Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Repo! The Genetic Opera"

Title: “Repo! The Genetic Opera”
Genre: Horror, Rock Opera, Musical
Running time: 97
Rated: R – strong bloody violence and gore
Cast: Alexa Vega, Anthony Steward Head, Paris Hilton, Sarah Brightman, Bill Moseley
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

At first glance, when you see the poster with that biohazard type of suit and the strange colors and then take a look at the title. I personally didn’t register Repo as an English word and then you have ‘genetic’ and ‘opera’ which don’t quite mix. It’s all kind of murky and ‘What the…’ reaction. However I was persuaded by Robert from Fantasy Book Critic to watch it. It took one sentence: “It was good” and I trust that man.

So I watched the trailer, after which there was this voice with a voice amplifier shouting ‘Watch it, watch it, watch it’. “Repo!” is a horror rock opera-musical and that is not necessarily crap. “Sweeney Todd” with Johnny Depp was a horror musical and imagine something like that movie only with rock and almost everything is sung. I love rock music and horror, so I was already in love it. We have Earth turned post apocalyptic gothic Gotham city. Every single piece of social life turned towards the religion of surgery and organ transplantation, where God is represented by GeneCo, the savior of the human race in time of organ failure. But be late with your monthly deposit and GeneCo sends you their repo man to take it back. What’s not to love?

The movie shows the twisted reality of this world with double crossing schemes, back stabbing, duplicity and hypocrisy, lies and deceptions and a somewhat soap opera feel in terms of how everyone is connected in one big human drama. Looking at the bigger picture though, we see the dark side of the human nature plain and simple in its most grotesque form. I am talking about how something that can save the human race is turned into a way to make profits, a constant trademark; unhealthy attention to the looks and addictions to drugs and surgery and the greed.

But you don’t have to think that hard to get the gist of it. It’s served with a big bang for you to enjoy. And how can you not? The costumes and sets are like from an Edgar Allan Poe vision with the modern stream and the music is fantastic. The cast is also colorful and offers a decent performance. You have movie veteran Paul Sorvino, a relatively new name for me Alexa Vega and Terrance Zdunich, who is the composer and co-writer behind the movie itself. Sarah Brightman is like gothic embodied and with that gorgeous haunting voice is the musical genius in the movie, whilst Anthony Steward Head as the Repo man surprised me with a formidable execution of whatever song he was given. Yeah, well Paris Hilton is also included, but thank god her appearance is short enough and her voice used in songs that can make it sound relatively nice.

The critics hated it, but everyone else loved it. As I read the movie had obtained a cult status. The movie itself cost around 9 million and the revenue is around 180 million. That has to mean something. All I know is that “Repo! The Genetic Opera” is something different and I think that any and every fan of genre movies tired of the same mold titles will appreciate it. Here is a little treat:

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