Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Strange Behaviour (1981)

Strange Behaviour (1981)

Released in some markets as Dead Kids, this offbeat slasher/mystery flick is set in the fictional small Midwestern American town of Galesburg, Illinois (although it was filmed in New Zealand).

The main characters are police chief Brady (Michael Murphy) and his son, Peter (Dan Shor). The mother has died in mysterious circumstances which will be explained later on.

Pete attends the local college where a few of the students are showing great improvements in their work, a state of affairs that seems to be down to their volunteering to be guinea pigs at the local research institute.

Pete’s friend Oliver (Marc McClure) has been undergoing these tests, and the As he is receiving on his papers prove that there is some benefit to the experiments.

It’s an oddball tale of high school murders, bizarre experiments and mad doctors, and boasts one of horror cinema’s strangest party scenes – a fancy dress party where all the local kids have come dressed as 1960s TV characters, including Batman and Robin, Lily Munster, Fred and Wilma Flintstone and even Hoss Cartwright from Bonanza.

The party is in full swing when Lou Christie’s hit song ‘Lightnin’ Strikes comes on and, inexplicably, the partygoers break into highly synchronised dancing.

It’s a wonderfully bizarre moment in a film that, despite its more grisly moments, pays loving homage to hazy small-town Americana of the 50s and 60s.

John Brady
Michael Murphy
Barbara Moorehead
Louise Fletcher
Pete Brady
Dan Shor
Gwen Parkinson
Fiona Lewis
Dr Le Sange/Nagel
Arthur Dignam
Dey Young
Oliver Myerhoff
Marc McClure
Scott Brady
Charles Lane
Lucy Brown
Elizabeth Cheshire
Mrs Haskell
Beryl Te Wiata
Jim Boelsen
Felix Rowe
Billy Al Bengston
Flying Nun
Nicole Anderson
Bryan Morgan
Bill Condon

Michael Laughlin