Making you a vegetarian, one nugget at a time.

Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.

I love B movies, especially those that for one; donít take themselves too seriously, and secondly; know they are in fact a B movie, so they just run with it. Cooties which is written by Leigh Whannell (Saw) and Ian Brennan (Glee) is exactly that kind of film - and honestly with a name like Cooties what were you expecting? A film so silly it could've popped into a time machine and travelled straight from the 80ís.

Fittingly, Cooties begins with the birth, life and death of a chicken nugget. As a hapless chicken is slaughtered, its meat left to become tainted, grinded into a liquid paste then packed and sent-off into the unknown with all of itís chicken nugget friends - itís enough to make you a vegetarian. The unfortunate recipient of this chicken nugget though, is a young girl named Shelly (Sunny May Allison) who is attending Fort Chicken Elementary, in the town of you guessed it - Fort Chicken, a fictional small town in Illinois.

This secluded Elementary school within this small town is where the majority of Cooties takes place, and just so happens to be the school where Clint Hadson (Elijah Wood), an aspiring horror writer - scratch that, failing horror writer - who has recently moved back to his hometown of Ft. Chicken, will be subbing as a teacher - Clint is about to have a very bad day.

Whilst Clint is the protagonist of Cooties, itís the band of teachers he becomes acquainted with that are soon to be his Cooty-survivors in arms. The teachers at Fort Chicken Elementary include; Lucy (Alison Pill), a former high-school crush of Clintís who is unfortunately for him, currently with Physical Education teacher Wade (Rainn Wilson) - a former jock whose days of being athletic also died back in the 80ís - Tracy (Jack McBrayer) who the group believe to be a closet homosexual - and itís definitely not the name that gives it away - Rebekkah (Nasim Pedrad) seemingly a man-hater who is clearly just making up the numbers.

But stealing the show by far is Leigh Whannellís own character of Doug, a teacher who is clearly a few sandwiches short of a picnic - god knowís how he got the job. As Clint getís his feel for the group, itís young Shelly who is taking a turn for the worst with the virus manifesting physical effects on her appearance, attracting the heckles of her classmates and hence the film title of Cooties. But not to worry, as these mean kids are soon to be bitten or scratched transmitting the virus as they run feral in the school causing the group of teachers to barricade themselves in from the savagery of the little monsters.

Cooties is clearly a movie not to be taken seriously and this slapstick horror-comedy will indeed have you laughing at the antics of the teachers - especially Doug - as they attempt to escape the school. Cooties is also far more comedy than horror, whilst there is some tension building scenes when the group are sneaking around, it really doesnít lead anywhere with very few attempts at scares as a pay-off. But fans of gore will have plenty to absorb as the body parts and entrails go flying in quick succession.

The performances likewise are passable and the antics of the ensemble will keep you at least passively interested, itís the shame the characters themselves are a little too one-note though. This isnít helped by the overall story arc that Cooties will take you through - there just plainly isnít one. Cooties feels like a film created with an interesting premise in mind, but with no thought on a destination or story beats to create a flow - and it emphasizes this with a conclusion that will likely have you feeling empty as the credits roll.

This also translates into the special features of the blu-ray disc - which are completely barren - barring an oddly long one-take interview with star Elijah Wood. Whilst interesting in itself, it is a little strange no editing took place to package it better.

But Cooties definitely missed the boat with the absence of the films alternate ending, a gag-reel or some kind of director/writers commentary, as thereís not only Iím sure a great story to be told about the initial conception of the film's premise, but it gives owners of the blu-ray a reason to go back and watch Cooties again - a feat it fails to accomplish by itself.

Whilst Cooties explores the zombie format within a different vessel than we have become accustomed to, providing some great laughs along the way - youíll be feeling wanting at its eventual conclusion. Meanwhile the lack-of special features leave little reason to explore the Cooties beyond its credits.

Cooties is currently available to buy on Blu-ray & DVD via Amazon or on-demand via Amazon Video.

  • Review by
    David Robinson

    Twitter: @5ypher

    Posted on
    19th October 2015

  • 3 Out of 5 Stars
  • Characters too one-note

    Lacking pay-off

    Anemic special features

  • Fun premise

    Some comedy gems

Film Info

Cooties Cooties
Rating: 15
Blu-ray Release Date: 12th October
Runtime: 1 hr 28 mins
Director: Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion
Starring: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Leigh Whannell & Jack McBrayer

  • Shaun Of The Dead
  • Ankle Biters
  • Dawn Of The Dead

No, there are multiple scenes of kids killing adults and vice-versa, along with plenty of blood and gore.

After picking up the film after premiering at the Sundance Festival 2015, Lionsgate re-shot the ending of the film.

There is a small post-credit scene after the movie.