Human Experiments (1979)

(aka Strange Behavior; Dead Kids; Small Town Massacre)

Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Michael Laughlin
Written by: Bill Condon/Michael Laughlin

This movie is fuuuuuuuucked up. Rachel (Linda Haynes) is falsely accused of murdering an entire family of strangers and put into the strangest prison in the world. One of my favorite character actors, Geoffery Lewis, is the head doctor and he may or may not be doing some pretty psychotic experiments on the women. (Spoiler alert: read the title.) His head warden seems to be against the experiments but doesn’t seem to do much to stop them.

I honestly don’t even know where to begin with this movie. It’s psychological terror that manifests as PTSD because of a doctor who knows exactly how to push all the right/wrong buttons. And then there’s veteran character actors Aldo Ray and Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester!) as a couple of country bumpkin brothers (one a sheriff and the other a hotel/nightclub owner) who help put Rachel away.

Oh, and John Travolta’s sister is in it.


It’s actually not bad, as far as Nasties go. It’s not nearly as “nasty” as I was expecting and far more interesting than most. It’s still not good (and Linda Haynes CANNOT sing, no matter how much people seem to like her in the movie), but the performances are pretty good and it’s at least decently made. And Lewis is so creepy as the soft-spoken, but obviously insane doctor.

LOW POINT: Remember how I said that Travolta’s sister is in it?