ByCraig Whyel, writer at
Film & TV news, previews and commentary
Craig Whyel

Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson star in Cooties, an action horror comedy.

Cooties is a make-believe game of tag in where the player who gets tagged is branded with the “cooties,” a fictional disease that makes said individual different in a vague but derogatory way.

It is believed to have its origins in the early parts of the last century thanks to an actual hand-held game, called Cooties, which was highly popular with children.

Fast-forward to 2015 and it is the subject of a movie…a zombie movie… to be exact.

Elijah Wood plays a substitute teacher who comes to work at an elementary school where a viral outbreak of cooties turns the young students, after eating a popular food, into a band of savage, flesh-eating undead.

Action abounds as the teachers must fight to save themselves from the feral kiddies.

Rainn Wilson co-stars as a former local athletic legend (he looks as though he may have done a pushup) and faculty member along with Jack McBrayer, Alison Pill, Morgan Lilly and Jose Garcia.

The usual tough guys cost too much?
The usual tough guys cost too much?

While it has the potential to be fun, it does seem to come with an abundance of challenges.

For example, it is essentially a zombie movie with the title of a kid’s game.

There have been over four hundred thirty zombie flicks. While the genre is rather crowded as of late, Cooties is confounded in that it involves plenty of children with speaking-roles yet they are more or less fodder for the backdrop.

For those who might think it is a movie for kids, it’s rated “R,” which is likely to disqualify many potential young viewers who have discerning parents.

Perhaps if the script was flipped and the students battled the teachers and the violence and language were toned down considerably then it might be a different situation.

Despite its rating, the trailer doesn’t lend the impression that it’s the sort of level and violence that might attract a hardcore zombie fan.

The cast, while talented and funny, doesn’t inspire any willing suspension of disbelief that they might be gutsy enough to survive a life or death struggle. I love Rainn Wilson’s work but he’s supposed to be the resident bad ass. Meh…

Then there is Elijah Wood he is a great actor but also very diminutive. Look at him in the trailer. He’s only slightly bigger than the fourth-graders his character is pitted against.

Wood’s company, SpectreVision, produced Cooties. I guess when you’re the boss you can cast yourself in anything.

Cooties will have a limited theatrical release and also be available via Video on Demand on September 18th.

The film was produced in 2013. The longer a gap between production and release is not good.

Depending on your point of view, it might or might not be worth it to catch this version of Cooties.

I hope I’m wrong.

It will change the way you look at chicken nugets.
It will change the way you look at chicken nugets.

Latest from our Creators