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Strangeland (1998)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  2 October 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 5,418 users  
Reviews: 194 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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Dee Snider's portrayal of Carlton Hendricks, aka Captain Howdy, in the original film created a character that has become a cult horror legend. Emaji Entertainment will accompany the ... See full summary »



Cast overview, first billed only:
Mike Gage
Toni Gage
Brett Harrelson ...
Steve Christian
Jackson Roth
Genevieve Gage
Tucker Smallwood ...
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


let the ritual begin 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 »


The first female victim in the car's trunk is bloated and wet from having been submerged for at least several days yet the blanket that she was wrapped in during that time is completely dry and shows no signs of having been under water at all. See more »


Captain Howdy: Pain is a uniquely personal expirence
See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


Sweet Tooth
by Marilyn Manson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

tolerable Silence of the Lambs and Se7en knockoff
4 November 2006 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

That Twisted Sister's Dee Snyder wrote and produced this may have turned some people off from even giving it a try. It's also in no small part inspired by The Silence of the Lambs (from which it steals at least one scene) and Se7en, and as with other movies that have taken inspiration from those movies, such as 8mm, Feardotcom and Saw, took some flak for that too. The title is a stumper, I don't know what it means and it doesn't seem to suit the movie well. The shocking cover image is well chosen, though it might surprise some that a person's mouth sewn shut could be found in the opening scene of a movie from the early 1930s, Murders in the Zoo.

In truth, it's not all that bad. A young woman is lured to a party through an online chatroom and an IM from "Captain Howdy," and her friend turns up dead with signs of body modification-inspired torture. A large septum piercing found in the trunk of her car provides a clue (I didn't understand how it could have been accidentally left, or why it would have been planted). The cop learns a bit about "modern primitives" (I think there's a shot from the RE/ Search book of that name) and online chatrooms, still a danger to the unwary today.

Somewhat surprisingly, partway into the movie we get a "four years later" intertitle, and the discovery of a second set of victims seems awfully convenient. The ending confrontation is disappointing.

There are nods to other movies as well, as when a group of neighbors tries to lynch the bad guy, led by Jack (Robert Englund). This is quite reminiscent of the lynching of Freddie Krueger (Robert Englund again) by his neighbors in the Nightmare on Elm Street backstory.

I saw the version on video, and am not sure how the unrated DVD might differ.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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