Strange Behavior (1981) Review

Dr. LeSange is dead and buried, but strange things keep occurring in sleepy Galesburg. Someone is killing the children of the men who opposed LeSange’s fiendish experiments. Evidence points to multiple slashers, but Sheriff Brady (Michael Murphy) believes LeSange is involved. The Sheriff doesn’t realize he’s next on the death list and his son has been chosen as executioner.

Strange Behavior (AKA Dead Kids) starts slow, but builds in tension and suspense. The first murder is shown as shadows on a wall. This lures the viewer into a false sense of security and makes later scenes all the more shocking. The hypodermic to the eyeball and the pissing blood scenes are sure to cause a few squirm-in-your-seat moments.

Even though the film has a strong cast, Fiona Lewis is the real star as Dr. Parkinson. Her performance oozes grace, charm, and cold evil. Marc (Jimmy Olsen in the Superman series) McClure is fun to watch as the goofy buddy to Dan Shor. And what the hell is Louise (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) Fletcher doing in this film? She has a nothing part as a white-trash waitress.

Michael Laughlin does a good job as director but the script he co-wrote with William Condon has a few problems. Strange Behavior sometimes plays like a sequel to a film that was never made. We never learn what happened to Dr. LeSange, why the town was so against him, or why there are a pair of leg bones in LeSange’s coffin. It’s almost like the filmmakers assumed the audience already knew what transpired three years before this story.

Strange Behavior may seem dull, slow, or just plain odd to some slasher fans, but give it a chance and you’ll be rewarded with a few thrills and chills. Just don’t watch it late at night. The beautiful Tangerine Dream soundtrack will put you right to sleep. Their main track could be called “A lullaby for Slashers”.

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