Repo: A Genetic Opera
Darren Lynn Bousman made his name as the director of Saw II, Saw III and Saw IV, so you wouldn’t expect him to be the kind of filmmaker to take a chance on an unusual project. But he obviously is, because he passed on Saw V to make this instead, a twisted, gory, Tim Burton-style horror musical that’s basically a rock opera of gore. Could it be a Rocky Horror for the noughties? Maybe. It really depends on your liking for its music, but Bousman hasn’t made it easy for himself by mixing Sarah Brightman with Skinny Puppy! The movie is set in a weird future world part Sin City, part Blade Runner, where mankind is suffering a plague of organ failures.
The unscrupulous Geneco Corporation capitalises on this by selling replacement body bits at extortionate prices, and if the purchaser falls behind on the payments then they come and take them back there and then - without benefit of anaesthetic! Nathan Wallace (Brit actor Anthony Head from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is one of Geneco’s ‘repo men,’ and he happily wields the scalpel against defaulters. Head is also a widowed father who keeps his nasty profession a secret from his innocent 17-year-old daughter Shilo (Alexa Vega of Spy Kids). She suffers from a rare blood disease and cannot go out of their cavernous home. But she does eventually break out and meets up with drug dealer GraveRobber (Terrance Zdunich) and opera singer Blind Mag (Sarah Brightman) as she goes on a quest for a cure for her condition and the truth about her family’s history.
The other characters in this culty tale include Paris Hilton’s Amber, daughter of Geneco’s president, Paul Sorvino. She’s a vain-self-obsessed creature, heavily into plastic surgery… hmmm, tough role for Paris to pull off - not! Having said that, she does sing pretty well. Sorvino also has two other wayward children: hot-tempered Luigi (Bill Moseley of Devil’s Rejects fame) and the grotesque, skin-masked Pavi (Ogre). Repo apparently holds the record for the most songs ever sung in one film… there are 64 of the buggers, so if you don’t like the music then you’re going to be spending a long time with your finger on the fastforward button.
We suggest you do this every time Bill Moseley pipes up, because he makes Pierce Brosnan sound like Sinatra! The movie looks great and has plenty of gore and some memorable sets, but it really is a love it or hate it proposition. One thing’s for sure, it’s a long way from Mamma Mia! Picture quality is very good in 1.78:1 anamorphic, though it looks a little overcropped in places. The extra features include deleted scenes, a video singalong (with a bouncing heart!, From Stage to Screen, a look at the musical’s journey to the big screen, and a lively actors/director commentary, with sage comments from Paris!
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