5.7/10
1,045
38 user 72 critic

Strange Behavior (1981)

A scientist is experimenting with teenagers and turning them into murderers.

Director:

Writers:

, (Blu-ray Booklet Liner Notes) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Charlie's ex-wife disappears, and he travels to where she grew up--a rural town in the Midwest--to look for her. But, surprisingly, nobody knows about her or any of her many relatives, the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Laughlin
Stars: Paul Le Mat, Nancy Allen, Diana Scarwid
Thirst (1979)
Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The descendant of Elizabeth Bathory is abducted by a cult of self-proclaimed supermen who achieve this state of superiority by drinking from the "blood cows" (read: people) kept at the "dairy farm", and they try to get her to join them.

Director: Rod Hardy
Stars: Chantal Contouri, Shirley Cameron, Max Phipps
The Boogens (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Otherworldly creatures inhabit the bootleg tunnels underneath a small town mining community, and they kill any of the townsfolk who invade their home.

Director: James L. Conway
Stars: Rebecca Balding, Fred McCarren, Anne-Marie Martin
FleshEater (1988)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A group of college students on an overnite hayride come across a group of maneating zombies. They must fight for their lives while trying to escape and warn the authorities.

Director: S. William Hinzman
Stars: S. William Hinzman, John Mowod, Leslie Ann Wick
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Lady Dracula uses Dracula's ring to lure beautiful girls to her castle, where she murders them so she can bathe in their blood.

Directors: Luigi Batzella, Joe D'Amato
Stars: Mark Damon, Rosalba Neri, Esmeralda Barros
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.4/10 X  

A man visits Alcatraz prison after having dreams about all the people who died there. When he gets there, his brother is possessed by an envil cannibal demon. The ghost of a female heavy ... See full summary »

Director: Dimitri Logothetis
Stars: Toni Basil, Nicholas Celozzi, Tom Reilly
Storm Warning (2007)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A yuppie couple lost in a thick brush filled marsh seek refuge at an isolated farmhouse only to discover they've jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.

Director: Jamie Blanks
Stars: Nadia Farès, Robert Taylor, David Lyons
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A toy factory worker, mentally scarred as a child upon learning Santa Claus is not real, suffers a nervous breakdown after being belittled at work, and embarks on a Yuletide killing spree.

Director: Lewis Jackson
Stars: Brandon Maggart, Jeffrey DeMunn, Dianne Hull
Long Weekend (1978)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a suburban couple go camping for the weekend at a remote beach, they discover that nature isn't in an accommodating mood.

Director: Colin Eggleston
Stars: John Hargreaves, Briony Behets, Mike McEwen
Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Playboy John Carter is implicated in the murder of a blonde from a discotheque and is forced by gangsters into posing for pornographic photographs.

Director: Pete Walker
Stars: Sebastian Breaks, Virginia Wetherell, Jack Allen
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A deranged, misogynistic killer assaults a journalist. When he discovers that she survived the attack, he follows her to the hospital to finish her off.

Director: Jean-Claude Lord
Stars: Michael Ironside, Lee Grant, Linda Purl
Nightmare (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A mental patient embarks on a murder spree upon escaping from an institution.

Director: Romano Scavolini
Stars: Baird Stafford, Sharon Smith, C.J. Cooke
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Brady
...
Barbara Moorehead
...
Pete Brady
...
Gwen Parkinson
Arthur Dignam ...
Dr. Le Sange / Nagel
...
Caroline
...
Oliver Myerhoff
...
Shea
...
Donovan
Elizabeth Cheshire ...
Lucy Brown
Beryl Te Wiata ...
Mrs. Haskell
Jim Boelsen ...
Waldo
Billy Al Bengston ...
Felix Rowe
Nicole Anderson ...
Flying Nun
...
Bryan Morgan
Edit

Storyline

Widowed John Brady is the Chief of Police in small town Galesburg, Illinois, where he has lived most of his life. His only offspring, Pete Brady, is a bright high school senior. John has been in turmoil since the suspicious death of his wife Catherine years earlier, which he always believed had something to do with her boss, Dr. Le Sange, who himself died shortly after Catherine's passing. Only recently has John and Pete's home life gotten back on track with John dating Barbara Moorehead, a waitress at the local hangout, she who has known John for some time. John's life takes a turn for the worse when he has to investigate the brutal slashing murders of four townsfolk in four separate incidents. A brief eyewitness statement to one of the murders before the eyewitness herself is murdered is the only substantive evidence. However, the three other victims were the sons of long time friends of his. Those three friends have a special connection to John's past. As such, he believes if the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Town population is down... about six feet See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

17 June 1982 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Kids  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is considered an "Ozploitation" (Australian exploitation) picture. See more »

Connections

References The Flintstones (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Shivers
by The Birthday Party
Published by Doodah Music
Reproduced by courtesy of Missing Link Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"We're going to find the FAT ones!"
23 January 2004 | by (Palm Desert, California) – See all my reviews

Definitely a film with its own personality, Strange Behavior can best be appreciated by those that remember when films didn't require fast editing to appease the short attention spans of MTV-weened young'ns. With lines like the one about the "fat ones" delivered by the great Charles Lane and a vision of a 1950s style small town set in the "present" (something director Michael Laughlin and writer Bill Condon again brought us in Strange Invaders), the film was a splendid hybrid of old fashioned Twilight Zone ambiance and the fun, then-fresh exuberance of New Wave music and sheer sense of FUN. To top off the great mix: a Tangerine Dream score.

Mad Scientists, teens partying (but in the pre-MTV, pre-home computer kind of ways), mysterious killings, and....strange behavior! Oh, and the kind of impromptu group dance that was a heck of a lot more fun than the big dance scene in Footloose! Where else would a sudden dance sequence just seem to fit into a film -- the way Strange Behavior smoothly incorporates old-style thrills with humor and wit, having a bunch of teens break out into dance to the song "Lightning Strikes" doesn't seem so unusual, especially since the theme of the party was 1960s TV characters! Disguising the location of New Zealand as an Illinois town was quite a treat as well.

The story could have easily been done a number of times: small midwestern town, teens used as behavioral science subjects, mysterious murders by different killers...but of course the collaboration of Laughlin and Condon assures us this is not going to be typical. the focus is not to scare you out of your wits, but to offer something more mysterious. Add to that a very great choice for the cast (including more seasoned actors the likes of Michael Murphy, Fiona Lewis, Louise Fletcher, Charles Lane and others, plus the ever-smoking Dey Young and Dan Shor bring a likable aspect as well without being pushy teens) and an eye for design, Strange Behavior rises far above the cookie-cutter horror (particularly slasher) films of that time, and even in the present. There are many master shots that go for lengthy takes, and those of us that care more for story and dialogue can savor what's going on. I wouldn't be surprised that younger audiences that are used to fast cuts and one-liners would find this film too slow (and then again youth that are smarter might embrace this as other films from over 20 years ago). The minimal bloodletting works just as well, and the needle-in-the-eye trick can still illicit a good squirm today just as it did in 1981.

It's great to see that Strange Behavior has influenced other films: Fiona Lewis' hairdo inspired the one Sean Young had in Blade Runner, and it's obvious the lackluster film Disturbing Behavior from 1998 was, to put it kindly, "inspired" by Strange Behavior. Joe Dante even wanted Fiona Lewis for Innerspace based on her being seen in this film.

Strange Behavior is a great reminder of how things were so much more based on literal creativity and storytelling. Nowadays, it's all about special effects done digitally and pushing soundtracks from bands or music styles no one's going to care about 10 years from now. Laughlin and Condon were smart enough to give us elements that remain to this day unique, memorable, and never wearing out their welcome. Sure, by today's standards the film may not seem so shocking, but having come from being a "teen" back in 1980, it was refreshing for its time and has well earned its cult status. Sure, even the songs in it are more cool than what's considered a hit these days!

Thank goodness Elite Entertainment has released the DVD in the film's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, which also gives that widescreen feel of the 1950s thrillers in which Strange Behavior resembles so well. It makes my life much more fulfilling knowing such gems as this one are being given the respect and care in their restoration. Ignore the lower IMDb rating that it has at this time (just over a 4), because I feel it's being given a low rating by those who are too familiar with recent "shockers." The general reviews by the press were quite good for Strange Behavior back when it was released, and I for one feel that I do know a bit more about what quality is since I've experienced these kinds of films and their evolution up through to today's more slicker productions. It's also why you're hearing more references to older TV shows and songs in today's advertisements: they just don't make 'em like they used to, and there's just more distinction and personality in things from way back when! Or at least, some of them, since this film definitely was different from anything else when IT was released. Long live Strange Behavior!


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?