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Disturbing Behavior (1998)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  24 July 1998 (USA)
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Reviews: 233 user | 85 critic

The new kid in town stumbles across something sinister about the town's method of transforming its unruly teens into upstanding citizens.



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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tobias Mehler ...
Terry David Mulligan ...
Dan Zukovic ...


After the suicide of the teenager Allen Clark, his family decides to move from Chicago to the quiet Cradle Bay Island seeking a peaceful life for the siblings Steve and Lindsay Clark. When Steve joins the local high-school, the outcast Gavin Strick befriends Steve and introduces his also rejected friend Rachel Wagner to the newcomer. Gavin exposes to Steve in the refectory the punks, the nerds and the different tribes of the school and he defends the weird theory that a sinister force changes the behavior of the annoyingly perfect "Blue Ribbons", a group of good students that wear identical jackets and gather in the Yogurt Shoppe. Further he tells that he had witnessed the blue ribbon Andy Efkin killing their schoolmate Mary Jo that is missing and the local Officer Cox covering the murder. Steve does not believe on Gavin words, but when his friend is submitted to the treatment of Dr. Edgar Caldicott and immediately changes his behavior, joining the Blue Ribbons, Steve and Rachel ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You'll never be the same. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, sexuality, language, and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



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Release Date:

24 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Perturbados  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,070,714 (USA) (24 July 1998)


$17,411,331 (USA) (25 September 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In some markets the film lasted only a week in cinemas. See more »


When Gavin leaves the building after seeing his parents want him go join the club. He is walking on a log and talking but his mouth does not move. See more »


Dorian Newberry: Evening Officer!
Officer Cox the BIG Rat: What are you doing?
Dorian Newberry: Oh, I'm getting rid of rats!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Voices at the end of the credits say Main Commands of Dr. Caldicott's Program: "Let the light get into you... yes, slowly". BETTY CALDICOTT: "Meet the musical little creatures that hide among the flowers". LORNA LONGLEY: "Treat yourself". See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »


Written by Elia Bel and Jim Reece
Performed by Once Upon A Time
Courtesy of Trauma Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Disturbing Behavior by an Overzealous Editor
21 February 2010 | by (Maine) – See all my reviews

A sci-fi/horror flick aimed at the "Scream" crowd, "Disturbing Behavior" concerns at idyllic coastal town where everything seems just a bit too peachy. The local high school is populated by picture perfect teens who, despite their wholesome love of yogurt, tend to get a little trigger happy when the hormones start flying. When the new kid in town (Jason Marsden) stumbles upon a dark secret, it's up to him and a few other mistfits (Nick Stahl, Katie Holmes) to shut down the powers that be.

There's loads of potential in this film that is, unfortunately, never capitalized upon. You can thank the editing department for that one. If the deleted scenes are any evidence, this movie was trimmed and dumbed down to the point of no recognition. While the uninterrupted flow makes for an easy, breezy viewing, the overall story lacks substance and coherence. Its 84 minute running time, in turn, is a redeeming feature.

The director, David Nutter, spends much of the film building up ample amounts of atmosphere and is aided wonderfully by a brilliant score by fellow "X-Files" alumnus Mark Snow as well as some striking scenery thanks to it's Vancouver location. So, the film isn't a complete waste. You'll get some kicks out of the dialog and while Katie Holmes in particular isn't given much to do, she at least looks good in skimpy outfits while doing so. Also, it's hard to hate on a movie that is of a more intelligent cut than the other teen-geared fare being produced in its time. The movie at least aims high, and even when it doesn't quite reach, it never bores.

A passable sci-fi teen romp, "Disturbing Behavior" is entertaining late-night fodder that, surprisingly, will inspire repeat viewings. It's a shame, though, to think of how much better the whole could have been.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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