If you’re anything like this guy right here, you enjoy a good thrift store amble. Fuck. I LOVE a good thrift store amble. There’s nothing quite like sifting through piles of old ephemera that people have cast off into the darkness. Regrettable sweaters, trashy purses, visors, old emo band shirts, VHS tapes, records and occaisionally, little gems like Strangeland on DVD. The local thrift store tends to carry a high number of regrettable DVD purchases and one night while I was buried under a pile of thrift shop black rags, Scotty Floronic came trotting over bearing unto me a copy of Strangeland on DVD. I only remember briefly watching it back in the 1990s so of course we bought the thing and went home to get fuckin lit and watch it, obviously.
Now. Strangeland is a movie from 1998, a time when body modification, nu-metal, and Dee Snider were all relevant and since they were somewhat “new”, by proxy, these things were also, “Edgy”, or “frightening”. I mean, now, the local coffee shop girl has a throat rocker tattoo, full sleeves, and more metal in her face than an 1980s earring tree, so I understand that just like Bob Dylan said, “The times, they are a changing”.
Also. Dee Snider. He’s a real dude isn’t he. Like, don’t fucking read me wrong here hip cats, I liked Twisted Sister just fine, but I dunno how I feel about this movie. I mean, Dee Snider did write it, so hats off to him for giving the whole “let’s make a movie” thing a chance, so I mean hey that’s at least something, right?
Strangeland tells the story of two regular ass basic sullen 1990s bitches who spend their off time chatting with randoms in chat rooms, because we must remember, those were still a thing. Hey. Remember how people got addicted to chat rooms and would like go all “talhotblond” like that documentary? Remember AOL Instant Messenger? Is that shit still a thing?
Like all good kids dialing up a good time on the dial up internet, Tiana and Genevieve start chatting to a “local teen” who calls himself CaptainHowdy. Now ladies. Here’s a tip. Perhaps, a person who calls himself after the Devil’s nickname in the Exorcist film series isn’t the type of dude that you want to be tweaking your teenage niplettes through your training bra. I debated googling “teenage niplettes” after writing that sentence, thought better of it and here’s something slightly less awful:
Anywho as shitty luck would have it Tiana’s car gets pulled out of the local crik, with Tiana’s dead but still hot body inside the trunk, and detective Dad gets his first break in the case. OH yeah. Genevieve’s dad is the lead detective of the city I guess? I have no idea. Anyways as they’re hauling the no longer warm but still smoking hot body of Tiana out of the trunk, the detective picks up a piece of metal from the ground and some asshole in the rescue squad like forty paces away is like “LOOKS LIKE A SEPTUM SPIKE TO ME”.
I’m not fucking around here because I was CRYING laughing. Like. Yeah okay there. Tell me more about how you can identify pieces of body jewelry at forty paces. Like, could you imagine though if the dude was wrong?
The detective would just turn to him and be all, “Jim, what the fuck are you talking about, this is a spark plug..”
And then septum spike dude was all, “Oh shit, yeah you’re right, I just see what I want to see..”
Anyways, since this is Strangeland and this film is about body mods and whatever, it definitely is a big ass septum spike and detective Dad learns all about body modification from the dude on the rescue squad who looks like a reject from Linkin Park or some shit.
Anyways. Detective Dad decides to set up a sting and find CaptainHowdy and pose as a teenage girl hoping to get invited to a party, but this doesn’t work and he gets sent on a wild goose chase and Captain Howdy.. phones him??? to tell him he got fucked over. I don’t know. The time line and streaming of this film makes really no fucking sense.
Also at this point the whole film gets super fucking weird because there’s the implication that Captain Howdy raped the shit out of the teenagers he was kidnapping, as he delightfully dances around screaming about his ampallang piercing and how he enjoyed using it on the girls. Super fucking creepy.
Oh yeah. That’s captain howdy. Weird right? He definitely has tattoos all over the one side of his face and like bright red mohawked hair. So. This also doesn’t make sense. This is a pretty small town right? So. When the detective is investigating and shit wouldn’t it be pretty easy to point out the like one dude with face tatts and a red mohawk and be all, “oh yeah he lives over on Mockingbird Lane”? Like.. I dunno.
There’s a weird part too where Captain Howdy is hanging from some hooks in a nightclub talking about achieving a near death experience and I guess that’s important because it comes into play later, so keep reading.
Anyways, detective Dad ends up finding Captain Howdy’s house and after a brief struggle beats the shit out of Captain Howdy and rescues Genevieve.
Captain Howdy is found to be a man named Carlton Hendricks who is a schizophrenic and when he’s on his meds, he’s totally fine. He gets put away in a local nuthouse and the case seems to be closed.. right?
This is where most logical movies would end, right? Yeah no. Not for Strangeland!
Okay, so real talk here for a second, when I was “researching” this film to understand it more, I came across this:
Yep. That’s someone who got a fucking STRANGELAND tattoo. Weird right? Like, yeah okay, you know what would be dope as fuck on my body – just slap Dee Snider as a rapist on there. Sweet. Looks totally sick bro.
I don’t even understand the internet anymore. I give up.
OH, also this:
Allow me to say right here, this film is practically unwatchable, so I’m not sure what the fuck is going on here.
Anyways, a few years go by and CARLTON HENDRICKS gets released from the nuthouse because he’s found not guilty by reason of insanity, and when he comes out of the psych ward he’s all meek and mild and wearing a cardigan so he’s totally not a threat, right?
And he must be investing shitloads of money into Kat Von D’s lock it tattoo concealer because holy shit..
Anyways, clearly the whole town hates the shit out of Captain Howdy and he spends a lot of time highly medicated and sitting in a rocking chair like most crazies.. you know, so they don’t bother the normies.
Also, Robert Englund is in this piece of shit? I’m sure he had just wandered off of whatever Freddy sequel’s set was filming at the time and onto this set and was all, “Hey you guys got donuts?” and they just gave him a walk on role. Anyways, he goes bananas bat shit after his teen daughter doesn’t come home one night and he rallies a gang to head over to Captain Howdy’s house and they drag him outside, beat his ass and throw him in the back of a shitty station wagon and on the way he drops his PILL BOTTLE AND IT SMASHES ON THE GROUNDDDDDDDD..
DUN DUN DUN.
So yeah, this totally fucked up group of townspeople then take Captain Howdy out to the old hanging tree and string him up. Nothing like a good old fashioned lynching. With their job done they decide to go back to town and drink coffee or do whatever it is they do, and the rope holding CARLTON up snaps, and like the near death experience he had so desired to have, he ends up switching over to Captain Howdy again and takes off into the night.
Literally like an hour later, he kidnaps Genevieve, and sends her father instant message videos of him torturing her because why not, and detective Dad takes off after him.
So yeah. It’s totally reasonable that someone would survive a hanging, and within an hour have found the nearest all night body jewelry store, gotten pierced several thousand times, shaved their fright wig into a red mohawk and still had the time to kidnap a teenaged girl. This is all very cool sounds, but extremely highly unlikely.
Genevieve also at this point must be getting pretty fed up with Dee Snider following her around all the time.
I mean, I’d be all, dude, Twisted Sister is pretty dope and shit, but yeah can you stop calling.. it’s weird.
Anyways a bunch of people are found brutally tortured and then detective Dad faces off with Captain Howdy and uses a meat hook to suspend him in the air and then lights him on fair. Pretty neat.
So, yeah. This film is garbage. Straight up. I think it’s from another era and maybe it was dope as fuck during that era, but I highly doubt it.
Our correspondent Rigby told us a funny story about how her friend once was hanging out with Rigby at his house and she found a copy of Strangeland and they watched it. Rigby, obviously asked him why he owned the copy of Strangeland. Turns out, this friend’s parents are next door neighbors with Dee Snider and once had a barbecue and invited everyone over and he was just giving out copies of the film. So that’s pretty fucking weird, right?
Anyways! There’s also apparently a comic book series to go along with this? I’m debating reading it, but my baboon heart can’t take the strain. Also, there’s also apparently a sequel going to be made, so I’m sure that will be a high quality piece of cinema, not to be missed.
Anyways. Until next time tiny friends, be sure to stay away from people who can recognize body jewelry at forty paces, don’t let Robert Englund lynch your neighbors, and always.. ALWAYS STAY SPOOKY.