×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bad Behaviour

A black comedy about a fateful -- and largely fatal -- weekend for disparate Queenslanders.

With:
With: John Jarratt, Lindsay Farris, Dwaine Stevenson, Robert Coleby, Georgina Symes, Roger Ward, Jean Kittson, Caroline Levien, Ellen Grimshaw, Dominique De Marco, Rio Holland, L.J. Sims, Nic Mohr, Tyson Hargreaves, Joe Bugner, Jean-Marc Manning, Dwaine Stevenson, Jean Kittson.

A whole mess of very “Bad Behaviour” wreaks havoc in Joseph Sims’ feature debut, a black comedy about a fateful — and largely fatal — weekend for disparate Queenslanders. Sims’ twisty screenplay and punchy direction take the pic in the chronology-scrambled, multistrand directions of “Pulp Fiction,” “Go” and “Lantana,” in a very Aussie way. Theatrical export prospects are iffy, though enterprising distribs might want to take a gamble. Pic should build a cult following in offshore home-format sales.

Opening sequence sets a tone of sardonic surprise, as an unlucky Frenchman (Jean-Marc Manning) in an otherwise empty parking lot is lured into a supposedly stranded motorist’s vehicle. He finds himself at the mercy of young siblings Peterson (Lindsay Farris) and Emma (Caroline Levien) — and they’re not into mercy. As we eventually discover, they’re thrill-killers who murder random strangers to steal a car or squat in a private home for a few days.

Popular on Variety

Meanwhile, Ricky (“Wolf Creek” maniac John Jarratt, here playing just about the only nice guy onscreen) answers a latenight call from fellow cop Mark (Dwaine Stevenson), who has kidnapped the high school headmaster (Robert Coleby) who’s been having an affair with his shrewish teacher wife, Jennifer (Georgina Symes). Jennifer has been missing since the lovers’ last meeting, and frantic, angry Mark — still in love with his “cheating whore” of a spouse — must be reined back from violent retribution.

Other major players include a passel of drunken house-partying teenagers — including the cops’ respective kids — and an enforcer (Roger Ward) who arrives to put a stop to Emma and Peterson’s too-conspicuous criminal mayhem. Everyone’s paths collide, at one point or another, with some characters’ fates revealed well before we discover just how and why they occurred. Corpses pile up as the narrative puzzle pieces snap into place in satisfying, albeit macabre and gruesome, fashion.

Dialogue is sparky in a rude, frequently profane way that probably won’t make it the Australian Tourist Board’s hot title of 2011. Indeed, its crass, clever tenor won’t be for everyone by any means, despite sweet, larky and powerful moments amid the escalating mayhem. Particularly potent is Aussie institution Jarratt’s horrified reaction to some late discoveries of carnage, sounding closing notes of real gravity after so much humorously macabre content.

Perfs by a mixture of veterans and newcomers, as well as tech and design contributions, are perfectly tuned to a stylistically, tonally diverse high-wire act; one important sequence is a long, ecstatically romantic Steadicam pan, silent but for Luke McDonald’s effective score. Its ingenuity may be shallow as far as profundity goes, but “Bad Behaviour” certainly provides an assured, unpredictable ride.

Bad Behaviour

Australia

Production: A Sterling Cinema presentation in association with MediaKin, Caldwell Entertainment and Global Alliance Prods. (International sales: Opus Distribution, Los Angeles.) Produced by Kris Maric, Steven Caldwell, Craig A. Kocinski. Executive producer, Joseph Sims. Directed, written by Joseph Sims.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Justin Cerato; editor, Steven Caldwell; music, Luke McDonald; production designer, Shaun McIntosh; art director, Anthony Marriott; costume designer, Melody Cooper; sound, Robert Hughes; sound designers, David Gaylard, Ashton Ward; re-recording mixer, Phil Hagstrom; assistant director, Marieke Spence; casting, Claire Goodwin. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, May 13, 2011. (In Another Hole in the Head, Cinequest film festivals.) Running time: 84 MIN.

Cast: With: John Jarratt, Lindsay Farris, Dwaine Stevenson, Robert Coleby, Georgina Symes, Roger Ward, Jean Kittson, Caroline Levien, Ellen Grimshaw, Dominique De Marco, Rio Holland, L.J. Sims, Nic Mohr, Tyson Hargreaves, Joe Bugner, Jean-Marc Manning, Dwaine Stevenson, Jean Kittson.

More Scene

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER

    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker Honored at David Lynch Foundation's Women of Vision Awards

    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker and Deborra-Lee Furness were celebrated for their charitable work at the David Lynch Foundation’s 2019 Women of Vision Awards. “We are all being guided to come together as one. There is so much chaos in the world right now,” Karan said, while accepting her Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual luncheon on [...]

  • Bill Hader

    Bill Hader, Greg Berlanti, Margie Cohn and Cindy Holland Inducted Into Variety Hall of Fame

    Variety’s annual Hall of Fame ceremony mixed comedy, gratitude and warmth at the annual awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Because the class of 2019 celebrates technical innovation and achievement across film, TV, digital, video games and music. The honorees — Greg Berlanti, Bill Hader, Cindy Holland, Dametra Johnson-Marletti, [...]

  • Billy Porter FNAA

    Billy Porter Explains Why Fashion 'Can and Should' Be Activism

    On Tuesday in New York City, a handful of fashion’s marquee names, including Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Steve Madden and Pete Nordstrom, and many of its muses, including Billy Porter, Lena Waithe, Adriana Lima and Paris Hilton, gathered to celebrate the annual Footwear News Achievement Awards — or, as it’s more colloquially dubbed, the “Shoe Oscars.” Activism and the potential for designers to spur [...]

  • Tiffany Haddish Black Mitzvah

    Barbra Streisand Gives Tiffany Haddish Star of David Necklace for Her 'Black Mitzvah'

    Tiffany Haddish rang in her 40th birthday Tuesday night by celebrating her black and Jewish heritage with a star-studded “Black Mitzvah” party. One of Haddish’s famous friends, Barbra Streisand, was noticeably absent from the festivities, but sent the comedian a special memento for the occasion. “She got me this beautiful Star of David,” Haddish told [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content