STARRING: Paul Sorvino, Paris Hilton, Bill Moseley, Anthony Head, Alexa Vega, Dean Armstrong, Nina Bergman, Sarah Brightman

2008, 98 Minutes, Directed by:
Darren Lynn Bousman

Fifty years from now a worldwide epidemic of organ failures will devastate the planet. A biotech company called GENECO will however offer organ transplants . . . for a price.

If you however miss any of your payments then the organs will be repossessed by the Repo Man – a masked bogeyman (Anthony Stewart Head, Giles from the Buffy TV show) - even though you’re still using them!

Oh, and everyone will dress like people attending a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and all architecture will be inspired by Blade Runner. And did we mention that everyone sings instead of talks?

Yup, Repo! the Genetic Opera is a musical (technically, a rock opera, but let’s not split hairs here). But it is however unlike any other musical you have seen. Andrew Lloyd Webber meets SAW is the best description we could come up with. Upon its release the trailer marketed the film as an “instant cult classic,” but no-one ever got rich making a cult movie and Repo! The Genetic Opera quickly disappeared from circuit.

It is a genuinely bizarre film informed by a Goth sensibility (of the creepy kids in black who hang around your high school variety as opposed to, let’s say, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein variety). The movie cheerfully mixes Hostel-style bloody violence and gore with song and dance routines. Whether you will like it will probably depend on if you like the music. We didn’t – to our mind the songs were bland and unmemorable, but there will be people who will disagree. As far as bizarro musicals go we liked that Buffy musical episode and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog better, but Repo! The Genetic Opera is truly a cult movie in the sense that if you “get” it then no explanation is necessary, but if you don’t get it then no explanation is possible.

For mainstream audiences Repo! The Genetic Opera will be relegated to a Trivial Pursuit question: Which movie starred both Sarah Brightman and Paris Hilton? (Most Sarah Brightman fans will probably hate the movie: it is truly the Anti-Mamma Mia!) If you’re interested by our description of Repo! The Genetic Opera thus far then you’re probably the film’s intended audience. To our mind the movie simply tries too hard to be weird and just sort of passed us by. A coin toss, really.



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