Strangeland (1998)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  2 October 1998 (USA)
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Reviews: 193 user | 44 critic

A schizophrenic sadist by the name of Captain Howdy lures teens through the internet into his painful traps. A detective starts pursuing him after he captures his daughter. Eventually they ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mike Gage
Toni Gage
Brett Harrelson ...
Steve Christian
Jackson Roth
Genevieve Gage
Capt. Churchill Robbins
Rose Stravelli
Angela Stravelli
Capt. Howdy / Carleton Hendricks
Amal Rhoe ...
Tiana Moore
Matt Myers
Andrew Cooper ...
Victim Bob (as Andy Cooper)
Archie Smith ...
Elderly Man
Lois Hicks ...
Mental Institution Nurse
Carey Westbrook ...
Sam the Orderly (as Carey Louis Westbrook)


A schizophrenic sadist by the name of Captain Howdy lures teens through the internet into his painful traps. A detective starts pursuing him after he captures his daughter. Eventually they catch up with him and send him to a mental hospital. But upon his release, the townspeople don't accept the new, peaceful former Captain Howdy, and attack him. Howdy goes nuts again and in revenge starts everything all over, only worse. Can the detective stop him?... Written by Parca Mortem <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Wanna come to a party? See more »


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic torture/violence, language, nudity and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dee Snider's StrangeLand  »

Box Office


$1,100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$373,288 (USA) (2 October 1998)


$631,221 (USA) (9 October 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On the DVD commentary, Dee Snider mentioned that filming the scenes with Carleton Hendricks rehabilitated and wearing a cardigan were the hardest parts of the movie to shoot. Snider hated wearing the cardigan. See more »


There is a newspaper next to a barking dog. The newspaper jumps from place to place on the driveway. A man in a red robe picks up the paper and in the next shot of the driveway the paper is gone. Then it re-appears in the driveway, again jumping from place to place, then disappears again. See more »


Captain Howdy: [about the net] Gotta love this technology
See more »


Referenced in Killing Us Softly 3 (1999) See more »


Clay People
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Interesting ideas can't save lame script and execution
13 August 2000 | by (New England) – See all my reviews

It seems that Dee Snyder ran out of ideas halfway through the script. The second half of the movie is basically just a rehash of the first, which makes the film very boring. To sum up: Cop's daughter is suckered into party via chatroom where she is sexually molested/tortured by psychopath (played by Snider). Cop rescues her, psychopath is put in therapy/jail. Psychopath is released four years later and the whole thing is played out AGAIN. Within all this are many unexplained plot elements: Why was "Captain Howdy" psycho in the first place? What's with the one-time personality detour to bible-thumper? How does he kidnap all the adults and manage to sew their mouths shut without a struggle? And perhaps the biggest unsolved mystery of all... how does a 6'2" man with pink hair hide himself completely behind a 5'6" average build woman? These are just some of the questions I had watching this film.

It seems that Snyder was trying to make some kind of commentary on a) the "dangers" of online chatrooms, b) the hypocrisy of Christian sexual mores, and c) the effect our twisted puritanical society has on us as individuals. If that is so, he failed. The movie is just too poorly done to entertain, never mind convey social messages. The torture scenes are stupid and boring, bordering on silly (especially when Snyder goes into one of his "pain and death" monologues), and everything else is just plain dumb. The "call tracing" scene is really lame... when are the cops gonna get caller ID and *69? The young partner of the main cop character is particularly awful... he shouldn't be working as an actor, basically. And the audio in the final showdown scene is really poor. I guess they couldn't afford two boom mikes?

The rest of the acting is not awful but it's not good either. The cop is pretty one note, and his detached quality is not quite believable. Dee Snyder is actually not too bad, but he snarls and sneers way too much. Robert Englund (who deserves way better) puts in a somewhat amusing performance of a hypocritical redneck. If you're a big Robert Englund fan the movie is probably worth seeing just for him. Everyone else is forgettable.

In conclusion, we've seen all these plot elements done before and done better, in films like SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, HELLRAISER, and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. I suggest you rent one of those instead of watching this turkey. 3/10.

21 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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