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Repo Man More at IMDbPro »

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Muddled, boring, uninteresting tale.

Author: Robert Clarke from Wrexham, North Wales
11 February 2005

Emilio Estevez is a teenage punk who gets fired from his job as a supermarket shelf stacker and gets tricked into life as a car repossession man by old timer Harry Dean Stanton.

What follows is a muddled, boring, uninteresting tale of all sorts of miserable characters on the trail of a 1964 Chevy Malibu - with a $20,000 bounty and a very mysterious cargo.

Estevez sulks his way through the film, and is fairly effective as the young loser, while Stanton is good as his "father figure" and mentor.

All in all not very impressive at all but nevertheless a film with a loyal following from cult British director Alex Cox.

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16 out of 29 people found the following review useful:


Author: selfparody from United States
10 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Emilio Estevez's OTHER bad mid-80's movie (the other being MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE) has no plot that pushes things forward and barely anything interesting happening other than Estevez's "I'm so cool I don't have to do anything interesting" schtick. Harry Dean Stanton tries desperately to be another Cult Movie type father-figure guy, but's he's just not memorable. The movie tries to appeal to teen audiences by making some jabs at suburbia, but the effort is simply too small.

But the real weaknesses are the way the Sci-Fi elements are shown and the main character. I know I'm going to seem like a square for saying this, but there simply is nothing to like about the guy. He acts like some punk, but he himself admits he's a bored suburban kid, he treats his sexual partners like trash, he doesn't do anything to help anyone else. Just a waste of life who oddly gets rewarded at the end, probably to appeal to the worthless sections of teen audiences.

The Sci-Fi bits really just seem tacked on and very weak. It all boils down to a trunk and a rotten flying car! Geez, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang had better Sci-Fi.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Punk is a strange genre.

Author: pontifikator from United States
6 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Released in 1984, "Repo Man" is at the confluence of punk rock and generic brands. Starring Emilio Estevez as Otto, "Repo Man" is the hip story of disaffected youth. In the early 80s, men were still wearing wide lapels, paisley ties, and coiffed hair, and our hero in "Repo Man" has a buzz cut and a pierced ear sporting a cross. And when he drinks beer, it comes in a white can that says "BEER," and the can has a huge UPC on the side.

In addition to Mr. Estevez, we have the inimitable Harry Dean Stanton and Sy Richardson as Otto's mentors in the car repo business. Otto's fellow repo men are named Bud, Miller, Lite, and Oly. If you can see "Repo Man" on the big screen, I recommend it because the signs in the background are part of telling the story of the punk esthetics, with Mr. Stanton's voice over and Mr. Richardson's smooth lyricism. Read all the signs.

Among the strange things about the punk movement is how modern it still is. Compare the costumes here with, say, "Earth Girls Are Easy," a film released four years later. The costumes in EGAE are hopelessly dated, but you'd be hard pressed to put a year on "Repo Man" based on how people dressed.

And unlike EGAE, "Repo Man" still holds up. It's a funny movie still.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"I'd rather die standing, than live kneeling."

Author: Ziglet_mir from United States
8 May 2012

"The life of a repo man is always intense," says Miller to Otto as they zip across the L.A skyline.

Repo Man is a fantastic venture into a world of wackiness well crafted by writer-director Alex Cox. There are funny one-liners, bizarre concepts, and quirky characters melded with solid acting (especially from Harry Dean Stanton and Tracey Walters), raw punk music, and incredible atmosphere. If there were any film to define a 'cult classic' it would be between this, Brazil, and Rocky Horror. From the familiar generic food labels to the lobotomized driver of the Chevy Malibu, we have a memorable film that subtly questions the choices we make and boldly answers the coincidental moments that happen in life.

The special effects may not work for everyone, but it all still holds up even after almost 30 years. This is a fun film. So sit back and enjoy it for what it is: an absurd and eccentric ride.

Repo Man manages to pack in references of religion, extra-terrestrial existence and the question of our own existence all at the same time. The repo men is a tough job that calls for bold action, and Otto tries to learn the way. As Bud says in the film, "I'd rather die standing than live kneeling." Highly recommended. 9/10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Absurdly hilarious!

Author: Terrell Howell (KnightsofNi11) from United States
7 December 2011

It's always interesting to revisit an old cult classic years after it has been released. I didn't know much about Repo Man going into it. All I knew was that it had a small cult following behind it, so there must be something great about it. And there certainly was. Repo Man is a quirky science fiction comedy film about a young punk rocker named Otto who finds himself employed as a repo man after helping to steal a car. Otto delves into all sorts of misadventures with his offbeat gang of repo men, namely one involving a Chevy Malibu that contains some sort of extra terrestrial being in the trunk. The film is strange, wacky, silly, and an absolute riot.

Repo Man is a film that plays up the absurdity of its plot at just the right level. It's incredibly bizarre purposefully quirky, but just enough to where we can almost believe the story being told here. It's wacky enough to be hysterical, but not to the extent where it doesn't deliver an incredibly entertaining story. Repo Man is a blast from beginning to end, never slowing down and never letting up on the antics. It doesn't waste time being sincere. Instead, it weaves fleshed out characters and a fulfilling story into the comedy aspect of it. It's a film where the story carries the jokes instead of the other way around. This, of course, is what makes any comedy great.

The ironic thing about a film like Repo Man is that if you really dissected it and picked it apart I'm sure you couldn't call it a great film. But somehow it makes all of its absurdity, cheesiness, and cheapness work. It's a silly movie that you can't call a masterpiece by any means, but something about the way it flows and the way it feels just works so well and makes it such a blast to watch. It goes to show that you don't need a lot of intricacies, Hollywood star power, or flashiness of any kind. Instead, you just need a good idea and a cast and crew who want to make a fun film. When you have these things the result is Repo Man, a cheeky, silly, absurd film that shouldn't be as great as it is, but I loved it all the same.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I have seen this so many times and it still gets me laughing

Author: peteranderson975 from East Kilbride, Scotland
28 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Otto (Emilio Estevez) is a suburban punk whose sucky life gets even suckier when he gets kicked out of his job, finds out is parents have given all his college fund away to a TV evangelist and his girlfriend screws his best friend, all in one night. Bud (Harry Dean Stanton) asks him for favour, to drive his "wife's" car out of the neighbourhood. Back at the repo company car lot Otto discovers he's been tricked by Bud the repo man into helping him take someone's car. They offer him a job and after one more night back with his old sucky life Otto takes the job.

Bud takes great pleasure in teaching young Otto about being a repo man and teaches him what he calls the repo man code. After snorting speed with Bud then racing the rival repo men the Rodriguez Brothers in the LA river Otto really thinks being a repo man is just "so intense" Bud replies "The life of a repo man is always intense." Later when Otto is riding with Lite (Sy Richardson) it's pretty clear Bud's rules don't mean anything to Lite

The film feels like a series of sketches of Otto out with Bud or Lite or on his own, repossessing cars from people who have not been keeping up payments on them. There's not much in the way of plot except in the form of a crazy scientist J. Frank Parnell (Fox Harris ) driving across America to California with something deadly and radioactive the trunk of his car a '64 Chevy Malibu who is being followed a squad of blond-haired agents led by the one-armed Agent Rogersz (Susan Barnes). Dr Parnell had been stopped by a motorcycle highway patrol cop who was warned not to look in the trunk and he looked in trunk and vanished with flash of light and a scream, leaving just a pair of smoking boots behind. Rogersz explains to the sheriff, "It happens sometimes, people just explode. Natural causes."

Otto comes across this plot line when he sees a young woman Leila (Olivia Barash) running down the street, so he hits on her and offers her a lift. She is hiding from the blonde-haired agents and tells Otto she is part of group who are trying tell the world the truth about aliens and they have a scientist (Parnell) who has smuggled the bodies of dead aliens out of a secret research base in New Mexico. She shows Otto picture of them but they look stupid and not very convincing (apparently they are water-filled condoms wearing grass-skirts). They get to headquarters of her group, the United Fruitcake Outlet. As Leila is about to leave Otto acts like a dick which causes Leila to change her mind and they get back in the car and have sex.

Back at the repo company they get word in about a bounty of $20,000 on a '64 Chevy Malibu, a lot of money for such an old piece of junk. Soon all the repo men in LA are on the look out for the car.

Running through the film on a crime spree are Otto's former pals Duke (Dick Rude) and Archie (Miguel Sandoval) and his ex-girlfriend Debbi (Jennifer Balgobin). Everywhere that Bud and Otto go to buy beer is being robbed or has just been robbed by them. Duke's rallying cry is "let's do some crimes." and Archie keeps singing the tune of Ride of the Valkyries as they run from one crime to the next

Otto seems to keep finding himself in weird conversations with various kooks. Miller (Tracey Walter) works at the repo company where his only job seems to be tending a barrel of fire. As Otto burns rubbish from one of cars he lifted, Miller tell him his theory of UFOs, alien abductions, time machines and plates of shrimp. That conversation is weird enough but later Otto finds himself in the passenger seat of the Chevy Malibu while Dr Parnell raves about the lies told about the dangers of radiation and how liberating lobotomies are.

This film is just so full of great moments and funny characters and quotable lines. There a few little sly bits of cultural commentary woven into the film. Otto's parents are clearly a pair hippie stoners yet they're watching a right-wing televangelist and giving him all their money. Punks gets it too from the sheer idiocy of Duke and his crime gang and especially Duke's last words. This film really seems to divide opinion and some just don't get it. I think I'm supposed to say something broadly insulting, a sort of put down of those don't think Repo Man is hilarious but I don't think I need to since not being able to enjoy the humour in this film is a pretty harsh punishment in itself and there is no reason to mock the afflicted.

Rating 9/10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Film

Author: jackgoodway from Edinburgh
29 March 2011

Fist of it's joke that this film has such a low average...yet strangely understandable. If somebody you meet like this film as much as you do you're probably going to get on.

It's cool, kinda makes you tremor how cool it is - in that clever, offbeat, deadpan funny, satirical, great soundtrack, location, fashion observant, paced kinda way - it's not even trying to impress you, but it's incontestable. Take it or leave it.

The characters are fantastic. It's cool and meandering non-sequiturs have been mined in some part by Tarantino, and it's offbeat style and characters blown up and magnified by the likes Wes Anderson.

The lines...ah the lines; rival The Big Lebowski or Napoleon Dynamite easily (in fact all those funny offbeat films that reference the early 80's kinda are trying to get a bit of this, it's what Joy Division is to the post-punk revival)

The story has an offbeat charm that marry's the live of punk turned repo man in a dustbowl boarder town, with magic realist sci/fi conspiratorial nonsense. It's tone, vibe and sensibility is groundbreaking, in terms of offbeat indie comedy. Okay the Estevez character could be a bit more chatty or developed - even though he is a casted out punk interloper, but that's a minor criticism.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Quirky, yet not over the top

Author: will-boyd from United States
12 March 2011

I love the understated quirkiness of the acting in Repo Man. It's subtle, droll acting that seems real, especially against the fanciful, tongue in cheek plot. Harry Dean is spot-on as the old Repo Man, and this is one of Emilio Estevez's best roles. A real gem, and one of the coolest L.A. films ever. Like the remake of Breathless, it shows you a Los Angeles not known to tourists, a lived-in Los Angeles that grounds the film in a naturalistic setting, not just a location. THe running jokes are are a pleasure, and all the characters are enjoyable, even lovable. A true cult film right out of the box, it's hard to believe that it's more than 25 years old!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Let's do some crimes, we'll get sushi and not pay

Author: nobby burden (stevespeedy) from United States
3 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Repo Man's not the best film of all time, but Christine was on cable TV last night and Repo Man was the best segue I had in my collection.

The very strong opening with a soundtrack worthy of Decline Of The West grabs your attention right away. It captures the LA punk scene of the 80s perfectly. The new LA has virtually no Anglos. I liked the product placement of Little Tree deodorizers while all other products shown are generic. I also liked the pot smoking parents who watched televangelist Reverend Larry. They donated $1000 to the kook for the purpose of sending Bibles to El Salvador, while neglecting the needs of his son. Somewhat like a lowbrow version of Mrs Jellyby in Dickens' Bleak House.

It's all the little things coming at you all the time that make this a great movie. You need to be listening to all the background distractions because not one frame of film is wasted.

Think Buckaroo Banzai meets The Filth And The Fury.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

What the hell was that?

Author: nickdefazio from United States
20 December 2009

It's hard to critique a movie that doesn't take itself very seriously. On one hand, it's absurd and squanders an attempt at suspense with its silliness, but on the other hand it's got a fantastic screenplay with some unforgettable one-liners.

A cult classic with plenty of dark humor that couldn't help but remind me of Heathers, and some cheesiness that reminds you it's from the '80s. Clichés are intentional and part of the fun, and the soundtrack fits right at home. It begs to laugh with you and will get your attention like a class clown.

A great party movie, it's fun with lots of creativity and a hint of intelligence.

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