The unforgettable Forrest Gump once said: “Stupid is as stupid does”. No better line describes the absolute idiocy of some of the people in The Animal Planet’s Untamed & Uncut series. On the surface it’s an animal show, like all of the network’s wares. But the real show is the actions of many of the humans who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances where their lives are at risk because of an animal encounter.
Case in point: The first story covers a venomous reptile collector who is bitten by a monocled cobra. As a person who has bred and handled reptiles for almost 20 years, I know a little thing or two about the subject. While I don’t breed venomous animals, I have worked with them on a limited basis. I also have many personal friends who are collectors of these snakes. Certainly there is no argument that these animals can be very dangerous. That’s why it requires training and careful attention to detail if you’re going to handle these creatures. Fortunately, the folks I know are extremely careful and treat the animals with a healthy dose of respect. We won’t mention the time I was in a “hot room” working with a dealer I won’t name here, when a pair of young green mambas escaped. We managed to wrangle them without incident, but that’s exactly the kind of thing you don’t want to happen. If you watch the guy in this video, he very casually flips the cobra into an enclosure and casually flops the rubber lid on the cage. He’s surprised when the cobra lunges and tags him on the stomach. The only surprise here is that it hadn’t happened before. If you’re a herper, this guy’s actions will make you cringe. No wonder there are folks out there attempting to regulate a trade that for the most part is made up of far more responsible people. This wasn’t the victim of a vicious animal. This was an idiot who was asking for trouble.
This is pretty much the kind of videos you’re going to see. It’s a sensationalist approach. All of the footage is amateur stuff shot mostly on camcorders. The show lets you see the stuff over and over again, beyond making any point. They also use isolation tricks and computer animation in an attempt to demonstrate more clearly what you’re seeing. There’s some exciting stuff here. A surfer gets attacked by not one but two Great Whites at the same time, A bear falls from an electrical pole after getting a shock, an alligator wrestler puts his head in a gator’s mouth and you can guess what happened, a deer is trapped on an iced over lake, and a couple of total screwballs get bitten by a shark while trying to take a hook out of its mouth, not once but twice.
It’s somewhat entertaining. Think of it as The World’s Craziest Videos type of show but featuring animals. No one actually dies in the show, and the animals usually go without serious harm. It’s a new show that premiered last June. There are four episodes on this particular release.
Each episode of Untamed & Uncut is presented in its original full frame broadcast format. Most of this is pretty poor quality camcorder stuff. Picture quality isn’t exactly what fans of this show are looking for.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 delivers only what it is intended to deliver, dialog.
I don’t know if the show is expected to return with new episodes, but I do suspect these installments will be shown generously on the network. That makes putting out any cash here about as stupid as putting your head in an alligator’s mouth. I suspect this release will sell a few copies to folks hoping to see more damage than they’re going to get here. You’ll watch the show, feel like you were cheated, and “limp off into the forest”.