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Strangeland (1998)

The place is Helverton, Colorado, a town of about 350,000 people. 15-year-old Genevieve Gage and her best friend Tiana Moore are typical teenagers who spend a lot of time surfing the internet and sending messages to strangers in chat rooms. Upon "meeting" another apparent student who goes by the screen name of Captain Howdy, Genevieve and Tiana decide to attend a party at Captain Howdy's house. As it turns out, Captain Howdy has lured them into a darkness from which there may be no permanent escape. But what Captain Howdy doesn't know is that Genevieve's father is local cop Mike Gage. When neither Genevieve nor Tiana has returned home by the next morning, Genevieve's mother Toni alerts Mike. With the help of a younger cop named Steve Christian, Mike tries to find Genevieve and Tiana. Things take an unexpected turn when Tiana's car is pulled out of a lake, and Tiana's tortured body is found in the car's trunk, with her mouth stitched shut. There's no sign of Genevieve. Mike discovers that Captain Howdy is into body art that includes tattooing, piercing, branding, and scarification. Mike's niece Angela Stravelli gives him his first lead by informing him of Genevieve's penchant for meeting strangers through the internet. When Mike meets Captain Howdy online, he gets Captain Howdy to invite him to a party, but Mike's plan to get Captain Howdy goes awry. Mike figures out Captain Howdy's location, and he finds Captain Howdy's torture chamber. Mike not only finds Genevieve naked and bound with her mouth stitched shut, but he also finds five other teenagers who are in similar predicaments. After a brief struggle where Mike shoots Captain Howdy, Mike arrests Captain Howdy, whose real name is Carleton Hendricks. Mike thinks he's closed the case. But a year later, Hendricks is found not guilty by reason of insanity, and he's put in the Meistrich Psychiatric Institute. Three years after being put in the Meistrich Psychiatric Institute, Hendricks is released. Doctors at the Meistrich Institute say that Hendricks, who has been diagnosed as a schizophrenic with a severe chemical imbalance, is okay as long as he is on his medication. Hendricks moves back to his old neighborhood. While Hendricks is under the influence of his medicine, he seems timid and apologetic about what he did. But four years after what Hendricks did, the memories are still fresh in the minds of Helverton's residents. And Genevieve still has highly intense nightmares about what Hendricks did to her. There are people who are not happy about Hendricks being released, especially an activist group led by Jackson Roth and Catherine "Sunny" Macintosh. Catherine heads a group called "Christians Against Moral Decay." Roth and Catherine are angry that Hendricks didn't get death for what he did four years ago. One night, while Roth's teenage daughter Kelly is out with her boyfriend, a fearful Roth jumps to the conclusion that Hendricks could have taken Kelly. That's why Roth calls Catherine and a bunch of others. Roth and this group kidnap Hendricks, and on the way off of Hendricks's property, Hendricks's medicine bottle is accidentally destroyed. Roth and the group beat Hendricks up, and then make a failed attempt to lynch him. Without his medication, Hendricks goes back to being Captain Howdy -- this time with revenge on his mind. And Mike may be the only one who can stop Hendricks once and for all.
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