Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chill #3: Repo! The Genetic Opera

This is one heck of a rock opera. And when I say opera, I mean that. Almost every line is sung, unlike other musicals that have been transferred over to film and it's really a normal movie with the occassional song. And yes, Repo! was originally a stage production before this movie came out.

This limited release film had a near immediate cult following, staring such talented actors as Alexa Vega (Spy Kids), Anthony Stewart Head (TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and even singer Sarah Brightman. And all these big names came in at a surprisingly low budget. I have no clue how director Darren Lynn Boussman pulls it off, but he does. This movie is like magic.

The best way I can describe this is to think of Rent. Then make three quarters of the songs loud heavy-metal/punk rock and crank up the volume. Finally bake at 425 degrees for 97 minutes in a pile of gore and blood. Yes, it's that good - if gore porn is your thing.

The story surrounds seventeen year old Shilo Wallace (Vega), as she survives having a blood condition in a futuristic world where you could put your virginity on layaway. That is to say that surgeries are performed quite frequently after a plaque of organ failures. Now everyone is healthy but the surgeries continue because pharmaceutical company GeneCo provides quite reasonable payment plans. The downside? GeneCo owner/founder successfully lobbied to make organ reposession legal. Hence you could put your virginity on layaway, but you could lose it again just as easily.

Back to Shilo, who is hidden away from the world by her father (Head) for fear that if she might ever need a GeneCo surgery, the Repoman might eventually be called to collect. And this man is vicious. Meanwhile, a side story surrounds Largo's imminent and incurable death and which of his three kids will become the heir of the GeneCo legacy.

That is an 18" scalpal in his pocke tand yes, he is very happy to see you
The film atmosphere is very dark, unless blood is involved, and almost plays out like a singing comic book. The music is excellent, although the singing isn't always. Alexa Vega can belt out some pretty wicked punk rock tunes, but her vocals fall short elsewhere. For those who watched the all-musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it should come as no surprise just how talented Anthony Stewart Head is. And of Course, Sarah Brightman shines as the Blind Mag, the voice of GeneCo and Shilo's godmother.


STORY: Basically the same story as Repo Men, except this movie (and the play) was out a few years earlier. But this is much better, and definately not boring.

My Rating: Nine pages (out of ten)

SPECIAL EFFECTS: Awesome. An amazing futuristic vision was realised here, despite the arthouse-budget constraints.

My Rating: Eight fireworks (out of ten)

MUSIC/SCORE: I did mention this is a shock/punk rock musical, right?

My Rating: Nine and a half bars (out of ten)
GORE: Ironically, I use intestines as my measuring staff, and there is a scene where the Repoman rips out the intestines of a gentleman. He also rips out hearts, stomachs, spines, or whatnot from several others. Goriest. Musical. Ever. Period.

My Rating: Ten feet of intestines (out of ten), as well as two hearts and one brain. Mark it up.

No comments:

Post a Comment