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The Making of Cannibal! The Musical, by Jason McHugh


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Chapter 21 - Spring Break in the Mountains

The next day (I think) was the day we shot the General store scene, which was a big deal for me as it was my dadís acting debut. We cast all of our Dads in the movie. Treyís dad was the Judge, Ianís dad did a drum roll during Hang The Bastard, and Mattís dad was in Hang the Bastard too, but he didnít really stand out. Anyways, my Dad was typecast as the howdy-do store clerk; if you ever pay my dad a visit heíll give you the Howdy, howdy-do greeting. Joe McHugh is a hippy with a haircut, and is known to continuously hum around the house. Anyways he nailed his lines and I was a proud son - I never thought Iíd see my Dad in the movies! I thought Randy Parker was really good as the Judge and I think itís cool to cast parents in movies. Martin Scorcese does it too. His Mom plays the mom in Goodfellas. My sister Brody also did some work as an extra; you can see her walking out of the store as the miners are walking in.

Alrighty then, time for Hang The Bastard!!!! So back in the 90ís when we were making this picture, MTV had a show called the Big Picture Show hosted by Chris Connelly and Juliette Honen. The show featured movie reviews and set visits and covered big Hollywood stories. I thought it would be cool if they did a story about us, but how and why would they cover a bunch of unknown film geeks from Colorado? Anyways I got the contact number and made the call with this angle: ďWe are the MTV target market!Ē I called Juliette up and started pitching her on who we were and she told me to write up a proposal and include the stars that were in the movie, etc. I figured we were screwed as we had NO stars. But with a ďwhat the fuckĒ attitude, I played up the fact that we had NO stars and that virtually our entire cast was under 24 years old. We arenít stars but we are the MTV Generation and MTV should do a story on us to inspire their audience to make movies and be empowered, etc. And whattya know, they went for it!!! But there was a catch. We had to pay for their producerís plane ticket from LA, which was four hundred bucks that wasnít budgeted for. So we scraped it together and were rewarded with a fat story, which would later change the course of History when one Pam Brady caught our MTV story and got in touch with us (more on that later).

Anyways, the day came when I went to pick up Sarah West from the airport. She was our British MTV producer, who certainly had to feel like she drew the short straw. Normally these producers are being sent out to phat sets with huge spreads and big stars. Sarah was getting sent out to cover a bunch of college geeks shooting a musical in a cheesy western town in bum-fuck Colorado. Our sense of humor helped her make the best of things, though. On top of that she had her own room and we bought her some beer, so she was okay. Naturally, by the end of the stay we had all made friends and she ended up having a really good time. Sarah West also turned out to be a crucial ally as we eventually made our way westward.

So shooting Hang The Bastard was another super intense day for Mr. Trey Parker. First off, we were shooting the finale to the whole movie, so that was huge right there. Then to intensify things, we had the REAL LIANNE choreographing the scene. Trey hadnít seen her in months until now, and they were working together with over one hundred extras on hand, as well as local press and MTV. Now we all know that Trey was psyched to have Lianne checking him out while he directed a cast of hundreds in front of local and national press. I certainly recommend this to any jilted lover. If you want to make them feel a little jealous or like they chose poorly, set up a huge movie shoot with extras and press and with you as the star. Theyíll feel a little bit stupid, which I am sure Lianne has felt over the years. From my point of view however, the whole Lianne thing was the best thing that ever happened to Trey career-wise. It forced him to deal with his own pain and put it on the screen. In fact, we may have never even made Cannibal if it hadnít been for that silly dancing ho. And Iíll never forget watching the MTV story with Trey for the first time. He felt completely validated by the whole thing because MTV included the movie clip with Packer saying ďHi, I am Alferd Packer and this is my horse Lianne.Ē He was like now, no matter what, this project is a success for me because I made a Lianne joke on MTV. I was glad he felt this way, but I wasnít done trying to get the Lianne story out to the public.

All in all, the Hang the Bastard shoot went pretty smoothly. Trey was nervous and we had hoped for more extras, but we pulled it off complete with interviews and a hot dog cook-out for 150 cowboys and cowgirls. We even wore headsets - thatís how bad-ass we were at the time!!!

There are always some characters that show up for extras call. We got a few old hillbillies whose western wear was completely authentic, with leather and all the detail. We couldnít always put them next to our featured cast members, though, because then you could tell how cheap and crappy our costumes were compared to theirs. There were some classic old coots that had come down for other productions over the years.

Lianne did a great job with the choreography and Trey was a happy camper by the end of the shoot. Sarah West had a great time and got a quality story to bring back to LA!

What else can I tell about Hang The Bastard? That was the first time we shot with The Indian Chief and the first Chief we shot with was NOT the notorious Maki-san.

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