Movie Review- Repo! The Genetic Opera

Hi Folks,

 

Okay so it was supposed to be Camp Hell today but Netflix took it off streaming and I don’t have time to order the disc since we’re playing catch up to the extreme here.

 

So we’re going with an emergency substitution that I’d planned on saving for next year but here we are.

 

So coming in off the bench to pinch hit number 18:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repo! The Genetic Opera

 

 

 

Fast Facts

 

Repo! Was made in 2008 and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman. His pet project got greenlit by LIonsgate in exchange for his soul (and two Saw sequels) and boy are we ever glad that he has no pride.

 

Above: No Pride

Now there does need to be a moron disclaimer here as some people have been known to become confused by the ambiguous wording in the title;

 

THIS IS A MUSICAL

 

Welcome to the land of 'duh'

An operetta to be precise. Written as a stage play and adapted for the screen by Darren Smith and Terrence Zdunich; Repo! Is a gothic horror story with kick ass music.

 

The plot centers around Shilo Wallace, a young girl living in a future where pandemic organ failure has put most of the population in debt to surgery conglomerate GeneCo. They offer financing on both necessary and cosmetic surgeries; of course if you should fall into arrears they send out the Repo Man…6.45% interest doesn’t sound so bad now does it?

 

Occupy GeneCo!

Cast

 

She's definitely got rocker 'tude.

Alexa Vega- Plays Shilo. With a beautiful voice and some really strong acting she is your typical seventeen year old girl living in a nightmarish hellscape of death, exploitation and deceit where human life has been devalued to nothing. You know that old song and dance.

 

Two faced bastard

Anthony Stewart Head- Plays Nathan Wallace; Shilo’s father who has a big secret and a haunted past. Lovely singer; he gives real grit and vulnerability to a very complex role. Also…..OMFG it’s GILES!

(For those of you who do not worship at the alter of Buffy…fuck you)

 

God I fucking hate you

Paul Sorvino- Who fucking knew this guy could sing? I mean seriously. He plays Rotti Largo, GeneCo’s founder and all around manipulative, evil douchebag.

 

You've come a long way from Devil's Rejects

Bill Mosely-Plays Luigi Largo, Rotti’s oldest and most homicidal son (though not by much) he’s a caricature and the weakest of Rotti’s three little brats; but he gets his point across and gives some really good comic relief.

 

Classic second son syndrome

Ogre-Yup that one. Plays Pavi Largo, Rotti’s second son and by far the most fucked up. He wears women’s faces as masks and is constantly humping something. Bonus points to Ogre for the decent Italian accent and being the funniest character in the movie.

 

This is actually the box for the 'Stupid Spoiled Whore" playset

Paris Hilton- Yup she’s actually not that bad in this; but it’s mostly because her and Amber Sweet (Rotti’s Daughter) are essentially the same fucking person. Unfortunately neither of them can sing.

 

Operatic monsters...they just find her

Sarah Brightman- Plays Blind Mag; an  opera singer who happens to be Shilo’s godmother (it’s complicated) Does a really great job with some emotional material. You really get a sense of who Mag is. And as always graces us with an angelic soprano.

 

Goth kids rejoice!

Terrence Zdunich- Plays the Graverobber, our storyteller which is pretty damn appropriate seeing as he wrote the damn thing. He has a great voice and steals the show in places. Also according to Nanci who is the most respected of judges he is ‘dreamy’.

 

Observations

 

Now Repo! Is definitely worth a look for genre fans. There’s lots of gore and some really great horrific themes at play. That being said I wouldn’t necessarily call it scary.

 

Yeah...he's holding a spine...this one's ok

There really isn’t a sequence I can think of that made me nervous or frightened. Frankly you’re more likely to cry than scream at this one. Just about every part is extremely well acted and the entire thing beginning to end is really well done from a production standpoint.

 

Since this is a musical and more with the disturbing and cool than the scary we’re going to go with my top three musical numbers. Now I know I do something similar in every review but let it be known that this is the first time I’m having trouble picking just three. That’s how good this is. I listen to the soundtrack constantly and know all the words…yeah I’m that kid.

 

 

  1. Infected

 

It's like hot topic exploded all the fuck over her

This is Shilo’s first solo number and really gets us into the mindset of the world she’s living in. it’s essentially a rant at her parents for making her genetically imperfect. Thanks to a ‘blood disease’ she inherited from her mother and Nathan’s histrionic efforts to keep her locked up inside lest he lose her too, she’s in prison and railing against what she perceives to be preordained problems.

 

Now in the interest of full disclosure, this is the song that made me like this movie. I popped it in the DVD player without really any idea of what to expect other than music and hopefully lots of blood during the organ repossessions (which I’m glad to say we get)

 

The look and feel of the film up to this point had been pretty goth/emotastic and I wasn’t really feeling it and frankly was considering turning  it off when this song started. Alexa Vega has a beautiful and very expressive voice. Coupling that with the following line and ensuing rock sequence totally sold me on this movie:

 

 

“Why oh why are my genetics such a bitch?”

 

I really like musicals and I find that the good ones can tell you what a person is with one line. I immediately liked Shilo and now I care so let’s continue with the awesome.

 

 

  1. Night Surgeon

 

This is my favorite Nathan song; don’t misunderstand me, Legal Assassin and Thankless Job and At the Opera Tonight and every other song Tony Head touches is pure gold, this one just does a shit ton of character development that the others sort of hint at.

 

You were saying something about my mother

He’s being egged on by the Largo’s to repossess Mag’s (Bionic? Magic?) eyes, killing her in the process. Since Mag was his dead wife Marni’s BFF he’s having some issues with this.

 

But thanks to a handy victim and some masterful exploitation of his massive guilt complex we get to see something about Nathan that we had only glimpsed at and dismissed as a mental break in other songs.

 

He really likes his job. Nathan is in fact kind of a monster. He’s been playing the father very well but if anything in he and Shilo’s tenuous and strained relationship should change (and it will) this guy is going to totally lose his grip on his own humanity.

 

  1. Zydrate Anatomy

 

Testify!

This song is really just here to explain what Zydrate is (a narcotic painkiller extracted from the brains of the dead) and to set up the whole Holy Crap Mag’s Gonna Die thing that forces the plot forward.

 

The thing is that it’s so damned catchy. The singback line structure is just begging for audience participation. This is also Graverobber’s big number and Terrence Zdunich is just plain fun to watch. It’s like Sesame Street for hookers.

 

Brought to you by the letter Z

If you ever want to know if someone is a member of the Repo! Army (I have my own battalion) all you have to do is say THAT line. They WILL answer you it’s like Roger Rabbit with the ‘Shave and a Haircut’ shtick. Which makes playing hide and seek with my friends a pointless endeavor now.

 

Now I cut it down to three because if I talked about this movie as much as I’d like to we’d be here all day and there wouldn’t be any point in you seeing the damn thing by the time I was done.

 

That being said there are a couple of things we really should touch on before we let this one go.

 

The family dynamic in this is beautifully done. I have rarely seen a parent-child relationship that felt this sincere.

 

Though they do have a rather skewed view of single mothers

This movie is tragic in the most theatrical sense of the word. Because you know the story can not end happily but every time I watch it I have the irrational hope that it will.

 

I’m intentionally telling you very little about the plot so you will go watch this thing.

 

Because I want to make General someday dammit!

 

If only so I can order these assholes to wash the damn makeup off

 

Final Thoughts

 

Repo! The Genetic Opera is a fun, dark, gory spectacle. The music is great, the acting is great, the story is great for the love of god people go watch it!

 

Or they'll totally cut you...

 

And just in case you didn’t know….

 

 

Zydrate comes in a little glass vial.

 

A little glass vial?

 

A little glass vial

 

And the little glass vial goes into the gun like a battery

 

 

Ok just stop

 

….And Paris Hilton is a whore…

 

Also: Ladies and Gentleman 30 seconds of Joan Jett!...For no reason!

 

Your genetically repressed Screamstress,

 

 

~Fright Dyke

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