REPO! THE GENETIC
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
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
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
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.