CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL Jan 19 2002

A cannibal and his horse

Cast

Trey Parker
Ian Hardin
Matt Stone
Jon Hegel
Jason McHugh
Dian Bachar
Toddy Walters
Robert Muratore

Alferd Packer
Shannon Wilson Bell
James Humphrey
Israel Swan
Frank Miller
George Noon
Polly Pry
Frenchy Carbazon
Directed by Trey Parker

In the late 1800s, Alfred Packer rounds up a crew of miners to go digging for gold in the Colorado mountains. The chronic liar Humphrey, the fundamentalist Mormon Bell, Swan the unyielding optimist, horny Noon, the cynical butcher Miller, Packer himself and his horse Liane set off to seek their fortune, merrier than a barrelfull of Friar Tucks.

"Oh, you mean that one. Hey, it does look like Kurt Russel's head!"
Soon, however, things turn ugly. Liane runs off with the provisions, Bell steps in a bear trap, and they get lost in the middle of the mountains. An unpleasant prospect dawns upon them: Cannibalism might be the only solution.

As the happy diggers walk through the snowy hell, they always find time to sing songs about hope, despair, loss and memories. Their adventure swoops them into irrate sub-plots, including encounters with a southerner cyclops, Japanese Indians, tone deaf trappers and an unfaithful horse, and they also build an excellent snowman. These elements seem to be the only ones separating this epic from the true story. Most scenes are shot along the actual route Packer travelled in 1873-74, and the script is based on Packer's side of the story.

Character actor Trey Parker
Of course, this improbable concept is not created by a Hollywood studio. While studying at the University of Colorado, Trey Parker (Orgazmo, South Park) wrote, scored, starred in and directed Alferd Packer the Musical. Later, it was bought by Troma, given a new name, and was released on video.

After the success of South Park, the movie acheived a cult status, and has even been adapted as an off-off-Broadway play. The DVD is a story of its own, with its drunken rant commentary track, clips from the stage adaption and more off-the-wall extra material you could possibly shake a stick at (yes, even if it's a really, really long stick with a spike in it). Highly recommended.
Links:
- Official Cannibal! The Musical Website
- Cannibal Lovers.com
- The Alfred Packer Collection at the Colorado State Archives
- IMDb entry
- Buy the DVD at Amazon.com