From director-writer George A. Romero’s classic film Night of the Living Dead to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s upcoming movie Maggie, there’s been plenty of movies about flesh-eating zombies — or at least movies about viruses which give people zombie-like symptoms. We’ve witnessed everything from humanity being brought to the brink of extinction in big blockbusters to more character-driven and compelling approaches to the genre.
Odds are the concept reminds some of you of a certain scene in Resident Evil: Apocalypse which involves a horde of pale, savage, and hungry students, but this first trailer makes it abundantly clear Cooties is going for a more comedic approach to the often graphic and bleak zombie scenario. Co-written by Glee’s Ian Brennan and Saw’s Leigh Whannell, the first trailer reveals the virus is spread by a certain brand of chicken nuggets — whether that’s intentional and it’s some experiment being conducted by a shady organization has yet to be revealed — and the vicious infection only affects people who haven’t gone through puberty yet. So, that means the school has been reduced to a whole new kind of conflict between teachers and students.
As expected, the horrifying virus quickly spreads from student to student. As chaos erupts and blood spills, Elija Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, and Jack McBrayer are stuck trying to figure out how to escape without being eaten by their former students.
While the trailer shows the movie doesn’t shy away from blood, it also seems to be having plenty of fun with the genre – considering it has Rainn’s character clotheslining an infected child and the makeshift weapons and armor they create generates amusing (not overly gory) ways to defeat the waves of hostile children.
A more lighthearted take on zombie stories certainly isn’t unfamiliar and there have been some great films that blend violence, comedy, and horror extremely well. Currently, Edgar Wright’s brilliant Shaun of the Dead is king when it comes to funny zombie stories but there have also been solid movies like Zombieland (we’re still waiting for a sequel!), Warm Bodies, and a few others.
Only time will tell if Cooties can be added to the list of memorable zombie comedies or if it’ll be shrugged off as yet amusing but overall forgettable entry in the zombie movie trend. That said, it seems safe to guess that not many people have imagined Jack McBrayer or Rainn Wilson in a zombie scenario, so if all else fails, at least the acting talent involved has the potential to be pretty amusing.
Cooties opens September 18.
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