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[tab title="Movie Review"]

Cooties (2014) - Blu-ray Review


4 beers...because little kids really can be this terrible!

The horror/comedy hybrid is a really weird and tricky sub-genre to tackle as a writer.  Everything has to hit in such a manner that it satisfies both genre devotees just right.  Leave it then to one of Glee’s creators, Ian Brennan, and Saw originator Leigh Whannell to perfectly nail their assault on children and education with the release of Cooties on blu-ray this week.

Directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion, Cooties had me psyched by its premise: teachers verses zombie students.  Speaking as a teacher, I can tell you that Cooties operates as a grand metaphor for the totality of teaching.  The film is a blood-soaked testament to the ironies of the job and, with a smirk and a wink, is executed precisely for the primed pop culture.  It’s gross and whip-smart and crackles with nice jabs, solid jumps, and a good mix of practical and CGI effects.

If only it had managed to find an audience during its limited release.  I mean, think about it, children really are the monsters Cooties makes them out to be.  Literally.  And there’s a certain amount of perverse enjoyment in watching teachers turn the tables and lay the smack-down on slimy little brats who usually get to run wild without any consequence.

Dismissed all too soon by print and online critics, Cooties tells the humorous story of a failed New York writer turned elementary teacher (Elijah Wood, also co-producer) who – upon his first substitute gig in Fort Chicken where he now lives with his mother – manages to rise to the occasion and deal with the threat of contaminated chicken nuggets which, once eaten by the children, turns his students into skin-feasting little biters hellbent on turning against each other and, ultimately, the staff. 

Co-starring a very entertaining Rainn Wilson as what can only be described as a Burt Reynolds-type character reimagined as a gym teacher and Alison Pill as his former high school crush, Cooties is 88-minutes of fuel-injected anarchy.  It also features strong character performances from Wallach, 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer, Lost’s Jorge Garcia, and Nasim Pedrad as a right-wing alarmist.  Everyone is in their element and contribute to this special little product with all the right comedic gusto to make you laugh out loud as a nasty group of children fight, scratch, disembowel and chew their way up to the top of the food chain.

For a teacher, the whole students-as-zombies thing in Cooties is just a regular day at the front of the classroom.  We live only to fight those little buggers again.


[tab title="Film Details"]

Cooties (2014) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R for horror violence and gore, language including sexual references, and some drug use.
88 mins
: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Leigh Whannell, Ian Brennan
Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill
: Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi
You are what they eat.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Circle, circle, dot, dot. Now you have a cooties shot."
Lionsgate Premier
Official Site: http://cootiesmovie.tumblr.com/
Release Date:
September 18, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 1, 2015
Synopsis: From the twisted minds of Leigh Whannell (co-creator of Saw and Insidious) and Ian Brennan, Cooties is a horror comedy with unexpected laughs and unapologetic thrills. When a cafeteria food virus turns elementary school children into killer zombies, a group of misfit teachers must band together to escape the playground carnage. The film stars Elijah Wood (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings), Rainn Wilson, and Alison Pill as teachers who fight to survive the mayhem while hilariously bickering in an uncomfortable love triangle on the worst Monday of their lives.


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

Cooties (2014) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - December 1, 2015
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English, English SDH, Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); UV digital copy; Digital copy
Region Encoding: A

As expected, Lionsgate has done a superb handling of the film with this release.  Cooties’ 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer is simply amazing.  The AVC encoded 1080p transfer (in 2.39:1) is crisply detailed and both shinnies and shimmies.  Although the colors are a bit muted, they help to establish the tone of the horror-comedy complete with deep blacks and pulpy reds.  The transfer has sharp textures and details throughout.  Even when crawling through the air ducts, the attention to detail is specific and pretty glorious.  No artifacting is found anywhere in the feature presentation.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works nicely.



  • The cast and crew commentary track is fun-filled and pretty damn hysterical.  Things rarely get technical, but the information is good when they do.

Special Features:

While a little lacking, the materials here are at least entertaining.  There’s one making-of featurette, a gag reel, a peek at alternate scenes, and a basic making-of featurette.  Nothing fancy.

  • Circle, Circle, Dot, Dot. . .Catching Cooties (13 min)
  • Deleted/Alternate/Extended Scenes (16 min)
  • Gag Reel (4 min)
  • Alternate Ending with Optional Commentary (4 min)
  • Talking Cooties (9 min)


[tab title="Trailer"]