Disturbing Behavior (1998)

Hypothetical Netflix Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This was one of the first rated R movies I ever saw. I loved it then, I’m fond of it now. Watching it again kinda reminded me of that line in Pulp Fiction “You thought your ass would age like wine. If you mean it turns to vinegar. It does. If you mean it gets better with age, it don’t.” That pretty much sums it up.

Disturbing Behavior centers around high school age James Marsden, you know, Cyclops, and his family who are moving to a small island town after the tragic suicide of his older brother. His first day of  school, he’s taken under wings by Gavin, played by Nick Stahl, you know, That Yellow Bastard. Or John Conner if you’re not a fan of Sin City. Gavin lets James Marsden into the secret of the island; the preppy kids are actually under mind control by the powers that be. These kids are prone to extreme acts of violence basically every time their hormones kick in, which is all the time being as they are horny teens. From there it’s up to Cyclops to stop the evil mind control plot without the aid of his fellow X-Men and to a soundtrack of late ’90’s Pop-Rock. Oh, and Katie Holmes is there too in her pre- Tom Cruise days. She plays Cyclops’ love interest.

So, something I learned researching this movie; this 84 minute movie had an orginal cut closer to the two hour mark. The studio heads at MGM cut this movie several times after just as many test screenings. The director, David Nutter, was so upset about these edits and his total lack of control in the project he started, that he wanted his name taken off the film entirely. This of course didn’t happen as the Hollywood machine loves it some scapegoats. But there was no need for a scapegoat, the movie made $2 million back over its budget.

Nutter hasn’t directed a movie since. Not to worry though, he’s doing alright. He directed the pilot episodes of Arrow and The Flash, as well as six episodes of Game of Thrones, a couple episodes of Band of Brothers, you get the idea, home boy moved to the small screen. The point is, Nutter found his home, which is awesome.

As far as the movie he made, Disturbing Behavior, goes it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. It plays as a quick, punchy, teen thriller and as far as that genre goes this shit is gold. Like a golden turd. Made of vinegar.

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