Wednesday, November 16

Strangeland (Net Killer) (1998) - "Taiwanese Import" DVD

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As you probably already know, one of my utterly life-wasting pastimes is perpetually rooting around for flat-out weird releases of particular horror movies I've adopted as "pets". I figure years from now these oddball discs and tapes will be at least interesting curiosities for fans like myself. Dee Snider's mostly forgotten and somewhat groundbreaking Strangeland is one of the muses that I try to keep tabs on.

Back in the infancy of BoGD, I wrote this about the flick: "Snider's inaugural foray into silver screen horror both as star and writer is a commendable trainwreck. The rocker's heart seems in the right place as he constructs an individualized killer around himself....before the likes of Feardotcom and Cry Wolf, Snider seems to beat everyone at including naive teens facing grave consequences with the perils of the Internet in a straight horror film. Howdy uses an instant messaging program similar to AIM under a stolen account prowling "Teen Chat" for prey to invite to a party/dungeon basement with torturous hook and spike."

I still find merit in Snider's contribution to the genre, so finding this DVD last week for four bucks on eBay was a pleasant surprise. It's more-or-less pure bootleg masked as being from Hong Kong or as the seller thought Taiwan. This one typifies how disc bootleggers seemed to try harder in the past with factory pressed media and full color professional sleeves. Most "theater fresh" dupes I run across at swap meets nowadays are on shitty DVD-Rs with wonky cover cut-outs from a crap printer running out of ink.

The picture quality is what you'd expect; horrible, and has burnt Chinese subtitles over the bottom (don't think it's from a VCD though). The film appears to be the same 85 minute version found on Artisan's DVD aside from the title card replaced with "NET KILLER". The black front cover contrasts well with the white case the disc arrived in. BUTTMUNCH alone made it worth the price...

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