Dead Kids

Tagged: Film

Film (1981; vt Strange Behavior). Endeavour/Bannon Glenn/Hemdale. Directed by Michael Laughlin. Written by Laughlin, William Condon. Cast includes Arthur Dignam, Louise Fletcher, Fiona Lewis, Michael Murphy and Dan Shor. 99 minutes, cut to 93 minutes. Colour.

This Australian/New Zealand exploitation sf/Horror movie is set in the US Midwest and has a largely US cast, but was actually shot in New Zealand. It is the first of a projected trilogy (linked by theme only) of which the second is Strange Invaders (1983). At a research centre teenage kids are acting as guinea pigs in experiments in behavioural conditioning (the film is consciously anti-B F Skinner) via a Drug injected into the brain – on one occasion, through the eyeball. Some of them become homicidal and murder the children of a now-dead Mad Scientist's old enemies. The mad scientist is revealed to be not dead after all. The film – part of the teenage Splatter-Movie subgenre of the time – has plenty of gore but also wit and intelligence, as well as a rather 1950s style that would be featured again in Strange Invaders. [PN]

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