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Disturbing Behavior

165 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hot stars James Marsden ("Bella Mafia"), Katie Holmes ("Dawson's Creek") and Nick Stahl (The Thin Red Line) set the screen ablaze in this breathlessly fast-paced jolt-fest from veteran "X-Files" director David Nutter. Written by Scott Rosenburg (Con-Air) and featuring a hip soundtrackfrom the hottest bands around, this "clutch-your-armrest thriller" (Teen People) will pull you into the undercurrent of a deranged high school cliqueand drag you away screaming! Achieve, be excellent...and be afraid. For when the esteemed Blue Ribbon club of Cradle Bay High take their slogans too far, things in the small coastal town begin to go wrong. Dead wrong. And when a "dark sinister force" begins turning the school's curricularly challenged into the soulless, academic elitethree "outsiders" join in a desperate race to avoid becoming insidersand losing their individuality forever!

This paranoia-fueled thriller, more intelligent and imaginative than you would have reason to believe, owes a huge debt to The Stepford Wives with its premise of a goody-good high school clique programmed by an evil doctor to be wholesome, academically driven, and shining examples of clean living. Unlike its predecessor, though, David Nutter's film opts to open up its premise for everyone to see, diluting the scares but amplifying the creepy atmosphere. There's never any question of what's happening to the students of Cradle Bay High, who go from being druggies and sex fiends to the academically excellent Blue Ribbons, but it's a lot of fun to see these programmed teens run amok--and start killing people--when their hormones kick in. And considering they're all horny teenagers, this happens, oh, at least a few times a day. Model-perfect James Marsden, with stunning cheekbones and piercing blue eyes, is the new kid in town who stumbles on the plot with a little help from metalhead Nick Stahl. Moody Marsden stirs up trouble when he refuses to join up with the Blue Ribbons, prompting his concerned parents to consider signing him up for the program, especially after it turns Stahl into a vest-wearing, pep-rallying brainiac. The satire isn't entirely fulfilled (the evil kids hang out at the yogurt shop and spout inspirational platitudes), but once the action kicks in it's quite an enjoyable ride, thanks primarily to Bruce Greenwood (of The Sweet Hereafter) as the mad scientist behind it all and Katie Holmes (Go) as Marsden's love interest. Refusing the advances of the star football player and fighting gamely alongside Marsden, Holmes manages to deck a few bad guys with a fervor that squarely puts her in Linda Hamilton and Jamie Lee Curtis territory. With Steve Railsback as the colluding chief of police and Dan Zudovic as a janitor with a penchant for getting rid of "rats," rodent and otherwise. --Mark Englehart

Special Features

  • Audio commentary by director 'David Nutter'
  • Eleven additional scenes not shown in theatres
  • Shocking and revealing alternate ending
  • Music video "Got You (Where I Want You)" (The Flys)
  • 4-page booklet featuring quotes and insights from the movie's hot young stars

Product Details

  • Actors: James Marsden, Katie Holmes, Nick Stahl, Tobias Mehler, Steve Railsback
  • Directors: David Nutter
  • Writers: Scott Rosenberg
  • Producers: Armyan Bernstein, Brent O'Connor, C.O. Erickson, Elisabeth Seldes, Jonathan Shestack
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 5, 1999
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792840127
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,026 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Disturbing Behavior" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By J. Lucas on March 14, 2000
Format: DVD
...of what can happen when a movie is created in a studio conference room. The sheer idiocy of what MGM did to director David Nutter's "Disturbing Behavior" is paralleled only by Miramax's hack job on "54". Good job, guys. We really didn't need to know anything about Steve's (James Marsden) brother's suicide did we? Sure, it would have given the film a whole new dimension, and would have made Steve's bond with Gavin (Nick Stahl) maybe mean just a little bit more within the context of the story. But, out it goes. And, hey, who needs that whole love scene with Rachel (Katie Holmes), anyway? We've already gotten the idea that these two dig each other - let's get on with the show! And wait just a gosh darned minute - do we really need anymore background on an important, pivotal character like Newberry (William Sadler)who gives his life to save the kids toward the end? Nah! And the ending - wouldn't it be so much more profound to have Gavin just kind of show up in some inner-city classroom with chip in his eye than for him to have the powerful final confrontation with Steve on the ferry? Absolutely! MGM screwed up royally with the final cut of this film but, through the miracle of DVD, audiences can now be treated to all of the above-mentioned deleted scenes (and several more that are so riveting you wonder why in the heck...) plus a fascinating audio commentary by David Nutter that gives us a new appreciation for this flawed but intriguing little film. Skip the VHS edition, but do check out the DVD.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By X. Alexander on August 20, 2000
Format: DVD
DISTURBING BEHAVIOR got lost in the shuffle of teen horror movies and failed at the box office, but this one is actually very different from I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, URBAN LEGEND, and other entries into the genre. BEHAVIOR has more of a sci-fi than a horror edge, which is not surprising because it was made by writers and directors of several "The X-Files" episodes. The teens in the movie have been scientifically reprogrammed to be on their best behavior. Of course, these same teens occasionally snap and go on homicidal rampages...but nobody's perfect, right? However, the behavior I found to be most disturbing was that of the people at MGM, who significantly trimmed down the movie in spite of what was obviously David Nutter's intent. Luckily these scenes have been added on the DVD, which provide a lot of back story and motivation for character's actions that is missing from the final film. Apparently MGM thought that teens were too dumb and restless to sit through actual characterization and cut out quite a bit of this. But the film suffers quite a bit from these missing scenes (except for an alternate ending that was wisely replaced by the one in the film). You can almost hear Nutter weeping over each one in his commentary on those deleted scenes. The doctor played by Bruce Greenwood has a scene at a meeting describing his daughter's success with his program (which it later turns out is a bit exaggerated). This certainly adds depth to a character who is otherwise just An Evil Doctor with no real reason to perform experiments on kids (another scene also reveals these motivations). A tense little scene between Steve and the police is also cut that explained a lot about the town's secrecy, and an explanation of Steve's brother's suicide is also cut.Read more ›
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By CreepyT on November 27, 2004
Format: DVD
This film starts out well enough, with a family moving to the odd little town of Cradle Bay seeking a fresh start, and an escape from the haunting memory of a son and brother who committed suicide. When the family arrives, the town seems eerily too-good-to-be-true. The "kitschy" small town flare, complete with that "everybody knows everybody else" sentimentality, is almost nauseating. How very cliché (can we say "Stephen King?").

When the family's two remaining children (one of them being James Marsden's character, Steve Clark) head out for their first day of school, it becomes easy to discern, to the viewer at least, that something is horribly awry. Sure, the usual high school cliques are present. However, they seem far too exaggerated. For example, the omnipotent "Blue Ribbons" (a.k.a. "jocks") are the school's best athletes, as well as the school's most academically inclined students. Few exceptions aside, is this generally the case? I think not. Furthermore, these students hang out at a yogurt shoppe. It's no longer the 50's, and most high schoolers have other various hang-outs. Yet another clue that should give the new arrivals some insight as to the odd goings-on in Cradle Bay. However, when Nick Stahl's character (Gavin) attempts to inform Steve Clark of the evil plot that is behind the Blue Ribbons and their oddly uniform characters, Steve remains clueless. It takes Gavin becoming a Blue Ribbon himself to spark the light bulb in Steve's head, and he then decides to discover the root of the evil.

With the help of a fellow student, Rachel (Katie Holmes), and a very cheesily written but well acted school janitor (Dan Zudovic), Steve uncovers the extremely "Stepford Wives-esque" plot.
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