I don’t remember why I tivo’d Strange Behavior when I saw it on the TCM Friday lineup. Last night I watched it, only because it had the shortest running time of anything in my wad of recorded stuff.
Yes, it is an odd film, but is so low key way it’s barely there.
Strange Behavior will remind some viewers of Suspiria if that movie had been set in an Illinois college town and not a European ballet school for girls.
This movie would have been better if some of the weenie teenie 1950s-as-seen-from-the-1970s, “Rocky Horror” camp elements — the villainess’ hair, a miscast Louise Fletcher’s whole blousy look, the interior design in the lab, and yes, even the frequently remarked upon teenaged dance party scene — had been trimmed away. But I get the feeling those were the creators’ favorite elements, and they weren’t about to, as the saying goes, kill their children.
Some of the POV shots weren’t really POV just “lets levitate the camera because we can,” which is bad cinema grammar.
And nothing says “Oh no, please just kill me now” than the words “MUSIC BY TANERGINE DREAM” in the opening credits. But you know what? That made me pay extra attention to the music, and it really did fit the movie. (See Suspiria, above.)
(I don’t see the “satire” they’re referring to here, although I realize for many people, “satire” is just “weird stuff that isn’t funny or terribly original or observant, but has Authority Figures in it,” like Twin Peaks.
It also takes a lot to scare me and Strange Behavior scared me. Especially the part with the old lady on the phone and the closet door. BLAH!! I hid my eyes a few times, which is a big deal.
It stars That Guy Who Always Plays Woody Allen’s Best Friend When He Can’t Get That Other Actor He Likes Better. A lot of the acting is bad, but that seems to be what the director was going for.