Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Pieplow
Produced by Larry Meistrich
David L. Bushell
Dee Snider
Written by Dee Snider
Starring Dee Snider
Kevin Gage
Elizabeth Peña
Brett Harrelson
Robert Englund
Linda Cardellini
Music by Anton Sanko
Cinematography Goran Pavicevic
Editing by Jeff Kushner
Joe Woo Jr.
Distributed by Raucous Releasing
Release date(s) October 2, 1998
Running time 85 min
Country  United States
Language English

Strangeland is an American horror film released in 1998. The movie was directed by John Pieplow and written by Dee Snider. The film focuses on the body modification underground culture's rituals.



The place is Helverton, Colorado, a town of about 350,000 people. Fifteen-year-old Genevieve Gage (Linda Cardellini) and her best friend Tiana Moore (Amat Rhoe) are typical high school students who spend their idle time surfing the Internet and sending messages to strangers via chat rooms.

Upon "meeting" another apparent student who goes by the screen name of "Captain Howdy," Genevieve and Tiana decide to attend a party at Captain Howdy's house. As it turns out, Captain Howdy has lured them into a darkness from which there may be no escape.

What Captain Howdy doesn't know is that Genevieve's father is local cop Mike Gage (Kevin Gage), whose wife is named Toni (Elizabeth Peña). When neither Genevieve nor Tiana has returned home by the next morning, Toni alerts Mike.

With the assistance of a younger cop named Steve Christian (Brett Harretson), Gage begins searching for Genevieve and Tiana. The case takes an unexpected turn when Tiana's car is pulled out of a lake. Tiana's tortured body is found in the car's trunk with her mouth stitched shut, and there is no sign of Genevieve.

Mike discovers that Captain Howdy is into "body art" that includes great quantities of tattooing, piercing, branding, and scarification. But it is not until Mike's niece Angela Stravelli (Amy Smart) informs him of Genevieve's penchant for meeting strangers through the Internet that Mike gets his first lead.

Meeting the mysterious Captain Howdy online, Mike gets Captain Howdy to invite him to a party, but Mike's planned bust goes awry. Later, however, he figures out Captain Howdy's location, and finds Captain Howdy's torture chamber.

Gage not only finds Genevieve naked and bound, with her mouth stitched shut, but also five other teenagers who are in similar predicaments. After a brief struggle in which Captain Howdy gets shot, Mike arrests Captain Howdy, whose real name is Carlton Hendricks (Dee Snider).

Mike thinks he has closed the case. But a year later, Hendricks is declared not guilty by reason of insanity and he is put in the Meistrich Psychiatric Institute. Three years later, Hendricks is released.

Doctors at the Meistrich Institute state that Hendricks, who has been diagnosed as a schizophrenic with a severe chemical imbalance, is okay as long as he is on his medication. Hendricks moves back to his old neighborhood. While he's under the influence of his medicine, Hendricks is timid and apologetic about what he did. But, the memories of what Hendricks did are still fresh in the minds of Helverton's residents. And Genevieve still has intense nightmares. There are people who are not happy about Hendricks release -- especially an activist group led by Jackson Roth (Robert Englund) and Catherine "Sunny" Macintosh (Barbara Champion).

Catherine heads a group called "Christians against Moral Decay." Roth and Catherine are among those who are angry that Hendricks did not get the death penalty for killing Tiana and torturing Genevieve and the other five teenagers.

One night while Roth's teenage daughter Kelly (Xanthe Cook) is out, a fearful Roth jumps to the wrong conclusion that Hendricks could have taken Kelly. Roth calls Catherine and a bunch of others. Roth and his group kidnap Hendricks, and on the way from Hendricks's property, Hendricks accidentally drops his medicine bottle, and the medicine bottle is run over by a car's rear tire. Roth and the group beat Hendricks and hang him from a tree.

As Roth, Catherine, and the others leave, it starts raining. The rope, which turns out to be weak, snaps, saving Hendricks life. Without his medication, however, he reverts to being Captain Howdy, this time with revenge on his mind...revenge on Roth, Catherine, and Mike.

Later, while Roth is watching TV at his house, his wife Madeline (Leslie Wing) enters the room. Roth notices blood on her. Madeline falls out of the way, and Roth sees Hendricks, who has killed Madeline. Hendricks knocks Roth unconscious and kidnaps him. Hendricks contacts Mike at the police station. By this time, Hendricks has also kidnapped Catherine. After Hendricks hangs up with Mike, Hendricks brutally tortures Roth and Catherine.

The next day, Toni calls Mike and tells him that Genevieve is missing, and when Mike gets home with Steve, Hendricks's face is on Toni's computer screen. Hendricks has Genevieve and her mouth is stitched shut again. Hendricks tortures Genevieve while Mike and Toni watch the screen. A devastated Toni leaves the room.

After Hendricks disconnects, Mike angrily destroys the computer's keyboard. Genevieve, Roth, and Catherine are soon found alive, but brutally tortured. Mike and Steve would like nothing more than to see Hendricks dead.

That night, Mike tracks Hendricks to a church. After a long struggle, Hendricks stands ready to kill Mike with a hook. Mike sinks the hook into Hendricks's back, slams Hendricks into a wall, and then uses the hook to lift Hendricks off the floor. Mike pours a flammable liquid on Hendricks, and presumably kills Hendricks by setting him on fire.


  • Dee Snider .... Carleton Hendricks / Captain Howdy
  • Kevin Gage .... Mike Gage
  • Linda Cardellini .... Genevieve Gage
  • Robert Englund .... Jackson Roth
  • Elizabeth Pena .... Toni Gage
  • Brett Harrelson .... Steve Christian
  • Amy Smart .... Angela Stravelli
  • Tucker Smallwood .... Captain Churchill Robbins
  • Ivonne Coll .... Rose Stravelli
  • Robert LaSardo .... Matt Myers
  • Amal Rhoe .... Tiana Moore
  • Andy Andrew Cooper .... Victim Bob
  • Jillian McWhirter .... Carol Anne Chalmers-Perez
  • Carey Louis Westbrook .... Sam the Orderly
  • Pat Mahoney .... Wade Forrester
  • Barbara Champion .... Sunny MacIntosh
  • Leslie Wing .... Madeline Roth
  • Xanthe Cook .... Kelly Roth
  • Laurence A. Curry .... Patrolman Young
  • Mark Bailey .... E.M.T. Dan Hauser
  • Michael Herst .... Patrolmen Harris


  1. Dee Snider - Inconclusion
  2. Sevendust - Breathe
  3. Megadeth - A Secret Place
  4. Pantera - Where You Come From
  5. Anthrax - P & V
  6. Snot - Absent
  7. dayinthelife - Street Justice
  8. Coal Chamber - Not Living
  9. Bile - In League
  10. Marilyn Manson - Sweet Tooth
  11. Soulfly - Eye For An Eye
  12. (həd)P.E. - Serpent Boy (Radio Edit)
  13. Kid Rock - Fuck Off featuring Eminem
  14. The Clay People - Awake
  15. System Of A Down - Marmalade
  16. Nashville Pussy - I'm The Man
  17. Crisis - Captain Howdy
  18. Twisted Sister - Heroes Are Hard To Find


Snider has long been on a quest to produce a sequel to the film, but circumstances have prevented him from bringing it to fruition. In a 2007 interview with, he revealed the unlikelihood of it ever seeing the light of day.

"I’ve run into so many obstacles. I’m at that point now where I’m going, 'Can I even take a hint? Am I capable of taking a hint?' It was green-lit back in…1998? Well, right after the first one came out, anyway. But we started working on the script, we started looking for directors, and then the company that did it – The Shooting Gallery – they were indicted by the federal government for an Enron-like situation. Their CFO was arrested. All properties were seized, and I spent seven years in the courts, just getting my creative properties, because the government just takes everything, and they dissolve everything. And during that time, everybody and their mother was going, 'Oh, man, if you ever get that back, we’d love to do it, we’d love to do it, we’d love to do it!' And, then, it was like all the girls who want to date you when you’re going out with someone else.[1] 'Hey, I’m available!' 'Uh, not a good time. Yeah, we’re not doing that anymore. Torture films are out.' And, then, after that, I had a deal for an extended DVD release of the first 'Strangeland' with Lionsgate, and then the frigging director who fucked it up the first time (John Pieplow) wielded his Director’s Guild right to first re-edit.[2] We wanted to do an extended DVD and call it the Dee-rector’s cut, but I won’t let the guy near it, and it scared off Lionsgate, because they don’t wanna get fucking involved with the Director’s Guild. So I’m right at this point right now where I’m, like, y’know what? (Sighs) Maybe I should just let it go. I’ll put a sign on my website that says, 'Y’got ten million dollars? Give me a call. I’ve got the script ready to go, Robert Englund’s attached, I’m attached. If somebody’s serious and wants to make it, call me. But don’t call me ‘til you’re ready to hand the check over.'"[3]

In May 2009, Dee Snider revealed on his radio show,"The House Of Hair," that the sequel to Strangeland, entitled Strangeland: Disciple, is set to begin shooting in the fall of 2009 and is slated for a 2010 release.[4]

"Disciple will see Snider reprising the role of Internet psycho Captain Howdy and promises even more of the hard and nasty forced body mods and torture rituals that made the original film squirm-worthy. The film will supposedly have an NC-17 rating guaranteed, promising to top the antics of Captain Howdy’s first rampage"
—Mr. Dark (

The sequel was still set to shoot possibly in the fall of 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. It has since been cancelled.

In response to a fan's question on Twitter as to "whatever happened to Strangeland 2??", Snider stated, "Dead in the water. #soeffingfrustrated."[5]


Snider released a prequel, Dee Snider's Strangeland: Seven Sins in comic book form through Fangoria Comics, but the company suddenly closed after only the first issue was printed. The Scream Factory then picked up the title and published the full run in 2008.

Night of 1000 Scars

Dee Snider threw a large party, open to the public, at Webster Hall in New York City to promote and celebrate the theatrical release of Strangeland the night before it debuted, with the party ending in time for VIPs to leave and see a midnight screening of the movie. The party was called Night of 1000 Scars and still stands out in the body modification community due to the sheer scope of the event.

Webster Hall is a club with four floors and performances took place on three of these floors simultaneously. This included people having their eyes and mouths sewn shut and a performance by Allen Falkner's suspension group, TSD, in which three people suspended from hooks going through the skin across the tops of their backs. They were suspending from rotating beams allowing them to rotate in a large circle, remaining air-born most of the time and soaring out over the audience.

The Lizardman was also in attendance and performed his fire act. The bands Bile and Crisis, who are on the soundtrack, also performed. Most attendees were decked out in their finest fetish wear. The party was organized by Keith Alexander.


External links

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