Halloween Scene: Disturbing Behavior (1998)

It seems like I’ve been watching a lot of high school horror movies. In addition to the recent reviews I’ve done on the Prom Night remake and Slaughter High, I’ve also a re-watched Dance of the Dead. And now I’ve added Disturbing Behavior to the list. I’ll say right off that bat that DB doesn’t hold a candle to The Faculty. The two movies share very similar plots with something strange happening to students and the adults in town/school seem to be in on it.

In Disturbing Behavior’s case it’s more Stepford Wives than Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with the students being altered and inducted into the Blue Ribbons with a chip. Overall it’s a pretty by-the-numbers story like this. You’ve got the kid who’s new in town, his friend from the fringes who turns into a goody goody, the crazy old guy who knows what’s going on, an invention that will coincidentally effect the people with the chips and, duh, a victory in the end. The end is well paced and kind of fun, but you’ve probably seen this movie before.

The most fun was watching the cast. You’ve got Cyclops (James Marsden) and That Yellow Bastard (Nick Stahl, also of Carnivale, which was awesome), but the real draw at the time was Kaite Holmes. Have I mentioned that I went to grade school with Ms. Holmes? It’s the truth. I think we were even in the same “family group” but who can remember? She was a few grades ahead of me. Everyone in Toledo was pretty excited when she landed the gig on Dawson’s Creek. I even watched the first episode with my parents but got super embarrassed with the “walking the dog” talk and Pacey boning his teacher and thought the dialogue was way too crazy to be believed and didn’t watch anymore of it (though I have watched some of Em’s Season 1 DVDs and am impressed). Anyway, DB was also a pretty big deal because it was her first big, starring role in a movie. That being said, I don’t actually remember if I saw it in high school or not. I think it might have been on at a party or something, but I didn’t really remember anything that wasn’t in the trailer (Katie dancing on the truck, that part where she smashes the guy in the face). I also remember loving Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta” but borrowed the album from my buddy Randy and thinking it was weak. Maybe I’ll download “Flagpole” on iTunes.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a fun, late 90s movie starring a bunch of familiar faces that’s also a great movie, I recommend checking out The Faculty. BUT, if you want to see Cyclops team up with and later fight That Yellow Bastard and a non-brainwashed Katie Holmes, this is the movie for you! Oh, also, in keeping with the high school horror theme, I’m watching Student Bodies thanks to a recommendation from my buddy from T-Town Harmony. I hope it doesn’t suck!

Go Go Gadget Rave

3:58:38 am

As you can tell, I’ve been on something of an off and on ’90s kick lately. Mostly I’m just finally getting around to checking out flicks I never got to see when I was younger. I remember seeing the ads for Go (both TV and comic book, remember those?) and was curious (mostly because my fellow Christ the King grade school attendee Katie Holmes was in the flick). Anyway, I realized it was on my Blockbuster queue, bumped it up to the top and here’s what I thought.

Go (1999)

Written by John August (Charlie’s Angels 1 & 2, Big Fish, Corpse Bride)

Directed by Doug Liman (Swingers, Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Jumper)

Starring (deep breath) Sarah Polley, Katie Holmes, Scott Wolf, Jay Mohr, Timothy Olyphant, William Fitchner (Prison Break), Taye Diggs, Breckin Meyer, James Duval (Donnie Darko) Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) and Desmond Askey as the British guy

First off, it MUST be said that Go owes something to the films of Quentin Tarantino. Now, I’m not saying it’s a rip off or anything like that, but you definitely get a similar feel, especially with how the dialog is delivered by some the actors (especially Polley). There’s also the whole thing where the movie is told in non-linear segments. Again, not a direct lift, but considering Tarantino borrows a lot of elements for his films, I doubt he’d be too upset.

Okay, so onto the story. We start off with this chick Ronna who may or may not be 17, but is also getting evicted from her place and needs some money so she works an extra shift for her British co-worker. She gets caught up with drug dealers and cops and ends up getting hit by a car and left outside a rave to die. But that’s not all we see of her as we then hop back in time and follow a few other folks’ adventures and eventually see how they all tie together.

In general I like these kinds of movies. The kinds in which a few dumb mistakes lead to all kinds of crazy shit happening. Ronna doesn’t have enough money to pay for the ecstasy (or X as the kids call it), so she leaves Katie Holmes there as collateral. But it turns out that the guys who wanted it (Jay Mohr and Scott Wolf) are actually cops so she flushes the pills and then puts stolen aspirin in the bottle and trades the fake pills for Katie Holmes. She then goes to a rave with her friends (one of whom took TWO of the real pills, which Olyphant strictly forbade) and sells off the rest of the aspirin and allergy pills she stole from the grocery store at a rave. Olyphant (who’s freakin’ terrifying and funny at the same time) shows up, hears everyone talking about how this girl is selling the best X, chases her down and then she gets hit by the care. Holy crap, right? Right.

And that’s just part one. I gotta say, that, even as convoluted as the story may be, it’s a fun one and I definitely appreciate writer John August’s ability to keep so many characters straight and intertwine their stories so well. There’s characters that show up in this segment that show up in the next and everything ties together nicely. From what I hear, Crash is like this too, but I haven’t seen it yet. Plus, it’s crazy to go from this to Charlie’s Angels to working with Tim Burton multiple times.

The next section features the British guy (who works with Ronna and is her usual drug dealer, which is why she jumped up in the food chain and went to Olyphant himself), Taye Diggs, Brecken Meyer and James Duval going to Vegas, shooting a strip club bouncer and implicating Olyphant in said shooting (the British dude swiped his credit card which they used at the club). They head back to LA, which is apparently where the story takes place.

Holy cats, it turns out that Jay Mohr and Scott Wolf weren’t cops themselves, but working off a drug charge by helping Fichtner catch drug dealers. I think they might even be TV stars, but I kind of missed that part (that’s what happens when I get to the part of the movie I’m blogging about, I miss things). Hey Jay Mohr even invokes the title, nice work Jay. Okay, giving a play-by-play from here on out might get a little crazy, so I’m actually going to watch the movie for a while, Be right back…

Okay, movie’s over and it turns out everyone’s okay for the most part. There’s some weird scenes with Mohr and Wolf in Fichtner’s house, he’s married to Jane Krakowski and both he and his wife hit on the dudes (who turn out to be a couple). Anyway, they find out that they were cheating on each other with the same guy who’s at the rave. They’re the ones that hit Ronna with the car, leave and then head back to see if she’s dead and she’s not so everything ends up being okay. Even the British dude gets amicably shot in the arm by the bouncer whom he shot in Vegas.

So, I know I said I wasn’t going to summarize the movies so much, but Go seemed to fit the old style. Otherwise you’d have even less idea of what I’m talking about than I do and that doesn’t make for a very good blog post.

As you can see by this long summation, there’s a LOT going on with this movie and I love that. They don’t slow things down, you’ve just got to keep up or lose, which I like. I assume that’s what this blog can be like at times, especially after I’ve had a few and am on my third day trying to watch something. I also like the moral ambiguity of the ending. All these people who do relatively bad things end up fine and dandy (though I’m not sure if it’s physically possible to get hit by a car and left in a ditch for part of the night and still go into work the next day, but whatever).

In the end I recommend this movie to anyone who likes Tarantino flicks, X, Katie Holmes, crazy intertwining stories and raves. Side note, I’ve never done X, but if it makes you wear day glow pantaloons and dance around with glowsticks like a d-bag, I’m OUT. Just say no to lame, kids.