Thursday, April 23, 2009

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

After putting my review copy of Dying Breed into my DVD player the other evening I was visually and aurally assaulted by a trailer for Repo! The Genetic Opera. It must therefore be fate that a copy fell into my hands yesterday and that I chose to watch it last night. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (who gave us 3 of the 4 Saw sequels) Repo! is quite the movie. It is set in a futuristic world where an epidemic of organ failures has created a market for genetically engineered and modified body parts, a market that GeneCo is only to happy too fulfill. Owned by Rotti Largo, GeneCo can give you any spare part you like and even offer a financing service, but should you been unfortunate enough to miss payments then they will send the Repo man to claim back their property. The film does live up to its name and features almost every element necessary to make an opera, from its convoluted back story, misfit characters all tied together by a tragic series of events, not to mention almost the entire film is sung and has an endless musical score.

This is the part where I tell you that I secretly enjoyed Repo!The Genetic Opera, it creates its own visual style reminiscent of music videos, it makes clever use of comic book panels and direct to camera narration for scenes requiring exposition. It boasts a very interesting cast with Paris Hilton, Sarah Brightman, Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy) and the most surprising for me Alexa Vega (Spy Kids). Sure it does have a few downsides, I don't think any of the songs where particularly catchy or memorable, it has moments of blood and gore that may turn away some viewers, it is told at quite a frenetic pace too which makes for some almost incomprehensible moments. The film is certainly trying desperately to be a cult hit and the studio is certainly marketing it as such, but it is no Rocky Horror Picture Show. I do not doubt that it will have its own league of fans and who knows what the future may bring.

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