John Brady (Michael Murphy) is a widowed detective in a small college town who begins investigating the death of his son’s classmates, which leads him to a fantastical laboratory performing experiments on humans turning them into killing machines. Starting off rather slowly, the film begins to take some unique and unexpected turns as the plot thickens.
The script was written by director Laughlin and future Academy Award nominee Bill Condon. Condon who would spend a good decade and a half toiling in genre fare before eventually became an Oscar favorite with 1998’s Gods and Monsters, a biopic covering the life and death of eccentric Frankenstein director James Whale, which he followed up with the biopic Kinsey and the Broadway adaptation, Dreamgirls (he’s also directing the final Twilight films). I’m guessing Condon is responsible for some of Strange Behavior’s more off-kilter, and endearing, touches, such as the homoerotic nature of some of the killings (all the victims are male), mad scientist characters that recollect the heyday of Universal Horror (such as Bride of Frankenstein’s Dr. Pretorius, directed by Whale) and a house party that at one point busts out in a fully choreographed dance routine! Tangerine Dream, who also provided the soundtrack for another 1981 film, Michael Mann’s Thief, provides the dreamy, but not quite as memorable as some of the other’s score.