Sunday, September 13, 2015

Strange Behavior (Michael Laughlin, 1981)

Who's ready for some Aussie horror fun from the early 1980s? Okay, you might not be, but I know I sure am. I've got a comically large can of Fosters. I'm wearing my lucky Akubra. Hell, I've even picked up some extra shrimp just in case some asks me to throw another shrimp on the barbie. Let's do this, mate. And... wait a minute. Why do these guys sound like yanks? At first I thought that Strange Behavior (a.k.a. Dead Kids) was going to be about an American father who moves down under with his teenage son after his wife dies. Then it dawned on me, everyone is American. It just goes to show that you shouldn't assume that all Aussie movies are going to be about Australians. Speaking of Aussie movies, remember my review for the Aussie body melt movie called Body Melt? Of course you do. Well, do you happen to recall what my biggest problem with that film was? No, it had nothing to do with the film itself. You might recollect that I spent a good chunk of my Body Melt review scolding my massive readership for not making me aware of films that boast milfy lady scientists wielding syringes that contain iridescent liquid.

Now, I don't want to sound like a broken record. But what the fuck, guys? Strange Behavior is probably the ultimate film in the milfy lady scientists wielding syringes that contain iridescent liquid genre. Think about it. Not only is Gwen Parkinson (Fiona Lewis) a lady, she's milfy, and, judging by her lab coat, she's definitely a scientist. On top of that, it looks like she's holding a syringe in her hand, and the liquid inside said syringe has a iridescent sheen to it. So, I'll say it again, what the fuck, guys?

Please, for the love of God. If you know of any other movies that boast milfy lady scientists wielding syringes that contain iridescent liquid, don't hesitate to inform me of their existence. I want to watch as many films that boast milfy lady scientists wielding syringes that contain iridescent liquid as I possibly can. Thank you.

If being a film that boasts a milfy lady scientist who wields a syringe that contains iridescent liquid wasn't enough, Strange Behavior has so much more going for it. I know, who needs more when you have a milfy lady scientist who wields a syringe that contains iridescent liquid  in your motion picture? But I think most of you will agree that slightly chubby gals with a penchant for dismemberment compliment milfy lady scientist who wields a syringe that contains iridescent liquid perfectly. As do wild costume parties that feature choreographed dance numbers.

It should be noted that I'm a tad uncomfortable calling the gal with the penchant for dismemberment "slightly chubby." Truth be told, she is slightly chubby when compared to, say, Dey Young, but the way she's characterized as "fat" and "overweight" by the authorities irked me like you wouldn't believe. Personally, I loved her shape. I mean, the way that purple dress hugged her curves was mind-blowing.

What's that? Why were the  authorities characterizing her as such in the first place? It's simple, really. It had nothing to do with her size (which, like I said, could be described as "slightly chubby"), it was because of her penchant for dismemberment. You see, the authorities tend to frown upon dismemberment, especially human dismemberment. As you might expect, when word gets out that a slightly chubby gal with a penchant for dismemberment is roaming around Galesburg, Illinois doing just that, dismembering people while being slightly chubby, the authorities spring into action.

You're probably thinking to yourself: What could possibly cause a slightly chubby gal to develop a penchant for dismemberment? I have nine words for: Milfy lady scientists wielding syringes that contain iridescent liquid. Seriously, was there ever any doubt that a card carrying milfy lady scientist was the main reason why a slightly chubby gal developed a penchant for dismemberment? I didn't think so.

If you were to judge this film based solely on its opening scene, you would be forgiven for thinking that it was going to be yet another lame teens in peril horror film. Sure, the fact that the film's youthful screenwriter, Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters), plays the the first victim does make the scene a tad more interesting. But I only found out that was Bill Condon after the fact. At any rate, as far as opening scenes go, I'd have to declare the one that opens Strange Behavior to be lackluster.

As I was thinking about what movie to watch next, the dark synths of Tangerine Dream began to percolate on the soundtrack. In all honesty, I think their music is the first thing we hear as the film begins. Either way, once I noticed the music of Tangerine Dream, I immediately put my plans to watch another movie on hold.

Lacking money, two Galesburg, Illinois teens, Peter Brady (Dan Shor) and Oliver (Marc McClure), decide to earn some quick cash by allowing themselves to be experimented on by scientists at the local university. Since Oliver's already been once, he takes Pete over there to meet Fiona Lewis' Gwen Parkinson, the ultimate milfy lady scientist. An appointment is set up for Pete for the following day. In the meantime, who's ready to party?

If there was any doubt as to whether Strange Behavior was worthy of my time, there isn't the moment Pete and Oliver knock on the door of a suburban house and Nicole Anderson (dressed as the Flying Nun) answers it. After she declares that she isn't wearing any panties, Peter and Oliver enter just as Lou Christie's "Lighten' Strikes" is starting to play.

As if the sight of a bunch of teens dressed in wacky TV character themed costumes dancing enthusiastically to "Lightin' Strikes" wasn't enough, the enthusiastic dancing slowly morphs into a choreographed dance number.

I have to admit, I'm having a bit of trouble deciding if the party sequence in Strange Behavior is one of the greatest scenes in film history or simply the greatest scene in film history. Nevertheless, the fanciful, on the cusp of being surreal tone of the party scene officially made me a fan of this movie. And get this, the scenes where a milfy lady scientist wields a syringe filled with iridescent liquid and a slightly chubby gal with a penchant for dismemberment makes with the dismembering are still to come.

The fact that the party scene also features a pretty decent slasher sequence is basically icing on the cake; a knife-wielding killer in a Tor Johnson mask chases a young party guest (Elizabeth Cheshire) across a lawn, famously hacking at her heels.

Despite the grisly events that took place at the party, Pete manages to keep his appointment with the milfy lady scientist (they're going to pay him a hundred bucks). After taking a pill (one that will supposedly make him smarter), Pete goes on a date with Dey Young, who plays Caroline, the lab's receptionist. Hey, would you look at that. It would seem that pill is already starting to work, as Pete is literally charming the pants off Dey Young.

Overwhelmed by the string of murders that have been plaguing Galesburg, Illinois as of late, the chief of police, John Brady (Michael Murphy), Pete's father, asks for help from Chicago, who send a detective who looks like he stepped right out of a 1940s film noir.

It looks like he's going to need all the help he can get, as Mrs. Haskell (Beryl Te Wiata) comes home to find some kid named Timothy dismembered in a bathtub. Now, I'm not sure what Mrs. Haskell's relationship is to Timothy (she's seen doing dishes for Pete and his father in an earlier scene), but nonetheless, her confrontation with Paula (B. Courtenay Leigh), a slightly chubby gal with a penchant for dismemberment, is downright sexy. (Um, Sexy?!? Paula stabs Mrs. Haskell with a knife, then chases her downstairs, where she slits her throat.) What's your point? I find the sight of slightly chubby women murdering women who not even close to being slightly chubby to be extremely arousing. You got a problem with that?

I also like it when milfy lady scientists inject iridescent liquid directly into people's eye sockets. Which is exactly what happens to Pete when he shows up for his second appointment.

Call me crazy, but I think the drugs the milfy lady scientist is giving to her test subjects are somehow connected to the recent spate of homicides. (You already came to that conclusion fifty paragraphs ago.) I did? Oh well.

At any rate, if you're into American-Australian horror films that are made in New Zealand that sport milfy lady scientists who wield syringes that contain iridescent liquid, slightly chubby gals with a penchant for dismemberment, the band Pop Mechanix ("Jumping Out a Window" and "The Ritz" are both on the soundtrack), Tangerine Dream, the sight of Louise Fletcher (Kai Winn from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) holding a yellow slip while wearing a purple dress, and choreographed dance numbers, you'd be insane not to watch this movie at least once.

1 comment:

  1. Well, what i really recommend is Japanese milfy doctor who is wearing classic balck high heels that shows professionalism somehow and office outfit with white gown:symbol of doc!!
    Really appealing but unfortunately, It's opening few minutes of porn series...but i really recommend it because it doesn't show any sexual movement but mood. I bet Those mood would be perfect matching with milfy professional scientist! If you want i'll link for you