Strange Wilderness

Strange Wilderness
Starring Steve Zahn, Allen Covert and Jonah Hill. Directed by Fred Wolf. Tinseltown. Rated R.
Rated 2.0

There are some stupid comedies that actually manage to be funny. There are some stupid comedies that are just stupid. And then there are some stupid comedies that, when they finally end, make you want to throw your hands up at the screen and yell “WTF!?”

Strange Wilderness is definitely in the latter category.

Ostensibly, the stoner flick is about Peter (Steve Zahn), the son of a popular but stone-dead host of the eponymous animal TV show. Even though he has Tony Iommi as a sound dude and Ernest Borgnine as a cameraman, Peter just can’t get his stoner act together and keep the show on track. Actually, he’s got the bong rips down, but the show is plummeting in the ratings. Despite its 3 a.m. timeslot. On the verge of being replaced by his network for a better-funded wildlife show, Peter and his motley crew set off in pursuit of footage of the reclusive Bigfoot before his dirty-playing competition can get there first.

And that’s pretty much it for a plot, as Strange Wilderness appears to have been an improv project. Stock footage of animals getting it on fills up a goodly chunk of the running time, and Zahn and his friends seem to have grabbed the film equipment, headed out past the Hollywood sign and shot a bunch of scenes of them tromping back and forth in the woods riffing off of each other. Lots of pot seems to have actually been involved, since at various points the cast accidentally lays down the setup for a joke, gets confused, then wanders off before figuring out a pay-off.

Strange Wilderness delivers with a handful of underachiever laughs, but is in no way a competent comedy.