HMM Day 2 – Strangeland

Do you have any tattoos or body piercings? Maybe a nice bridge or a pretty little conch piercing? Perhaps a couple unmentionables that only special people can see? Or how about some sweet ink? Possibly a sweet tattoo across your chest of a lion with eagle wings, running over an ocean of lava while shooting lasers out of its eyes. Yea, that is some hard core shit right there. Whether it be a drunk hyena on your arm or a broken heart on your butt, a piercing through you eyebrow or a bar through your tongue. There’s something about decorating your body that… well makes you feel free. Makes you feel like you’ve reached a higher level of expression. It has been said that a person feels a sense of euphoria getting these things done. As if their soul is being set free from the physical form. Only someone that partakes in that would obviously know the answer.

Question For Those Who Body Mod

Either way, I have always had a question for those that have or desire tattoos and piercings. Do you look at others and feel a certain sense of jealousy? Any chance you covet a persons commitment and boldness to go far beyond just the normal body modifications? Could this person be on a level of spiritual existence that you never could dream of? Those folks that practice the tribal art of suspension are freaking insane. Hardcore but insane (I mean that in the nicest way actually).

But maybe they know something we don’t? Sure it is macabre and a tad bit freaky. But do you think they experience an enlightenment that we don’t know? Would you dare take the steps in becoming as enlightened and free as them?

Well, what if they did it for you?

Let me introduce you to Captain Howdy. A man of high vision. A man that just wants to set your spirit free! A man that understands that in order to seek spiritual enlightenment, one must experience a certain right of passage. Delivered through a physical, painful and scarring endeavor.

Strangeland

Strangeland is a slasher film released on October 2nd, 1998. Wait, that’s today and it just so happens to be the second day of Horror Movie Marathon! Sweet damn, I must be a genius to pick a movie released on October 2nd and then use it today. This is why I went to college people. Anyways, Strangeland was directed by John Pieplow and written by lead front man of the eighties heavy metal band Twisted Sister. Yea, that’s right “We’re not gonna take it!” You hear it all the time at sporting events when your team is sucking balls or when a group of white guys rock out to Guitar Hero. Wait, do people even play Guitar Hero anymore?

Strangeland stars Kevin Gage, Robert Englund, a young Amy Smart and the writer of the film Dee Snider himself as Captain Howdy.

Synopsis of Strangeland

The story revolves around a police detective on the hunt of a homicidal maniac. Disguised under a false online name of Captain Howdy, this killer stalks internet chat rooms in search of his victims. He lures them to his home and tortures them through intense body modification and other methods of torture.

Late Nineties

I don’t think many people are completely aware of Strangeland. But then again, not many movies from 1998 were all too great. In fact many people seem to wish the nineties can be a forgotten decade of horror all together. Personally, I have found many redeemable films and Strangeland is one that always sticks out as a low key goody. Sure it isn’t a large budget film but damn did this movie freak people out.

Twisted Snider

Dee Snider as Captain Howdy, which is also the nickname of the Pazuzu demon in The Exorcist, is simply awesome and is the draw for what makes it so enjoyable. If you’re used to the silent types like Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers then Captain Howdy is going to be a major change. While Jason and Mike never say a word in all their films. Captain Howdy doesn’t shut the hell up. He keeps bashing you with this insightful mumbo jumbo about spiritual awakening and being ritually mature through pain and anguish, blah blah blah blah. But he’s upfront and doesn’t hide. In some ways his entire cause for his murder and torture is out of duty or aid. He forces his victims to undergo these procedures to spiritually awaken them. By accepting the pain and giving into death, they ascend to a higher state of being. Which makes him a scary character because he does some major jacked up stuff to his victims.

Strangeland is a good stroll through nostalgia for those that were growing up either as young teens or college students during the nineties. For younger people, the film may seem outdated. Much of the displays of computers and online chat rooms may seem archaic. But still they should be able to see through it and appreciate the period. Through the years of searching for hidden nineties gems, Strangeland has always stuck out as a horror film that best represents this rebellious and strange decade. The entire premise of Captain Howdy doing what he does is perfect commentary to that time and even may apply to current generations.

In one scene Captain Howdy is calmly talking about how our society lacks the rights of passage into adulthood or maturity. Ancient Spartans forced boys at a young age of seven to partake in the “agoge.” A severe time where boys would be enlisted in intense military training. They would be beaten or killed and were often encouraged to hunt and kill slaves and steal for food. It was a way of raising men to be warriors and to grow out of adolescents. Ancient native tribes would undergo intense rituals where they hang from hooks at certain ages or get new piercings to mark physical and spiritual growth. Even in modern times generations have had their share of wars like The Civil War and World War Two. They’re these massive tests of a generations youth that pushed them into a new realm of maturity.

Now we don’t have any of these things. Boys and girls grow up without a challenge or ritual that passes them into adulthood. There is no great plight or monster from Germany. Things like graduations or getting a drivers license are artificial. Who gives a shit that you have a degree, so does everyone else! They don’t require sacrifice because most of it is just given to us. There’s a reason the term “entitled” is so popular today. We have no test of strength and spirit. We’re boring! And now us boring generations without scars are giving birth to more boring generations. Look at how wimpy everyone is over what people say. You have to walk on egg shells with everyone!

HOLY SHIT Captain Howdy is right! No wonder we’re bunched up balls of aggression. Look how fast people run to riots and protests. You think those Antifa people are actually interested in making a better society? Hells no. They want to purge the aggression out cause they’re violent moronic people. Most people today screaming words of hatred are doing so without even understanding what they’re feeling. They just want to scream and possibly get into a fight.

Moving On

Regardless of how you interpret Strangeland, I must say it’s an underrated flick that every slasher fan should check out. Captain Howdy is a memorable killer and one I think should be appreciated more. It’s a gory movie with some intense depictions but not enough to make you sick. I find myself feeling scared in the moments when we go down to Captain Howdy’s basement. I just want to run out of there and go to Chuckie Cheese. But you don’t, you’re stuck with the victims and this psycho. Something that makes for a good killer. Actually Captain Howdy is kind of like Jigsaw but without that annoying raspy voice. He actually never intends on killing his victims. Like I said, it’s all about freeing them and giving them clarity. Isn’t that exactly what the Saw movies are all about? I never really realized the correlation between the two. Either way, check it out and enjoy day two of Horror Movie Marathon 2019!

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