Watch out for the cool kids!
The 90s, amirite?!
Maybe it’s because I was a teenager in the late 90s/early 2000s, but movies like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty, and Urban Legend really stood out to me as I was really getting into horror. Young actors, a school-based setting, and a soundtrack with sounds that were still in regular rotation on MTV. But there’s a hidden gem in all of those movies from the 90s - Disturbing Behavior.
The movie follows Steve, an older teen who, after the death of his brother Alan, moves with his Mom, Dad, and sister Lindsay(classic family) to Cradle Bay to start things anew. On his first day, he meets Gavin, a grudge teen, and his friends UV, an albino, and later on, Rachel.
While hanging out Steve encounters the Blue Ribbons, a preppy “community group” that one would picture the star football player and head cheerleader being a part of. Gavin warns Steve that the group isn’t just annoying but there’s something wrong with the group. The audience sees two examples of this. First, in the opening scene where Gavin secretly witnesses one of the Blue Ribbons, Andy, killing a girl from school and a cop and being let go by another cop (maybe the sheriff), and second, in a grocery when “Chug” sees Rachel and is turned on by her. As a character would say later on in the film, “When one of these kids gets a hard-on, they turn around and beat somebody with it)
Gavin tries to tell Steve about the sinister nature of the Blue Ribbons and Steve blows it off to Gavin’s weed smoking. To prove his point, he sneaks Steve into the school to eavesdrop on the weekly Blue Ribbon meeting, led by Dr. Caldicott, where they are voting on the next “candidate” for the Blue Ribbon program - Gavin! Upset that he’s parents sold him out, Gavin tells Steve that if they’re at his house, he’ll kill them, and produces a gun. Steve takes the gun away and tell’s Gavin to just go home.
The next day at school, Gavin is in a white button-up and sweat vest - he’s a Blue Ribbon now. This wakes up Steve and as he tries to talk to Gavin, the Blue Ribbons, who clearly ride roughshod over Cradle Bay High, jump Steve as a warning, as Rachel and UV are forced to watch, unable to help.
Later, it’s discovered that Gavin left an “If you’re seeing this, then…” CD for Rachel. There he drops hints about where the secrets are being kept. Steve and Rachel go and discover that people are being experimented on, including Caldicott’s own daughter.
Upon returning home, Steve learns that he’s next and Rachel’s been kidnapped too. A “final battle” ensues and Steve, Rachel, UV, and Steve’s sister Lindsay are saved from the Blue Ribbon when the not-so-dumb janitor uses a high-frequency radio to mess with the implants in the Blue Ribbon’s heads and drives them off the side of a cliff!
I gave this movie an 8. I’ve always liked this movie, so that’s a plus, but where the movie lost points was in the Originality and Ending categories. “An outside force alters the mind of a population and the protag must defeat the malevolent force.” isn’t a new concept. The Faculty was similar, for example. As for the ending, as I wrote the last sentence of the previous paragraph I wondered, “Is that a good ending?” I mean, generally speaking, that ending would be more problematic for the team of teens than helpful. The threat is seemingly stopped but once those kids get home, there’ll be a lot of questions for Steve and Company so… I don’t know. Maybe I’m thinking too much about it, but if I don’t KNOW that I love an ending, I clearly didn’t. Everything else was good for a piece of 90s horror.
If you’ve never seen it, you should. My favorite scene was when Steve comes home and finds Lorna, one of the girls in the Blue Ribbon and a big crush of Gavin’s, sitting on his couch. He tells her to leave and she asked to use the bathroom first. She’s checking out Steve in the mirror and is getting aroused. She undoes her shirt and approaches Steve who turns her down. She looks over at herself in a mirror and says, “I know I shouldn’t be doing this. It’s bad. Wrong. Wrong. Bad.” and smashes her face into the mirror, cutting her face. She then attacks Steve with a piece of broken glass until she snaps out of it and leaves as if nothing just happened!
I forgot how much I loved that scene!
So yeah, so go see it or go see it again. It’s a fun movie