STRANGELAND (1998) Reviews and overview

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‘Let the Ritual Begin’

Strangeland – aka Dee Snider’s Strangeland – is a 1998 American horror feature film written by Dee Snider, lead singer of Twisted Sister, and directed by John Pieplow. It stars Snider, Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Linda Cardellini, Kevin Gage and Elizabeth Peña (Jacob’s Ladder).

The film is based loosely on the Twisted Sister song Horror-Teria from their album Stay Hungry.


The glow of the screen illuminates his heavily pierced, tattoo-stained face as his fingers dance nimbly across the keyboard… searching, hunting. His computer handle is Captain Howdy, and he surfs the local chat rooms for young female prey. Girls like Genevieve and Tiana, who mysteriously vanish after an online conversation with the cunning cyber-predator.

Detective Mike Gage has a personal stake in the case: Genevieve is his daughter. When Tiana’s corpse – tortured, pierced and scarred – is discovered in the river, Gage realized that time is running out for Genevieve.

Taking sadistic delight in Gage’s desperation, Captain Howdy sends the detective a series of taunting e-mails, challenging him to a deadly online game of cat and mouse, and drawing him into his “modern primitive” world – a strange land of fetish bars, S&M, body modification and goth-rock…


Captain Howdy was the name of the ghost Linda Blair claimed to be talking to through the Ouija board in The Exorcist.

Snider released a comic book prequel, Dee Snider’s Strangeland: Seven Sins through Fangoria Comics, but the company suddenly closed after only the first issue was printed. The Scream Factory then picked up the title and published the full run in 2008.


Emaji Entertainment announced in May 2015 that it will develop a “reboot” with Dee Snider, who will once again star. The provisional title is Strangeland: Disciple.

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“Strangeland is a movie worth watching. You will not be disappointed. Every actor and actress did a great job in their roles, and this film only made me respect Dee even more than I did before. The storyline is simple, clear and concise, and there are many moments in the movie that you just want to throw up at.” Everyday Horrors

“With decent actors and a good director, Strangeland could have been brilliant; instead the film is below average. Captain Howdy was every bit as good as I’d expected, however, and I have high hopes for the sequel, if it is well produced with a talented director and a strong supporting cast.” Stalk ‘n’ Slash


” …Strangeland veers off course after the first 15 minutes and takes too many predictable turns. The acting, other than from Dee Snider himself, is not up to the emotional level it should be and the characters are under-developed. Strangeland isn’t as dark as it should have been and the ending isn’t nearly as satisfying, but for horror fans and Twisted Sister fans it’s still worth watching once.” Sound on Sight


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