Halfway through this I realized it was not a comedy and I was so disappointed. It seemed brilliant - the cheap effects, the awful script, the over-the-top fuckawful dialogue and the incredible cheese sandwich of Dee Snider's character named "Captain Howdy". Everything was going so well and I was having a grand old time. Then I started to sense that maybe this wasn't a parody so I looked it up online. Sure enough, this is a serious attempt at "scaring me". And so it became just another bad movie.
Ok, so I didn't really think it was a comedy, but if only the producers had thought of this after the test screenings. It might have made them millions!
Strangeland is close to celebrating it's 10 year anniversary which is a very small amount of time. Unless you happen to get stuck watching this and you realize that the world has changed so much since 1998. The premise of the movie revolves around Dee Snider's "twisted" Captain Howdy persona, a heavily tattooed and pierced dude who wears a loin cloth and does a lot of pull ups. Think Ted Nugent meets the Insane Clown Posse. Captain Howdy likes to stalk kids on the Internet in "chat rooms". Remember those? And remember that awful noise that would happen every time you connected to the Internet through dial-up? And remember rap-metal? And remember goth-metalheads with bad pink dreadlocks and even worse tribal tattoos? All here for your unpleasant stroll down memory lane.
And let's talk about "modern primitives" for a second. Has there ever been a more pretentious group of douchebags? With the exception of maybe jugglers, Scientologists and Toby Keith fans, I can't think of a group of people more deluded and drowning in their own bullshit. Hanging from hooks, oh come on. What a crock of doo-doo. And to all of you Psychic TV fans and Throbbing Gristle nuts - suck it. Those bands sucked and their associated movements and philosophies failed just as much as the hippies did in the 60's. Get over your dumb selves.
AND WHILE I'M AT IT, I firmly believe that in the near future people will look back at the 90's with the same kind of bewilderment and disgust that has normally been reserved for the mid-1970s.
Anyway, Snider's character is beyond ridiculous. I can't even describe it. Aside from looking like a goofy comic book villain, he only speaks in these indecipherable, mumbo-jumbo injected philosophical musings about life and death, suffering and joy. And poor Dee Snider, he might be the worst actor ever. Yes, worse than Keanu Reeves in Dracula. (Whoooooa)
But it gets worse. After kidnapping and torturing several teenagers (including the daughter of a police detective) he is arrested and found not guilty by reason of insanity. He's sent off to the looney bin and set free 4 years later because he has been "cured". Never gonna happen in the real world. Never. Gonna. Happen.
The worse part is that Snider comes out dressed like an 80 year old female librarian and speaks like a timid little boy, clutching the Bible close to his chest and reading passages from H.G. Welles. Snider returns to his home to find it vandalized and after cleaning up a bit goes outside to face the mob that has assembled on his front lawn bearing signs that read "We're Not Gonna Take It" (see how funny this movie could be if they simply did a little re-editing and changed the soundtrack??). He steps out, apologizes and is booed back into his home.
Enter Robert Englund in yet another stunning cameo role. His redneck, wife beatin', beer guzzlin' good ole boy character (I think his name is "Jackson") forms a posse who drag Snider out of his home and throw him into a car parked next to (da da!) the cop who arrested him in the first place. . . who does nothing to stop the mob. As they drive off, they run over Snider's "medication" which has fallen out of his pocket.
The mob hangs Snider and leaves him for dead, the branch breaks and he falls to the ground, bolts up and says (his medication having worn off) "what a rush!". Yes. He really does, I'm not kidding. It's one of the greatest moments in cinematic history.
Minutes later, Snider has stripped back into his loin cloth out fit, dyed his hair pink and dreaded it all back up and washed off the make up hiding his tattoos. He then starts going after the mob. . .
Holy shit, I've written so much about this movie you'd think I liked it. I don't. I do not. I really do not.
Watching Strangeland is like eating a turd smoothie. It's like fighting a bear in the nude. It's like swallowing your own vomit. It's like punching yourself in the balls over and over again. It's like farting in your own face. It's like wearing flip flops with socks. It's like having sex with a donkey. It's just a bad bad idea. No blood, no scares, no freak outs. The only thing creepy about this movie is that it exists. And that Dee Snider is one ugly fucking guy.-Complaint Department