Strange Behavior (1981) is a English movie. Michael Laughlin has directed this movie. Michael Murphy,Louise Fletcher,Dan Shor,Fiona Lewis are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1981. Strange Behavior (1981) is considered one of the best Horror,Mystery,Sci-Fi,Thriller movie in India and around the world.
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 ...
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Strange Behavior (1981) Reviews
"We're going to find the FAT ones!"
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!
'Dead Kids' is dead good! One of my favourite horror movies of the late 70s/early 80s.
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.
One of the truly great, overlooked, horror movies of the last 22 years.
Chock full of haunting images, chilling murders, and good performances this slow, laconic but amazingly effective horror flick has stayed with me since I saw it when it was originally released. The film is best in its portrayal of teen life in a small college town in the midwest (though it was shot in New Zealand). Taking it's cue from there, the film moves along at a leisurely, but ultimately disquieting pace revealing that all is not so sleepy and calm in this rural environment. Co-written by Academy Award-winner Bill Condon ("GODS AND MONSTERS") the story shows remarkable intelligence and wit in the vein of some of the best Roman Polanski flicks (e.g. "THE TENANT" and "REPULSION"). Best if seen in the movie theater to appreciate it's glorious widescreen landscapes. Wish this picture was out on DVD.
A fascinating offbeat horror movie.
Don't let the unpleasant title put you off, this is an excellent little movie that I actually found quite scary. The acting is top class especially from Dan Shor and Michael Murphy who star. Louise Fletcher is also on top form and all three bring a realistic almost 'cinema veritie' feel to the proceedings. The film works because of Michael laughlins direction that develops the film on many levels. On the one hand there is lots of atmosphere and a suspenseful intensity that builds up to the films climax yet Laughlin also concentrates on character development and relationships giving us insights in to Chief Bradys (Michael Murphy) mysterious past and the close father/son relationship him and Pete (Dan Shor) have. The film also pays close attention to small town life. In this small Louisiana town everyone knows everyone there are lots of nice little touches by Laughlin to point this out. Laughlins direction also has a humorous edge to it and the good acting adds to this. There is one incredibly surreal scene in the movie at a party where all the 'party-goers' start dancing in unison! They are all in 50's style fancy dress and dance in a hyperbolic 50's fashion! Although it is hard to decipher Laughlins motives here this scene seems incredibly inspired to me personally. Although some scenes in this film are quite shocking I cannot comment on the amount of gore in this film because I have only seen the UK 18 cert release which has been cut considerably and panned and scanned. If only there was a widescreen version available I for one would instantly snap it up!
interesting and entertaining
dead kids is very well made and unusual addition to horror cinema. it is an australian/new zealend production, and was made with the intention to sell it to an american market. so you get a film that looks very much like an american film, is shot and crafted like an american film with american actors (who are often better than any australian actor that gets into this kind of film, neighbours and home and away are rarely good casting grounds) but the script has a definite australian feel to it. from the odd, sly humour, to the way it deals with the murders and the almost complete lack of morality in the film. not to say it is immoral, but themes of morality never come into it, which is not often seen in american horror. for the most part, it is wonderfully directed, one that has to be seen in widescreen to appreciate. however, the murders are somewhat lacklustre, they are directed with very little bite. it is obvious that the director has no idea of hot to show "action". most of the time it does not drastically effect the overall film as this is not a typical slasher film. in a few scenes however, this "relaxed" view of violence heightens the horror, such as the final murder and the "human experiments" carried out on the main character. as mentioned above, the script is quite interesting and entertaining. however, there is a 2 minute ending tacked on after the final showdown which drastically decreases the power of the film. while not being a classic, it is still one of the better and more interesting horror films of the 80s that deserves a far wider audience than it has recieved.