Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Top of the Queue Review" - Cannibal! The Musical

While most everyone knows that The Book of Mormon (scroll down to see my review of that show or click here) isn't the first "musical" from the brains of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, since they did create South Park, which had musical moments in some of the episodes, the movie of South Park, which got an Oscar nomination for one of it's songs and Team America:World Police which had various songs as well - what you may not know is their first musical effort isn't any of those, but is actually from the early 90's and is called Cannibal! The Musical.

Filmed in 1993 when Parker and Stone were attending the Universtity of Colorado at Boulder and originally called Alferd Packer: The Musical,  the film was picked up for distribution by Troma films and released in 1996.

The story of the film tells the true tale of Alferd Pecker, played by Parker, a prospector, and his five companions who were killed and partially eaten on their treacherous journey between Utah and Colorado in the winter of 1873.  Pecker was the only one who survived and he was accused of cannibalism and tried for manslaugher and sentenced to 40 years in jail.

Of course, the story is told with extreme black humor and seven musical numbers.   There are several references to Oklahoma! - including the opening song with Parker singing on his horse, and there is even a dream ballet!

Is is the greatest film ever made?  No.   Is it so bad, it's good?  No.  But, is it a fairly professionally made movie, made on a shoestring budget, with good acting and filmmaking, some very funny parts, some funny lyrics and a good view into the early creativity of the guys who created South Park and now The Book of Mormon?  Absolutely.   And, the character that Stone plays actually dresses and talks just like Kyle, one of the characters in South Park!

If you are a South Park fan or just curious to see the first project the South Park guys created, then check it out.

Various stage productions of the musical have also been produced.

After seeing the movie you might just want to sing out and say, as Alferd does in the film, "my heart's as full as a baked potato!" - see the video clip below to hear the very cute and funny opening song from the movie as well as the same sequence from a regional theatre production of the musical.

Official Site - where you can watch the entire film as well as download for free mp3's of the songs.

Opening song from the movie-

The same scene from a theatre production of the movie musical -

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