South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Reviews
"South Park is an incredibly dangerous movie for those who do not understand or are developing an understanding of the Gospel ....... INCREDIBLY dangerous. Some of the scenes in South Park reminded me so much of the image of demons screeching and dancing around a boiling cauldron as Satan gleefully looks on from the background as the demons pitch soul after soul after soul into the burning cauldron."
This is a review of the film by the Christian Analysis of American Culture. There are a lot of different opinions on this film because 'South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut' is considered the most profane animated movie ever produced. The title itself is called so because it is just that. The 'Uncut' reference is because the swearing in the series was all bleeped out and now they have been given freedom to un-censor the swearing. If you have understood the penis innuendo in the title, you will have an understanding of the type of humour in this film.
The film was released in 1999 and the series began in 1997. It is a feature film spin-off of the popular 'South Park' cartoon series written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone which follows the lives of four young boys (Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny) living in a town in America getting up to all kinds of trouble. In each episode South Park satirizes many aspects of American culture and current events, and challenges deep-seated convictions and taboos. In each episode the boys learn a valuable lesson about society and try to open the eyes of their ignorant neighbours to the horrors of their way of life. In each episode the poorest of the group of boys (Kenny) is brutally murdered in ways including being run over by a group of cattle, attacked by mutant turkeys, decapitated by an American football team, having his head bitten off by Ozzy Osbourne etc.
As you would guess, it isn't a show that one would want to show their children. A lot of people complained saying that the whole idea of it being a cartoon is very appealing to children and they will inevitably watch this material which is clearly not suitable for them. The cartoon effect looks very cheap, and originally, paper cut-outs were used to create the animation. However, now computer animation is used but still, the original, cheap effect is maintained.
The film's story is very similar to the structure of a normal episode in a series. The boys go to the cinema and watch a Canadian film called 'Terrance and Philip: Asses of Fire'. The film is a spin-off of their favourite (yet controversial) animated television programme in which toilet humour is the main concept for the jokes. When the parent's learnt that their children have started repeating the profanities from the movie (and Kenny dies by trying to set his farts on fire like in the movie), they decide to take action, not against the creators of the film, but against Canada. The American's capture Terrance and Philip and expose their plan to execute them. The boys decide to take action and try to save them by forming a resistance. Meanwhile, Satan is planning on world domination. We can see that Terrance and Philip is a microcosm of South Park. The controversy of this animated motion picture (and the TV series) is mirrored in the controversy that surrounded South Park. This is a dig at the critics of the South Park series and also a prophecy of the reviews for the movie. 'South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut' is a brilliant example of a controversial film because not only is it considered deeply controversial, it also satirizes the public perspective on the subject of censorship.
The movie's excessive use of profanity also gained it a spot in the Guinness Book of Records for "Most Swearing in an Animated Film" (399 profane words, 128 offensive gestures and 221 acts of violence). However, it was nominated for an Oscar in 2000 for 'Best Music'.
One scene showing a satirical news report shows how this film has affected the public and the parents who are trying to protect their children. This is almost an identical situation to the controversy that surrounded South Park when it was first released.
Another dig at censorship is the scene in which they insert the "V-chip" into Cartman so that he gets an electric shock whenever he tries to swear. This is saying that censorship gets rid of people's ability to express their true emotions and Cartman becomes a clockwork orange. Funnily enough, 'A Clockwork Orange' also received a lot of controversy as it tried to express modern society's repression of human emotion.
The film was also banned in Iraq, for its depiction of Saddam Hussein as the homosexual lover of Satan. While the real Saddam was on trial for genocide charges in 2006, there were rumours that the U.S. military was showing the movie repeatedly to the former dictator.
Not only is 'South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut' a hilarious film, it is also my favourite musical which adds to the satirical message of it glamorising violence and profanity. The magnificent, camp and over-the-top songs parody Disney musicals ('The Little Mermaid 1989') and West end musicals (Les Miserables) whilst paying homage to them. No matter how much you dislike the profanity of the lyrics, it is impossible to get these catchy tunes out of your head and you will be humming them for years to come.
The boys explain to everyone that freedom of speech is what is most important and that censorship is morally wrong. The parents who have formed a group that is aiding the war on Canada are taught that the children do not need a fighter to protect them from the evils of society, they just need their mums. The end of the film shows Terrance and Philip being saved and the war on Canada is ended. Satan decides not to take over the world as he was pressured into doing so by Saddam Hussein and the boys convince Satan that he does not need Saddam to order him around.
'South Park' pokes fun at everything: religion, racial stereotypes, the gay community etc. but they are mocked in such a way that it does not seem hateful or humiliating. Instead, it is not the minorities who we laugh at, but instead we laugh at modern society's attitude and prejudices towards these groups (A very good example of this is 'The Office'). Each joke made at a certain group of people just shows us that there shouldn't be divisions. This is a similar statement to classic British sitcoms such as 'Love Thy Neighbour' and 'Till Death Us Do Part' which were considered highly controversial.
The controversy that surrounds 'South Park' only supports the message that is being portrayed in the film. The film portrays the message of how society is always looking for something or someone to blame for all the "wrongs" in their own community.