Strange Behavior (1981)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Dead Kids, aka Strange Behavior, is a creepy exercise from director Michael Laughlin--who conceived this as part one of an abortive "Strange Trilogy" which also included 1983's Strange Invaders. Although lensed in New Zealand, the film is set in a sleepy American town, in which a series of gory murders committed by local teenagers are linked to a twisted brainwashing scheme by a deranged behavioral psychologist (note irony please). Despite some humorous details (e.g. one killer dons a Tor Johnson mask) and a nostalgia for '50s pulp horrors (not to mention a fondness for splattery death scenes), the disparate plot elements don't come together as well as they should, failing to live up to the premise's potential for guilty chuckles or gasps of horror. Fiona Lewis is sexually menacing as the mad doc's assistant, but Louise Fletcher's wasted role may make viewers pine for Nurse Ratched. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
R (nudity, violence)
Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Rhino Home Video


Louise Fletcher
as Barbara Moorhead
Marc McClure
as Oliver
Charles Lane
as Donovan
Dey Young
as Caroline
Fiona Lewis
as Gwen Parkinson
Dan Shor
as Pete Brady
Arthur Dignam
as LeSange
Richard Moore
as 1st Construction Worker
Beryl Te Wiata
as Mrs. Haskell
William Hayward
as Robinson
Jim Boelsen
as Waldo
Sue Moore
as Steak-'n-Shake Waitress
Beryl TeWiata
as Mrs. Haskell
Lulu Sylbert
as Oliver's Sister
Andrew Glover
as 2nd Construction Worker
Terry Donovan
as Mr. Brown
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Critic Reviews for Strange Behavior

All Critics (8)

The title Dead Kids makes it sound like a slasher picture or a zombie film [but] it's really a mix of mad scientist thriller and revenge movie dropped into a somewhat surreal recreation of small-town Midwest America.

Full Review… | April 3, 2014
Turner Classic Movies Online

Though lackadaisical pacing steals a lot of the tension, especially in the shrug of a climax, Dead Kids is full of wondrous scene-by-scene oddities[...]

Full Review… | March 24, 2014
The Dissolve

Both grisly and absurd.

Full Review… | February 5, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

...a campy B-horror movie with some very funny moments.

Full Review… | August 27, 2009

Director Michael Laughlin knows how to set up good, pleasant scares, and the acting is solid.

Full Review… | April 8, 2007

Oddball, well-made and original take on the 80s teen-slasher genre

November 26, 2006

Audience Reviews for Strange Behavior


I gave this a spin sort of expecting something more of a slasher, but honestly the whole film had something of a '50s sci-fi paranoia feel instead of the typical horror flick. It's not too shabby as far as sci-fi/horror fare goes, I'd say give it a rental.

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant

It starts out as a run of the mill slasher film, but then Strange Behavior quickly evolves into a eerie horror story with vague flashes of originality .

Gordon Briggs
Gordon Briggs

an interestingly quirky teen slasher, a bit less generic than your usual slasher flick from the 80s. The plot is decent but quite slow-paced, and there's the occasional brutal stabbing murder, even though they're not very graphic they're nasty enough. It's got a cool musical score by Tangerine Dream too. Overall it's not a brilliant film but worth a look if you like slow-building atmospheric slashers.

Lee ?
Lee ?

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