Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ow My Mother Lovin' Freakin' Eyes

Cannibal! The Musical 
aka Alferd Packer: The Musical (1993)

I'm beginning to rethink the definition of the term 'horror movie' because I've seen things, bad things, in movies nowhere near described as 'horror'. Such as this musical. Already having seen a musical this month (which should be a lifetime quota) I was going to pass on this but Trey Parker and Matt Stone did this (South Park dudes) so I thought eh, how bad could it possibly be? And unfortunately, I found out. Now, to be fair, Trey wrote this while still studying at the University of Colorado, so he was a bit wet behind the ears. I hope they gave him an 'F' for this. Even worse, this became an off-Broadway play in 2001, and the show continued to find small theaters and audiences across America and beyond for many years. So there are many tortured souls out there.

Unlike Repo! The Genetic Musical (Why do these guys need punctuation in their titles?) this was from beginning to end such a piece of trash that I was going to just toss it. The hubby said 'Try watching it about 10 minutes at a time'. Thanks honey. I love you too. It is loosely based on the true story of Alferd Packer and the sordid details of the trip from Utah to Colorado that left his five fellow travellers dead and partially eaten.

The only time he's quiet.
We begin with the trial of Alferd Packer, named as America's First Cannibal in the movie (Although later the group he is 'guiding' to Colorado from Utah mention the Donner party so.... not.) on trial for his life. He is accused and convicted of eating his entire party during the winter months they were lost in the Rockies (he was no guide, he was mostly just going to look for his missing horse). He's sentenced to hang.

Oh god they're going to sing again...
Enter a plucky gal who's actually a reporter who wants to get his story. Feigning interest in him (just like you will have to feign interest in this garbage) she gets him to tell his story, which he does. With songs. And Mormons (What is it with Trey and Mormons?). And more songs. And sight gags like they're trying to be like Blazing Saddles but failing horribly. And more songs. And a new word, shpadoinkle. I don't suggest using that.

Trapper Keepers
Even 10 minutes at a time was torture. Toward the end, everyone in the MOVIE was singing for the man to be hung so the 'show can be over and we can go home'. AMEN. But alas, it was not to be. Alferd is not hung because 'Colorado wasn't yet a state' when the 'crimes' were committed - it was still Ute territory, making the trial null and void - in the musical at least. In real life he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 40 years, the judge telling him as legend goes, "Stand up yah voracious man-eatin' sonofabitch and receive yir sintince. When yah came to Hinsdale County, there was siven Dimmycrats. But you, yah et five of 'em, goddam yah. I sintince yah t' be hanged by th' neck ontil yer dead, dead, dead, as a warnin' ag'in reducin' th' Dimmycratic populayshun of this county. Packer, you Republican cannibal, I would sintince ya ta hell but the statutes forbid it." Now THAT would have been a good ending. Wonder why it was a reduced sentence in the end?

I am Chief Takahashi - err I mean Whitecloud.
Creativity? Well, Trey has produced some interesting stuff - including music (this movie NOT included), even a successful Broadway musical (NOT this one). He was either on LSD (or LDS, he seems to talk about them a lot) or just wanted to see if he could make this as a goof and get somebody to carry it. Dammit, he did. The story is lame, the music is - woof, and about the only interesting (Read almost funny - almost.) part was when Alferd met the Ute Indians of Colorado - which were clearly and very crassly Japanese. Not crass Japanese, just Japanese people portrayed crassly. They lived in white teepees with big red circles on them and carried Katanas. Subtle.

Mormons are notoriously hard to kill, right?
Now I'm gonna take a whole lot of aspirin and lie the hell down for a couple of days.