Video | Review by Dan Taylor
a long time listener to Howard Stern's morning
radio show, I'd been hearing about "Dee
Snider's horror movie project" for
some time. While most bad-80s (and I mean
that in the best way possible) metal icons
had gone the way of middle age and sad gigs
at local taverns, Snider inexplicably reinvented
himself as a trash-talking-metal-know-it-all
for a target audience still hooked on Ozzy
and airplane glue. Rebellion comes in some
funny wrappers these days.
Anyway, STRANGELAND was all
Snider could talk about whenever he visited
buddy Stern's show. It shoulda probably
been a bad sign that it took so long for
the project to develop, but I was intrigued
enough when the flick hit the video store
shelves to give it a spin. What probably
intrigued me most was how someone like Snider
got his name above the title when his previous
claim to fame was screeching glammed-out
metal anthems while clad in a fright wig,
torn fishnet hose and high heels.
The "plot" of STRANGELAND
concerns a cop whose daughter falls prey
to the evil, pierced and tattooed Captain
Howdy (Snider). Immediately, one wonders why Snider chose to use the
name Captain Howdy for his villainous visage.
Film buffs will recall that it's the name
of The Devil in THE EXORCIST. Music freaks
might recall that it's the name of the inde
band led by Penn Jillette and avant-rock
god Kramer. And leather-wearing hard rock
lovers will tell you that Simon Stokes did
a song by that name with the band Conqueror
Worm. Which places Snider fourth on the
depth chart of cleverness.
However, if the character-name-lifting
was the flick's lone shortcoming I could
easily excuse it. Unfortunately, this thing
SUCKS! Despite the couple, and I
do mean couple, clever bits that elevate
it from absolutely dreadful to almost watchable,
STRANGELAND suffers from one insulting device
that any viewer with an IQ above 40 simply
Why is it that when "the
story" jumps ahead four years, everything
looks exactly the same. And folks, when
I say everything I mean EVERYTHING! Computers,
cars, clothes, haircuts, houses, people,
on-line services ... EVERYTHING! Think back
four years ... how much has your hair changed?
Your car? Your on-line service has probably
changed measurably in the last four MONTHS.
And what are the odds that a club would
close and four years, I'm talking FOUR YEARS,
later the decorations, furniture, etc. would
all be in the exact same place, just covered
with plastic sheets?
Forget the lame story, weak
villain and outrageously anti-climactic
finale. STRANGELAND's insulting approach
to the march of time is reason enough to
avoid this garbage.