Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Repo! The Genetic Opera: The Rocky Horror of Our Times?

It's the morning after and I still have lyrics running through my head. I know I said I'd see this movie this past weekend, but things pop up as usual so I had to delay my visit. I have never cared about driving long distances or times (usually an hour or so depending on traffic) so with all my classes not in session, last night was perfect. [I'm not one to stay in. Open nights are too tempting.]

I knew my friend and I were in for something when we saw people dressed up in line, waiting to get their tickets. We got ours and went to get our seats. We had a pretty modest crowd that made me immediately think we were going to have a good time regardless if the movie sucked. They previewed the trailer for a Ralph Fiennes movie and we got a couple laughs when my friend stage whispered, "Voldemort!"

The screen went black for about ten seconds and you could feel that the audience was holding it's breath. Everyone in that room had probably heard all the raving reviews and commentary. Before I go on, there will be MAJOR spoilers in this review. The movie isn't showing widely and the DVD will probably be out soon so I'm not too worried about people getting pissed off at me. You have been warned.

The film starts with the prologue. An epidemic of organ failures occurs. No one knows why or has a cure. The only option is to transplant new ones into the patients. A new company appears, GeneCo, which offers organs on lease if you can't afford the operation. No one reads the fine print. A proposition passes which suddenly makes organ repossessions legal and in comes the Repo Man. He stalks the people if they run and try to hide. He kills them quickly and just burrows into their bodies, even when they aren't quite dead yet, and takes what organ he was assigned to repossess. Legal assassinations. Like a good Repo Man, he takes his catch and puts it on ice. All of this is shown in an excellent comic book sequence. Our main character appears, Alexa Vega as Shilo, and the story runs full speed ahead. Shilo is 17 years old with a rare blood disease, supposedly inherited by her mother who died at child birth.

Vega is good in her role, but she's not a singer. She projects all the innocence and nativity the role demands. I didn't like her in the rebellious scenes. "Seventeen" had me thinking, "What the fuck?" We then get introduced to her father, Nathan Wallace, aka The Repo Man. Anthony Head (Giles of Buffy the Vampire fame) is perfect. No one took their eyes off of him when he was on screen. After Terrance Zdunich and Sarah Brightman, vocally, he was awesome. Shilo in the first sequences wonders off into a graveyard and meets our narrator, the drug dealing Grave robber, played by Terrance Zdunich. He steals a very addictive painkiller called zydrate from the bodies of former "knife addicts." Shilo watches in disgust as he pulls bodies out of tombs and inserts needles into the noses. Signs are posted all around decreeing that grave robbers will be shot on sight. He purposely gets them caught but he flees into a storage facility with nothing but bodies. Shilo is captured but her father shows up in full Repo Man gear and the guards back off. Shilo was going into shock from not having her medication so she doesn't fully remember the incident. It's only at the end when she finds out her father is the infamous Repo Man.

I loved how every character was connected to one person, Marni Wallace, Shilo's dead mother. The audience only finds this out in pieces though. Every character is connected through their associations with this mysterious woman. She's only shown through the interweaving comics and flashbacks. I'll bungle the story is I go into it anymore, plus it'll add about five or six more paragraphs.

If you're in an area where they are showing it, I highly recommend seeing it. Black humor and irony are at its best. This movie will stick with you; I'm still humming it and thinking over my favorite scenes.

Check out the trailer HERE and a clip from one of the songs...

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