5.7/10
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Strange Behavior (1981)

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

Director:

Michael Laughlin
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Murphy ... John Brady
Louise Fletcher ... Barbara Moorehead
Dan Shor ... Pete Brady
Fiona Lewis ... Gwen Parkinson
Arthur Dignam 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 Jim Boelsen ... Waldo
Billy Al Bengston Billy Al Bengston ... Felix Rowe
Nicole Anderson Nicole Anderson ... Flying Nun
Bill Condon ... Bryan Morgan
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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:

Good Kids Turned Killers! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | New Zealand | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 1982 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Kids See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though the film is set in suburban Illinois, the production couldn't find any "authentic" looking locales for a small American town so the production was moved to New Zealand. 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 »

Connections

References Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Lightning Strikes
Performed by Lou Christie
Courtesy of PolyGram Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

'Dead Kids' is dead good! One of my favourite horror movies of the late 70s/early 80s.
27 May 2004 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

In the late 70s/early 80s during the Australian film "renaissance", when historical dramas like 'Picnic At Hanging Rock' and 'Gallipoli' were all the rage, a producer named Antony Ginnane attempted to go against the tide and get some thrillers and horror movies made Down Under. He dreamed of being Australia's Roger Corman. Sadly it wasn't to be but hats off to him for helping movies like 'Patrick', 'Thirst' and 'Turkey Shoot' get to the big screen! 'Dead Kids' (a.k.a. 'Strange Behavior') is another underrated movie from this period that he co-produced. This time Ginnane and friends went to New Zealand instead of Australia, something to do with union hiccups I believe. The movie was actually filmed in Auckland, but set in the US with a mostly American cast, including Dan Shor ('Wise Blood'), Michael Murphy ('Manhattan'), Louise Fletcher ('One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'), Marc McLure ('Superman'), and Dey Young ('Rock'n'Roll High School'). Also appearing were the British born Fiona Lewis ('The Fury') and Aussie character actor Arthur Dignam ('The Devil's Playground'), who plays the enigmatic Dr Le Sangel, a role originally intended for Klaus Kinski. As well as a great cast this movie is noteworthy because it was directed by Michael Laughlin, the producer of Monte Hellman's 70s road classic 'Two-Lane Blacktop', and co-written by Laughlin and Bill Condon, who went on the write and direct the excellent James Whale biopic 'Gods And Monsters'. There are two outstanding bits in 'Dead Kids' which anyone who watches it will never forget: the syringe-in-the-eyeball scene, and the party sequence with a bunch of kids dancing to the Lou Christie oldie "Lightning Strikes". Music buffs will also appreciate the score from Tangerine Dream, and Aussies will get a kick out of (briefly) hearing The Boys Next Door's post-punk classic "Shivers" on the soundtrack. 'Dead Kids' is one of the my favourite horror movies of the late 70s/early 80s, a golden age filled with some very inventive and original shockers e.g. 'Evil Dead', 'Phantasm', 'Dead & Buried', 'Basket Case', to name a few. Eli Roth's super-hyped 'Cabin Fever' claimed to be inspired by some of these movies but totally missed the point in my opinion. Forget Roth, go for the real thing like this, which is both more entertaining AND scarier.


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