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Home > The Faculty vs. Disturbing Behavior: Bad Movie Showdown

The Faculty vs. Disturbing Behavior: Bad Movie Showdown

Bad Movie Showdown

Two Bad Films, But Only One Can Reign Supreme

A lot of great movies came out in the year 1998. A Bugs Life, Saving Private Ryan, Blade. Then there were really bad movies like The Faculty and Disturbing Behavior. These two pictures were released five months apart, with Disturbing Behavior being a summer release and The Faculty, being released on Christmas of all days. They’re very similar, so if they were released simultaneously, it definitely would have been an interesting showdown at the box office. Both feature a high school setting and follow students under threat of being indoctrinated into sinister groups. Both feature popular faces in cinema today making their big break in theaters. Above all else, both are by no means good movies, but the absurdity, poor dialogue, and uninteresting characters have somehow withstood the test of time and reached cult status. These films are so bad that they are enjoyable, and it’s here that they face off for true bad movie supremacy.

Which One Had the Biggest Threat?

Both these movies have the main threat being grouped in different high schools expanding to pose a threat to humanity. In Disturbing Behavior, it’s the burn-out and trouble-making students being indoctrinated into the homicidal Blue-Ribbon clique of students led by a nefarious guidance counselor. In The Faculty, you guessed it, it’s the teachers that pose the main threat as they’re quickly taken captive in their own bodies by an other-worldly parasite that soon makes its way across the entire student body. The sources of evil are different, but only one is executed effectively. The threat in The Faculty is more menacing because anyone can be possessed at any time, while the Blue-Ribbons are forced to use more covert means to acquire members. The alien organism was more dangerous because of this. Within the group of characters, they cannot always trust one another because any of them can be turned just by going to the bathroom. To the Blue Ribbon’s credit, they are more fun to watch. They operate under a sort of hive mind like the aliens, but they also have preppy personalities that are incredibly bland but somehow funny. The Blue-Ribbons also enter a murderous ‘roid-rage’ when they get horny too, which is ridiculous but is an interesting touch. Unlike Blue-Ribbon’s, viewers know why the alien invasion started and they know how it ends. It’s an open-and-shut story, but perhaps the producers of Disturbing Behavior were hoping for a sequel.

Which One Had the Best Story?

As said above, the stories of these two films are practically the same. Perhaps they should be seen through the lenses of the characters who must navigate through them. Steve of Disturbing Behavior is the new kid in school after moving following the suicide of his older brother. Because of this, Steve is a typical brooding trope character for most of the film. The subplot of his brother goes nowhere and is only alluded to in brief VHS-filtered flashes. Around Steve is a trio of other trope characters, the edgy hot girl, the funny stoner, etc. Only one of these people is mildly fun to watch while the rest act as would be expected. But perhaps there’s a certain nostalgia to watching these predictable characters from the 90s? The characters of The Faculty are much more interesting. They are trope characters, each coming from basic high school cliques, but they are different because they all seem to want to be opposite of what’s expected. The best examples are the smart drug dealer and the nerdy jock. They aren’t executed well, and their dialogue is laughably bad, but what gives them the edge in this showdown is that their stories are at least somewhat concluded by the film’s end.

Bad Movie Showdown

Which One is the Scariest?

The Faculty was written and directed in a way that suggests it doesn’t take itself too seriously. That may have been how director Robert Rodriguez intended it. Despite that, it still delivers some pretty good scares. There’s a tension that Disturbing Behavior doesn’t have because of its unpredictability. Anyone can be the enemy at any time. These films do share having a menacing enemy by its sheer numbers, but not much else. The Faculty also has great graphic and visual effects that add a good layer of revulsion as well. Disturbing Behavior, on the other hand, sometimes seems to forget it’s supposed to be horror and mistakes itself for action. Perhaps if it focused more on tension-building and fleshing out its antagonists rather than the soulless romance between Katie Holmes and James Marsden, it may have contributed to this part of the conversation.

Which Film is Better?

The Faculty is by far the best worst film in this showdown. It’s not hard to see why either. Its cult status has withstood the test of time and is still enjoyable today, either with a group or by oneself. Both movies are enjoyable as bad movies and are a lot of fun for movies one can pick apart. The Faculty does it better, though. There’s a feeling while watching it that it’s not taking itself too seriously and knows how bad it is. Perhaps that’s the way director Robert Rodriguez intended it? Disturbing Behavior does not seem to have this aura but instead tried to tell what it thought would be an interesting and thrilling story that fell flat on its face. As bad as they both are, they’re both worthy of viewing. Being laughably bad is better than just being bad, but for this round, the best of the worst is the cult classic The Faculty.

Bad Movie Showdown

The Faculty (1998) Official MIRAMAX Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Senior editor of Dead Talk News and University of Central Oklahoma graduate. Dakota specializes in news, entertainment pieces, reviews, and listicles.