Strange Behaviour (1981)

Australia, USA, New Zealand,
35mm film, colour, 2.35:1
mono, English

An Australian/American/New Zealand science fiction/horror film directed by Michael Laughlin.

Plot Summary

In the small town of Galesburg, Illinois, are being turned into killers by mind-control experiments being carried out by a suppoesedly dead professor and his assistant at the local university.


Directed by: Michael Laughlin
© MCMLXXXI [1981] Gupta Films Services Pte. Ltd.
Hemdale and Fay Richwhite present a South Street Films production of a Michael Laughlin film. Made by Endeavour Productions Limited and Bannon GlennPty. Limited
Executive Producers: John Daly, David Hemmings, William Fayman
Produced by: Antony I. Ginnane, John Barnett
Associate Producer: Bill Condon
Written by: Bill Condon, Michael Laughlin
Director of Photography: Louis Horvath
Editor: Petra 1A pseudonm for Petra Von Oelffen]
Music: Tangerine Dream
Sound Recordist: Paul Clark
Costume Designer: Bruce Finlayson
Make-up/Hairdresser: Anne Pospischil
Special Make-up by: Craig Reardon
Production Designer: Susanna Moore

Michael Murphy (John Brady)
Louise Fletcher (Barbara Moorehead)
Dan Shor (Pete Brady)
Fiona Lewis (Gwen Parkinson)
Arthur Dignam (Dr LeSangel/Nagel)
Dey Young (Caroline)
Marc McClure (Oliver Myerhoff)
Scott Brady (Shea)
Charles Lane (Donovan)
Beryl Te Wiata (Mrs Haskell)
Elizabeth Cheshire (Lucy Brown)
Jim Boelson (Waldo)
B. Courtenay Leigh (Paula)
William Hayward (Robinson)
Billy Al Bengston (Felix Rowe)
Jack Haines (Randy Morgan)
Bill Condon (Bryan Morgan)
Nicole Anderson (flying nun)
Cindy Arnold (girl at Morgan)
Howard Crothall (boy selling flowers)

Alternative Titles

Blutige Schreie – West German title
Conducta asesina – Mexico
Dead Kids – Alternative title
Dead kids (Jóvenes muertos) – alternative Spanish title
Die Experimente des Dr. S – West German title
Estranho Comportamento – Portuguese title
– UK re-release title
Laboratorija zlocina – Serbian Yugoslavian title
Massacre Brutal – Brazilian title
Med døden i blodet – Danish video title
Outoa käytöstä – Finnish video title
Shadowlands – working title
Small Town Massacre – working title
Strange Behaviour – UK title
Мёртвые дети – Russian title

Extracts included in
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008)
Ozploitation Trailer Explosion (2014)

See also
Strange Invaders (1983)


Cinefantastique vol.12 no.1 (February 1982) p.53
The film has some nice camp performances, notably from Lewis in a lowcut skintight cashmere dress and Dragon Lady hairstyle; and Dingham, who looks like he escaped from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Made in New Zealand under the more marketable title Dead Kids, the film has plodding direction by Michael Laughlin. It is saved, however, by extremely realistic and occasionally gory special effects from Craig Reardon, who is rapidly becoming a makeup effects artist to reckon with. – from a review by Judith P. Harris



  • Cinefantastique vol.12 no.1 (February 1982) p.53 – review (by Judith P. Harris)
  • Cinema Papers no.31 (March/April 1981) p.82 – credits
  • Fangoria n225 (August 2003) p.62 – DVD review (DVD Dungeon: Strange Behavior by Michael Gingold)
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.269 no.14 (6 November 1981) p.10 – credits, review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.52 no.613 (February 1985) pp.61-62 – video review
  • Sight & Sound vol.3 no.9 (September 1993) p.61 – video note
  • Starburst no.66 (February 1984) pp.34-37 – illustrated interview with Michael Laughlin
  • Variety 2 September 1981 pp. 15, 20 – credits, review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.361 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis 84 – credits, review
  • Horror Films of the 1980s by John Kenneth Muir pp.208-211 – credits, synopsis, review