Plot: What’s it about?
While Alferd Packer (Trey Parker) is being held in prison on charges of cannibalism and murder, he claims he is innocent and has quite a story to tell about the circumstances he’s seen. Packer and his horse Leeann have been best friends forever and while in Utah they decide to return to the Colorado Territory where Packer once worked for a time. A team of colorful characters is banding together to make a voyage to Colorado, but when their guide Lucky Larry gets struck by lightning, it seems like the trip will never happen. When the folks find out that Packer once worked there though, they persuade him to be the new guide, despite the fact he seems to be totally clueless. After they’ve embarked and been on the trail for a while, the three weeks the trip was supposed to last has turned into months, but hardships aside the team has reached an Indian reservation near the Rocky Mountains. The weather is terrible, Packer’s horse left him, and it all seems to be going wrong, but now they’re just a little ways away from all the gold in the hills. But the trek through the mountains will prove to be more than just a walk in the park and only Packer will emerge alive. With his trial coming up, will he be hanged or will his innocence be proved in time?
This is a musical based on the only convicted cannibal in American history, what more do you need to persuade you to buy this disc? Ok…so maybe that doesn’t make you all want this disc, but those of you who love the antics of Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Dian Bachar will want to pick this up as soon as possible, it is loaded with hilarity. Due to some controversial subject matter this release isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a South Park/Basketball/Orgazmo fan then you’ll feel right at home with this one as well. There is sexual innuendo galore, homoerotic references, profane language out the ass, and even a little bit of good old fashioned blood and guts to round it all out. The gore effects are on the cheesy side but they are hilarious and look better than some I’ve seen. And in between all this madness you’ll find some song and dances numbers to put Broadway to shame, such as the classic “Let’s Build A Snowman” number, that is so moving it results in a human death. This release will appeal most to fans of Parker and Stone, I think this release will be popular with all those who love a good offbeat comedy.
This musical comedy was written and directed by Trey Parker, who is best known for co-creating South Park with his friend Matt Stone. Given the low budget of this film, Parker managed to turn out a visually pleasing movie with some decent production values. I was sometimes surprised at how good some effects and visual shots looked. But this isn’t to be taken seriously by any means, since even the beards look as fake as can be, but this is Parker’s intent. As far as writing goes, the dialogue, songs, and situations always had me laughing, which is exactly what this film is supposed to do. Parker also directed Orgazmo, South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, and Your Studio And You. Parker also plays the lead role and does a hilarious turn, very good stuff. Parker’s partner in crime as always is Matt Stone, who plays half the characters on South Park and also helps write. Stone plays a nerdish role in this film and seems perfect in the part. “Nice Hat!” This film features Dian Bachar, who acted with Stone and Parker in Orgazmo and Basketball and is a real treat to watch work. While his style is sheer humiliation comedy, he is great at it. The supporting cast also includes Ian Harding, Jon Hegel, Jason McHugh (Orgazmo), Toddy Walters (South Park: BLU), and Masao Maki (Orgazmo) as the Indian chief.
Video: How does it look?
Cannibal! The Musical is presented in the original 1.33:1 or full frame aspect ratio. This is a low budget film so the image isn’t as sharp as a major motion picture, but it does look good. The transfer allows the film to look its very best, with only minor flaws to complain about. While some scenes display some bleeding with the red hues, most of the colors appear bright and without error and flesh tones seem normal as well. The contrast is a little dark at times, but usually comes through with clarity and detail. Some edge enhancement can be found, but all in all for a movie with origins like this one, this is a terrific transfer.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is a musical so I would have liked a full surround track, but the included mix offers an adequate experience. The front channels handle all the audio, but the elements never become muddled or overpowered, which surprised me. This is about as good as you can expect from stereo, with music, effects, and dialogue all coming across well. The volume is also consistent, so you don’t have to reach for the remote every few seconds.
Supplements: What are the extras?
In addition the usual array of Troma based extras, this disc includes some terrific film specific goodies. An audio commentary with Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Dian Bachar, Andy Kemler, and Jason McHugh is without a doubt the funniest alternate audio track of all time. As the film progresses the members become more and more drunk and have funnier and funnier things to say. If you want useful information then this track isn’t your style, but for a good time it’s a winner. You’ll also find two different introductions to the film, one of which left me on the floor laughing. A very humorous public service announcement with Parker, Stone, and Lemmy from Motorhead is also on this release. Four brief behind the scenes sequences are also found here, and provide even more humor to the disc. How much more funny shit could they fit on one disc, really? Well, how about an informative and entertaining seven minute interview with Stone, Parker, and McHugh? Still not enough? Let’s a pair of trailers for both Cannibal! The Musical and Parker’s original vision, Alferd Packer: The Musical? You can also access all the songs from the film directly from the menu, or you can view one of four songs as performed live on stage! What the hell else can you people want??