitude of authority, and rather annoyed with the meek, dull Lucy. I especially loved the school janitor, Mr. Hatachi, who makes an appearance near the end of the film and steals laughter from the audience in his scenes. Other notable characters include flamboyant Tracy, the snotty Rebekkah, and the hilarious Vice Principal Simms. And for my fellow Breaking Bad fans, Matt Jones (Badger) makes an appearance as Sheriff Dave.
My favorite parts? Well I can’t tel you all of them! That would ruin the film for you But I will say, Wade is quite the bad-ass towards the end. A squirt-gun full of flammable fluid, a lit match, and a great line polished off the entire experience with a fantastic ending. Cooties opens in theaters September 18th, and is rated R for violence and gore, language including sexual references, and some drug usage.
This 94 minute adrenaline and laughter machine is great for adults, but I do not recommend it to teens or children, anyone with a stomach that is weak to blood, gore, and zombie culture, or to teachers. Well, okay, teachers should know what they’re up against. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! So ladies and gentlemen, please sit still in your seats, turn off cellphones and pagers, and please, DO NOT FEED THE CHILDREN!