My heart's as full as a baked pa-tay-da
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. 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!.
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.
- Big Bad: Shannon Bell is the true cannibal.
- 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".
- 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.
- Trey Parker's father Randy plays the judge at Packer's trial.
- Circular Drive: An Overly Long Gag as the townsfolk spill out of the local tavern.
- 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.
- Placed after the end credits: "Due to the graphic nature of this film, it should not have been watched by small children."
- The film opens with a disclaimer stating that "The film's violent scenes have been edited out for your viewing pleasure", then immediately follows up with a scene where Packer hunts his companions down in the woods, beats one of them with their own severed arm, rips the tongue off another one and proceeds to chow it down.
- Despair Event Horizon: Noon crosses it when he realizes that he will die a virgin.Noon: You know Packer, because of you I will never get laid!
- 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?"
- Takes on a whole new meaning when you consider that Packer's horse Liane is an Expy of Trey Parker's ex of the same name.
- 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-Genre Foe 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:
- 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)
- Jerkass Has a Point: For all of his attitude issues and complaining, Miller is completely right about everything he is complaing about. Most especially his complaint about Packer's not knowing what he is doing.
- When the remaining group talks about killing another member for food, they want it to be Bell because he killed Swan. Bell quickly points out it was Packer's fault for getting them in this mess in the first place.
- 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.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Noon. His obsession with sex and women is based on Dian Bachar, the actor who played him.
- 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.
- 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?
- Pet the Dog: Miller may be a asshole, but he does comfort Noon when he gets upset over the fact he will die a virgin.
- 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: LianePacker: 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.
- 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.
- Villain Song: "The Trapper Song", a song sung by the villainous trapper Frenchy about the joys of killing and skinning helpless animals. The melody of the verses also serves as the trappers' leitmotif.I love the sound of metal (metal)Snapping on an animal's head (ka-chink!)Sometimes they scamper, sometimes they whimperBut they always end up dead
- 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.
- 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.