Repo! The Genetic Opera
So here we go, I’ve decided to chat a bit about a movie or musical rather. Don’t worry I’m not going to do Sound of Music. Today’s film is Repo! The Genetic Opera.The movie was released in 2008, it was based of a popular stage tour created by Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich, (also plays the Graverobber) who started the whole thing by playing in night-clubs. They did ten minute stories in three song “acts” it slowly built up in popularity and became discovered by a then unknown director Darren Lynn Bousman. Bousman apparently was adamant about directing this as a full fledged stage production over the ten minute shows.
Any horror fans would know that Bousman for better or worse as the guy who did Saw 2-4. Fortunately for him, the money made from those movies gave him the clout to force Lionsgate to make a full feature film of Repo.
Alright so this is what it’s about. It’s the future and murder is legal, not only that but it’s become high fashion to get elective surgery. Can’t afford it? No problem, you can do a payment plan with GeneCo, the catch is that if you fail to meet the payments your organs are repossessed and that’s where the Repo man comes in played by Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Anthony Head…you know Giles. The Repo man has a dark past and turns out to be a victim of circumstance, he also has a Daughter Shilo, played by Alexa Vega…you know…the little girl from Spy Kids 1-3D…soon to be 4. She has no idea who her father really is and has been confined to her room because of a rare blood disorder. but it all comes undone in a night when the GeneCo founder Rotti played by Paul Sorvino has his own ideas for Shilo. I won’t divulge the plot too much; you really have to see it for yourself. (Also somebody want to explain to me why “Pavi” has an accent and none of his other family do?)
The music runs the gambit from decent to pretty damn catchy, it’s a rock opera and that’s what you pretty much get. One big difference between an opera and a musical that I learned was that a musical has spoken word –and- music; an opera however, is sung the entire way through, which took a bit to get used to. A couple of songs I really didn’t care for, one called “seventeen” and another called “mark it up”, although upon a second viewing, mark it up is growing on me. The character of Blind Meg played by Sarah Brightman really is incredible coming from her strong musical background. Paris Hilton is in it…thankfully she just does some “sing-talking” and no real songs.
The special effects are pretty much what you’d expect coming out of people responsible for producing and directing Saw, Just to clarify for anybody at this point, it’s gory, but it doesn’t take itself as seriously as saw does, I really found it enhanced the music and comedy. Oh yeah, the other thing is there is a lot of comedy.
I’m not sure if they wanted to go for a whole rocky-horror vibe (ending really reminded me of it) but they certainly captured the same feel. The story is well done and it does have a growing cult following both as a movie and a touring stage production. The creators spoke of wanting this to re-introduce opera to a new generation and maybe inspire others to emulate it. Lofty goals I guess. As it stands you have a neo-gothic-horror-sci-fi rock opera on your hands.