Disturbing Behavior Review

Colin Polonowski has reviewed the Region 1 DVD release of Disturbing Behavior

Before seeing this disc on offer on the DVD Express, I’d never heard of Disturbing Behavior. As far as I am aware (and please correct me if I’m wrong), it has not yet been shown either theatrically or on video in the UK. Therefore, I didn’t hold out much hope of it being any good.
In fact, I only bought it because it stars Katie Holmes – an actress I’ve heard a lot of good things about – and because it was only $12!

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this really is a superior example of the teen movie phenomenon. It’s a sort of cross between Scream, The Faculty and The X Files and it manages to be as good as any of them.

The premise is fairly simple – the students at Cradle Bay High are being operated on in order to make them perfect. It’s up to the three outsiders – played by Holmes, Marsden and Stahl – to put a stop to this sinister activity.

Picture, Sound and the rest

MGM have a reputation in Region 2 of releasing only top quality discs – all are Anamorphically enhanced and show the potential of the format. In Region 1, it’s a slightly different story with only select titles getting the top quality treatment.

Thankfully, Disturbing Behavior is among those titles to benefit. What we have is a sharp, crystal clear Anamorphic transfer with bright, vibrant colours throughout. I couldn’t make out any artifacts – this is up there with the best transfers I’ve seen. The only drawback is the 3:2 Pulldown as seen on all NTSC discs, but in this case it doesn’t look too bad. That said, I still prefer a higher resolution, smoother Anamorphic PAL transfer – speed up and all!

Soundwise, the DD5.1 mix doesn’t have a lot to do most of the time. It does provide add atmosphere to the picture, but in all honesty a Pro-Logic version wouldn’t be far off the DD version in this case. It’s good, if somewhat understated and the rear speakers don’t get that much action.

In terms of Extras, this disc also delivers. There’s a raft of deleted scenes – including an alternative ending (which I actually prefer!). There’s a commentary by David Nutter and a music video – The Flys’ “Got You (Where I Want You)”. This is topped off with the theatrical trailer and a short four page booklet. Not a bad selection, I’m sure you’ll agree!

How does it hang together?

Pretty well! This is a surprisingly good film on an above average disc. While it’s not up there with the best discs available, it has a pretty good go.

The Extras in general are pretty interesting. Some of the deleted scenes would have added something extra to the film, but if they weren’t included here you wouldn’t miss them. There are times when it seems that these scenes would have explained subtle things in the movie. As it stands, there are little niggles here and there which aren’t explained until you look at the Extras.

The directors commentary is pretty interesting. It’s not quite as good as, say the Special Effects commentary on the Contact disc, but as with everything else on this disc it’s not far off!

All in all, I’d recommend this DVD who has an interest in superior teen movies, or anyone who likes the conspiracy side of TV shows such as the X-Files. It’s an good example of both. The quality of the DVD is impressive considering the fact that the movie itself isn’t very well known – in the UK at least!

Colin Polonowski

Updated: Feb 27, 1999

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