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Strange Wilderness (2008)

DVD Cover (Paramount)
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4.5
 / 10
5 votes
Genres / Traits:
Adventure Comedy, Comedy, Stoner Comedy, Creatures: Bigfoot
Director:
Fred Wolf Fred Wolf
Starring:
Steve Zahn Steve Zahn
Allen Covert Allen Covert
Jonah Hill Jonah Hill
Kevin Heffernan Kevin Heffernan
Ashley Scott Ashley Scott
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Review by Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg
Added: August 01, 2008
I do not know if I could say that I find comedy to be my favorite genre of film, but I certainly do crave it the most. Unfortunately, it appears to be quite difficult to make a comedy nowadays that doesn't fall flat on its face with crummy jokes, worn-out predicaments, and a poor story as evidenced by the lot produced by Adam Sandler's production company. I actually really enjoy Sandler, but I single out Happy Madison Productions because its purpose for the past nine years has been to solely produce comedies, and out of sixteen or so efforts, I feel that there are only four of them in which generous entertainment can be found. If you're familiar with a few of their grossly below-average comedies like The Benchwarmers, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, and Grandma's Boy, the same vein follows in Strange Wilderness... except it is several times worse. In fact, Strange Wilderness is one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

The plot for this abomination of a comedy is about a pothead loser named Peter Gaulke who inherited his father's nature show, "Strange Wilderness," after his death. Peter is a terribly incompetent host for the show, and it eventually declines severely in ratings verging on cancellation. With fine timing, the show has a chance to be saved when Peter and his equally moronic film crew acquire a map that marks a cave in Ecuador where Bigfoot is said to inhabit.

Forgive me for not detailing the story much, but it just unfolds in a very sloppy and poorly handled manner. It progresses as if being thought up right on the spot. Many parts seem to appear almost randomly and are often left in the wind. Early on, a rival nature show host appears as if to set up a subplot of competitiveness but is merely scrapped later on for one of the movie's many bombed jokes. Then there are the couple of scenes in which guest stars such as Ernest Borgnine, Robert Patrick, Joe Don Baker, and Blake Clark quickly come and disappear, like their time could not be afforded for no more than five minutes despite seeming to be key parts in the story. In relation, production values all around are noticeably cheap and pathetic. Crudely added old stock footage of animals and oddly a scene or two that can be seen in the Faces of Death series play sporadically with lousy voice-over dialogues acting as clips from the fictional animal show. I am not sure if this crappy, lackadaisical quality that pervades this movie was intentional and supposed to be funny, but it really was not either way.

Apparently, the movie was going for a stoner comedy of sorts. Those who announce praise for this movie (Lord, help them) say that non-stoners are not the target audience and that one needs to be intoxicated to appreciate it justly. Of course, a silly comment like that only helps point out how wretched it is. I laugh more at that remark than anything the movie offered. Friday, Half Baked, and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle are hilarious stoner comedies that work (with many more drug references, no less), and I enjoyed them greatly while sober.

It is quite the feat for this movie to star a fine comedic cast (say what you will, but they have all had their share of comical performances) of Steve Zahn, Justin Long, Allen Covert, Jonah Hill, and Kevin Heffernan yet not provide at least an ounce of laughter. Whether a scene is set up to laugh with them or at them, neither work. All of the attempts at comedy are miserable with horribly predictable and unoriginal gags. The comicality tried for ranges from typical drug humor to lame dick jokes. Examples of these are: a tiresome bit that is completely milked to the bone where Steve Zahn gets his penis gobbled and caught in the throat of a turkey's; Robert Patrick exposing disgustingly disfigured genitalia; and Blake Clark's character being named Dick, which actually causes the gang to giggle like fools and crack wise about it for an annoying length. Immature amusement fashioned in those situations usually has no trouble getting at least a mild chuckle from me; here... they get nothing. It is scenes like these that aim to be highlights of the eighty-odd minutes but are downright unbearable to sit through. I mean, it is one thing for jokes to plainly fail, and it is another thing when they are excruciatingly bad to experience.

Once the last scene of this stale waste rolled (which is an outtake), I could literally feel my cheeks warming up as my face began to redden due to feeling like I had just played a humiliating part in some degrading bet between the detestable beings responsible for this garbage. I can tolerate and find some decent laughs within the recent crop of spoof movies that nearly everyone seems to damn to hell, but this is truly contemptible.
Do not watch this movie.

0.5/10
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Edd #1: Edd - added 08/02/2008, 11:03 AM
I loved it. Especially the shark laughing part. 10/10
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 08/04/2008, 11:14 AM
Dollar theatre written all over it. Absolute...piece...of...shit...1/10.
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