Repo! The Genetic Opera

Genre: Horror
Repo! The Genetic Opera is something... well, something. The best thing I can say about it is that I WANTED to like it. After seeing the trailer on one of the other DVDs I own, I was hoping to find a copy, but since this thing ran on a handful of screens in the States and never even arrived on our shores, chances of me finding it in stores were about as slim as Joe Quesada's in a mosh pit of armed Spidey fans during One More Day's run.

But thanks to the Interweb, and some horribly mangled tagalog phrases directed at various vendors of the not so legal variety, I was able to score one. The cover is much like the poster in the image; it doesn't give you any idea what the movie is or what kind of audience it's aiming at. Apparently, it's mostly Lionsgate's fault since marketing for the film was virtually nil. The bulk of the campaign was done by the Filmmakers so I wouldn't be surprised if the poster/DVD cover was done on the cheap.

The basic idea of Repo is that the world has undergone a great plague that has killed off millions. A mega-corporation called GeneCo capitalizes on the needs of the survivors, peddling human tissue and organs. Those that can't afford the surgeries are granted financing plans, but if they fail to pay, their organs are reposessed by the corporation's assassin, Repo Man.

I realized pretty quickly that I wasn't going to like this film. The art direction is more Goth than Cyberpunk, the music is more Deathrock than Opera, and the acting is more... well, Paris Hilton is in the cast. 'nuff said.

If you thought this would be a cross between Blade Runner and Moulin Rouge (raises hand), you're shit out of luck. It's more of a cross between Saw II, Saw II, Saw IV (all directed by Darren Lynn Bousman as well) and those off-broadway plays that Joey starred in during the first season of Friends. The movie borders on torture porn, but with music.

I'm no expert, but I figure that a musical should have some very catchy tunes to it. I gotta say that this movie has some of the most horrendous un-singable songs I've ever heard. I remember after I watched RENT that I couldn't stop singing "La Vie Boheme" and "Come What May" was ringing around my head for months after Moulin Rogue. And who can forget "The Internet is For Porn"? The songs here are mostly either Anthony Stewart Head screaming or Paul Sorvino reading his lines.

Here's a sample from "Mark It Up" where the three heirs to the GeneCo throne are discussing who will succeed Rotti Largo:

Luigi: slut!

Amber: cunt!

Pavi: my brother and sister should fuck!

Catchy, huh? The rest of the lyrics are more of the same, set to Goth punk/rock. It's sort of like listening to to a loop of Evanescense tracks while watching a Carotid Endarterectomy in your underwear. It's really that uncomfortable listening to this stuff.

The film is striking, there's no denying that. While I was watching Repoman do his thing, I was thinking how to make a custom toy of the character. And there are some nice ideas that, if fleshed out and executed with an eye more toward story and less on gore, might have proven to be entertaining.

Bottom line, if you like the Saw series or the Hostel series, you might like this. Otherwise, don't bother.

1 comment:

  1. Is it just me or has my font color gone to black on black?


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