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by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor.  [April 13, 2004]





[]  Heavy metal rocker Dee Snider -- soon to star in Strangeland 2! -- may also be hosting a cable channel devoted exclusively to horror, to be called either the Horror Channel or the Scream Network!

Those were some of the shocking revelations Snider made in an exclusive interview with the Hollywood Investigator at the World Horror Convention in Phoenix, AZ, on April 9, 2004.

"I've been invited as a Media Guest of Honor [to the World Horror Convention] because of my involvement in various aspects of media, and as a fan and a participant in the world of horror," Snider revealed to the Investigator. "I've done a horror movie called Strangeland. I'm working on Strangeland 2. My history tended to meld heavy metal, glam, and horror all together with my band Twisted Sister. I am in negotiations to become a host of the Horror Channel. So it all makes me oddly right for the job of Media Guest of Honor."

In Strangeland, Snider plays a sadistic psycho killer, Captain Howdy, who is caught by police, but found not guilty by reason of insanity. Once cured, he is released back into the community. He tries to be good, but vigilantes inadvertently cause him to relapse into his old killer ways.

"I've continued with a logical reality-based plotline," said Snider of the sequel. "I got to the end and ask: If this occurred, what would happen next? People like Captain Howdy become infamous. The media grabs onto them and goes wild. They become antiheroes. To certain people they become heroes."

This is why Snider called the film, Strangeland 2: The Cult of Personality. "I played off that whole thing. I tried to follow psychological profiles of what would happen to these victims. How would they be affected? What would they do? What would they want to do? What would the father want? What would the daughter do? There's a history, and I'm trying to follow it out.

"It think people who enjoyed the first one will enjoy the second one. It's evil."

Strangeland 2 should start filming as soon as the rights to the story and characters clears bankruptcy court. "We're waiting for some legal issues with the company that did the first one to subside," said Snider. "My property [Strangeland] is in court in their bankruptcy, and I haven't been able to work [on the film], even though it's ready to go. We've got money. We've been greenlit."



* Cable's New Horror Channel

Snider is also awaiting other legal and business issues to be resolved so he can begin hosting horror shows for a new cable TV channel. "The Horror Channel is supposed to come on the air in October of this year," said Snider. "But there's been a falling out between the founders of the Horror Channel. Now half of them have formed Scream Network, the other half [remain] the Horror Channel. They're both negotiating with me to host. The important thing is that there is a channel dedicated to horror. Whether it's the Horror Channel or the Scream Network, I don't care. I'll work with either one, as long as it's the one that does the right job."

Despite the promise of "500 channels," Big Media consolidation has resulted in a few companies (e.g., AOL-Time-Warner, Viacom, Disney, News Corp., GE-NBC) owning most of those "500" channels. Big Media can then use these channels as "incentive" to pressure cable systems to carry their newer channels, making less space available for stand-alone channels. (Of course, some Big Media companies own cable systems as well as channels.) This means that unless a new channel is backed by a Big Media player, it will have a hard time finding space on a dial already crammed with Big Media-backed shopping and pay channels.

The Investigator asked Snider whether the Horror Channel had any such backing. "I think that that is the rub," said Snider. "I think they've got backing. I'm not involved in that aspect of it. I know they've got all of the major players, like Warner Bros. Studios, Universal, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Wes Craven -- all the people involved in the business to throw their support in getting the [horror] film libraries. I can't tell you who's backing it up, or not backing, but it's very real.

"I believe that this year you'll see either one of those two [the Horror Channel or Scream Network] making it to the finish line, and me up there hosting it and raising hell."



Asked what he thought was the appeal of horror, Snider said, "I think horror is like a roller coaster.  People like to be scared, and they like to know they can get off in the end. It's not reality. I don't want to watch Schindler's List. I know history. I know it was ugly. I know it was cruel and brutal and horrible and real. But I do want to see Freddy vs. Jason. It's cruel and brutal, but it's fanciful, and at the end, nine times out of ten times the good guys win. So it's like a roller coaster where you know by the end you're gonna come to a safe stop. That's the appeal. People know that by the end of a [horror] movie, most of the time it's gonna come to a safe stop."

Asked if he had any advice for aspiring authors, actors, or musicians on how to attain his level of success, Snider said, "I've got a phrase tattooed on my shoulders in Latin. Translated it means, Never let the bastards wear you down. Really, it's just a matter of not letting people discourage you, and not discouraging yourself. Sometimes the dream of making a movie, or being in a movie, or writing a movie or a book -- when you look at it as a finished product, it's overwhelming. But if you just looked at it as word one, page one, scene one, and let the other scenes and words take care of themselves, you'll get there. That's the only advice I can give."

Dee Snider has an official website:, and what he calls a Halloween rock orchestra: Van Helsing's Curse, based on his album of the same name.

Copyright 2004 by



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