#87 -- Strangeland (1998)

Warning: May contain spoilers

Director: John Pieplow
Rating: 2/5

I'd been wanting to see this movie for years, simply because I liked the cover. I was intrigued. But I guess you shouldn't judge a movie by its cover. "Captain Howdy" (played by Dee Snider) wanted to give young people a heightened spiritual...something. I'm not quite sure, because he was batshit crazy and didn't make a whole lot of sense. I did get that he wanted to teach them to turn pain into pleasure. He lured people to his home via a chat room and tortured them using body modification. He used suspension, piercings in places they shouldn't be (or at least, that's what his victims thought), and loads of other things. It was pretty graphic, and it had the potential to be wonderful. But it was not...

Captain Howdy was arrested, found not guilty because of insanity, released and given some happy pills. The pills actually worked. He went through a gigantic transformation, apologized for what he'd done, and tried to live a normal life. However, there were some people in town who didn't believe that he'd changed, including Robert Englund as the crazy drunk guy. Crazy Drunk was convinced that Howdy had his daughter (even though she was safely naked underneath her boyfriend), so he formed a lynch mob. His mob kidnapped Howdy and drug him out into the woods to hang him. But thanks to a faulty tree branch and a bunch of lost medication, Howdy was free to do his stuff again.

I wonder if those piercings are real...

Strangeland mostly follows a detective trying to find his daughter and take Howdy out. There's not much action, and it's pretty damn boring. The "torture" scenes and body modifications are pretty cool, but it's not enough. The whole "batshit crazy, arrested, released, reformed, batshit crazy again" thing was annoying and just seemed...weird.

They actually call this movie "Dee Snider's Strangeland." But I'm not sure why; it didn't seem like he had any part in the making of the movie, though I could be wrong. I'm not sure. But I did learn that Dee Snider is an awful actor. Love the guy, but he's terrible. Strangeland did have a pretty kickass soundtrack, though. It includes Pantera, Sevendust, and of course Twisted Sister. That's the only redeeming quality of this crapfest. So overall, didn't enjoy this one.

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