"Cannibal! The Musical," Matt and Trey's musical before "Book of Mormon" (video)

Pesco blogged earlier about the news that weirdo indie film purveyors Troma are releasing 150 full-length movies on YouTube, for free.

One of them is Cannibal! The Musical (1993), an awesomely awful film about the pioneering raw foodist Alferd Packer, directed by (and starring) Trey Parker, also starring Matt Stone. You can scroll down to watch it in entirety right here.

Trey and Matt, of course, are the same guys behind South Park and the hit Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon. They've come a long way in the 20 years since "Cannibal," and for me, that's part of what makes it so fun to re-watch now—it's so very, "Hey guys, let's put on a show!" Snip from the Troma tease:

"Cannibal" is the true story of the only person convicted of cannibalism in America -- Alferd Packer. The sole survivor of an ill-fated trip to the Colorado Territory, he tells his side of the harrowing tale to news reporter Polly Prye as he awaits his execution. And his story goes like this: While searching for gold and love in the Colorado Territory, he and his companions lost their way and resorted to unthinkable horrors, including toe-tapping songs! Packer and his five wacky mining buddies sing and dance their ways into your heart...and then take a bite out of it! Cannibal! The Musical is Oklahoma meets Bloodsucking Freaks. Brought to you by the Troma Team and Trey Parker -- the Rogers and Hammerstein of Horror!

"Cannibal" later became a live stage play, starting in New York, and moving on to a number of other cities. My friend Jason McHugh oversaw the live touring production, played in some of the stage performances, and wrote a book about it all in 2011. Good times.

Trailer above, full length film via Troma is below. The official "Cannibal" fan-site is here. Amazon has the DVD from Troma, which includes a "Drunken Director's Commentary" in which Parker, Stone, and cast members get drunk and talk about the film while watching the film. Below, watch it in entirety via YouTube. There's a Troma promo that runs up to about 2 minutes 20 seconds in.

* Troma should put ads on these YouTube uploads! I realize the reason they're dumping films online is because of money woes, so why not make some dough off Google ads while they're at it?


  1. The movie is good, but a few years ago I had the opportunity to see the play live at the Backstage Theater in Breckenridge and it was excellent. The best adaptation? Instead of using a real horse, they used a very nice-looking, overly flirtatious girl in skimpy clothing and credited her in the program as the “whorse.” Who knew cannibalism was so ripe for comedy? Here at CU-Boulder I often eat at the Alferd Packer Grill, and yesterday the staff was wearing shirts that said things like “FRESH: AS ALFERD LIKES IT.”

  2. You might be amused to know that not only did I give that film it’s title (it arrived at Troma while I was working there titled “Alferd Packer: The Musical”, but I also designed the toothy logo, that’s used on the poster!

    1. Excellent.  I was a very minor grip on this and one of the few things I remember vividly was the tooth.
      Well done sir

    2. Internationally, it’s still “Alferd Packer: The Musical”. I have a British VHS with that title that has the missing extra song snippet.

  3. It’s funny how people react to things like this. Last month there was a reading of a musical I wrote the lyrics to called Manson’s Girls. It’s a serious view of what turns a fairly normal person into a murderous cult member. The local ABC network (and the L.A. Times) did a short feature on it which played on the 11 o’clock news. The next day, on ABC’s Facebook page, there were over 400 comments, overwhelmingly negative, including death threats. None of the people had actually seen the reading, mind you. Meanwhile, Sondheim’s Assassins, which takes a much more cavalier look at presidential assassins (including Squeaky Fromme) was playing in town without so much as a peep of response.

    1. People take serious things seriously, and not so serious things not so seriously. I don’t know what any of this has to do with Cannibal!

  4. Proto-Cartman at 18:39?

    Oh, and in case people didn’t know, Juan Schwartz is a pseudonym for Trey Parker, who didn’t want to see his name appear so many times in the credits.

  5. This film also features a cameo by Stan Brakhage as the father of one of the main characters.  Brakhage was a key player in 20th century American experimental film.  (Check out Dog Star Man!)   He was a professor at CU Boulder when Matt and Trey were going to school there.

  6. I’m amazed that it took BoingBoing this long to find out about Troma uploading a lot of their old movies on YouTube.

  7. Sort of funny. The instant you had a post about troma having movies on YouTube I immediatly tracked down Cannibal! and posted a link on facey-space. If anyone ever has a chance, the DVD for Cannibal! has an audio commentary where the cast progressively gets more drunk through the movie and the commentary stops for a short period because they have have to make a run to the liquor store :)

  8. I grew up in Denver. I went to college in Boulder from 92-97 while this was being produced. I remember seeing it promoted on campus and around town frequently. At the same time, I ate at or studied in the seating area just outside of the aforementioned Alferd Packer Grill in the UMC (i.e., student union) nearly every day. 

    And I’m only just now, at age 38, realizing that it’s “Alferd” and not “Alfred.”

  9. Hold on. Wait a second.

    Can someone please explain that trailer to me? I’ve been watching this movie at least once a year for the last fifteen years and I have never seen a man in a sombrero or a mustache on Matt Stone’s character.

    1. The trailer was actually produced and shot before the movie, as a fun school project. Then they used it as a “pitch reel” to raise funding for the actual movie, wich had partly different casting.

  10. “The sky is blue and all the leaves are green.

    The sun’s as warm as a baked potato.

    I think I know precisely what I mean,

    When I say it’s a shpadoinkle day.”

    My favorite part is “Lets build a snowman.”  A really great indie film.

  11. I first found out about this film year ago, because a coworker and his family all loved it and used to sing the songs. Loved it. Favorite part: the “Indians” doing Tai Chi in the background. 

  12. I think auto-correct mistakenly put “awful” next to “awesome” in your post. There is nothing remotely awful about this movie.

  13. My brother went to film school with Matt and Trey and has a small part in this film in the finale at the end.

    A little-known(?) fact about Cannibal! courtesy of my brother: when it was released, Matt and Trey got the cast back together to protest it at some theater/film festival with signs and everything, a la “Life of Brian”. Ostensibly they were protesting the fact that someone was making light of murder and cannibalism through a tasteless movie musical, but really it was just to get publicity for the film. I always thought that was a brilliant PR move, although it didn’t get the movie any real traction until after the success of “South Park.”

    Anyway, I also loved the fact that my brother is both in the movie and later protested its release!

    1. “Ostensibly they were protesting the fact that someone was making light of murder and cannibalism through a tasteless movie musical”   They never heard of Sweeney Todd?

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