It’s the “Long Island Examiner’s” Long Island Halloween Horror movie review-a-thon! We’re taking a look at movies with some Halloween appeal that can be tied to Long Island as we count down to Halloween 2010.
It’s October the 20th today. Only eleven more days to go.
We’ve examined some real nasty films thus far during the review-a-thon – but now we take a look at perhaps the nastiest of them all. Today we’re taking a look at the 1998 film, Strangeland.
Strangeland is the kind of movie that is only going to appeal to a small segment of movie viewing audiences. Various societal adult sub-cultures are central to the film’s plot. As the film unfolds we learn that a sexual predator (known as Captain Howdy) is on the loose, luring various people in one way or another to his home where he subjects them to torture.
The film stars Baldwin’s Dee Snider as Captain Howdy. Snider, of course, is known more for being the front man to uber-80s hair band Twisted Sister. Strangeland is his first starring role in feature film (not counting his classic cameo in Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure), and you can tell right off the bat that acting is not Snider’s strong suit. The film is bogged down by a lot of bad acting for the most part, despite some relatively big name talent being included in the cast – Robert Englund, Linda Cardellini and Amy Smart all co-star.
Dee Snider also wrote the screenplay for the film – which is actually not bad, outside of a lot corny one-liners (You can tell Snider was a Freddy Kruger fan). With the proper casting and directing the film could have been a much better finished product than what was ultimately the end result. Snider’s script is one which can be described as being socially conscious and aware, unlike many horror films which are written to take place in social vacuums. Strangeland is one of the first films to portray the dangers of internet predation, which has since grown to become a much bigger issue today than it was in 1998.
It’s a dark film with a mean streak running through its core. It had potential. Unfortunately Snider’s ideas don’t play well on screen as Pieplow’s directing and Snider’s own performance leave a lot to be desired.
Unless you’re a fan of film like Eli Roth’s ‘Hostel’ films, or a big fan of Dee Snider in general, Strangeland might be one you’ll wanna’ keep off of the NetFlix queue.
QUOTE OF THE FILM
Captain Howdy: “So much flesh, so little time.”
Previous Day’s Film: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) directed by Hofstra grad Francis Ford Coppola
Next Day’s Film: Monsters, Inc. (2001) featuring Long Beach’s Billy Crystal, Valley Stream’s Steve Buscemi and the magic of Pixar developed at NYIT at Old Westbury