This movie was a real wildcard for me. Honestly, the only reason I watched it was because today I was watching movies with a bunch of my friends in celebration of the end of finals. My friend Kinsey was searching on NetFlix and cried, “Let’s watch Cannibal the Musical!” When you hear a title like that, even if you’re not a big fan of either cannibals or musicals, you just don’t walk away from it.
Cannibal the Musical is an independent black comedy directed. produced, and starred in by Trey Parker (yes, the later South Park creator) in 1993. It loosely (very loosely) follows Alfred Packer’s notorious trip across the Rocky Mountains which lead to him resorting to cannibalism for survival. In the movie, Packer (Trey Parker) is being persecuted for allegedly killing his travel companions who were all found dead and partially eaten on the mountainside. Before he is sentenced and later sent to execution, he tells the true story of what happened to journalist Polly Pry (Toddy Walters).
Warning: this humor is not for everyone. As can be imagined with a movie about cannibals, there are some very Tarantinoesque scenes mostly in the first five minutes for shock value. So if you can get through the first five minutes, you should be okay.
I personally really enjoyed the humor, mostly the fact that through most of the story, Packer is completely in love with his horse. It’s a little bit hard to get through the first 20 minutes of the film, because it’s a bit dry, but the movie does get better.
Probably what I love best about this movie is how in a self aware way, it is completely ridiculous. Nothing really makes sense. For example, at one point in their journey, Parker’s party comes across some Japanese people parading as Native Americans. And need I mention again that the main character is in love with his horse? Oh, and don’t forget, this movie is a musical. So every now and then, when the emotions get ramped up, the characters express themselves in catchy, ridiculous songs. My favorite is “Let’s Build a Snowman” which I will undoubtedly be humming as I walk across the stage at my college graduation this Sunday.
As far a complaints, it is hard for me to criticize a movie that is intentionally ridiculous and completely unserious. I guess I wish the beginning (other than the Tarantino scene) were a bit more interesting, but other than that I thought this movie was a lot of fun. A great way to spend time with your friends. I give Cannibal the Musical a 6. If you like South Park, you will probably enjoy this movie, so give it a shot. Most preferably with alcohol. Yeah, it’s that kind of film.