• Axl Rosenberg


It’s hard for me to talk smack about Dee Snider, because as far as I can tell, he’s a pretty cool dude.

Unfortunately, being a cool dude doesn’t make you a good filmmaker, and if you ever saw the 1998 horror flick Strangeland, which Snider wrote and co-starred in as the villainous “Captain Howdy” (seriously), you’re probably very aware that Snider is not a good filmmaker. Unless the film has aged incredibly well, which I find hard to believe – it sucked when it was released, so I dunno what twelve years would do for it. The best thing about the movie then, and I suspect now, was the soundtrack, which had a bunch of metal bands on it like Pantera, Megadeth, and, unfortunately, Snot.

I guess Snider’s not giving up the dream of having his own horror franchise, though. Apparently Strangeland spawned a prequel comic (which I somehow missed… oh well), and now C.H.U.D. reports that Snider is making a sequel, Strangeland: Disciple, with a budget of five million dollars.

Who the hell is giving Dee Snider five million dollars to make a sequel to a film no one really seemed to like in the first place? I have no idea, but here’s the plot synopsis:

“One year after Carleton Hendricks’, a.k.a. Captain Howdy’s, sadistic rampage, much more than the physical scars the schizophrenic, sexual sadist gave his victims are left behind. Their lives destroyed by emotional torment and the media frenzy surrounding the crimes, Detective Mike Gage, his daughter Genevieve and vigilante Jackson Roth each have their crosses to bear. But when the badly burned and mentally broken Carleton Hendricks is taken from a state-run mental hospital and off his medication by billionaire media mogul Morgan LaForce, leader of the body modification/fetish haven called ‘The Torture Garden,’ the door swings wide open for each of Captain Howdy’s victims to find closure…and retribution.”

“Vigilante Jackson Roth,” by the way, was originally played by the legendary Robert Englund, who will be reprising the role in the sequel. Good to know that guy can still eat in light of having the Freddy Kruger role taken away from him.

But at least Snider already has an answer for smart-asses like me, who don’t understand how or why he’s doing this:

“I’m very pleased by the on-line chatter and enthusiasm for it within the horror community,” he says. “There are people out there who shit-talk the original STRANGELAND, and the things they say about it are all absolutely true. I say, ‘Was it shocking?’ Yes. Did it seem rushed at times? Yes. Was it all it could be? No. I had a little over a million dollars to work with, and we actually went to litigation with the director because we didn’t want him to be paid; he was pulled from the post work and the edit was taken out of his hands. I hope to correct all the wrongs with the new one.”

Okay. I’ll going along with that. I think Snider is friends with Adam Green, and Green’s new movie, Frozen, is the first film to actually scare me in just about for-ever. Maybe he can get Green to give him some pointers on making a halfway decent movie?

Tell me why I’m right or wrong about Strangeland in the comments section below. And while I have your attention, please go see Frozen. It’s awesome, and the theater I saw it at was empty, which makes me sad.


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