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“Cooties” assembles all-star cast…

"Cooties" scribe Leigh Whannell
Leigh Whannell’s new horror-comedy, Cooties, has recently added Alison Pill from Scott Pilgrim vs the World and Rainn Wilson of The Office fame. Already well known from his work in the Saw franchise and the Insidious films, Whannell’s newest and first venture into horror-comedy genre is showing even more signs of potential.

After teaming up with Glee co-creator Ian Brennan, Whannell’s newest foray into horror shows exactly what happens when the malodorous culinary exploits of a school lunch program go even more horribly wrong! In SpectreVision and Glacier Films’ press release, Cooties starts off when “a young girl who eats a chicken nugget infected with a virulent disease. She begins to transform into a violent, murderous flesh-ripping juvenile who transmits the disease, which only affects the pre-pubescent.” The film’s zombie-esque threat is said to be reminiscent of the 28 Days Later style rage zombies, and with Jack McBrayer, Nasim Pedrad, Jorge Garcia and Elijah Wood (who is also producing) rounding out the cast, how can this miss? The set-up just feels right.

Yet contrarians and “negative nancy’s” alike have already pointed to signs of potentially troubling shores. First off, Glee really?

Within the press release, it confirmed that Cooties would start principal photography on Monday, July 15th. Some bemoaned the late additions of Pill and Wilson so close to the shoot date, usually a sign of a weak or imbalanced script. Similarly, the decision to make the commercial directorial duo Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion undertake this as their first feature length directorial debut worried some. But again, it’s hard to think such a well casted film could implode in on itself, though this has often happened in the past.

Lastly, chastisers still worry that despite Wood’s potential contributions to producing the film that he will be alongside executive producer Hayden Christensen, as if some of those residual Star Wars Prequels’ viral spores are still infecting anything Christensen touches in Hollywood, despite impressive independent performances in Shattered Glass and Vanishing on 7th Street.

This writer, for one, tries not to support such presumptuous integrity bashing and practices of social leprosy. I look forward to seeing what is shoring up to be a remarkable mix of talents and a very promising movie, hopefully with any Glee style “zaniness” kept to a palpable minimum. Let’s just wait until it comes out, huh?

By Josef Luciano

About Josef Luciano

Josef Luciano is a screenwriter and filmmaker. He is former contributor to horror/sci-fi magazines FANGORIA, DIABOLIQUE, and STARLOG. As a location manager for the New York City Housing Authority, Josef has helped TV and film productions shoot throughout the five boroughs within New York City’s public housing developments, such as HBO, Paramount Pictures, and Marvel Studios.

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