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on 11 May 2014

Dead Kids.

Many years ago, back in the ye olden times of the nineties I spent a good portion of time and money, especially in the school holidays, touring the country with my folks hitting all the car boots, charity shops and junk stores I could find hunting down pre-cert tapes and other obscure horror titles.

One of my finds was the Iver Film services x-rated release of Michael Laughlin's dead kids. I'd never heard of it before and ended up writing a letter to Dark Side magazine to find out more. Turns out it was readily available under the title small town massacre and also got a later release as strange behaviour.

Intended as a straight exploitationer, Dead kids actually ends up as something stranger and more unique than one would expect. From the use of rural New Zealand as a location for mid-west America, to the teen party that morphs into a weird musical choreographed dance sequence and the ambient tangerine dream soundtrack combined with the almost languid pacing. Dead kids is a film that has stuck in my mind for a good many years.

Back when Scream relaunched horror for the late nineties early noughties cinema crowd I remember seeing Disturbing behaviour and thinking, hang on a second...

A lot of Disturbing behaviours ideas are taken straight from Dead kids. The idea of operant conditioning to make kids conform to adult expectations, and said experiments having disastrous consequences. It was almost as if the producers thought "heres a dodgy B-movie no ones seen, lets just nick the plot and make a few changes."

Disturbing behaviour is probably going to be a more entertaining experience for younger audiences but for me Dead kids is better. After all DB could never muster a mad scientist quite in the same league as Dr Claude LeSange, played to perfection by Australian actor Arthur Dignam.

Dead kids is out on Blu-ray from severin and currently reasonably priced. It's region free and the transfer looks great to me. (Will have to wait for the folks with PC equipment and huge tv's to zoom in on the action and find out if its actually acceptable or if i'm wrong for enjoying the disc.) It's region free and worth a look!
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on 24 April 2015
When several killings happen by several different teenage killers, it seems to be connected to teenage experiments conducted at a controversial scientific research lab, but how?

Decent if unmemorable early Oz-sploitation mystery horror. Director Michael Laughlin's first of a failed "strange" trilogy (alternate title to this is Strange Behaviour) looks great and for the most part very well made but does have some issues. There are some very good suspense sequences, including the bathroom scene with the teenage girl & when the police chief goes out on his own towards the end, performances are strong with a very good cast, Michael Murphy, Louise Fletcher & Fiona Lewis, and the supporting cast of younger unknowns also do a fine job. The violent set pieces are well shot and come over good-in particular an excellent syringe in the eye scene-, as does the fun soundtrack by The Tangerines. There are some downsides though, the story takes forever to play its hand, and its almost an hour in before things even start to make little sense then even when it does it's hardly crystal clear, pacing is another problem and Louise Fletcher although billed as second star is wasted on a minor unimportant role. The climax is unexpected and for an early 80's slasher is a real (good) surprise.

Although this isn't an overly gory film this surprisingly found itself on the UK section 3 nasty list namely because of the title I would think. Not a major crowd pleaser but there is enough for a good horror fan to enjoy.
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on 2 April 2014
The UK release would be a welcome addition to the various releases of 'Strange Behaviour' aka: Dead Kids. However, due to the uk being a den of lunatics & perverts, we must assume the BBFC censors have spared us the issues of 'suicide' by removing first 41 seconds on a release, now 27 seconds for the Optimum release. Why? Because people can imitate the methods of suicide shown therein. Hmm. I would like the psychiatric proof that suicidal patients are likely to put on australian exploitation films before taking up a relevant sharp implement...

That being said, picture acceptably widescreen anamorphic, sound as original mono. Just like the UK release of American Horror Story, don't purchase if you are thinking of suicide technique advice, they are not here children..
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on 15 April 2015
If you expect the person on the front to be on a murderous rampage from start to finish, you are wrong. In fact that mask is only in one scene. This is a psychological horror looking into the effects of brain control. The death scenes have plenty but they are far and few between. It is a slow burner but I enjoyed it, especially the scene with the mask. If you like old 80s horrors, this is well worth the purchase.
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on 6 August 2013
dead kids is better known as
strange behaviour
and is a very strange and creepy little film
not seen the new remastered dvd yet
but for £1.99 going to order it now
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on 2 April 2013
This is real crap!

I would have given it a zero rating if one had been available.
Real trash from start to finish!

I felt like cheering at the end.
My ordeal was finally over!!
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