What happens when a TAINTED chicken nugget makes its way from the factory to an elementary school student’s mouth? An epidemic of small proportions. Cooties is a 2015 comedy/horror film centered on a small town school where a health hazard sparks an ever-flowing torrent of zombie children. Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings, Maniac) and Rainn Wilson (The Office, Super) attempt to lead a team of teachers to safety while using any object they find as a weapon against the “cootie-infected” kids.
In most zombie related works of art the focus is on the AFFLICTED adults. The kids are usually an afterthought, only occasionally displayed. This make Cooties, a movie based solely on disease-ridden youngsters, a fun breath of fresh air. Obviously, this premise could have be presented much more darkly, but it works fine as a “comedy first, terror later” type of film. There are jokes aplenty as well as some spoofs of common zombie tropes. Wood plays his typical nerdy self as always and flexes his skillful comedic timing, as does the rest of the crew. For me, the funniest teacher was none other than Leigh Whannell’s “Doug”. He weirdly reminded me of a character Bryan Cranston would play, who is someone I didn’t think I would ever associate with him. Even more peculiar is the fact that I keep seeing Whannell pop up everywhere I look, without even intentionally seeking him out! I’m sure he’ll soon be playing Scarlet Spider in the inevitable film adaptation.
Cooties isn’t one of the best comedies and it isn’t top-tier horror either, but it is a well made B-movie that gets the job done. I wasn’t crying from laughter but the movie has a couple of zingers that make it worth the experience. Gore isn’t that prominent, which might be discouraging for a zombie flick, but there is enough to please most audiences. I would recommend Cooties, especially as a pick-me-up if you are having a rotten day. Speaking of ROTTEN, I’m about to go to good ol Dickey Me’s for some chiggun nuggs. I’ve worked up an appetite!
4 helpings of mystery meat out of 5