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Film: Cannibal! The Musical

The sky is blue, and all the leaves are green
My heart's as full as a baked potato
I think I know precisely what I mean
When I say it's a shpadoinkle day!

Cannibal! The Musical (also known as Alferd Packer: The Musical) is a Black Comedy musical, aptly named and done by the boys behind South Park in their usual good taste. The story is all about legendary Colorado cannibal Alferd Packer, played by Trey Parker himself, backed by his crew of Humphrey, played by Stone, and other strange characters in his crew. Very strange Hilarity Ensues.

The movie was made on a shoestring budget and it shows— Parker and Stone caved from pressure from friends to actually expand a fake trailer they made for an assignment in college into a real movie. The film itself was made in 1993 but released as a film in 1996 by Troma. Early South Park humor is evident. A lot of it parodies the musical Oklahoma!.

The full movie can be watched for free online at the official site here, as well as the version with the DVD Commentary track. All the songs are downloadable for free as well.

Tropes related to the movie:

  • Aerith and Bob: From "Let's Build a Snowman!":
    Swan: We can name him Tom or we can name him George!...We can name him Bob or we can name him Beowulf!
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The gentle-natured protagonist's horse dumps him for the more macho, more aggressive trappers.
  • Angry Mob Song: "Hang the Bastard," meant to sound as much as possible like a cheery old-school-style excuse-to-dance number.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Some of the lines spoken by the Japanese Indians translate as "This movie sucks" and "You're a stupid person". They also claim the name of their tribe is Nihonjin, which means "Japanese people".
    • The hand signals Humphrey (Matt Stone) uses when first meeting the not-Indians is sign language for "Jesus Christ is Dead".
  • Black Comedy
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism
  • Berserk Button: What Liane is to Packer
  • Bloody Hilarious
  • Brick Joke: Ooh, fudge!
  • The Cameo: Of the unlikeliest sort: influential avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage appears briefly as Noon's father. Brakhage was one of Parker and Stone's film professors in college.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A literal example with Miller's gun.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Japanese Indian chief.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The trappers, when told to stop singing the "trapper song." However both sides end up missing the point when it degenerates into an argument over what key the song should be in.
    Noon: Oh stop!
    Humphrey: That's sick.
    Frenchy: I agree, [hits one of the other trappers] Nutter was singing in the wrong key!
    Nutter: No I wasn't. It was Loutzenheiser. I was singing in E♭ minor.
    Frenchy: The song's in F♯ major!
    Bell: I think they're the same thing. I mean, E♭ is the relative minor of F♯.
    Frenchy: No, it isn't. The relative minor is 3 half-tones down from the major, not up!
    Noon: No, it's 3 down. Like A is the relative minor of C major.
    Loutzenheiser: But isn't A♯ in C major?
    Bell: Wait, are you singing mixolydian scales, or something?
    Frenchy: A# is tonic to C major. It's the 6th!
    Humphrey: No it isn't!
    Swan: Well, it'd be like a raised 13th if anything.
  • Comedy of Remarriage: Subversion-via-aversion between Packer and Liane. (The story is so sappy/corny/cliche this is a no-brainer, until it falls completely flat, which is almost assuredly deliberate.)
  • Content Warnings: Parodied.
  • Creator Breakdown: The whole Liane subplot was inspired by Parker walking in on his fiance of the same name having sex with another man a month before their wedding. He apparently kept her in the dark about this subplot considering that she helped him choreograph the dancing.
  • Crowd Song: "Hang the Bastard"
  • Dark Reprise: Of "That's All I'm Asking For"
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Polly Pry.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom:
    Ralph: [thrusts a pointing finger at the group] The Rocky Mountains. I gotta warn ya! You're doomed! Doomed! Doomed! [lowers the finger] You're doomed! [walks away] Doomed. [the man walks around the group. The miners follow his walk with their eyes] Turn back, while you still can. You're doomed. You're all doomed.
    Packer, Swan: [beat] Thank you.
  • Double Entendre / Innocent Innuendo: "When I Was on Top of You", Packer's heartfelt and sincere ballad to his missing horse, is littered with these. Afterwards, Humphrey offers Packer a piece of fudge with the words "Fudge, Packer?"
  • Dream Ballet: Between Packer and Frenchy.
  • DVD Commentary: The directors got very drunk and watched their movie. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Eating Shoes: Before they start eating each other, the characters eat their shoes.
  • Eye Awaken: Parodied in a marvelously over-the-top fashion.
  • Eye Scream: The civil war veteran whose eye squirts out pus every time he talks.
  • Fanservice / Fan Disservice: The ballet dream scene, which features Packer and Frenchy in tights.
  • Fauxreigner: Native Americans that are Japanese people in disguise...
    Bell: Could you tell me what tribe this is?
    Chief: Hmmmmm... We are... Indians!
    Bell: ...Yes, I see that, but... what Indians?
    Chief: You don't think we are... Indians?
    Bell: No, no, no, I just um...
    Chief: We have... teepees.
    Bell: Right. I see, but...
    Chief: Look at all these teepees ...we have. Because... we are...Indians!
    Packer: Yeah, they have teepees.
  • Fauxshadow: Early in the movie, Miller pulls a gun on Packer to get him moving. This is supposed to foreshadow him getting violent later on. When they're starving and see a lamb he doesn't have the heart to pull the trigger. When Swan sings his "snowman" song, Bell is the one who kills him.
  • Fish out of Water: All of the miners, when they run into the Outside-Context Villain Cyclops, and try to play along, but fail for being Culture Blind. Also an inversion of Country Mouse, as it's the miners, and not the mouse, who are shown up as oddball.
  • Fridge Logic: In-Universe.
    Humphrey: You guys! I just thought of something too.
    Packer: What?
    Humphrey: Okay, now, you remember when Swan was building that snowman? Well, how the hell did he make that tapping sound with his feet?
    Noon: You just now thought of that?
    Humphrey: Well it's pretty fucking weird, isn't it?!
  • Funny Afro: The big crazy red jewfro Humphrey hides under his hat.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In the first courtroom scene, the judge is very clearly bored with the proceedings. He's so bored he starts building a house of cards.
    • After Humphrey makes dinner, when Noon starts up the "I Want" Song, Packer can be seen tasting (and clearly hating) whatever the hell it is Humphrey made.
  • Groin Attack: Packer pulls a mean one on Frenchy.
  • Historical Beauty Update: The plain Polly Pry is played by the pretty Toddy Walters (albeit in unflattering clothes)
  • "I Am" Song: "Trapper Song". Doubles as a Villain Song.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Of course!
  • Idiot Hero: Packer.
  • "I Want" Song: "That's All I'm Asking For"
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Swan is killed mid-musical number.
  • Lethal Chef: Humphrey.
    Miller: (Looking at the food) You son of a bitch Humphrey.
    Humphrey: Aww, come on. Ya didn't even try it!
    (He tries it)
    Miller: You son of a bitch Humphrey.
  • Life Imitates Art: At the end of the film Packer decides he doesn't need Liane after finding love with Polly Pry. In real life Trey Parker decided he didn't need his ex Liane after finding love with Toddy Walters the actress who plays Polly Pry.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Noon. His obsession with sex and women is based on Dian Bachar, the actor who played him.
  • Made of Plasticine
  • Meaningful Name: Parker's acting credit is "Juan Schwartz", which is based on "John Schwartze", one of the pseudonyms the real-life Packer used while running from the law.
  • The Mel Brooks Number: "When I Was on Top of You," specifically.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The day after Bell kills Swan, Bell seems to be doing a little bit of this.
  • Nice Hat: Bell, Noon, Packer, and Humphrey.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Trey Parker dubbed in his own voice for Robert Muratore (as Frenchy) for the lead vocals of "The Trapper Song".
  • No Party Like a Donner Party
  • Off with His Head!: In the final scene.
  • Only Sane Man: Frank Miller. Bell (the priest) has shades of this later in the movie.
  • Overly-Long Gag: Packer's party arrive at a shop and every one of them greets the shopkeeper individually, with the shopkeeper always responding in kind and the camera panning back and forward every single time. Basically, it amounts to the audience hearing a lot of "howdy" or "howdy-do" over the course of a few seconds.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: From the poster: "the first intelligent musical about cannibalism." A Take That at Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, perhaps?
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: "Shpadoinkle."
  • Place Worse Than Death: Wyoming.
  • Please Keep Your Hat On: Humphrey's huge afro reveal, later used for Kyle's hair in South Park.
  • The Pollyanna: Swan. Cheerful while starving and freezing and "fucked", he sings a cheerful snowman song to lighten the mood.
  • Rasputinian Death: Bell, to the point where he even pops up right before the end credits as one last scare.
  • Really Gets Around: Liane
    Packer: How does it feel to be riding my horse?
    Frenchy: Come off it, Packer! Everyone in this town's ridden your horse!
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: This is how it began. Trey made a fake trailer for film class and was told to make the movie by his teacher.
  • Running Gag: "Shpadoinkle!"
  • So Bad, It's Good: Invoked—terrible acting, sets that most middle school productions would be ashamed of, and all on purpose. It works.
  • Talent Double: Spoofed in Packer's dream sequence, where no attempt whatsoever is made to cover up the obvious ballet double.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: Parodied. Swan's infamous "Snowman" song, which he sings at the worst times. The second time, though, one of the group loses it and just shoots him halfway through it.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Humphrey's exact words when they're about to cross the river.
  • Those Two Guys: Those two trappers who form Frenchy's posse.
  • Throw It In:
    • "Shpadoinkle" was at first just a silly placeholder word in the song, but Trey and Matt ended up liking it so much they kept it in.
    • The sheriff says "You Know What They Say about sunrise?" then pauses and walks off without making his point. The actor was apparently drunk and forgot his lines, but Trey Parker thought it was funnier than the actual line.
  • Villain Song: "The Trapper Song".
  • Waxing Lyrical:
    Alferd Packer: Hey, do you guys think it's true, that she's a trapper horse?
    Frank Miller: A horse is a horse.
    James Humphrey: Of course.
    Alferd Packer: Of course.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Polly Pry in "This Side of Me".
  • X Meets Y: The trailer describes the film as being "in the tradition of Friday the 13th Part 2 and Oklahoma!".
  • You Know What They Say: A town member asks, "You know what they say about sunrise?" After a pregnant pause, he simply walks away. This was a Throw It In moment, since the actor had forgotten his lines and panicked.
  • Your Cheating Heart

Troma's WarCreator/TromaTromeo And Juliet
CamelotThe MusicalCarmen Jones
    Creator/Trey Parker and Matt StoneOrgazmo
The Cable GuyFilms of the 1990sChain Reaction
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidIndex of Film WesternsCarry On
Cannibal HolocaustHorror FilmsCaptivity

alternative title(s): Cannibal The Musical; Ptitle3hmq281n
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