Awfully Good: Cannibal! The Musical
With GREEN INFERNO serving up cannibal horror this weekend, we look at the lighter side of eating our fellow humans
Cannibal! The Musical (1993)
Director: Trey Parker
Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Toddy Walters
The true story of Alfred Packer, a Colorado pioneer who was convicted of gruesomely murdering and eating his fellow travelers in 1873. Now with 100% more song and dance!
I love everything Trey Parker and Matt Stone have ever doneSOUTH PARK, ORGAZMO, TEAM AMERICA, BOOK OF MORMON, even BASEKETABLL. Despite being a truly humble beginning (putting it nicely), CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL fits snugly alongside the rest of their catalog and in the venerated halls of Awfully Good legend.
Being Magneto sometimes has its downsides too.
Made for $125,000 while Parker was still in college at the University of Boulder, CANNIBAL! is amateur in every respect. The cast is made up of the filmmaker's friends, family, professors and even exchange students at his school, and you can only imagine the caliber of acting that results. There are hilariously cheap gore effects, production values that really shouldn't have the word "value" associated with it, and a plethora of truly bad wigs. However, despite the clear deficiencies in budget, the script is energetic, genuinely funny and you can clearly see the same irreverent sense of humor and anything-goes zaniness that would manifest in SOUTH PARK. In fact, you'll also find more than a little direct foreshadowing to the showMatt Stone's character has a hat and giant red afro like Kyle, there are random alien visitors hidden throughout, and at one point you can even hear a background extra with Cartman's voice.
You can also see the origins of Big Gay Al.
Amazingly enough, as crazy as it gets, CANNIBAL! is actually pretty faithful to the real life story of Alfred Packer, covering all the major points in his flesh-eating journey through the Colorado territory and subsequent trial. There's just the added benefit of more fart jokes and singing. And I love that Parker went full-on musical for his first movie. If you're familiar with any of their work, you know Parker and Stone have a talent for creating tunes that are equally funny and catchy and CANNIBAL! is no exception. Highlights from the soundtrack include the nonsensical "Shpadoinkle," Dian Bachar (Choda Boy from ORGAZMO and Lil' Bitch from BASEKETBALL) singing about getting laid, and a romantic love ballad about a horse with the chorus, "When I was on top of you " (Fun Fact: Like Cartman's mom, Packer's horse is named Liane after Trey Parker's ex-girlfriend, who I'm sure appreciates the running gag of being ridden by everyone.)
As expected, The Smiling Dead spinoff didn't last long.
Aside from the hummable music, the movie is also filled with memorable gags and scenes, all of which are really stupid when described in writing. There's the group of Native Americans the pioneers encounter who are played entirely by Japanese people speaking Japanese and practicing martial arts. (The chief is G-Fresh from ORGAZMO, who is actually the chef at Parker and Stone's favorite sushi restaurant in Colorado.) There's a cyclops with a serious eye infection and a corpse who has a really hard time actually dying. There are a bunch of self-referential jokes about the fact that CANNIBAL! is a musical, from a random extra who is confused when someone randomly breaks in to song to a fight that turns in to a discussion on musical notation. And then there's Wyoming. Trust me, it all makes sense in the movie . Actually, not really .
The face you make when you just found out you're contractually obligated for a BASEKETBALL sequel.
CANNIBAL! is truly one of those films you just need to experience for yourself. And if you love South Park or movies from Troma (who eventually picked it up and released it in 1996), then I highly suggest you do.
From teepees to Mr. Ed references, an assortment of great dialogue. Howdy!
Some of the best musical moments, action scenes, and Wyoming.
Exactly one male ass.
Take a shot or drink every time:
- Someone says, "Shpadoinkle!"
- Someone gets put in time out
- Humphrey is an asshole
- You can hear Cartman's voice
- Someone comes back from the dead
Thanks to Matt for suggesting this week's movie!
|Extra Tidbit:||The drunk commentary on this DVD, where Parker, Stone and friends get more and more inebriated as the movie goes on, is probably the greatest audio commentary ever.|