Cannibal! the Musical (1996) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is a Troma DVD of Trey Parker's "Cannibal the Musical", the famous $125,000 film project that he worked on while a student. It's a musical comedy about Alferd Packer, a guy convicted of cannibalism in the 19th century, and a bit of a Colorado folk legend. In fact, he's the only man ever given the death penalty for cannibalism in America, and therefore the perfect subject for a light-hearted musical romp.

The tag line: All Singing! All Dancing! All Flesh Eating!

Some great songs. Most IMDb viewers liked "Let's Build a Snowman", but my favorite was "Hang the Bastard", an elaborate dance number in gingham and calico, ala Oklahoma. In fact, the film could be considered a parody of Oklahoma in several ways, including the introductory song-on-my-horse and the famous dream sequence, in which Trey dances some ballet - and quite convincingly as well. I guess it's "Oklahoma" via "Paint Your Wagon", via "Dr Strangelove", as befits Trey's odd sense of humor.



DVD info from Amazon.

  • Full-screen format

  • Interviews with South Park creators Trey Parker & Matt Stone, plus producer Jason McHugh

Trey wrote the script, scored the music, directed, danced, acted the lead, and sang.

Trey (who claims his name is Juan Schwartz in the credits!) has a nice singing voice, and the songs are actually catchy. You're going to find yourself singing them unconsciously, and people will look at you very strangely.

The movie has some dead spots, but also some inspiration, and the songs are uniformly great fun and make the film well worth renting, or even owning if it's your kind of material.

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. I can't rate it higher by our definition, because a humorous look at cannibalism obviously will not appeal to mainstream viewers, and the film lags in spots. But it is also brilliant in other spots - a hilarious send-up of Hollywood musicals, especially Oklahoma! And I can't stop singing the shpadoinkel songs. Highly recommended.

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