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South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999)

Directed by Trey Parker, Matt Stone

South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999) -- poster

Overprotective mothers beware! Your fragile morality is about to be assaulted! With 399 swear words, 128 crude gestures, and 221 violent scenes in just 80 minutes, the "South Park" movie breaks free from the restraints of television with a vengeance. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone made sure that no one would walk away from this film saying that it wasn't shocking enough... or vulgar enough... or obscene enough... or vile enough... or disgusting enough... or... you get the idea.

Parker and Stone came up with a clever story, which starts off with the South Park kids eagerly awaiting the release of the film version of their favorite vulgar TV show, "Terrance and Phillip" (modeled after "Beavis and Butthead"). Knowing that the audience would be eagerly awaiting an onslaught of off-color rudeness from Stan, Kyle, and Eric, Parker and Stone decided to plant them in a theater as moviegoers, in effect making them fellow audience members. So, you get to watch the "Terrance and Phillip" movie-within-a-movie along with the main characters, and it's Terrance and Phillip who initiate the potty-mouthed festivities. The children of South Park are introduced to a whole new vocabulary. Soon, they are going around town uttering words like "uncle-fucker" and "cockmaster" in front of the shocked adults of the sleepy Colorado town. Once these words make their way into the ears of South Park's model overprotective parent, Mrs. Browflowski, the doo-doo hits the fan, launching a chaotic chain of events. The sick, twisted humor goes into overdrive and stays there for the rest of the movie.

South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut -- battle

Mrs. Browflowski's actions escalate to the point of Colorado declaring war on Canada in an effort to capture Terrance and Phillip and bring them to the U.S. to be executed. As expected, Kenny gets killed early on, but he still plays an important role in the story. After dying, he goes to Hell and meets Satan and his lover (I can't even begin to get into this one!), and carries a warning back to the world of the living. In an effort to try to save Terrance and Phillip (and the world) from certain doom, Stan, Kyle and Eric form an underground resistance with the help of an atheistic French Canadian kid called The Mole. The mayor of South Park suggests that V-chips be implanted into the children's brains, delivering a severe electric shock every time they swear. The unfortunate Eric Cartman is chosen as the guinea pig, prompting Kyle to ask the question: "So you can't say, 'I'm Eric Cartman, the fattest fucking piece of shit in the whole fucking world?'"

Sprinkled throughout the movie are several songs written by Marc Shaiman, some of them elaborate, full-blown production numbers (if such a thing is possible with cartoon characters) that could give Broadway a run for it's money. There are many celebrity voices heard (George Clooney, for one). I'm usually disappointed by the attempts many movies make at topical humor because they're usually forced and ultimately not funny; not so with this movie. The references are quick, to the point and don't pander to the audience. Bill Gates is briefly lambasted and the Baldwin brothers are not spared the wrath of Parker and Stone. There are also some themes brought in from the TV show, such as Stan's infatuation and consequent digestive difficulties with Wendy Testaburger. By using the "Terrance and Phillip" movie to mirror their own, Parker and Stone are able to deliver a simple message to overprotective parents, which is not to impose their values on the media by restricting free speech, but to instill them in their children instead. It all adds up to a smart, quick-paced and varied offering that leaves no politically correct stone unturned -- or unsmashed, for that matter. -- Rating: $7.25

Mike Santoro -- copyright 1999

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