Film / Strange Wilderness

Strange Wilderness is a 2008 comedy-adventure film produced by Adam Sandler's production company Happy Madison. The film stars Steve Zahn, Allen Covert, Justin Long, Jonah Hill, and Kevin Heffernan.

Peter Gaulke is the host of his late father's nature program, Strange Wilderness, and under his direction, the show has become a wildly inaccurate and unprofessional joke. To save the show from cancellation, he and his crew embark on a quest to find the legendary Bigfoot. Unfortunately, a rival nature show crew is also in search of the creature, and they have a three day head start.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Pierson may be a Smug Snake, but he and his crew didn't deserve to be ambushed and brutally murdered by jungle natives.
  • Captain Obvious: Many of the "facts" on Peter's show, such as:
    • "Sharks can only be found in two places on Earth: the Northern and Southern Hemispheres."
    • "It is estimated that bears kill over 2 million salmon each year, although attacks by salmon on bears are much more rare."
    • "The shark has been menacing and terrifying for over a decade."
  • Critical Research Failure: Several in-universe examples, particularly "Bears derive their name from a football team in Chicago."
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Happens quite a bit in the show, whether it's an overly long segment about topless "native girls" or incredibly crude dialogue during a scene with two lions getting it on.
  • Electric Joybuzzer: Cooker is fond of using one of these, particularly punching guys in the nuts with it.
  • Groin Attack: While Peter is taking a piss, a wild turkey tries to swallow his penis and ends up getting it lodged in its throat.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: When we last see Pierson, he's missing the lower half of his body from the native attack.
  • Man Child: Peter's whole crew, but especially Junior. This is a guy who can't go 5 minutes without getting high and actually tattoos eyes on his eyelids so that people think he's awake while he's sleeping on the job.
  • Only Sane Man: Cheryl is remarkably more mature than the rest of the crew.
  • Overly Long Gag: The laughing shark loop near the end. Also, the crew's incredibly juvenile reactions to their jungle guide being named Dick.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: After the group eventually finds Bigfoot, they panic upon seeing him and messily shoot him dead. This results in the network pulling the plug on the Strange Wilderness show... and then uncancelling it a few months later because they found out about Pierson's death, and couldn't find a replacement show.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: Played with. Whitaker is the first to be interviewed for the animal wranglers' position, and when he admits that he doesn't have any relevant experience and is only applying because he can't get any other job, Peter and Fred give him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and tell him to go fuck himself. However, all the candidates who follow are then shown telling Peter and Fred what irredeemable assholes they are and refuse to even consider taking the job, resulting in them having to hire Whitaker anyway.