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Strangeland [DVD] [1998] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Kevin Gage , Elizabeth Peña , John Pieplow    DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £2.95
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: Kevin Gage, Elizabeth Peña, Dee Snider, Brett Harrelson, Robert Englund
  • Directors: John Pieplow
  • Writers: Dee Snider
  • Producers: Dee Snider, David L. Bushell, Joseph J. DiMartino, Larry Meistrich
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Mar 1999
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000I1KK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,505 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


The place is Helverton, Colorado, a town of about 350,000 people. 15-year-old Genevieve Gage and her best friend Tiana Moore are typical teenagers who spend a lot of time surfing the internet and sending messages to strangers in chat rooms. Upon "meeting" another apparent student who goes by the screen name of Captain Howdy, Genevieve and Tiana decide to attend a party at Captain Howdy's house. As it turns out, Captain Howdy has lured them into a darkness from which there may be no permanent escape. But what Captain Howdy doesn't know is that Genevieve's father is local cop Mike Gage. When neither Genevieve nor Tiana has returned home by the next morning, Genevieve's mother Toni alerts Mike. With the help of a younger cop named Steve Christian, Mike tries to find Genevieve and Tiana. Things take an unexpected turn when Tiana's car is pulled out of a lake, and Tiana's tortured body is found in the car's trunk, with her mouth stitched shut. There's no sign of Genevieve. Mike discovers (IMDb)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good. 3 July 2004
I realy enjoyed this film. Though it may have a 'B-level' cast they are all excellent. Particular Dee Snider's 'Captain Howdy'.
The film is a kidnap type thriller, although many think it is a horror movie as the cast are mainly genre veterans, and the death scenes are quite violent, but I would say this film is a thriller.
It has similarities to 'Silence of the Lambs' only the victims of the crimes are pounced on via the internet, a theme which may be too close to reality for some.
I believe that a sequel is on the way. Overall I would highly recommend this film.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars what a gem 26 Feb 2008
being curious about the film as it was written by the infamous dee snider of twisted sister fame, i felt obligued to watch! whilst this may not be subtle or have in depth plot twists etc etc it does entertain and more importantly is thought provoking.

the main protaganist, Captain Howdy does seem to be a real threat in the film and given the fact the film was released approx ten years ago, its references to chatting or communicating on the internet are just as real now as they were initially when the film was released.

the film is a thriller really. the point being that this isn't a slasher film where people are bumped off at regular intervals.... its more chilling than that and clever and slightly gory but i'll leave you to find out.

The treatment of the 'villain ' half way through the film is also interesting. Did society turn him back into the sadistic villain after he had done his time and reflected on his ways?

Society does tend to be unreasonsable in the harsh treatment of offenders who get a hard time when they may have redeemed or resolved their personal demons ( be it large ones or small, i do know this is a hollywood style film with shock/horror themes, but the general ideas can be applied to modern society lets say on casual offenders ) only to be hounded by an unforgiving society who cannot forgive and forget?

in summary, i was intrigued and entertained, perhaps a hard watch because if you do take the ' shock value' out of the film you do realise that the point he is trying to make is very relevant. Thank you Mr Snider, you certainly are a twisted sister!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  191 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taste the pain 29 Jan 2005
By Matthew King - Published on
The horror genre has introduced us to many memorable icons; Freddy, Jason, Pinhead, Leatherface and countless more. Some of these ghouls are scarier than others and some are really not scary at all, but rather comedic and foolish. If you've never seen "Strangeland" you've probably never heard of "Captain Howdy" which would be a shame because they don't come any scarier than this dude. His methods of torture and reasonings for his attacks had me squirming in my seat the whole time. Somebody give this man a franchise!

"Stangeland" opens up with two young women sitting in front of a computer screen and chatting up guys in an internet room. They become intrigued by a guy with the user name "Captain Howdy" who claims to lead a wild life and know what fun is all about. When Howdy writes the line "Wanna come to a party?" the girls go to his place and soon find themselves trapped in his underground basement of torture. One of the girls is the daughter of a police detective who will do whatever it takes to get her back safely before Howdy gets to sink another one of his patented hooks into her...

I find critiquing Strangeland as a horror movie to be twofold. The positives are the unique style and imagery scenes of things like goth clubs, torture chambers, Captain Howdy's appearance, a man of countless tattoos and piercings, all of it to the boom of a great heavy metal soundtrack. If you're a fan of this culture like I am then you will really enjoy this movie. On the negative side this film can appear downright amateurish at times, especially with its plot and awkward dialogue scenes with none too impressive actors. In other words a film of style over substance all the way. And of course it hasn't exactly aged very well, being a movie where "The Web" and chatrooms are portrayed as being cutting-edge.

But the real reason to watch this film is for Captain Howdy. Imagine a violent and twice as muscular Marilyn Manson with an insane glare in his eyes and you will get a good idea. Howdy's life revolves around the ultimate pursuit of pain as pleasure inflicted both upon himself and onto others. He fears nobody and nothing, not even death, as pain inflicted upon him gives him a rush. This guy is way more deranged than the usual horror movie villain. Sure, it's got its bad moments however if you like horror movies and goth/freak culture I would recommend you give this one a try but caution: it just might make you reconsider that nose piercing you've wanted so much...
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "So much flesh, so little time..." 30 Sep 2005
By Draconis Blackthorne - Published on
Cyber-predator and sadistic modern primitive Carleton Hendricks, A.K.A "Captain Howdy" {Dee Snider} captures a detective's teenage daughter 'Toni' and keeps her locked up in his candle-lit dungeon for S/M sensual pleasure. Enclosed in a body cage, her mouth is sewn shut as she witnesses the torture of others with various bloodily forced body-modification torments. A partially bright-red-headed and shaved Captain Howdy is tattooed from head to toe, reminiscent of Bali body art, and sports several piercings, seemingly everywhere that can be.

With the help of his partner and an internet savvy cohort, Detective Gage finds him 'chatting' in a teenage forum, as the trail keeps on getting hotter, leading him to an amusing club populated by the underground subculture. Like a cat batting around a mouse, Capt. Howdy teases Detective 'Kevin Gage' {Mike Gage}, until his dwelling is deciphered, daughter rescued, and Hendricks is apprehended.

In keeping with the musical story from Twisted Sister's "Stay Hungry", Hendricks is sentenced to a mental institution for the criminally insane, until "recuperated" and set free. Heavily-medicated and seemingly docile, he resembles more of a Forrest Gump now with facial markings covered in make-up, all in an effort to 'fit in' to 'vanilla' society. And all was going along just fine until a group of vigilantes headed by a 'Jackson Roth' {Robert Englund} subject him to some street justice, where he is beaten and hanged. But like a previous scene where he returned from the brink of death experiencing a hellish Near-death experience, he resurrects and resumes his sado-masochistic persona. And thus, seeking vengeance, manages to capture Roth after a necromantic dance sequence, as well as a boisterous lady who persecuted him. Both are remanded to Howdy's sexual torture devices, driving them insane in the process. He keeps them alive and suffering, rather than killing them, where his influence is felt for the rest of their lives.

To his mortification, Gage finds a live video stream playing through his laptop, wherein Howdy delivers another one of his philosophical rants, holding a sobbing Toni again. Once more they confront eachother for the final battle.

Dee Snider's brainchild comes alive in Strangeland, and is relatively well done, despite the rather bland acting, although the ideas make for a great B-grade cult horror movie. Now if only King Diamond would follow suit...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Title Says It All! 21 Jun 2000
By Justin - Published on
I watched this film at home (alone) last night at like eleven o'clock. It was extremely scary. It could be the fact that I was alone, or just that it really is a truly terrifying movie. Nonetheless, the fact that a film is scary does not exactly mean it is good movie. The best way I could think to describe this movie is to think of an extremely sadistic, violent version of "Silence of the Lambs". Granted, most of the violence in the film is offscreen, it still makes you shiver to think of the sick, twisted torture the killer's victims are put through. I call him a killer, yet he really didn't kill anyone. One victim died of cardiac arrest (basically being scared to death), but the others he merely tortured to no end. One of the most terrifying things about this film is fact that this could really happen, and maybe even does. Putting yourself in the position of the victims alone is enough to give you nightmares for weeks. I guess I should add a little plot summary for all readers wondering: a sick, grunk pyscho (the guy from Twisted Sister) is luring in young teenagers over the internet by asking if they "wanna come to a party?". Those who make the mistake of accepting his invitation are brought into his house of horrors and tortured...
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ummm....scary, grusome, bizzare... 20 Jan 2007
By Zoe Paris - Published on
What can I say about this other than "Whoa!?!" This movie is one wild ride! Dee Snider plays a freakish, tattooed pierced sadist who likes to torure people. He gets caught, gets 'reformed' then people turn against him for what he did in the past and he goes nutty then tortures more people, etc, etc. I must say, I am fine with tattoos, piercings and whatever body modifications people are into but the lips sewn shut and people hanging by hooks in their skin was a little grusome. As far as the acting goes, it wasn't bad for a horror movie. Dee played a really good fugly looking tattooed psychopath and the victims were believable, a little too much so at times. If you are into bondage, S&M, heavy body modification/mutilation and movies about insane people then you will enjoy this movie. If any of this offends you, be prepared to run screaming and cover your eyes because parts of this movie are really gross! This IS NOT a movie for kids, not really appropriate even for teenagers, it's strictly for adults in my opinion. Also, this probably is NOT a good first date movie unless you want to scare them away! I must say, this movie was original and anything but predictable! For this I gave it an extra star. I watched it more than once but it was kind of like watching a train wreck, so grusome you want to look away but can't! A great movie if you want to be scared out of your mind! If you're going to buy it I reccommend renting it first!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dee Snider? Wha? 14 July 2006
By Mr. Strahovski - Published on
I rented this because I had a free rental to use, so needless to say, I wasn't expecting much out of this film. When I seen this movie was written, directed, and starring Dee Snider of the rock band Twisted Sister I was ready for a complete let down of a film. The plot is relevant to our world today, but the acting and lacking script take away from the importance and seriousness that something like this could happen at anytime. Dee Snider's constant "poetic sayings" get old fast and his acting in the first and last parts of the movie are sub-par at best. However, in the middle after he's been "reformed" he has a real quality to that part that makes you feel for him, so hats off to him for that. Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm St.) as a drunk redneck is quite entertaining and without a doubt some of the best acting of the movie, but that's not really saying much. I also wished Linda Cardellini (Freaks and Geeks) would have had a more substantial role in the movie, but she played her small role well. Another thing I liked about the movie was the music it had in it. I love movies with great music, it add another dimension to the film. If you are into metal and hardcore music then you might love this movie. I have to say this movie was much better than I had expected, but I wouldn't say it is a "modern horror classic". I would recommend renting this movie to horror fans, just to check it out, but I wouldn't recommend buying it before you've seen it.
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