Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Repo! The Genetic Opera

Genre - Fantasy/Horror/Musical
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 98 minutes
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (who also directed Saw II - IV)
Written by Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich
Cast Includes:
Alexa Vega (Carmen from Spy Kids 1 - 3)
Anthony Head (Giles from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series)
Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas and The Rocketeer)
Paris Hilton (the '05 Re-Make of House of Wax)
Bill Moseley (Chop Top from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Otis from House of 1,000 Corpses & The Devil's Rejects)
Nivek Ogre
Sarah Brightman
Terrance ZdunichRating: 5 Skulls
Plot Summary:
In the near future, a biotech company saves mankind with synthetic replacements for failed organs.
But those who default on their new liver or heart are subject to repossession.
Shilo navigates this dystopia while searching for a cure for her rare illness. Her odyssey is set to a number of catchy songs in this tongue-in-cheek opera.

What a fantastic movie! I totally enjoyed this one, even more than I thought I would!
[I am not a huge fan of musicals - while I enjoyed Sweeney Todd, I would have to say that my favorite musical is/was Phantom of the Paradise, though Repo! may just replace that, I'm not yet quite sure. The director, Darren Lynn Bousman, is going to be in Milwaukee, this Friday evening, presenting this movie at a local theatre, so perhaps I'll make up my mind, after I've seen it on the big screen, with an actual audience]

The beginning of the film is shown comic-book style, letting us know that it is the not-too-distant future, where a mass epidemic of organ failures has taken place, causing death & chaos. Out of the turmoil, a savior emerges in the form of GeneCo. . .

There is also a singing narrator, if you will, in the character of the grave robber (played by co-writer Terrance Zdunich) The grave robber lets us know exactly what is going on, as do more comic-book illustration,s which provide us with flashback sequences.

The story is multi-layered, which really surprised me - there is a lot going on [which I do not want to discuss in-depth, as I do not want to ruin anything]
I will just tell you that the main character's are Shilo (Alexa Vega) and her father Nathan (Anthony Head) who, unknown to her, is a Repo man. Paul Sorvino plays Rotti Largo, owner of GeneCo. [there is a background history between Nathan & Rotti that is quite interesting indeed] Bill Moseley, Paris Hilton, and Nivek Ogre play Rotti's three ungrateful children, who constantly bicker over who will run the company after Rotti's demise [he is sick] Sarah Brightman plays Blind Mag, whose past is intertwined with Shilo's. The grave robber is not only narrator, but also a drug dealer, who extracts his drug from the dead! [like I said, a lot going on! And I am happy to say that it all ties together quite nicely at the end!]

I loved everything about this movie, from the stellar sets, to the superior cast [especially Anthony Head - he was outstanding!]
This movie is destined to become a classic - I can see it playing, years from now, in midnight showings ala Rocky Horror Picture Show [which I have never seen by the way]
It is a shame that Lionsgate gave this film the same theatrical treatment that it gave The Midnight Meat Train - Hopefully it will do well on DVD. Definitely give this one a chance!!

Here's the Trailer:

Also, here are some more posters, from the film, for you to enjoy:

and I just have to give this one a "Bone Breaker Award" for Best Musical of 2008! :-)



fxguy said...


This film is one of my favorite finds of the year. I refuse to lend this out, but I make everyone watch it who visits.

Can you believe that's the little girl from Spy Kids? Wow! And Paris Hilton, Bill Moseley, and the guy who plays Giles in Buffy did a FANTASTIC job here. The guy who plays the Graverobber is also the writer, and I think that for just a storyboard artist, he has the voice and talent to be a pretty good actor/singer.

I wholeheartedly agree with your 5 skull rating here, and I want the soundtrack badly...

thebonebreaker said...

Right on Brother! :-)

Glad to hear that you enjoy this one as much as I do!

I too plan on picking up the soundtrack, as there were quite a few catchy songs - I still have "Surgery... Surgery... Surgery" stuck in my head!
[and I also liked Shilo's rebellion song - seventeen!]


Lisa Bee said...

Cool review. I particularly loved the inclusion of all the posters. I have been waiting to see this film and am sorry I missed it when it was in theaters. I've got to get it soon.

thebonebreaker said...

Why thank you Lisa ~ I thought those posters were pretty cool myself! ;-)

Let me know your thoughts, after you have seen it!


Fred [The Wolf] said...

You know I enjoyed this one a while back. I'm glad you loved it too. It's more of an experience than anything. Too bad it had a limited release but glad it has a second chance on DVD. Great review, buddy.

I'm also asking for a favor. I'm wondering if you can see my blogspot. I'm having trouble seeing it everytime I type in the URL, but I can see it whenever I preview it through blogger. I'm just curious as to if you can see more than just a black background. I may have to export it to another site. Just email me at Howlingwolf00@aol.com and let me know. I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

thebonebreaker said...

Thanks Fred and you're correct - it is an experience! :-)

As for your favor - check your e-mail. . .


Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

I saw this recently (and I'm currently working on a review for it, which unfortunately I've had to delay several times) and I must say, great flick. Definitely one of those movies that gets better each time you see it. Anthony Stewart Head's performance was fantastic. As you said, "outstanding." I downloaded some of the film tracks onto my PC the other day, and, the more I listen to them, the more I find more and more inspired nuances within his vocals. It's to the point where his two biggest numbers, Legal Assassin and Night Surgeon, have become my absolute favorites.
It's really a shame that this has been so rudely and unfairly written-off by mainstream critics and Lion's Gate.
Moseley and Ogre in particular were great. Great chemistry between the two of 'em. I was genuinely shocked by how good Ogre performance was. I'm a Skinny Puppy fan myself but I must say that if I didn't already know that it was him playing that character, I never would've figured it out. He really BECOMES his character. I only wish that he, and Moseley, had been given even more screentime.

thebonebreaker said...


You just made my day!
I think that Repo! is a perfect fit for you to review - I will definitely be looking forward to that one!!

I am not familiar with Skinny Puppy, but Ogre [as well as Moseley] was definitely into character - also, Night Surgeon was one of my favorite songs as well :-)

Lionsgate lost my favor last year with the way that they treated this and Midnight Meat Train ~ BOO on them!!