Movie: South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut
Production Companies: Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Comedy Central Films, Scott Rudin Productions, Braniff Productions
Director: Trey Parker
Producers: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Scriptwriters: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Pam Brady
Main Cast: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman, Isaac Hayes
Release Date: June 30th 1999 (US)
Running Time: 81 minutes
Well, yet again I don’t have a creative introduction for this review. Anyway, for those wondering, imagine if South Park became a musical. A very crass, immature musical but that is basically South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut. Oh, also before I start, yes the title is referring to exactly what you’re thinking it means…. So, without further ado, here is my review of the film.
The film opens with Cartman, Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Kyle’s brother Ike visiting the cinema to see the new Terrance and Phillip film: Asses of Fire. Unsurprisingly, the boys are turned away from the R-rated film so naturally they bribe a homeless man to accompany them. After watching the film, the boys are constantly swearing. This naturally encourages all of their classmates to see it. Well, except Wendy Testaburger and her new crush, exchange student Gregory. Oh, keep in mind Stan’s jealousy of Gregory…
The Kids Parents Find Out
Obviously, the kids’ parents find out and forbid the kids from seeing the film again. However, the kids see it multiple times. This leads to Cartman betting Kenny that he can’t set his fart on fire. Long story short, Kenny immolates himself and dies in hospital from a botched heart transplant. Kenny then finds himself barred from Heaven so ends up in Hell with Satan and his abusive partner: Saddam Hussain. If that isn’t weird enough, Kyle’s mum Sheila starts M.A.C (Mothers Against Canada) Somehow this leads to Terrance and Phillip being arrested as war criminals, Canada declaring war on the US and bombing the Baldwins. Oh, also Cartman gets fitted with a chip that electrocutes him every time he swears.
Meanwhile in Hell, Satan is prophesying that war between the US and Canada and when Terrance and Phillip die he will invade and conquer the Earth. After failing to convince Satan to break up with Saddam, Kenny’s ghost tries to warn Cartman. All this leads to Stan, Kyle and Cartman forming a resistance movement against M.A.C to rescue Terrance and Phillip. Long story short, the resistance infiltrate the execution show but crucially Cartman forgets his task, leading to the mission being botched.
War breaks out
All of this culminates in the Canadian Army emerging to stop Terrance and Phillip’s execution with Cartman managing to pull a switch saving the duo. This also has the side effect of disabling his shock collar. In all of this chaos, members of M.A.C are horrified at what they have incited and leave, with only Sheila (of course) staying in the group. Somehow in the middle of the chaos, Stan is knocked out and awakens in front of a sentient clitoris who gives him advice on how to get Wendy. The children then find Terrance and Phillip, thanks to Stan, and form a human shield to save them. Unfortunately, Sheila decides to shoot the duo anyway, fulfilling Satan’s prophecy.
Cartman vs Saddam
All this leads to a final confrontation with Saddam who engages Cartman in an expletive filled battle. Big mistake there… All this leads to Satan finally killing Saddam for good by throwing him onto a stalagmite in Hell. Oh also, for his loyalty Kenny is granted one wish. So what does he wish for? Everything and everyone returned to a pre-war state. Awww… Anyway, Sheila reconciles with Kyle while Kenny is allowed to ascend to Heaven due to his sacrifice.
Songs in South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut
To begin my analysis of South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut I’m going to discuss the obvious point: the songs. As alluded to in the introduction, the film is like if South Park merged with a musical. And where better place to start the analysis of the songs than the iconic Kyle’s Mom is a B*tch? Despite it only being a minute long, Cartman communicates everything the gang and the audience feel about Sheila in about 1 minute and 15 seconds.
This is a perfect encapsulation of how the songs in Bigger, Longer and Uncut mirror the songs in a more traditional musical. How so? Well in musicals songs are used to communicate characters feelings to the audience in a form of exposition. Taking Kyle’s Mom is a B*tch as an example this delightful song tells us how much Cartman hates Kyle’s Mom in a far more entertaining way than simply having him state how he feels about Sheila.
Satirising Censorship of Media in South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut
Continuing my analysis of South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut I’m going to discuss how the film satirises censorship of media. Now, any long time viewers of South Park will know how little Matt Stone and Trey Parker care for censorship. This is probably most evident in the film’s title because after pushback from censors Parker and Stone changed it to from All Hell Breaks Loose to Bigger, Longer and Uncut. Which we can all agree is a much more subtly satirical title…
Anyway, more evidence of Parker and Stone’s hatred of censorship is in the parent’s reaction to the kids having seen Terrance and Phillip. Again, this is making fun of how parents see foul language as the devil (maybe it’s justified…) Further justification behind the hatred of censorship is through the film’s portrayal of the MPAA. Parker and Stone do this via the parents as a surrogate simply because it mirrored the moral panic surrounding the film and the number of children trying to see it on opening weekend.
South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut and Youth Culture in the 90s
Concluding my analysis of South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut I’m going to discuss how the film mirrors the youth culture being under fire in the late 90s. Obviously in America during the late 90s, there were several horrific real life events like Columbine and the outbreak of war in the Middle East. To bring this back to South Park, Stone mentions that climate, specifically youth climate, is all what the film is about. In a very dark turn, Stone also noted how people’s reactions to the media and South Park came true after the horrors of Columbine.
This all links back to South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut as Parker and Stone refused to give into the media pressure and scrutiny on them and their film’s effect on youth culture by not having censored. Also, more proof of how South Park mirrors the under fire youth culture is the shock collar placed on Cartman to stop him swearing. Again, this makes fun of the media, parents and the MPAA’s reaction to South Park and their worries it would infect and destroy not only their kids but also youth culture as a whole.
To conclude, South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut is a crass, immature full length musical mocking the lengths censors and the media will go to keep society ‘safe’. Also, it acts as a very satirical and funny film in its own rights.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10 – Good
Target Audience: 15+
Content Warning: Moderate Frightening and Intense Scenes, Mild Alcohol and Drugs References, Severe Profanity, Severe Violence and Gore, Moderate Sex and Nudity