Never haven I seen a film with so many inconsistencies, illogical and all too coincidental things happening and 'borrowed' scenes that I enjoyed SO ENORMOUSLY!! I bought it not knowing who Dee Snider was, which is a good thing, because I am not much of a hardrock fan --I probably would have missed out on it if I had known he was Twisted Sister's lead singer. I understand it is Mr. Snider's first filmscrip and first major starring role. The things mentioned in the first line of this review may come from the fact that it is his first script, but as an actor, displaying two totally different sides of the Bad Guy, he is wonderfully brilliant, and he adds a third dimension to what might easily have been a flat comic book character if handled differently.
The story and script obviously do NOT come from a twisted mind (as is too easy to say for those who don't like the film) but from the concerns of a father who sees terrifying things happening in the world around him. The film moved me enormously and made an enormous impact, in spite of the things I mentioned earlier. Or could it even be (partly) because of them....... The society today is full of illogical things happening, weird justice and the truth is so often a lot more rediculous than fiction, so in a way what could be seen as flaws could also be seen as wonderful metaphors (although i doubt this was the original idea).
After the film had ended I did what I NEVER did before: i IMMEDIATELY watched it again, now with Mr. Sniders commentary on. And much to my surprise this was so ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!! Contrary to earlier reviews, I think Dee adds a lot of extra info and unfolds himself as a very intelligent guy widening his talents into other fields, being able to tell about it with enthousiasm (and a lot of humor I may add) and making me even more positive about the film than I already was. Also, he seems to be very pleased with himself, and that only adds to the fun!! The Rock Videos from the soundtrack album that are added as extras are not much to my taste, but the introductions by Dee Snider are so enjoying I actually had a lot of fun watching them (and carefully changed my mind, no matter how slightly, about this music genre).
Watch it, watch it again and then watch it with the commentary on. And try to keep an open mind. Too many four or five star hollywood films of directors and writers and stars that have 'made it' are full of rediculous flaws and illogicalities as well, but for some unknown reason they are accepted by critics and public alike. Strangeland has the added bonus of the fact that it comes from the heart and is made for all the right reasons instead of being taylored to as large an audience as possible.
I can hardly wait for Dee Snider's next work..