Before South Park ever came to be, Trey Parker and Matt Stone were just students at the University of Colorado at Boulder—with a musical-making dream.
Back in 1993, South Park creators-to-be Trey Parker and Matt Stone were just kids, studying film at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Little did they know that one certain school project would get strangely out of hand and escalate into the beginnings of true comedy greatness—and they'd never look back.
The two created Cannibal! The Musical, a horror-comedy musical film based loosely on some true Colorado history: Alferd Packer's 1874 journey from Utah to Colorado, during which he feasted on the dead bodies of his five traveling companions.
What started as a three-minute fake trailer for Parker and Stone's film class soon became a full-fledged movie that they shot over weekends and during spring break with the $75,000 budget they had raised. Eventually, they premiered it at a movie theater near the university, and it even became a cult phenomenon with a traveling stage show.
The musical combines a gory and morbid plot with cheerful songs, a contrast that seems to strike a chord with fans of Parker and Stone's later, more well-known collaborations, including Comedy Central's South Park and Broadway musical The Book of Mormon.
"The sole survivor of an ill-fated trip to the Colorado Territory, he tells his side of the harrowing tale to news reporter Polly Pry 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!" states the Cannibal! The Musical website.
You can find the full version of the film online, or you can purchase it on Amazon! But beware: the film is R-rated, so we are offering you a few more family-friendly snippets here, just to give you a taste of the magic of this Colorado-born treasure:
Parker and Stone, who were both raised in Colorado, eventually moved on to much bigger things than their little independent film, each building a renowned career in the entertainment industry.
Have you seen Cannibal! The Musical before? If not, enjoy this little bit of dark Colorado history peppered with some silly Trey Parker humor! We're wishing you a Shpadoinkle Day!