Movie Review: Strange Wilderness (2008)

I’m going to start this movie review by stating what may not be so obvious due to the cast of actors starring in it: Strange Wilderness is not a movie for everyone. Actually it’s not a movie for 90% of the worlds’ population either. It is meant for individuals with a sophomoric sense of humor and the ability to just not give a shit about anything (mostly stoners and retards). If you don’t feel you belong in this super-exclusive club, then stop reading now; this movie is definitely not for you. For me, although I’m not a stoner and certainly don’t see myself as a retard (I think my wife does though), I watch these senseless movies as a way to clear away the cobwebs (it’s much cheaper than going on a vacation). If you’re even remotely like me, read on then, this movie may be just what the doctor ordered to snap you out of your funk.

Strange Wilderness stars a few of the usual suspects you’d expect to see in an Adam Sandler project (Happy Madison Productions), plus a few other actors from other comedy troupes thrown in for good measure. It’s also got itself a moronic plot – another staple of a Sandler flick. Steve Zahn is Peter Gaulke and Allen Covert is Fred Wolf, the men behind an outdoor adventures television show called Strange Wilderness. Times have been tough for the show and with steadily declining numbers at the 3:00AM timeslot, they’re told they’ll be off the air in two weeks if they can’t bring in something incredible. So along with a map provided to them by Bill Calhoun (Joe Don Baker), their friends and crew – Cooker (Jonah Hill), Danny Guiterrez (Peter Dante), Junior (Justin Long), Cheryl (Ashley Scott) and Whitaker (Kevin Heffernan) – race off to the South America to capture footage of the elusive Bigfoot before their nemesis Sky Pierson (Harry Hamlin) of a competing wilderness show gets it first.

Filling in the air time of this wacky premise are nonstop vulgarities (worse than Superbad, pervasive drug use (not as bad as Half-Baked) and some of the most infantile attempts at humor not seen since the misunderstood Freddy Got Fingered. I don’t think there is any other way to put it, but I firmly believe that the writers (Peter Gaulke and Fred Wolf) were completely wasted when they wrote this. How can a clearly functioning mind come up with a scene where a guys gets his dick stuck in the throat of a turkey? I’ll also bet the farm that everyone in this movie was inebriated in some form or fashion too. There just isn’t a way for seasoned actors to not realize how completely absurd the movie was when they read the script or, at the very least, when they showed up on the set for the first day of shooting. I also have to take note on the massive grins on everyone’s faces; the only people that have that look are those with chemical imbalances – either natural or synthetic.

So yeah, while it sounds like I’m just dumping on Strange Wilderness for it’s lack of moral compass, I’m really not. I can’t argue around the fact that the movie is just plain stupid but it does have a lot of moments where I found myself laughing out loud. A great many of these laughs can be found from the voice overs they do for their segments. While my writing them here won’t do them justice, quips like “Slice me a off a piece of pie and serve it up hot, I’m next in line” dubbed over a segment of lions mating and “When a shark appears, sea lions jump ashore – luckily there aren’t any tigers waiting for them, otherwise they wouldn’t know what the fuck to do” voiced while watching a pack of sea lions, should give you an idea as to how idiotic these guys are. Throw in some equally bizarre scenes: one with Robert Patrick deep in the jungle (that is so obviously a studio backlot) and another in a cave with Bigfoot (which obviously looks like a guy in an ape suit) and your monthly allotment for zaniness should just about be reached.

It’s safe to assume Strange Wilderness isn’t going to be winning any awards (I believe I am the only critic with sense of humor sick enough to get it) and it will soon find itself out of your local cineplex’s rotation. Don’t fret if it isn’t playing near you though, I’ll guarantee this film be so much better on DVD – I can only imagine what was left on the cutting room floor. My hope is these extras will put this movie so over the top, that the R-rating it currently enjoys won’t nearly be enough to capture all the crude and lewd humor missing from the theatrical release.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
4 Star Rating: Good


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The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

'Movie Review: Strange Wilderness (2008)' have 6 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 10, 2008 @ 1:43 pm Tommy Joe

    This movie was pathetic. Your liking it proves you have no taste or you are insane.

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      February 10, 2008 @ 6:01 pm General Disdain

      Your liking it proves you have no taste or you are insane.

      Probably a little of both.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 10, 2008 @ 2:13 pm Phntmbanana

    @ tommy
    I saw this movie as well and had a very different opinion because 1. I was sober and 2. I was sober… This is a stoner movie at its most primitive form. It doesn’t even pretend to be anything else. I enjoyed some scenes of this movie but some other things threw me off to the point of not even being able to finish it.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 10, 2008 @ 9:16 pm Ben

    You’re the first person to recommend that anyone see this. It got an astounding 0% at rottentomatoes.

    I gotta ask, were you hitting the sauce when you watched the movie or wrote your review? :)

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 11, 2008 @ 12:47 pm blogcabins

    Stoner movies? They can be great (Dazed & Confused, Half Baked). Sophomoric movies? Yep, them too (Billy Madison, Superbad, Road Trip).

    Unfunny movies with shitty production values, horrible dialogue and not even an attempt at acting? No thanks. I walked out at the halfway point (had to finish popcorn).

    This doesn’t even get into some of the details, such as “since when is $500 or $1000 an unfathomable amount of money?” (especially considering that they work in TV. Ugh, I don’t want to think about it anymore.

    Agree to disagree on this one, General. Also agree to think you’re batshit crazy on this one. ;)

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 9, 2008 @ 8:50 pm Azrael

    A) I was not stoned/high/goofed-up when I watched this.
    B) I am not a retard, unless holding an MLB (England: Masters Law Degree) and being a member of MENSA now means you are below the line of retardation.
    C) I am not some uptight freak who needs to think to laugh.

    It was refreshing to see a movie that isn’t a copy of Life Aquatic or another poor Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson film.

    The film has got a plot – to save his father’s show. It is stupid – but most people didn’t get Monty Python (especially idiots) when first aired. It is funny because it is unexpected and unique.

    My suggestion is that if you have a lot of hubris and consider yourself part of the intellectual elite who only watches films that are “well thought out” and make “social and economical commentaries” then don’t watch this. However if you like films with actors such as David Spade, Adam Sandler, etc then you might enjoy – just don’t be a prude.

    Put it simply – you either like Life Aquatic, Sideways, etc and will hate this or you like Super Troopers, Joe Dirt and Family Guy (WHICH LOOSES THE PLOT ALL THE TIME WITH JOKES THAT AREN”T CRUCIAL TO THE PLOT BECAUSE GOD-FORBID SOMEONE SHOULD WRITE A COMEDY THAT DOESN’T FOLLOW THE RULES!) and will love this.

    This is one of my all time faves now. So I will leave you “smarter” folk to your convoluted, slow, dull, drab, ashen, lifeless, comedies and I will have my esoteric, callow, misconstrued offerings.


    “I hate it when Dogma lies about the Angel of Death… Damn Kevin Smith…. I forgive you this time, fat-man!”

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