“Let’s start by building a big statue of me, right over there where that fat kid is standing,” says Saddam Hussein. Eric Cartman responds, “Hey! Don’t call me fat, buttfucker!”
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since there was a South Park movie. I first heard of the show (created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker) when I started high school, and it didn’t take long for me to become a big fan. When I heard that there was going to be a South Park movie, I knew I just had to see it. I was 15 when I saw South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut on the big screen, and it marked the first time that I’d seen an R-rated film on the big screen. To this day, I’m still surprised that I managed to convince my father to take me to see it (if he had seen any of the episodes of the TV show he definitely wouldn’t have taken me). Nevertheless, I had succeeded in seeing my first R-rated film on the big screen, and I enjoyed the experience very much (in fact, much more than I had anticipated).
1999’s South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut begins on a Sunday morning in a small Colorado town called South Park. 9 year-old Stan Marsh gathers his friends Kyle Broflovski, Kenny McCormick, and Eric Cartman as they head to the local movie theater to see the new movie Asses of Fire, which features Canadian comedy duo Terrance and Phillip. The box office attendant refuses to sell the children any tickets because the film is rated R, so the kids get a homeless man to purchase their tickets in exchange for booze. The kids enjoy the film so much (especially its foul language) that they convince their friends and classmates to go see the film. The four friends soon get in trouble, however, when they get caught repeating the film’s foul language during class. Kyle’s mother Sheila overreacts to the situation, going as far as forming a coalition to have the U.S. wage war on Canada as well as have Terrance and Phillip arrested and executed as war criminals. As this goes on, Satan and Saddam Hussein plot to overtake the world of the living while Stan and his friends attempt to rescue Terrance and Phillip before it’s too late.
One of the most surprising aspects of the film is that, in addition to being a crude and somewhat raunchy comedy, it’s also a musical. All of the musical numbers (music and lyrics were written by director Parker and composer Marc Shaiman ) are performed by the characters, and they’re all quite good. The song “Mountain Town” is an excellent introduction to the film, “Uncle Fucka” is an unforgettable Terence and Philip number (including the farts), and “It’s Easy MMMKay” is a hilarious faux educational song. Then there’s the Oscar-nominated song “Blame Canada,” a song that should’ve won the Oscar (I don’t like Phil Collins either). There’s even an expansion of a song from the TV show, “Kyle’s Mom’s A Bitch,” which is hilariously performed by Cartman (the payoff at the end of the sequence is pure gold). All the songs are wonderful, and perhaps the most surprisingly touching song is “Up There” (performed by Satan himself), which also happens to be a spoof of the song “Part of Your World” from 1989’s The Little Mermaid (many of the songs spoof Disney musicals such as The Little Mermaid and 1991’s Beauty and the Beast, as well as stage musicals like Les Miserables).
There’s a lot of gross gags throughout the film (which I don’t want to spoil). The film pokes fun at the absurd lengths people will go to in the name of censorship and also attacks lazy parenting. It still manages to be heartwarming in spite of all that happens. The animation is a bit crude when compared to episodes of the TV show produced in the last few years; the film was released two years after the show’s debut and its animation techniques had not yet advanced to what the show can achieve now. Nevertheless, the film still holds up after all these years and hasn’t lost any of its humor. The only question left is: When the hell do we get a sequel?