Monday, June 15, 2009

Repo! The Genetic Opera

Let me begin by saying this movie has some graphic violence, and also Paris Hilton. Those two things might scare away a large number of people. Despite these two things, and somewhat because of them (yes, even Paris), this movie is amazing. Stop reading and go rent it. It's entertaining from start to finish, is very visually pleasing, the soundtrack (and since it is a rock opera, this is most of the dialogue) was amazing.

The movie presents a vision of the future of widespread organ failure. Fitting with the natural capitalist American response of most movie businessmen, our villain, Rotti Largo, founds Geneco- a company that produces organs and sells them at high cost, as well as produces society's newest drug of choice. Due to the high cost of saving your own life, people sign steep contracts to get the organs. When they are unable to pay, Geneco sends a Repo-Man after them to get the organs back.

Our heroine is Shilo (Alexa Vega of the Spy Kids series, but don't hold that against her here), a sickly girl trying to live outside of her father's confinements. Her father, Nathan, (Anthony Stewart Head from Buffy) keeps her indoors to protect her frail health. Nathan is also secretly the Repo Man.

Supporting characters include the three Largo children, including Hilton as the plastic surgery and drug addicted spoiled daughter, the GraveRobber who acts as a narrator and inbetween drug deals, and Blind Mag (Sarah Brightman, the original Phantom of the Opera star), the most popular entertainer around and also the best friend of Shilo's dead mother.

Repo! had a very limited release in theaters, but I'm hoping it can gather some underground steam so it's not lost on our culture. I won't go through the entire movie, but here's a rundown of some of the parts I remember fondly. Paris Hilton's face falls off. After trying to repair a botched facial transplant, the heiress attempts to establish herself as a singer to disasterous results when her face falls off. What's a girl to do? Sell it online, of course. The big finale occurs onstage in front of a sold out audience. You can read as much or as little as you want into what that says about present society but it makes something so over the top both even more extreme, and also work. The audience buys it, so I buy it. I'll end with the cameo from Joan Jett. Because her appearance was just as random and short as this description of it.

Sidenote: if you search for images of Repo! The Genetic Opera DVD on google and specify the color orange, you end up with a bunch of non-character related pictures of Paris Hilton.

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