Alien invasion is perhaps one of the most common storylines in science-fiction films. The appeal is simple: even though we would like to know if extraterrestrials (intelligent or not) exist, we also wonder what would happen if they found us first and whether or not these foreign visitors would have friendly intentions. In the 1950s, American cinema experienced its first boom of alien invasion movies, a subgenre that would resurface again and again. However, these invasions are not always performed with gigantic spaceships destroying well-known monuments, like in “The War of The Worlds” (1953 and 2005) or “Independence Day” (1996). Sometimes, our visitors are more treacherous and not immediately detectable, as evidenced in the paranoia-drenched psychological terror of “It Came From Outer Space“ (1953), “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956 and 1978 ), or John Carpenter’s “They Live” (1988).
With their naivety, young adolescents are often sought-after victims of this otherworldly scum. In the obscure but highly-recommended cult film “Without Warning”, a group of teenagers on a camping trip in the woods encounters a space inhabitant that throws deadly frisbees and feasts on human blood.
“The Faculty” takes place in a typical American high school where students suspect that their teachers have been taken over by alien rulers.
Science-fiction exploitation of the highest order. Self-made drive-in filmmaker Greydon Clark (“Joysticks”, “Satan’s Cheerleaders”) makes the most of his low budget, cast of famous faces (Martin Landau, Jack Palance, David Caruso, Neville Brand, Cameron Mitchell), and malicious E.T. in this thematic predecessor of “Predator”.
This collaboration between director Robert Rodriguez (“El Mariachi”, “From Dusk Till Dawn”) and screenwriter Kevin Williamson (“Scream”, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”) ends up in a deliciously pulpy B-movie homage, a mix between “The Breakfast Club” and “Invasion of The Body Snatchers”, complete with ironic winks, quotes, and genre cliches.