Cannibal! The Musical (1996)
By: David Michael Brown on July 1, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Stomp Visual (Australia). All Regions, NTSC. 4:3. English 2.0. 95 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Trey Parker
Starring: Matt Stone, Juan Schwartz, Toddy Walters
Screenplay: Trey Parker
Music: Trey Parker and Rich Sanders
Tagline:"All singing! All dancing! All flesh eating!!"
Country: USA
Alfred Packer is the only person in the US who has been tried for cannibalism so it's obviously the perfect subject matter for a musical, a rootin tootin Oklahoma style, gore filled musical at that!

Matt Stone and Trey Parker will be known by many as one half of the South Park team where they have also shown their prowess as songwriters, who could forget Kyle's Mom is a Big Fat Bitch. Some of the songs in Cannibal! The Musical are fabulous but never quite match the ingenuity of Uncle Fucka from the South Park Movie or America Fuck Yeah and Everyone has Aids from Team America. There's even a moment when it sounds like Cartman is joining in on a songs chorus

The film is told in flashback while Packer is incarcerated and awaiting trial. Trey Parker plays Packer who leads a group of Utah prospectors to search for gold in Breckinridge, Colorado. The omens are not good as they travel the country, a black cat, mad hermits and bear traps all cross their path. Soon Packers' horse Liane, his only friend, runs away leading to the hilarious I miss my horse fireside lament "When I was on top of you."

They meet a tribe of Indians who help them, but despite all warnings continue their quest. One of the group is shot after a dispute over a song about a snowman and Packer carries him around like a rotting packed lunch. Then gradually as madness descends the preacher kills the rest of the group but at least now he and Packer have enough meat to last. Packer is the only survivor after he gives Shannon Bell, the preacher played by Ian Hardin, a cleaver in the face, a stick in the eye and an axe in the stomach. He lives off the dead bodies for weeks, trapped in the snow but as soon as he is saved he is arrested.

The film starts off at a quick pace with some good gags but does lose its way, much like Packer and company, during the middle of the film. The gore bookends the film but you do get a bizarre Indian with a squirting eye for your pleasure in between. Its all very silly but does retain a certain charm. You can certainly see what attracted Lloyd Kaufman to the project.
Video
The image is a bit flat and lacking in contrast but overall it's pretty good. Way better than the rest of the Troma's disc.
Audio
Same as above, the songs sound clear and vibrant.
Extra Features
Once again the disc is chock full of Troma related oddities. We get the usual stuff including Behind the scenes footage, a Lloyd Kaufman introduction but we also get a tour of Troma's film studio (obviously all of the Troma team work wearing costumes), Trey and Matt's hermaphrodite public service announcement with Lemmy from Motorhead (you'll have to watch it!), a hamster PSA and interviews with the filmmakers.

The Soul of Troma is a compilation of greatest hits put to music, Motorhead of course. The Troma radiation dance is a rather peculiar dance routine that doesn't make too much sense. You can also go directly to your favourite songs.

The best extra is the running commentary with Stone and Parker joined by some of the cast who proceed to get very drunk while watching the film. They manage to fill the their chat with great anecdotes whilst remaining entertaining at the same time. It gets sillier the drunker they get which is perfect for Troma disc.

As always the Troma Intelligence and trailers are conspicuous by their absence.
The Verdict
Fans of Cannibal! The Musical will definitely want to pick up this disc. The film has been given a fine selection of extras and for a change most of them relate to the film in question. Whether the film is the "90s answer to The Rocky Horror Picture Show!" as stated on the sleeve is debatable but it's a fun ride and worth getting purely for the commentary.
Movie Score
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