Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Strange Behavior (1981)

AKA: Dead Kids

Director: Michael Laughlin

Writers: Bill Condon, Michael Laughlin

Composer: Tangerine Dream

Starring: Michael Murphy, Louise Fletcher, Dan Shor, Fiona Lewis, Arthur Dignam, Dey Young, Marc McClure, Scott Brady, Charles Lane

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Cuts up parts other movies just dislocate

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

My rating:  6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

This little known (at least to me) Australian horror film was shot in New Zealand but set in and made to look like a small town in Illinois so it's easy to mistake this for an American picture.  It's pretty good despite being low on the kills (but then what few are here are brutal knife kills).  I guess it should be more easily classified as a thriller with horror elements.  Toss in a couple more grisly murders and this would then be an out and out slasher horror film.  The performances are good as is the direction, sparse, atmospheric score, editing and so on.  It's great seeing Charles Lane, one of the most familiar faced character actors that goes all the way back to the early 30s.  Louise Fletcher and Marc McClure were the only other actors I recognized.  The mystery as to who is killing these folks (even though we see who commits the murders) isn't solved until the last few minutes and it's not as strong of a reason as I thought it'd be.  It's still worth checking out.  There's enough to like that fans of 80s horror won't be too disappointed if any.

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