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DVD Review: Untamed and Uncut

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You know those emails you get from people that are filled with capslock messages and exclamation marks, followed by a link to YouTube? The ones that are filled with clips with labels like "BeAr GeTs InTo YaRd AnD fIgHtS tEeN." or "Kid bitten by snake!!!"? Well, Untamed and Uncut takes Hotmail and YouTube out of the equation. With four episodes at forty minutes a pop, Untamed and Uncut delivers exactly what you'd expect. Each episode features a narrator who speaks in that bizarre intonation exclusive to nature shows, where he emphasizes every sentence as if the most banal detail is an addition to the danger and risk involved with the scene. In one episode, the narrator says, "Mason Dunn, a news helicopter pilot shows up to film the harrowing rescue," making it sound like a warning to bandits delivered by Clint Eastwood from horseback.

Aside from the narration, the show is, as the tagline says, 'heart-stopping' at times despite itself. Seeing as how the show is a family one, all of the animal stories end happily, with whatever animal is trapped being freed and recovering, or whatever human is bitten/harmed being rescued and healed. This makes for extremely light, artless fare, but is great for background viewing. During one episode, two moronic surfers decide to catch a spinner shark for curiosity's sake, and so go about getting their poles and such. They catch one within ten minutes, and drag it out onto the beach. They look at the shark for a few minutes, then decide that they should dislodge the hook from its mouth. One of the morons puts his hand directly in the frightened shark's mouth and finds himself with eight deep puncture wounds. Once they free the moron's hand, they decide that maybe sharks deserve more respect, and put the shark back into the ocean, hook intact.

This is essentially the format for the show, which acts as a common sense stand-in for morons, hopefully teaching them to not handle cobras, not put their hands in shark's mouths, not put their heads in alligator's mouths, not stand on tracks used to race donkeys, etc, etc. Seeing as how this collection of animal attacks and encounters is like most similar collections, there's no real seal of quality I can give. The footage is uniformly video, shaky and unprofessional, yet intriguing nonetheless. Untamed and Uncut is not exactly the Citizen Kane of animal shows, but as someone who has seen a few of them, I can safely say that it's the only one you'll need, should you be so inclined.

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About Joshua Wiebe