Strange Wilderness – DVD Review

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Another Happy Madison stoner flick. Do they make anything else? This one is a group of misfits running a wilderness show. The host, Steve Zahn, inherited the show from his Dad when he died. And in classic fashion, his Dad was a pro and did a great job on the show, and Zahn is a schmuck and does a terrible job on the show, saying things like “Bears get their name from a football team in Chicago.” Which some how makes it’s way into the voice over of the episode even though he originally said it was the other way around.

However, it’s not like he’s got a lot of help on the show. Everyone else on the show is more concerned with getting stoned than putting on anything resembling a quality show. As one guy, Junior played by Justin Long, is using a bong, the sound guy is complaining about hearing an underground bubbling sound. And that is the basic disfunctionality of the crew.

And since no one on the show knows anything, the show gets canceled by the TV station. However, they’re given two weeks notice just on the odd chance something “big” happens. so of course, the crew stumbles into something “big.” Namely, a run to Equador on a search for Big Foot.

So they go off on their trip to South America filming various shows on the way, while racing a competing show on the way to find Big Foot. The race ends quickly when the competing show meet their demise, but Zahn’s crew keeps going on the search and eventually finds Big Foot, but things take another turn for the worse once they do.

While the story isn’t terrible, the camera work and audio take away from the overall feel of the movie. A lot of the lines are muffled. Some due to the fact that the person talking is stoned, and other times where it’s just plain muffled. The video manages to be worse. The camera is wobbly in numerous scenes. And even more so than that, the lighting in most scenes is terrible.

All the scenes in the jungle are way too dark. They are shot at night, but there are ways to get enough light to see detail and they don’t. The faces are partially lit and everything else is black. There are also shots where the contrast is so great from bright to dark that all the detail in the shot is taken away. I’m not wanting to rip on the movie to much for not altering the light more, because when they do alter the light, they mess that up too. In one outdoor scene, they jump back and forth between shooting one way, to shooting the other way, however, no matter which way they’re shooting, the actors always are lit from behind as if the sun was jumping from one side of the sky to the other.

Strange Wilderness is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen. The audio is 5.1 Dolby Digital. Even still, the audio is mumbled in places. But they’re stoned so it’s most likely intended.

Trailers for The Love Guru, Drillbit Taylor and Cloverfield
Deleted scenes, so good some not so good.
Comedy Central’s Reel Comedy
Behind the scenes of The Turkey Scene, Cooker’s Song, and What Do we Do?

A pretty funny movie the first time through. Plenty of raunchy, stupid, guy humor. It’s not the greatest script, not the greatest camera work, not the greatest audio, but still an enjoyable movie.


Paramount Presents Strange Wilderness. Starring Steve Zahn, Allen Covert, Jonah Hill, and Justin Long. Written by Peter Gaulke and Fred Wolf. Running time: 84 minutes. Rated R. Released on DVD: May 20th, 2008. Available at