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Director John Pieplow
Runtime 85 mins
Country USA
Language English
Rating Australia:R
Genre Horror / Thriller
Year of Release 1998
DVD Release Date
Strangeland at IMDB
"So much flesh, so little time"—CaptHowdy

Dee Snider's movie, Strangeland, features the body modification community's first serial killer, predating the far more fashionable villain in The Cell.

"The act of slow piercing is a transcendent spiritual event. There is no pain, just sensation: you observe the body, experiencing the sensation, surrender to the experience, and feel the endorphin rush as the surgical steel slices through."— CaptHowdy

To simplify, Strangeland (1998, written by and starring Dee Snider and directed by John Pieplow) is a movie about a serial killer ("CaptHowdy," named after the demon in The Exorcist) who meets his victims via an AOL-like chat service and then tortures them using rituals including piercing, suspension, and so on. This movie, shot for $2 million (and losing well over half of that investment) was met with extremely mixed reviews (largely panned, although Dee's audio commentary on the DVD is great), especially from the professional piercing community, some of whom felt that it degraded what they do and encouraged the mainstream public to think of people in this community as psychopaths (echoing criticism faced by Silence of the Lambs).

Most responded: "Get over it; it's just a movie".


Piercing "design" for the movie was done by New York-based body modification artist (at the time) Keith Alexander who also toured with Dee Snider in SMF. Interviewed by Michael McCarthy, Dee Snider said this of how he researched the body modification and ritual aspect of the film:

"I read a lot of books. Spent time with a great piercer named Keith Alexander, who is in the S.M.F. band. Keith was in the band Carnivore, which was Pete Steele's first band of note. I met him when I was researching the film. He has his own shop called Modern American Body Arts in Brooklyn. He's a premiere brander and does scarification. He's also hooked deep into the S/M and fetish world and was kind enough to share much of that with me. On these long drives between gigs, we'd just talk for hours. He'd say, "Read this book, watch this video, check out this website." He was paid to be the consultant and help design the piercings and brandings for authenticity. I didn't want to just throw a bunch of metal in a face. There is rhyme and reason, the way people do things in the body mod community."

Keith was also originally considered to play a role in the movie to help explain more about the body modification aspects of the film, but was cut for being "too pretty."

ISBN: B00000I1KK (Find this at

See Also