Wild Maneuvers is a send-up of a military maneuver mixed with romantic intrigue, concerning our hero Buddy’s attempts to win back the affections of his ex-girlfriend, Liza, a successful journalist. Buddy manages to bribe Liza’s editor to assign her to the maneuver as a ploy to rescue their relationship.
A parallel theme involves a crack squad, for whom a battle ‘exercise’ is being set up, to have its skills tested in counter-insurgency against an eccentric group of ex-bush war veterans led by a mad-man called The Horror. As punishment for stealing a tank, Buddy and the rest of his squad are assigned to do all the manual labor during the maneuver. This, of course, does nothing to help Buddy’s predicament with Liza. To compound the problem, the officer commanding the squad of crack troops is none other than Liza’s new boyfriend, Lieutenant Peter Loring. Buddy and Loring are immediately involved in a confrontation and Buddy is further humiliated by being punished in front of his corporal and the press reporters covering the ‘exercise’.
Buddy and his squad decide to avenge this humiliation but they are not the only ones looking for revenge. The Horror once served under Colonel Davids, the officer commanding the maneuver, and also has a score to settle.
The Horror’s group attacks the base camp on the night before the ‘exercise’ is due to begin. In the ensuing chaos, Prester John, (who The Horror considers to be his ‘brains’), is accidentally captured by Buddy and his squad.
The Horror believes that Colonel Davids is responsible and takes Lieutenant Loring prisoner in retaliation.
The Horror and his gang decide to go on ‘vacation’ outside the grid references set down by Colonel Davids for the ‘exercise’. Colonel Davids is totally unaware that Buddy and his squad are holding The Horror’s ‘brains’, and after a brief interrogation, ‘brains’ reveals to Buddy and his squad that The Horror and his gang are holed outside the official ‘exercise’ zone.
Buddy and his squad decide to join the ‘exercise’ to try and apprehend the enemy themselves. Ignoring all the rules, they take on The Horror’s bush fighters.
When they succeed in capturing them, Buddy regains credibility with his commanding officers and wins back the passion of Liza and becomes the hero of the maneuvers.