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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.26%
Worth A Look37.18%
Average: 15.38%
Pretty Bad: 11.54%
Total Crap: 25.64%

4 reviews, 54 user ratings

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Disturbing Behavior
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by Ryan Arthur

"Self-mutilate this, fluid girl!"
3 stars

The following review will be based on the "Director's Cut" of the film, complete with restored scenes and an alternate ending, along with the theatrical ending. Just so you know.

What's the difference between the theatrical release and the director's cut? About 25 minutes. I'll explain.

MGM wanted a Scream-type thriller for this movie. They wanted something that would appeal to the young crowd that studios are courting these days. Director David Nutter gave them...something different, and research groups and advance screenings said it just wasn't flying. So cuts were made. Then more cuts were made. And still more cuts were made. When Disturbing Behavior hit theaters in late July 1998, its total run time was something like 84 minutes. Take away lengthy opening and closing credit sequences, and the actual movie time was more like 75 minutes.

The movie tanked.

That's neither here nor there, I guess, although an article in the L.A. Times in September goes into more detail.

Anyways. Is this cut of the movie good? Parts. You can see where the cuts have been made from the theatrical release,and you can see why they were cut. Most of the story, dealing with the hows and whys of what's happening among the Blue Ribbons (they're the bad guys) is explained, although it's not hard to piece together. It's all exposition. It helps the plot, although it doesn't necessarily move the story, which, quite frankly, isn't that solid to begin with. It was cut because it was believed that the youthful audience wouldn't sit still long enough to learn everything. Right. Is the director's cut a better film? Maybe.

James Marsden plays Steve, new kid in town, carrying the baggage of a dead brother (played by Can't Hardly Wait's Ethan Embry in flashback) who committed suicide. He meets up with Gavin (Nick Stahl from The Thin Red Line), a stoner who's all about paranoid conspiracies and who's seen one of the supposedly perfect Blue Ribbon students killing another. The two of them come to realize that maybe, just maybe, Dr. Caldicott (Bruce Greenwood) is behind the hidden rage of the Blue Ribbons. They team up with Katie Holmes' bare midriff...uh, I mean, Rachel, played by Dawson's Creek's Katie Holmes. And her bare midriff. She likes arching her back while standing in the bed of a pickup truck and going from the apparent bad girl to a more normal girl by film's end. Nick gets corrupted (or "joins the program") and becomes one of the clean-cut Blue Ribbons, who hang out at the malt shoppe and don't drink, do drugs or have sex, but all have serious rage control issues. Steve and Rachel have to stop the doctor or bail before they both are forced to join the Blue Ribbons.

I didn't like Marsden as Steve. Maybe it's because he just looked too old. He seemed to keep the same vague sort of half smile throughout the movie, even when he was in danger of getting some microchip stuck in his eye. Holmes looked lovely as always, and even had a mean streak where she threw a few punches, so she fared a little better. It's a bit of a change from plain-jane Joey on Dawson's Creek. But the movie belonged to Nick Stahl and William Sadler. Stahl does such a great job when Gavin's the slacker, then does a complete turnaround as a Blue Ribbon. It's actually kinda creepy. And William Sadler plays a mildly retarded (or is he?) janitor-guy with Billy Bob Thornton teeth. He gets the best lines and gets to talk with a nearly untraceable accent, plus he gets to use the inevitable Pink Floyd song lyric.

Both endings are disappointing, where a major character either dies in one ending or lives in the other.

I can't say this is a horrible film. It's not what it was marketed as, and there's very few actual scares in the film. But it's also a bit of a mess, too dark at times (even during daylight hours). There's not enough done with Steve and his relationship with his brother; there's enough to pique interest, but it never develops. But some performances are good, and the plot, had it been done better, might have worked.

It's not as hip or clever as Scream, but it doesn't need to be. You could do worse on a Saturday night.

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originally posted: 01/15/99 03:34:11
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User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell garbage pure garbage 1 stars
1/11/08 art a rainy day movie 2 stars
6/27/07 fools♫gold Well, it's not better than Career Oppurtunities, the new Grandma's Boy, or Family Plot. Meh 3 stars
8/19/06 Beau Katie Holmes's performance was an outstanding peice of casting and acting. good film overal 4 stars
12/14/04 drain spun yes the movie sucked but i love it anyway. did what it was supposed to- entertain. 4 stars
7/07/04 Otto von Goldschlager Katie, Nick, James & David -what's not to like 4 stars
6/25/04 American Slasher Goddess Watchable, but nothing great 3 stars
1/25/04 Elena Katie Holmes is good but this film is lame and ridiculous. 1 stars
1/18/04 Bemused Often This flick is an island of low-grade acting and an ocean of CLICHES 1 stars
12/10/03 Samuel This was a very good movie!! 5 stars
11/18/03 he a good film 4 stars
3/09/03 Jack Sommersby Creepy and atmospheric. A solid piece of work. 4 stars
12/12/02 NWO4LIFE Serves its purpose: entertains for 84 mins. The cut scenes make it even slightly better. 4 stars
8/19/02 .Choadushouse. PlotlineN'twists mo' creative then most TeenThrillers. Entertaining & Katie Holmes is HOT!! 4 stars
3/06/02 Alan Smithee Katie Homles is very easy on the eyes (great tits) but the movie blows chunks. 1 stars
1/05/02 carrie gavin. email me at 5 stars
6/21/01 Ryan Phillippe gets hit by a car and it rules! This movie is equal to an 8 ball, 2 nympho supermodels, and a tap dancing lemer. 5 stars
12/06/00 Cristopher Revilla Ok, people, just because the X-files crew is here doesn't mean it's good, this film sucked 1 stars
9/28/00 Ground Zero PSI Factor meets Dawson's Creek 2 stars
9/03/00 Mr. Pink It was way too short & lobotomizing Gavin was like killing Randy Meeks from Scream. Why?! 5 stars
7/13/00 Tom Better than most teen horror films. Katie Holmes is cool. 4 stars
4/25/00 Steve Layne Gulity pleasure and gavin is one of the most interesting characters in any 90's teen movie. 4 stars
2/11/00 Kyle Broflovski Too many cliches & stereotypes to bring this potentially fucking-awesome flick to life. 3 stars
11/08/99 focus Stupid, moronic, boring, cliche, godawful. Did we forget anything? 2 stars
11/04/99 Mickey "Father Death" MacJohnstmyster It's not at all a horror rip-off , and you will enjoy it if you are not expecting Scream. 4 stars
8/16/99 Marshy Very silly film. Very derivative. Very enjoyable. For thriller fans a must. Katie Homles... 4 stars
7/19/99 SID I liked this movie, dammit. 4 stars
6/25/99 David Keech Some shrewd commentary on high school cliques does not make up for the lame script. 2 stars
5/02/99 Whitney I like James Marsden and Katie Holmes, but this was nothing special! 3 stars
4/15/99 Jon Jackson This movie is refreshing like a bottle of piss. 2 stars
3/02/99 THE Juicester Sucks not worth renting..good ideas but it just doesn't make the grade 1 stars
2/02/99 The Opinionator The single worst movie ever made 1 stars
1/15/99 Skanky As a Katie Holmes fan i'm happy to announce she's going to attend COLUMBIA MUTHAFUCKERS! 5 stars
1/10/99 twisted barbie you wont enjoy this flick if youre over 14 yrs of age... 1 stars
11/20/98 davebo this movie was better when it was called attack of the body snatchers 1 stars
11/10/98 Hugh Jass Dawson's Creek on Prozac, better than Scream and Halloween:H20, watch it for fun. 4 stars
9/28/98 John Hawkins Despite what you've heard this is a great movie! 5 stars
9/25/98 Pat Flanagan As a horror movie and Katie Holmes fan, it was pretty good, but as a movie, it wasn't great 3 stars
9/23/98 David Clark Too bad they cut 40 minutes! 4 stars
9/23/98 ShadowStar© The film's only saving grace was the fact that it eventually ended. 1 stars
9/20/98 katherine Pretty damn good 5 stars
9/18/98 Christian I thought it was not what i expected it to be but it was fun and Katie Holmes is damn fine! 4 stars
9/15/98 Gamma Katie Holmes made it worth watching. The shout to Pink Floyd was funny, but out of place 2 stars
9/14/98 Chip Taylor Enough alreadly. Teen slasher movies suck. I Know What You Did Last Summer sucked. 0 stars. 1 stars
9/13/98 Daniel Eskin Blechh I wasted 50 cents on that vile puss of a film. Though the nudity was good( brief ). 1 stars
9/11/98 katie If this movie didn't have these actors no one would watch. Needed a more elaborate plot. 2 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Meh. 3 stars
8/22/98 Mister Whoopee It could have been much worse. It could have. 4 stars
8/16/98 f*r*o*s*t*y I've got paranoia, paranoia, that this flick really su-ucks! 2 stars
8/16/98 Miss Stress teen angst flick, katie holmes couldn't even save this one 1 stars
8/16/98 {{{OZ}}} I wanted to see it a lot cos it looked good, but... blah. 2 stars
8/16/98 rotten f. milk god bless katie holmes. 5 stars
8/15/98 roxy two words: i hate katie holmes, she's plain and boring and can't act. 1 stars
8/14/98 zubilicious its a good flick to see while under the influence of drugs. 4 stars
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  24-Jul-1998 (R)
  DVD: 17-Jul-2001


  18-Mar-1999 (M)

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