Movie: Repo! The Genetic Opera
My Rating: 4 stars
Now this movie is a rare beast. It’s not of very often that you get to combine the genres of rock-opera with sexy-horror-comedy. Have there been any others since Rocky Horror Picture Show? None are springing to my mind. And, I do love both genres. Who could say no to a bunch of pale-faced monsters, prancing around in lingerie, singing, and ripping internal organs out of people’s chests?
This story is set in a dystopic future. The world is poisoned. And, humans have become sickly and frail, and subject to organ failure. Citizens are dying left and right, until the evil corporation GeneCo introduces the idea of financing organ transplants. With their easy payment plans, individuals can enjoy their healthy new livers and kidneys without worrying about depleting their savings. It’s a new lease on life! Of course, this leads to abuse. People just can’t seem to save this extra cash in their pockets to pay their medical bills.
People are now recreationally drinking their way through multiple livers. And, they are burning through fashionable new noses and boob jobs as often as normal people change haircuts. But, then the bill comes. When people can’t pay for their extravagant new lifestyles, well that’s a job for the Repo Man. He seizes these unpaid-for hearts and skin grafts by force, singing about it all the while. It’s a brutal job, but someone’s got to do it. But, this Repo Man is living a double life. He has a daughter—a very sick, housebound girl, Shiloh—and he doesn’t want her to know the kind of grisly work he does for a living.
This is a very goofy film. Director Darren Lynn Bousman was clearly having the time of his life, making this raunchy, silly, gory, songfest. At least it was a break from the dead-serious Saw movies that he normally does. You’d need a little palette cleanser after wallowing in that stuff for too long. The casting alone is pretty wild. Anthony Stewart Head plays Repo, and Alexa Vega is his ailing daughter. Sarah Brightman is the blind, celebrity songstress in this world. Paul Sorvino plays the evil (and operatic) head of GeneCo, and Paris Hilton does a spot-on (and unwitting?) job as his spoiled, useless, heiress daughter. It’s pretty funny.
Of course, this movie is also really gross. We see people being dismembered from almost the first frame. The violence is all pretty cartoonish, but there’s still blood and guts everywhere. So, steer clear of this one if you can’t really stomach that kind of thing. But, this is definitely a winner from the past. It’s silly and gross, and has a sense of humor about itself. Check it out if you haven’t already.