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Horror Comedy Cooties, Starring Elijah Wood, Begins Production This Week

For a really long time, I couldn’t stand Elijah Wood in anything he played in, regardless of how good he was in it. Granted, most of it was probably based on North and Frodo, as well as just general surliness that the teens and twenties sometimes instill in a person. But it’s only been in the past year or so that I’ve really become a fan of his, and it has everything to do with his diving headfirst into the horror and thriller genre, which is always in need of acting talent. Maniac would have been unsettling with anyone leading it, but he was downright evil in it.

So I’m pleased as blood punch that the bizarre horror comedy Cooties , which Wood is starring in and producing via his genre-based production company Spectre Vision, will go into production Monday, July 15, after going AWOL for a stretch following its announcement last year. According to ComingSoon, the film will be shooting entirely in the Los Angeles area. So if you don’t want to have to deal with an outbreak of the deadliest of deadly cooties, you might want to stay away.

Written by Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious) and Ian Brennan (Glee), Cooties will be the first feature directed by the commercial-creating duo Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion, better known as HONEST. The horror and assumedly dark comedy begins when a young girl eats a tainted chicken nugget at her school lunch, and she’s soon transformed into “a violent, murderous flesh-ripping juvenile” who manages to quickly infect everyone around her; all of the kids that is, as the disease only affects pre-pubescent children. (Puberty still sounds worse.)

As such, it’s left up to all of the adults in the school to figure out a way to combat this obscene problem. Wood will play Clint Hadson, one of the school’s substitute teachers, and he’ll be joined in his efforts by Lucy (Alison Pill), a happy-go-lucky 4th grade teacher whom Clint has had a fondness for since childhood. Rainn Wilson (The Office) will play a PE teacher whose all-star teenage athleticism didn’t pan out quite the way he expected. The cast also includes Saturday Night Live’s Nasim Pedrad, Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), Jorgé Garcia (Lost) and Whannell.

A single-location horror full of comedy and rabid zombie children? They had me at the title.

The HONEST guys have directed commercials for CapitalOne, Nike and Fruit By The Foot, but perhaps their most cinematic effort was this slightly NSFW adult film-themed trailer for the 2008 Chuck Palahniuk novel Snuff.

Wizard of Ass trailer - Chuck Palahniuk (opens in new tab) from Honest Directors (opens in new tab) on Vimeo (opens in new tab).

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.