Friday, January 09, 2009


Repo: The Genetic Opera

Repo: The Genetic Opera

Repo is a goth rock musical featuring Paris Hilton.

No, I'm being completely serious. I almost didn't go see this because she was in it, but it was my friend's birthday, I was procrastinating doing something else, and it was only $8.

We ended up being the only people in the theatre, which has only happened to me once before (High Fidelity, where I was the _only_ person in the theatre, and was kind of weirded out that a giant John Cusack kept talking directly to me).

Anyway, back to Repo.

It's set in a city fifty years in the future after some sort of super disease has made people's organs fail. GeneCo has managed to save the human race by creating new, artificial, super organs. Of course, that wasn't making them enough money, so they started pushing elective surgery, and it caught on because, well, elective surgery is popular now anyway, and it doesn't sound that ridiculous that people would want better livers ("Now! Drink more with LIV-R!") and stuff. I think one of the tag lines was "It's what's inside that counts!"

However, all this surgery is expensive. "Thankfully" GeneCo has a handy layaway method of payment. Organs now, money forever (or close to). And if you don't pay, the repo man (yes, there seems to be only one for the whole city) will come and take your organs back. Can they reuse the organs? I dunno, I can't imagine they could really. I guess they're just dicks.

Anyway, because of all the surgery people are having, they're also addicted to a painkillers (Zydrate). And while they could just buy these from GeneCo, knock off painkillers are available from street dealers, who somehow get the drug by extracting a blue liquid from corpses. This isn't explained either.

If this doesn't really sound like the plot for a movie (or anything), it's not, it's all background info.

The actual story doesn't really matter. There's some stuff about how the founder of GeneCo is dying, and he doesn't want any of his children (including Paris Hilton, and Ogre from Skinny Puppy) to be his heir. And there's this girl, Shilo, who's supposed to be really sick, and her father/doctor apparently killed her mother and gave her this disease, but none of that really matters that much, as the girl who plays Shilo isn't that good. Pretty ignorable really (and the appearance of Joan Jett during one of her songs is more embarrassing than anything else).

Similarly, while Paris Hilton doesn't do a bad job, she doesn't do a particularly spectacular one either, so I don't really understand why the director was so wowed by her (after initially refusing to even let her audition).

So yeah, some of the songs are okay, some of them are terrible, some of them are very Evanescence-y. The best ones generally involve the gravedigger character (see Zydrate above), who seemed to be the most interesting character in the movie, and was, of course, barely in it.

The computer generated sets are really nice though. I really liked the look of...whatever the city this place is set in. It was a pretty neat looking dystopian city. But I like pretty much any gothy dystopian future.

Oh, and something comic book related. There are these flashbacks told in comic book style. And by comic book style I mean there's pictures with word balloons and captions on the screen, and we go through them in sequence. There's some animation and I think a voice over or something. It seems sort of weird, but I guess it's a reasonable way to do flashbacks to "17 years ago" without having to get other actors to play the characters.g

Oh yeah, one problem I did have with them is that they _all_ happen "17 years ago" including the meeting and almost marriage between two characters, the marriage of one of those characters to someone else, and the eventual birth of their baby. That's one busy year!

If a goth rock musical sounds like something you'd like, it's probably worth watching once, even if it's not that good.


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