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Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 18,048 users   Metascore: 32/100
Reviews: 254 user | 146 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A worldwide epidemic encourages a biotech company to launch an organ-financing program similar in nature to a standard car loan. The repossession clause is a killer, however.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Shilo Wallace (as Alexa Vega)
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Nathan / Repo Man (as Anthony Stewart Head)
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...
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Nivek Ogre ...
Pavi Largo (as Ogre)
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Sarah Power ...
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Branko Lebar ...
Rotti's Chauffeur
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Sherrie Alviso
Anna Kostan ...
Young Mormon Woman
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Young Mormon Man
...
Big Man
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Storyline

In the year 2056 - the not so distant future - an epidemic of organ failures devastates the planet. Out of the tragedy, a savior emerges: GeneCo, a biotech company that offers organ transplants, for a price. Those who miss their payments are scheduled for repossession and hunted by villainous Repo Men. In a world where surgery addicts are hooked on painkilling drugs and murder is sanctioned by law, a sheltered young girl searches for the cure to her own rare disease as well as information about her family's mysterious history. After being sucked into the haunting world of GeneCo, she is unable to turn back, as all of her questions will be answered at the wildly anticipated spectacular event: The Genetic Opera. Written by Lionsgate

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Not Your Parent's Opera See more »

Genres:

Horror | Musical | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore, language, some drug and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 2008 (Czech Republic)  »

Also Known As:

Foniki synallagi  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,029 (USA) (14 November 2008)

Gross:

$140,244 (USA) (5 December 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The video that Shilo (Alexa PenaVega) watches when she gets to the "Genetic Opera" was actually edited by Kevin Greutert, who edited the "Saw" films. See more »

Goofs

When the Largos' henchmen infiltrate Nathan's home to kill him, Nathan stabs two of them. After the second henchman drops, the tool Nathan was holding to kill them is completely clean. See more »

Quotes

Blind Mag: You never were a man of many words, Nate. You told me Shilo died. Nathan I promised your late wife I'd be present in Shilo's life!
Nathan Wallace: Please Mag! Shilo's very ill. It's not safe for her to see people.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Music Movies: Repo: The Genetic Opera (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Inoppurtune Telephone Call
Written by Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich
Performed by Anthony Head and Alexa PenaVega
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Blood, guts and vocal range
7 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There are two ways in which a movie can succeed.

One—it can have a fully realized plot that works to explain some larger subtextual moral. It can demonstrate a mastery of technical and thematic areas and create an emotional response in the viewer. This is the route that most critics look for when giving a positive review. Films like Schindler's List. On the Waterfront. A Streetcar Named Desire.

The other way in which a movie can succeed is with ideas. This type of movie doesn't have to make sense in the same way that a traditional film does. It simply has to take you somewhere you have never been, and hopefully throw your mind through a few loops along the way. Films like El Topo. The Fountain. Eraserhead. Gummo. The Exterminating Angels.

Repo! The Genetic Opera definitely falls into the latter category.

The story, told entirely through song, details the intersecting secrets of people living in a world where a mysterious virus has caused random organ failure and forced people to resort to leasing cloned organs, at a very high price.

There is so much whimsy in this film that it almost becomes an absurdist fairytale. It skips and jumps from one homage to the next, cribbing notes from Rocky Horror in one scene before moving on to Rigoletto in the next. Genres and archetypes are thrown up against one another and mashed together with reckless abandon mixing Grand Guignol with Sondheim and Disney with Faces of Death. It cuts together the pieces of our collective pop culture consciousness the same way that the antagonists cut together new forms for their bodies.

And it's wickedly funny too.

Picking up where the ultimate consumers of Romero's shopping malls left off, Repo! makes for a brutal satire of consumer culture where human flesh is a commodity bought and sold with government approval. People have designer spines and get upgrades on their bodies when they go in for maintenance on their artificial organs. Starlets don't forget to wear panties, they forget to sew on their new faces.

Darren Lynn Bousman has made a name for himself as a go-to guy for over the top, operatic gore and he doesn't shy away from it here. Repo! is often tremendously bloody with sanguine spilling left and right, often directly on top of naked flesh. He takes what he learned making Saw II--IV and pushes in into overdrive as he uses it to skewer one satirical target after the next.

Normally I am one to shy away from sexualized violence. I find it repulsive and saddening, but here, Bousman has found that perfect mix between sexy and grotesque. Though the bloodletting is vicious, it never spills over into elaborate rape fantasy. It is a shame that he is no longer attached to the Hellraiser relaunch.

The cast, made up of a bizarre collection of geek favorites, musicians and world famous opera singers is almost weirder than the movie's central conceit. Paul Sorvino is brilliant fun as the patriarch who controls the world but finds himself unable to defeat cancer. Sorvino is fascinating to watch when he is let loose and he has a singing voice to rival any star of stage. Sarah Brightman is also quite good in a small roll that is entirely divorced from her signature turn in Phantom of the Opera. The rest of the cast is a bit of a mixed bag. Alexa Vega is strong as the cloistered daughter of the eponymous organ ripper and Anthony Stewart Head outdoes his Buffy singing, even as his role is too close to that of Giles. Meanwhile Bill Mosely is obnoxious and all over the place, playing his seventh version of Chop-top while Paris Hilton is actually shockingly watchable as Amber Sweet, a heightened reality version of herself. But the real standout is Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy. The man steals the show as a deformed lothario who has a nasty habit of killing his lovers.

At a point, the film becomes as scattershot as the cast list with some moments hitting it out of the park while others miss wildly. By the end of the film one would be hard pressed to explain how the characters all end up in the same place, but it has long since ceased to matter because you've either accepted that the film is fairly divorced from reality, or else, you've walked out of the theater. I stayed, and loved every minute of it.

When I see a movie like this, I want to be taken to a new world. Somewhere strange and alien. The futuristic retro-chic of the Repo's alternate dimension is vibrant and dazzling, it's a whirling dervish of colors and styles. And though it never comes together, the overwhelming strangeness of it is intoxicating. The music is not for everyone, and the bloodletting is extreme, but Repo! offers something rarely seen at the multiplex--originality.

A-

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