45 user 79 critic

Strange Behavior (1981)

3:21 | Trailer
A scientist is experimenting with teenagers and turning them into murderers.


Michael Laughlin





Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Murphy ... John Brady
Louise Fletcher ... Barbara Moorehead
Dan Shor ... Pete Brady
Fiona Lewis ... Gwen Parkinson
Arthur Dignam ... Dr. Le Sange / Nagel
Dey Young ... Caroline
Marc McClure ... Oliver Myerhoff
Scott Brady ... Shea
Charles Lane ... Donovan
Elizabeth Cheshire ... Lucy Brown
Beryl Te Wiata Beryl Te Wiata ... Mrs. Haskell
Jim Boelsen ... Waldo
Billy Al Bengston Billy Al Bengston ... Felix Rowe
Nicole Massie Nicole Massie ... Flying Nun (as Nicole Anderson)
Bill Condon ... Bryan Morgan


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


Good Kids Turned Killers! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


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

Alternate Versions

Although the 1986 UK video version was uncut the 1993 Vipco release was cut by 26 secs by the BBFC to remove shots of Pete Brady vertically cutting his wrist with a knife, as this was classed as an imitable suicide technique. The cuts were expanded to 41 secs for the 2004 DVD release though the 2008 Optimum DVD restores around 14 secs via a different edit. See more »


References Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957) See more »


The Ritz
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User Reviews

A real hidden gem
9 November 2019 | by jadavixSee all my reviews

"Strange Behaviour" is a lot better than I'd expected it to be. It has some startling imagery, some genuinely frightening scenes, and finally manages a sense of atmosphere.

It is also an original twist on the slasher formula that was probably stale even in 1981 - at least if the parody film "Student Bodies", made that same year, is anything to go by. Seasoned horror junkies have seen hundreds of slashers at least. We all know the trope of the killer wearing a distinctive mask, which is often removed in the final moments to reveal the killer's identity. But in "Strange Behaviour", the movie has more than one killer, and in fact deals with the question of mind control. In this movie, any of the younger characters can kill at any time, so it's not a question of whodunit. It's more like who's going to go crazy next.

For its cool ideas, occasionally shocking imagery and at least one frightening scene, "Strange Behaviour" is a winner. Unfortunately it is held back by some narrative incoherence and charisma-less lead performances. I still say check it out.

Lastly, I want to say something about the movie's unusual pedigree. It's an American production that was meant to be filmed in Australia, but when the filmmakers couldn't find any cities in Aus that resembled the screenplay's setting in Illinois, they moved the production to New Zealand! How is NZ any more or less Midwestern USA than Australia? And, to top it all off, the movie is considered an "Ozploitation" flick?

No wonder the plotting is a little confusing. The cast and crew probably didn't know where the hell they were, or were supposed to be, or what they were actually making.

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Australia | New Zealand



Release Date:

13 November 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Kids See more »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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