Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) Poster

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9/10
Blood, guts and vocal range
tawdry_hepburn7 November 2008
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-

If you enjoyed this review, please visit www.collider.com for more.
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10/10
Repo the Genetic Opera is a breath of fresh air in a stale world of Horror movie copy cats
patriggle20 July 2008
We just got from seeing the Repo premiere and now I can't wait until November to see it again. The film was phenomenal! It was beautiful to watch and extremely entertaining. Repo far surpasses the Saw films in originality, creativity, and artistic integrity. This is not simply a slasher film, although there is plenty of violence to keep gore fans happy, there is a very interesting and unique story being told here. In fact, a whole world has been created in Repo and there is plenty of room for more stories to follow. Unlike many sequels, a sequel to Repo would be completely justified in respect to its content.

The music was catchy and I walked back to the hotel with it running through my head. There is a nice variety of songs featured in Repo and, as is natural with a collection of songs, fans will have their favorites and their least favorites. I can honestly say that even my least favorite songs were still necessary in the context of the film and I didn't really mind them. I was slightly caught off guard by how pop a couple of the musical numbers were, but again they were appropriate for the part of the film they were featured in.

Another surprise was the size of roles in the film. The roles played by Ogre, Bill Moseley, and Paris Hilton were not as prominent as I had imagined them being (and yes Paris gave a good performance). They seemed to have less screen time than the rest of the stars. This is not a serious complaint of the film itself, just a desire for more (especially Ogre). Skinny Puppy fans have never seen Ogre quite like this (just wait until you hear his voice). Other personal favorites (aside from Ogre) were The Grave Robber, Anthony Head, and Sarah Brightman.

Darren, the Cast and Crew, and the Producers of Repo the Genetic Opera have created a beautiful thing here. This is a horror movie with true originality in story and in visuals. They went out on a limb to make something new, something that hasn't already been proved to work and that type of effort needs to be supported; otherwise we will continue to be given "New" movies that it feels like we have seen before. I know the wait has been long, but I can now tell you with certainty that it is well worth the wait.

If originality is not supported it will continue to disappear.

Please support Repo the Genetic Opera.
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9/10
A very cool modern opera that will surely be playing at midnight screenings as a cult classic for years to come
zarrod20 September 2008
This modern, actually futuristic, opera is unlike anything I've seen. Many of its qualities remind me of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show,' a film that was never on my list of favorites. This is better simply because it's able to hold together a more plausible and serious story yet still present itself in the aesthetic of a psychedelic musical. It blends brutality with comedy and music very effectively, in fact, there were far more laughs in our theater than anything else. The interactions between the characters as they sing their parts make for great character development and story progression simultaneously. The character's themselves are all well performed, including Paris Hilton (what happens to her needs to be seen, not described). I'm not the type to like weird, cult films but this held my attention. It's definitely worth a viewing, and if you have time to immerse yourself, then it's definitely worth some good applause.
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7/10
A cult wannabe with a dash of Blade Runner and a slash of Saw
Craig McPherson19 July 2008
Darren Lynn Bousman has cojones. Big brass ones, it would appear, after viewing his twisted eclectic musical known as Repo! The Genetic Opera, which was given its world premier at Montreal's Fantasia film festival months in advance of its November release date.

The Director of Saw II, III and IV is hardly a person you'd associate with a rock opera, and when you factor in a cast that includes such artistic polar opposites as Sarah Brightman and Paris Hilton, you could be forgiven for feeling that the stink-o-meter would be going off the chart. And yet, it doesn't.

Set against a futuristic backdrop where an epidemic of organ failures is plaguing humanity, people turn to the unscrupulous Geneco Corporation to purchase replacements for their failing vitals. Not everybody makes good on their payments, however, which is where Nathan Wallace (Anthony Head of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) goes into action as one of Geneco's "repo men", brutally reclaiming defaulters organs at scalpel-point.

The movie has a visual style that both works to its benefit and runs against the grain of conventional movie telling (comic strip look, richly colored and stylized sets, heavily filtered camera shots) and much of the music is surprisingly good. Even those sung by Hilton, who blends surprisingly well into the mix as Amber, the vain, plastic-surgery obsessed daughter of Geneco's president (Paul Sorvino). While Sarah Brightman's career as a pop-opera singer makes her, on paper at least, the best casting choice, it's Head who's really surprising. Sure he an act, but in a movie with no spoken dialog he not only shows he can sing, but is actually able to change his vocal style from controlled, when in character as Wallace, to raunchy when he dons his Repo Man persona.

Among the movie's flaws is the performance of Bill Moseley (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects) as Luigi Largo, the scheming son of Geneco's president, whose singing talent can charitably be described as "lacking". Then again, considering the nature of the story, its roles, and ambitious scope, you'd have to expect that Bousman was going to break a few eggs en route to making his omelet.

The folks who run the hype machines at Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures are spinning this as another cult classic along the lines of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Phantom of the Paradise. That's a bit much. Musical cult classics aren't instantly created, they assume that mantle as a result of fan approval, and the cultivation of a following – something not easily done given the demise of repertory cinemas and weekly midnight screenings. Right now such corporate accolades are nothing more than hyperbole. Even though a lot of the prerequisites are in place, only time will tell if Repo will allow Bousman to reserve a permanent spot shilling to character-dressed fans on the convention circuit.
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10/10
An amazing experience that should be shared by all
muller_8711 October 2008
I attended an advanced screening being held at my university. It was one of the few shows that director Darren Lynn Bousman didn't know about. I had spoken with him briefly on the repo-opera.com official chat rooms about an hour before the showing. It was a cool few minutes that consisted of him telling me the showing might have been canceled and then his informing me (and the rest of the room) that he was yelling to get it going, and he never yells.

I got to the campus theater about 10 min before it was set to start. First thing I noticed was that there were other people there, which was a major worry of mine as Montana State University is relatively small and the advertisement for the screening was pretty sparse. Then I saw the security officers. That got my eyebrows a-raising. It was cool though, Lionsgate taking this much of a precaution even in a little city like this one. After getting my ticket, I wandered in and took a seat. There were about 5 of us to begin with, but as we got closer to 7:00, we ended up with around 30 people. That alone exceeded my expectations.

Then the one of the theater workers came out and spoke with us, made us aware of the security and told us basically not to F*** this up with cameras. Then…it was movie time.

When if first began the audio wasn't syncing properly and the screen was projected a little too wide. But after about 5 min the audio got straightened out and the screen width only affected some of the captions on the vignettes showing backstory.

Overall, I was very impressed. Alexa Vega was amazing as the main character of Shiloh Wallace. She has really grown up and away from the girl who played in Spy Kids. She's not this awkward little kid anymore. She's a full blown woman who's shown her acting and singing abilities. I hope to see a lot more from her in the future. Anthony Stewart Head as Nathan/Repo Man was just as amazing. His baritone had the perfect inflection to show the torment the character was dealing with emotionally. When he switches to his "Repo" voice, an oddly smooth yet gravelly take on his singing, it details the change in personalities. Sarah Brightman shined as Blind Mag. Her gorgeous voice and regal demeanor added mountains of formality to this amazing production. Terrance Zdunich was a treat as the morally ambiguous Graverobber. His narrating skills balanced the movie in a way. Addressing the audience as a sort of gatekeeper to this experience was a needed flavor to the film.

Now onto the Largos. Paul Sorvino, like Ms. Brightman, added an air to the movie. His very operatic voice was a perfect counter to the more modern sounds of his on-screen spawn. Bill Mosely, a genre favorite, was well cast in the role of Luigi Largo, Rotti Largo's violent son. His face added a brutality to the roll. Nivek Ogre, of Skinny Puppy, was a very mellow character in his take on Pavi – well, mellow compared to Luigi, choosing to seduce and womanize instead of kill and murder. And finally, Paris Hilton as Amber Sweet. I think everyone was a bit wary of her role in this movie. But I can't imagine anyone else in the role.

Overall, the performances were very well done. Only Mosely and Hilton seemed to struggle and only at very brief times. The music was stellar. I was expecting it to be a total musical overload of 100% song, but instead it was interspersed with regular dialog and sing-talk, but it never got old or tired. The filter they used to color the movie was wonderful; the soft glow gave it a wonderful ambiance. The story itself was very well done, showing the dynamics of two families, one a little more functional then the other. Definitely a very original and wonderful piece of modern film. It really is an event. And an event that should be experienced in a theater with other people with an appreciation for the quirky and the musical. It fully deserved the claps it received at the end.

Very well done, Darren. Thank you, to you and your cast and crew.
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9/10
Genetics are a B****
emergefrmnothing20 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I got a chance to see Repo! at the Austin showing last night. I'd been keeping up with the forum, like most of ya'll have, and listening to the soundtrack on a loop. I thought I pretty much knew the whole plot before I'd seen the movie, and had a good idea of how it would end.

I was wrong.

For those of you who haven't been following the Repo! phenomenon, Repo! is an audacious rock opera (completely sung, with some occasional atonal, rhythmic dialogue) that takes place in a Gothic not-too-distant future. An epidemic of organ failures has broken out, but luckily, GeneCo, a massive genetics company, has a solution- They start harvesting organs and offering them to consumers with easy financing options. However, these organs are subject to default, and if you start missing your payments, GeneCo sends out the Repo Man to take back GeneCo's property.

Guiding us through this macabre world is Graverobber (Zdunich), a drug-runner who sells a cheap, black market version of Zydrate (a futuristic anesthetic that's like a glow-in-the-dark mix between codeine and ecstasy) to drug-and-surgery addicts on the street.

The movie largely takes place from the point of view of one of these Repo Men, Nathan Wallace (Head), and his daughter, Shiloh (Vega), who is suffering from an unnamed blood illness that makes traveling outside of her home dangerous, and possibly deadly, and who is unaware of her father's profession. In order to keep her safe, Nathan keeps Shiloh locked in her bedroom. Longing to explore the world outside, and bitter towards her mother for passing the blood disease on to her, Shiloh embodies one of the underlying themes of Repo!- Are our destinies sealed by fate (by our genetics), or do we have a choice in the matter?

Early on in the movie, Rotti Largo (Sorvino), the owner and founder of GeneCo, learns that his time is running out. Without skipping a beat, his two sons, the hellishly-tempered Luigi (Moseley) and the freakish playboy, Pavi (Ogre), begin to fight over who will take over when their father is gone. Meanwhile, the third Largo sibling, and poster child for the Zydrate Support Network, Amber Sweet (Hilton), dreams of being in the spotlight after the popular opera singer, and GeneCo spokeswoman, Blind Mag (Brightman), gives her upcoming farewell performance.

The film explores the connections between each of these individuals, and gives their backstories in comic book style vignettes that show how their lives were all once intertwined. Even if you've been following the Repo! site, these short stories provide shocking twists (I heard more than a few gasps when one such twist is revealed). They're an ingenious way of providing these back stories in a stylized manner without having to stretch Repo!'s already thin budget.

One of the things that really struck me about Repo! is how surreal the whole atmosphere is. The colours are very garish (lots of reds, blues, and yellows), and a very hyper-polished finish to the picture. Your computer screen really can't capture just how amazing it looks on the big screen.

And, of course, the other thing that stands out is the music. It's an eclectic mix of rock, punk, pop, electronica, and, of course, opera. I was a bit worried that since I'd been listening to the Pre-Surgery Sampler on a loop, and listening to the theatrical CD as well, that I'd pretty much heard the outstanding numbers in the movie, and that there wouldn't be many surprises. Again, I was surprised. One of the stand-outs for me was "Things You See In A Graveyard", with Rotti Largo's voice echoing throughout the atmosphere over a ghostly chorus of funeral-goers and thrashing guitar riffs. My other favorite is "Chromaggia's Lament", Mag's haunting, operatic farewell song.

While Repo! is VERY unique, and has some very colorful characters, it isn't the camp fest that I was expecting it to be. It's actually a very GOOD movie, and definitely has a heart behind all of it's badassness.

It's also VERY graphic. It was actually a bit more violent than I was expecting. While the violence typically occurs during songs that lessen their impact, and make them more humorous than scary, it's still very over-the-top, and several scenes in particular caused people in my screening to gasp and scream.

My only complaint about the film is that it occasionally appears a bit conflicted about what emotion it wants to elicit from you. I'll give you an example (and forgive me if it comes off as vague, I'm avoiding spoilers)- In one scene in particular, the gorgeously eery song being sung leads up to an act that is both powerfully moving and deeply repulsing. If it were a bit more tastefully executed, it would have come off as a beautiful, empowering scene, and a highly memorable one at that. However, rather than going for that particular emotional impact, the camera lingers on the extremely violent act being committed, without cutting away, to the point of being completely over-the-top, snuffing out its emotional aspect and causing it to be remembered as one of the most disgusting scenes in the movie, rather than one of the most beautiful.

Overall, I would definitely say that I enjoyed Repo!, and I'm looking forward to buying the soundtrack on September 30th. This movie is something that needs to be experienced on the big screen.

For anyone concerned about contented-related issues (if you're wondering if you should take your child, or if you have problems watching certain film content), here's how I'd rate it:

Violence: 9/10 (not pervasive, but when it happens, it's very graphic) Sex: 4/10 (some dialogue, situations, and mild nudity.. nothing to write home about) Scares: 5/10 (some disturbing situations... but it's mostly darkly humorous, rather than scary)
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10/10
Best Musical of The Year
sau31621 September 2008
It is a superlative movie through and through, what a phenomenal piece of work. It is such an amazing and very cool artistically rich and collaboratively ingenious of characters with rich metal Gothic and opera soul. I absolutely, positively, inequitably loved all of Sarah Brightman's performances, it was not only rocking hot, she was a phenomenally endowed character in this movie. I think she had an epic role in this movie. This is a hot movie. Must be seen and it is more than just blood and guts indeed. We were singing along with the songs the second go round and it was absolutely fantastic. I am in awe that it is so much better, no exquisite, than I had foreseen. Here's a salute to our magnificent (Blind Mag) star and all the collaborative stardom, specifically the writer Terrance and Darren director and the greatly cast stars among them that also enriched this movie with such superlative talents, work and dedication. It is a masterpiece. It would be shameless to let all of it go unnoticed and unappreciated. I'm quite positive there would be a huge following if marketed to appeal to viewers from many genres. I am an open minded viewer of many things and quite honestly wasn't sure that I would like this movie in it's entirety given the bits of news, trailers, clips, advertisement but I was completely detoured from this idea not once but twice seeing this richly written, sketched, musically infused, fully fulfilling outstanding vocals, and directed by a master artist this piece of artistic collaboration come to be known as Repo-The Genetic Opera. Darren, Terrance, his musical sidekick, friends, Lionsgate representatives and phenomenal crew are astounding characters, down to earth people, kind, generous, and appreciative of the reviews of their expanded efforts to bring this to many a movie goer of music, rock, futuristic, comic book character lover, fashion lovers, horror story tempting embellisher, Sarah Brightman fan, Darren fan (director of Saw movies 1,2,& 3), and so much more. Not only is it written with perfection, been brought through stage production, to movie script, to now a movie of fully enriched characters and character sketches that deserve any movie screen. All of you here and about, don't miss the chance to see Repo on it's maiden voyage road trip across the US and hopefully much more. I truly think there is something for everyone to love about this movie and it indeed deserves to hit the big screens and more. I must say I don't profoundly pitch or push quite so personally for many a thing but I do think such rare and beautiful talents should not go unnoticed and unappreciated.
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10/10
This movie is like seeing a supergroup in concert!
necromerchant21 September 2008
A lot of films have interesting trailers. Repo! The Genetic Opera has a few music videos available for viewing at http://repo-opera.com. Those are small teasers for the experience you'll have when you see this movie in theaters! A superb surround mix and amazing talent are displayed in this film, which combines several genres with acting talent from Anthony Head, Sarah Brightman, Alexa Vega, Paul Sorvino, Ogre (of the band Skinny Puppy), Bill Moseley and newcomer to movies but not to his role Terrance Zdunich as the Graverobber. It feels like you've gone to a huge rock show and seen an amazing supergroup in concert. The only things that could make it better are having the show be sold out by fans that know the words to every song and can sing along, having the show be on tour and hit every major city in the world and having several encores after the crowd demands it! Repo! The Genetic Opera is a film I encourage everyone to take the time to experience, and if you can, be sure to see it on the big screen.
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10/10
Nothing Like It
Bligy Bob12 November 2008
I have been to cult films, I have been to great grand openings of everything from movies to books to games to this and that. If there is an opening, I will go to it. This movie... this entire experience, it was like nothing I've ever been to in my life.

People are asking whether or not this type of movie will gain 'cult' status, but the fact of the matter is... it already has. To quote Darren: "I'm standing up here, and I see that seventy percent of you are in costume, and the others are saying 'Damnit, why didn't I dress up?'." Dressing up isn't all that makes a cult, the fans are. The fact of the matter is, this movie has a rabid, feasting fanbase that would gladly hog-tie and grapple you to the movie just so that you have the experience of seeing it.

Those who say that this movie is crap, that it doesn't have an audience, and that the music is (my personal favorite) 'atonal', either weren't watching, listening or paying any attention to it at all. This movie is worth far more than anything I've seen in theatres for years. It is easily the most unique experience of my life.

I'd rather see something completely unique, even if it's offensive, gritty, shot with hand-held camera and staring sock puppets than watch anymore of the 'wannabe' good movies that have been coming out. These 'Masterpieces' that people consider to be SO amazing have nothing on a movie like this. This movie is untouchable, it is completely beyond all words.

Everything about this movie has a unique touch that is completely noticeable in absolutely every scene and song. It is an insult to creativity and artistry that a movie such as this should be shoved into only seven cities and outcasting all those who want to watch it so badly.

Myself and two friends drove down from Canada to watch it in Seattle, and we weren't the only ones, and some of the people at our showing were from Texas. This movie will surpass any movie this year through the years, simply because of the fans.

Do NOT miss watching this movie. If you can watch it, even if the theatre is three or four hours away... DO IT. Go in costume, shriek and have the best time of your life.
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10/10
Repo! is a great rock horror opera that I recommend to all!
triniteb24 September 2008
I went to the Austin Fantastic Fest previewing of this film and thoroughly enjoyed it. There were unexpected twists, as well as great character dynamics that made it interesting, fun to watch, and the story line (with the help of great graphics and comics) was easy to follow. The music is catchy and incorporates several ideas that are often taken for granted in popular music. Many styles of music mixed together engaged the listener and the lyrics were full of life and zest. The casting was very well done (where else could you find Paris Hilton and Sarah Brightman in the same cast?) and allowed each character to have their outstanding quality that made them memorable. This movie easily could become a cult classic, as it's right up there with "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"! Go see it, it's totally worth the time. More than worth it, actually.
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1/10
Pretentious, misguided trash
nimbleweevil23 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
If there's one thing I absolutely can't stand, it's a film that tries to be something it's not, and fails every step of the way. Repo! The Genetic Opera thinks it is many things: horror, a musical, a rock opera, a cult film, artsy, and interesting. It is none of the above.

Before anyone accuses me of not "getting it," let it be understood that I am madly in love with the horror genre. I enjoy art films and blood-and-guts films, even bad ones. Repo! left me reeling, not because I was bothered by the gratuitous gore, but because everything about it was full of pain.

Somewhere in this mess was supposedly a plot. An evil, corrupt, futuristic company called GeneCo rules the world (oh, gee, how original) by providing people with dirt-cheap fashionable organ transplants. However, there's a catch - if you can't pay on time, a guy in a mask called the Repo Man will rip your guts out. I'm not kidding.

So, we have Shilo Wallace (Alexa Vega), a pale, sickly, pampered teenager who looks like she stepped out of a Hot Topic poster. She has a hereditary blood disease, and her devoted dad (Anthony S. Head) is the Repo Man. We find out this second plot twist roughly 15 minutes into the movie, eliminating any possibility that there will be real conflict or mystery. There's also something about her dad killing her mom, but not really; it was actually the evil GeneCo guy (Paul Sorvino), who now wants to turn Shilo against her dad and toward him so that he'll have a competent heir for his conglomerate, as opposed to his three disastrous offspring, one of whom is Paris Hilton. Yes, I am confused too.

About 85% of the dialogue is sung; this is a very bad thing. Not because rock operas are inherently bad (I loved JCS), but because writers Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich (who also plays the Grave Robber, a narrator figure with no actual purpose) were too busy creating "art" to write lyrics that scan, we are treated to such accidental comic masterpieces such as "Ashes, ashes/dust, dust/my children were a bust!" If I ruled the universe, I would make it divine law that you cannot get into heaven if you have ever deliberately rhymed the words "passing" and "guessing." Also, with the exception of Sorvino and Sarah Brightman (if you absolutely must see it, see it for her), none of the cast can sing. Head is erratic, Bill Moseley and Nivek Ogre are ridiculous, and Vega and Paris Hilton are just plain annoying.

This is not the Rocky Horror of my generation. Rocky Horror was fun, memorable, and featured extremely talented performers. Repo! was agonizing, excruciatingly pretentious, and memorable only in its badness. Two days after seeing this film, I cannot remember a single "song" from it (for the record, the background music sounds like the Nails-On-A-Blackboard Choir). Repo! will be forgotten by all but the bad-movie aficionados in a few years. "Art" it is not, unless you count unintentional comic gold.
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10/10
A Gothic MASTERPIECE !!
damianblood21 July 2008
1st off don't listen to the naysayers because this film is obviously not for the dumb masses since they will never ever understand something like this. people who have an open mind , a love of rock musicals , dark surreal imagery and characters , a bit of a dark side and are sensitive to things with a 'little' more depth than what the average Joe enjoys will be blown by it , guarantied...

I saw the premiere at Fantasia Fest in Montreal , and all i have to say is : Cult Classic Masterpiece!! without exaggerating . the energy there was insane , palpable. Having been to 4 other Fantasia fest in past years i can safely say this was by far the most exciting of all. The director Darren Lynn Bousman was there which is awesome(common practice at Fantasia) , but in addition we had : Alexa Vega , Darren Smith, Terrance Zdunich, Bill Moseley and producer Daniel Heffner. They had a Q&A at the end with everyone of them on stage.(all having watched the movie with us of course)

Without giving a detailed review i can tell you this: the songs rock (pun intended) and the lyrics are beautiful and deep, Tony Head is a God as usual and has the best song in the film , Alex is at the top of her game as well and...Paris Hilton does NOT suck , quite the contrary in fact(trust me you'll see). Every other performer in the movie did an outstanding job : Ogre , Moseley , Brightman , Sorvino were all genial while Zdunich as Grave-Robber was simply extraordinarily decadent and played it to perfection , also he had some of the best numbers.

The visuals are breathtaking and the production values exquisite , costumes , everything...A lot of work and love has been put into this and it shows. The audience was completely nuts and applauded after every number...at the end credits the biggest applause and cheer was when Nivek Ogre's name came up(not surprising at all , i wonder how many Skinny Puppy freaks were there)(lots of Goths and black clad folk , including myself is all i can say) and then the second loudest was Tony Head of course as i remember it. Anyway , it was amazing and unique right up there with Rocky Horror , but quite different because this a true Rock Opera not just a musical.

Point is : go see it in theaters for the love of Hades , don't pass up the chance . i cannot stress this enough(you will regret it if you don't).

A Gothic NIGHTMARE of epic proportions!! but such a sweet one , Enjoy darlings!!
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1/10
If the people behind Hannah Montanna did a gore-hound flick.
thriftshopninja15 April 2009
First, I feel I must clarify something. Putting blood and guts and goth girls in a movie does not make it edgy, a cult classic, or provocative. It also needs to have acting, good songs if it is a musical, and an interesting story. I have not found a movie I have disliked watching more than this in a long time. As my title says, I felt like I was watching some Disney, Jonas bros kind of crap. But whereas Disney channel stories cater to Hollister type crowds, this is for the trendy, just as spoiled teenagers at Hot Topic. To me there was no difference, it was just blood and guts instead of haircuts and glitter.

The lyrics and songs were terrible. The song "infected" was pointedly bad, and I cringed through most of her whiny teenager performance. "I'm infected....with your GENETICS". I believe there was some sort of line like "damn these GENETICS!" that made me want to vomit. The grave robber was some over-made up guy with this brooding "I'm an attractive, brooding trendy goth guy in a music video" attitude. I think he's supposed to come across as deep, mysterious and bad ass, but he just comes across as more of a self-centered, shallow fashion model then Paris Hilton does.

At one point, in a perfect "like srsly omigos u guiz lololol" styled line, she spouts "why, cuz i'm seventeen, well, it's better than forty!" which then cuts to a horrific rock and roll sugar-coated spoiled brat anthem. Every teenybopper who chose hot topic over ambercrombie was probably rocking out. "Ya, my dad is so lame, he makes me take out the trash it's no fair, i'll show him what a bad ass rebel I am!" This one scene, this Joan Jett-respect killing scene, was more painful that any scene I have ever seen in any movie. Ever.

The whole movie was filled with horrible lines that I could go on and on about. Bottom line is this, this movie made me cringe in it's horribleness. Omigosh, guts and singing at the same time? Yes, trendy teenagers go see it and pretend it's ground breaking, and pretend it's a cult classic, but it's not. I love gore movies, I love horror movies, and any self respecting gore hound or true hardcore horror fan will stay away from Repo, forever.
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2/10
Visually arresting but deeply stupid
ELB-62 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I'm giving Repo two stars rather than one because it did have a few redeeming elements in my book. It was visually very arresting, and the world depicted was oddly believable. I watched it all the way through, although I have to admit I watched most of Repo with eyes rolling and several derisive barks of laughter. The comparisons to Sweeney Todd and Rocky Horror do not fit for me. Sweeney Todd is one of the most intelligently written pieces of musical theater in the history of theater. Repo the Genetic Opera is, ultimately, deeply stupid, boiling down to a) the plot, which has more holes than cohesion and b) the lyrics, which are just about the worst lyrics I've ever heard sung. And I've heard a lot of lyrics in my time. So what now follows is a series of questions, all of which are probably spoilers. ¡ ~ ~SPOILER ALERT~ ~ ! 1) So, wait, people take the glowing blue drug in order to feel no pain from the surgeries they are addicted to? So are they addicted to the surgeries or the drug? 2) So the Repo Man apparently can find you wherever you are. Why is it, then, that all of his victims come to him? 3) Is there just one Repo Man? Just one? For all of this population who is apparently having all of these surgeries done? That would be one heck of a busy man. 4) So, wait. The surgeries people are having are life-saving surgeries in order to have failing organs replaced with new ones? If this is the case then why are people 'addicted to surgery?' Where does this whole plastic surgery fit in with this picture? Are they life-saving organ transplants or face-changing surgeries? 5) So, with the Paris Hilton character. If her father is the richest, most powerful person on the planet then why is she getting surgeries on the street? 6) Is everyone goth in the future? 7) I would just like to point out that 'anatomy' and 'surgery' do not rhyme. Ever. 8) So, wait. Paul Sorvino is this humanity-saving person who found a way to replace organs. Why, then, is he also humanity's scoundrel, taking the organs back? Did he develop this system of organ replacement simply to take the organs back? If that is the case then isn't humanity in the same place as it was during the 'plague' (or whatever vague thing it was that made organs fail in the first place) with organs failing or being ripped out? 9) So, the Repo man rips out an organ. Then what? Does it get re-used? Or does he do it simply to punish people who don't pay? 10) Okay, wait. So the father/Repo man/doctor character is told that he has to take out Blind Mag's eyes because he believes he poisoned his own wife 17 years ago? What kind of logic is that? "Dude, you have to take this lady's eyes out." "Why?" "Because you poisoned your wife 17 years ago." "Yes, I see what you mean. Where's my scalpel?" 11) So, wait. If the father is so concerned about his daughter not dying then why is he poisoning her? Um, what? 12) Why does Blind Mag yank her eyes out? 13) So, wait. Shilo obviously thinks Blind Mag is super cool. Why, then, does she not let her in the house when she visits? "Oh hi, Blind Mag. You're an international superstar and everything and I think you're really cool but no, you can't come in. For some reason, I'm inexplicably afraid of you right now. Nope. Can't even open the door. My father will be mad, although I can't explain why." 14) Riffing on #13: if Shilo's reason for not letting Blind Mag in is because her father will be mad (why would he be mad?) then why is it when her father comes home Shilo insists that they let Blind Mag in all of a sudden? And if Shilo is all afraid of her father then why does she start yelling at her father when he says Blind Mag has to go? Is Shilo the only person who sees the article in the tabloid that says Blind Mag is going to have her eyes repossessed? Are tabloids 100% accurate in the future? Did anyone read this script through before they started filming? 15) And, yeah. Shilo's father locks her in her room, right? And Shilo goes to her balcony and sings that she wants to go outside, indicating that she is locked in. In subsequent scenes she just, um, walks outside. Doesn't even climb down from her window. I am making a call to the Continuity Police. 16) I know this is way too much to ask, but why are Paul Sorvino's kids all one-dimensional unpleasant idiots? Don't give me this 'they're fighting over the family business' hoo-hah. 17) If grave robbers are executed on sight, then why doesn't the grave-robber-executing-squad execute the grave robber when they see him? Why do they mill around and around, ignoring him completely but then suddenly focusing on Shilo who is hiding behind a tombstone? 18) So you just put a needle into a dead person's nose and extract a glowing blue drug? I see. That makes sense. There's a lot more, of course. But I don't want to think about this any more. As I said, there are far more holes than there is any continuity. But above all, the lyrics are wretched. Bad, bad lyrics.
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8/10
Fills your heart with amazing music, then rips it out...
Spencer Stump13 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I am flabbergasted... I am shocked... I am amazed... I am currently scooping my jaw off of the floor... I just saw Repo.

My friend introduced me to the music... and I was initially attracted to Anthony Head (I am Buffy Fan to the max) and more than a little intrigued at the thought of Paris Hilton in a musical. I read the plot, and was very confused, and then I heard a few songs. I didn't get it at all, and they didn't sound very good (out of context). A few songs stood out as particularly confusing, and a few were at least tolerable. In fear of hating the movie, I stopped listening and waiting until I saw it. I do however, appreciate musicals, and I have a twisted sense of humor, so I figured "Why not?" But even up to the MOMENT this movie started, I was fearfully twiddling my thumbs... pondering and escape route if this reached a Max Payne level of unbearable.

While in the line up for the movie, the Director (Darren Lynn Bousman) and the Co-writer/Graverobber (Terrance Zdunich), and the Musical Director (I apologize, I can't remember his name...) came and talked to everyone. I was surprised at their enthusiasm for this movie, and how amazingly down to earth they were. Those are the coolest guys you will ever meet. Ever. And you could tell they were very humble when everyone was proclaiming their love for REPO, even before they saw it.

So the movie started, and since the first second I was captivated. As soon as I heard the deathly choir sing "Repo Man" I was hooked. The opening shots of the comics were a brilliant way of introducing the story, and I was amazed at the fact that Terrance Zdunich drew it all himself.

The movie was not the best singing, and not the best acting in the world (Although major points for Anthony Head's portrayal of Repo Man) but I still was captivated by the music, and the amazing sets, and fantastic overall cinematography.

A few moments stood out in my head, their budget was a very limited 8 million dollars... so their ability to produce convincing prosthetic recreations of the inside of your chest cavity is simply stunning. I have heard a lot of complaining that this movie is too gory. I don't understand. It is gory with purpose... when there is gore, it makes sense and follows the story. They don't have anything that is unnecessary or unbelievable.

Another point is the music... the songs are simply stunning. I didn't even notice the screaming at certain points, it all flowed together. And each song was poignant, original, and thought provoking. "Chase the Morning", "Zydrate Anatomy", and "Who Started this Opera Sh*t", as well as "I Didn't Know I Loved You So Much". I have seen musicals that are completely singing, and you get tired of all the annoying repetitive music. But I found each section of the movie, down to each note, was carefully written. I instantly changed my mind, every piece of music in this movie is a masterpiece, and I have changed my mind on this kind of music.

And it also managed to mix twisted humor, opera, horror, and raw emotion into one movie. I haven't seen such a complex mix like that in a long time.

My ONE problem with this movie, is the growth of the characters. It simply doesn't exist. There are a few small changes in the personalities, but the overall development is seriously lacking. On the other hand, this is set in a world where people are who they are, and it is believable that they would be that same person in such a corrupt state.

I also can't wait for the Directors Cut, there are several songs, and scenes that were cut do to timing, and budgeting. Close to an hour of footage was discarded. I know the directors cut take this movie past incredible, into the mind-blowing.

The other problem I have is that this movie is in dire need of support. The production company doesn't think that this movie has a fan base, or that it is any good at all... I disagree for the most part. While I thoroughly enjoyed it, I don't think that it should be released in every theater in existence. It would be removed very soon. I do however believe that this movie shouldn't be hid away and burned... But released in select theaters across America, Canada, and UK and such. This movie will take time to build an extreme following. And already with its 2 or 3 showings, it has a massive fan base. Give this movie time and it will be bigger than Star Wars, Harry Potter (shudder), and even Rocky Horror Picture Show. Way, way bigger.

I love this movie. I love, love this movie. It deserves so much credit for pushing through the awful reviews for Paris (in which she was a perfect choice), and for being told to hide this movie away and burn every copy... I can understand that this movie might not be for you, but it not worst trash to ever hit the movie theaters.

I am not giving this movie a 10, because I do believe that a 10 cheapens it. I am not simply going to rate it a 10 to support the movie... I am going to be honest, and give it the 9 that it deserves. We do owe it that much... for giving us a movie that fills our hearts with amazing music, then rips it out, 'cause we can't pay.

Spencer
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1/10
A Beautiful Failure
superperfundo23 November 2008
Repo The Genetic Opera is an extremely ambitious undertaking. I can honestly say that after the screening I attended, I noticed that the audience was divided into a love it or hate it mentality. Myself, well... I loved the look and hated the film. I certainly have a deep appreciation for what the filmmakers tried to do here but the film itself is poorly casted, unnecessarily gory and has characterizations that are entirely unsympathetic.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a terrible movie by any means.

It looks great and the story is actually quite unique but the incredibly weak songs and laughable sing-talking sank this one for me by the 20 minute mark.

That is Repo's biggest problem.

The songs are just not memorable. When you walk out of most musicals you tend to find yourself humming your favourite tunes. The music here is poor at best, the lyrics are laughable and the whole thing begins to feel more like an ambitious high school musical as opposed to the successor of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

It was a valiant effort, but I can't help but believe that the subject matter might have worked better as a straight up horror film.

Some may call me a hater and that's fine... While you're busy checking your gut for spare organs I'll be more than happy to do the Time Warp Again. A 5 out of 10.
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10/10
An Opera That Makes Sweeney Todd Look Like Hairspray
Kail9 November 2008
I saw this movie last night at a packed theater in New York City, The Angelika to be exact. I showed up with my friend Derek at 9:30 and they were completely sold out for the 10:45 showing, so we had to get tickets for the 12:45 showing. Now while that one wasn't sold out, it was pretty packed, and there was a line to get into the theater an hour before show time. Now onto the movie, the basic story was simple, in the future people's organs start failing and transplants are needed, so GeneCo appears and makes organs available to those who need them, but at a price. If you can't afford the price then a monthly bill plan is instated, and if you can't pay the bill and find yourself in debt, a Repo Man comes and repossesses the organ, and if you happen to die in the process, that's not his problem. An interesting story idea, definitely gives me the willies just thinking about it, throw in some killer music and operatic themes and you got yourself an odd blend. A heavy metal horror opera. Sweeney Todd looks like Hairspray compared to this. The opening scene is a montage of comic book panels set to eerie music, my jaw dropped once it started. The montage gives the back story, and the way it's done was magnificent. The comic book montages appear frequently to give some back story on various characters.

In short, this movie was great. It had killer songs, memorable characters, amazing visuals, and a great cameo during one of the numbers (not gonna spoil it :P). If you liked Sweeney Todd, then you will really LOVE Repo! The Genetic Opera.
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5/10
Potential was there...
theatrejake26 November 2008
I watched the second showing in Atlanta tonight. Some disclaimers:

As a fan of musicals, especially musicals that are not your usual fare, my expectations were high. I love Rocky Horror, was an avid fan for many years, and have been one of those who can quote not only the whole musical but all those lovely shout out lines in between. I also am a fan of stage musicals, and I would have to say Sweeney Todd has been my favorite since I first heard the music back in the early 90's. So I'm not afraid of a little blood with my music.

I also am a big fan of the Buffy musical. So I like Anthony Head's voice and acting. I should be foaming at the mouth at this movie. It's like it was made for me.

Unfortunately, I walked out of the movie thinking it was okay. Not great, but okay. That's when I ran into the fans, dressed like the characters and all chatting about how great it was. And it clicked.

This is supposed to be the next Rocky Horror... but without the long agonizing wait for a cult following. This was insta-cult classic! Just add water! The problem is, it's just not as good.

Believe me, I wanted it as much as the next Rocky/Buffy/Brightman fan, but the failing for me was in the music. I'm even a fan of this style of music, and it was not catchy. It was patchy. There were a few songs that were okay, but none of them were memorable. I'm not singing bits of them right now, and after a good musical you should be. As I talked to some of the fans who were wearing the costumes (some of whom I actually knew), their response to my critique was that "it grows on you" and that "I need to see it a few times".

They were gonna like this movie regardless, because they need another movie like Rocky Horror. And who doesn't? It gets boring watching the same movie for years and years - I know, I did it. But it's just not as good. And everyone is trying so hard to make it good.

This leads me to my last comment - I sat in front of a die-hard fan who was trying as hard as he could to make this movie great. He laughed the loudest and even tried to "Rockyfy" the movie by inserting his own shout-out comments. I remember thinking, "Dude, this isn't that movie" and I was only 5 minutes into it.

Don't try to make a movie good. Be objective. Even if it's your favorite kind of movie, don't be afraid to say that it's not that good. Wait for the ones that are.
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1/10
Groomed to be a Cult Classic?
sonthert14 September 2010
I know a few people that absolutely love this movie. One friend had just bought a copy of it, so I bought it from him.

Big mistake.

I like movies from many genres, I like the "Saw" Series, (although "Saw II" was a letdown). The movie I watched directly before this (might have been a bad choice to have watched them back-to-back) was another musical, "High Society" (1956) scored by Cole Porter. Trying to compare "Repo" to a Cole Porter Musical is like trying to compare apples to Volkswagens.

"Repo" is a bad rip-off of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975). The storyline is different, but the background score and lyrics are reminiscent of Richard O'Brien's, closer to his second movie, "Shock Treatment", but nowhere near as clever or catchy. The costuming is actually similar to "Shock Treatment" too. The graverobber fits the role of the Criminologist (Charles Gray) in "Rocky Horror" perfectly. Both narrating the movie in a fashion. The movie nudges "Rocky Horror" a little too much. The score makes me, as another reviewer commented, made me cringe. Bousman likes his quirky "opera", its a personal project, based on the interviews on the DVD, but its not fit for anything other than a recycling container. The people who made this movie thought they could improve "Rocky Horror" or pay homage to it. Either way, no soap.

I love Paul Sorvino (Rotti Largo), I don't hate Paris Hilton (Amber Sweet) as much as other people seem to, and I even have a regard for Bill Moseley (Luigi Largo) from his other roles, notably "House of 1000 Corpses" (2003), "Halloween" (2007) and the "Alphabet Killer" (2008). The characters and their roles are augmented by a cartoon/comic book background, similar to "A Scanner Darkly" (2005) or "Creepshow" (1982), but I felt the whole mechanism fails badly. The characters and the acting hobble around without any guidance or point.

I should add I was amazed at Sorvino's singing ability at this point. Didn't help though.

A few thoughts/reactions to the movie from our watching of it: We're watching "Repo", laughing at it, making fun of it, ridiculing it. We're not laughing with it, we're laughing at it though. It has a quality that doesn't allow me to turn it off and throw the DVD across the room, but that doesn't really make up for the lack of what makes movies good. Sorry. The complete absence of what makes movies good. I like movies that are campy and ones that are classy, and this movie isn't either. I like Hershel Gordon Lewis' work. All of it. I like Dario Argento and Giallo. I love Sci-Fi, I love horror movies, especially zombie movies. I even like some of Troma's offerings of movies ("The Last Horror Film" (1985) Especially). Alexa Vega's singing is awful. Really awful. The movie has a nails on the chalkboard quality to it. Screechy. The scene with Paris Hilton on the Genetic Opera almost got me to break the DVD. Almost. Making farting noises for 98 minutes would be about a wash in terms of enjoyment factor. It has an unfortunate comic quality to it...similar to a clown being run over by a balloon truck.

Terrible.
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2/10
Absolute Crap
Guitarl Johnson23 June 2009
The worst songwriting I think I have ever come across. Absolutely terrible. I gave it two stars because it was funny bad in a couple of places and I laughed once or twice. Some of the costuming is cool but sitting through the whole movie is torturous. The singing is all bad too. Imagine a 14-year-old who knows a few power chords on guitar that decides to write a musical and somehow gets funding to make a feature length production and produces an opera at that. How did they get Sarah Brightman to be in this production? I'm thinking they sold her on the costuming she was going to wear and didn't let her hear the music until she signed the contract. I'm not going to be eloquent here. This movie sucks. I saw it for free and I still feel ripped off.
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2/10
Interesting... but not very good at all.
markkraft14 April 2009
Repo! has ambition and even a bit of talent. Unfortunately, the talent is badly wasted, largely due to a musical score that's weak, and fast n' sloppy editing that does nothing to develop the characters.

Sarah Brightman, for instance, has a world class voice... horribly wasted on the music she performs, although at least she was given the saving grace of writing her own lyrics... Unfortunately, the other characters were not so fortunate, as the lyrics were painfully inane and banal at points.

Indeed, the only character who *didn't* suffer from painfully bad lyrics and music was Terrance Zdunich, who, along with Darren Smith, created Repo and wrote the music and lyrics. He was apparently aware of how *his* narrative approach would work with the music, and made sure that it didn't overpower what he was trying to get across... but unfortunately, he didn't give that same courtesy to poor Sarah Brightman or Paul Sorvino.

Paris Hilton was given a Razzie for her performance... and though it was pretty weak, it's really hard to say she was worse than other parts of this movie. While director Darren Lynn Bousman delivered a visual style that was strong -- albeit a bit too derivative of the video game Bioshock in parts for comfort -- he also brought his fast'n'choppy Saw editing with him, which was unfortunate, as more style was needed.

Musically, I really like Ogre from Skinny Puppy. I appreciate the vocal talents of Sarah Brightman. I wanted to like this. Unfortunately, I couldn't, because the underlying musical sucks. No amount of window dressing can change that fact.
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1/10
Warning! Cheesy rock opera inside
Kalle Kanin6 June 2009
For the DVD release of this (the Scandinavian one at least) they made absolutely sure that no mention of it being a musical appeared anywhere on the cover, knowing full well that musicals just aren't good sellers here.

So there you are with your new "Thriller/Horror" movie and right away they start to sing. WTF? Your money is gone. It is unwatchable and can only be classified as a scam.

No, I'm not fanatically opposed to musicals any more than I am fanatically against porn. There just isn't very much of it that is any good, that's all. For instance I liked Singing in The Rain even though I was born a long long time after its era and also happen to be straight. Not only was it very professionally made and scored but you could tell what it was before you paid to see it.

But this is pure exploitation. A fake front meant to lure you in. Exactly why people will never stop illegally downloading movies, because as long as they are lied to by marketing departments, the only way of knowing for sure is to see for yourself first.
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5/10
Little to go on...
I went to see Repo! The Genetic opera, at the fantasia world premiere in Montreal... while many enthusiastic fans we're waiting for the movie to start, and massively applauding ( at the start and finish ), I couldn't help but feel very disappointed once the movie was over.

To elaborate; The film Repo, takes a very simple plot, and somehow makes everything incredibly complicated to follow. By adding so many characters, and so little time to develop on them. Some are more interesting than others ( I quite liked the grave robber, and Luigi Largo ), but none of them come back often enough for you to feel anything for them. And as soon as you start feeling amused about a scene, or a certain character development, the scene is cut to make room for another song, in another setting...add a lot of songs, and a lot of scenes, and you get a lot of confusion.

The songs themselves are decent enough, some are catchy, some are less, some are musically interesting, featuring odd time signatures and such, but most of the time, lyrics are simply placed, which creates a sort of resemblance in most of the songs, making it very redundant near the end ( Don't get me wrong though, nowhere as bad as in Sweeny Todd ).

A point to mention also, is that this movie was set to be violent from the beginning, don't get me wrong though, I enjoy violent flicks, but most of the violence in this movie was absolutely unnecessary, simply put, it felt like they added a few really gory scenes here and there for shock value, but the movie could have very well been made without it. Which also left me feeling kind of stale, it almost felt like watching another sequel to Saw.

The strong point in this movie to me, was the artistic setting, Repo has a grim Gothic feel throughout the whole movie, with a very dark ambiance, and a lot of great costume designs and idea's, which is enough to keep one somewhat amused throughout all the confusion.

To conclude, Repo offers some interesting idea's in a interesting concept, but the lack of soul and consistency spoiled what could have been a good movie.
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4/10
I am sorry :-(
Kosinus20 August 2008
This might have been great, but it's not.

Honestly? "Reefer Madness" raised the bar for musical-movies tremendously. And "Repo!" spend a fortune and still failed...

What's good about this? Great exterior shots! No one was afraid of gore. Nice songs, some even more than nice. Great stylish introduction of the main characters as comic. Looks so nice! Prologue and epilogue... classic! Background story? Exciting! (I wish we had Max Headroom on DVD at last...)

On the other side? They spoiled almost everything. The timing lacks. The pace stumbles. The story and motivation gets driven away and hardly coming back. Music? what's so nice about music? yes, you can recognize it. Ever heard of leitmotiv or (as wikipedia translates it) leading motif? IMHO that's what musicals are living from. And of course from the depth coming along when new layers get put on top of each other and moved around... what works with music works also in literature...conditioning somehow... This one does none of this...

Story: nice but lost Story-telling: pretty poor Music: OK till nice... Usage of music in a movie: as bad as the story-telling (even the arrangements of music had timing issues and spoiled most of the fun...)

The budget and the actors tell me that someone tried too hard to deliver something great... they just failed. ...and I am sorry for that.

It could have been easily an 8 but I am so disappointed from this waste of effort.

At least we got to see the long awaited comeback of Rupert Giles as "ripper" ;-)
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2/10
A failed attempt at "creating" a cult film
dyl_gon4 November 2008
To call Repo! The Genetic Opera a cross between Rocky Horror Picture Show and Saw isn't entirely accurate. While it is a rock opera like the former, and has its fair share of dismemberment and gore (courtesy of Saw IV director Darren Lynn Bousman) like the latter, "Repo!" is really unlike anything that's been done in not only the horror genre, but the entire medium of film. It's nearly impossible to categorize the film – it's a sci-fi, a horror, a musical, and a drama all in one. In fact, the only category the film can be filed under with certainty is as a failure. What could've been one of the most original entries in the horror genre for this decade, ends up being nothing more than a mish-mash of stringed-together musical numbers with some blood and guts thrown in.

It's the year 2057 and an epidemic of organ failure has spread across the globe. However, Rotti Largo sees an opportunity to make money from this epidemic and thus, GeneCo is created, quickly becoming a multi-billion dollar company. GeneCo offers transplants for faulty organs, which must be paid off in installments, similar to an automobile agency. When people fail to make their payments, GeneCo sends out a Repo Man, whose job it is to get said organs back, usually by slitting open his intended target and tearing them out. However despite starting the successful business, Rotti Largo feels as if his time is limited, and he now has to decide which one of his three delinquent children he must hand the reigns to. Once he realizes none of his own offspring are suitable, he eventually sets his eyes on Shilo, a teenage girl afflicted with a life-threatening disease. What follows is a series of intertwined story lines revolving around Shilo, Rotti and the Repo Man himself, as Rotti pursues Shiloh to be the heir of GeneCo.

The premise is one of the most original in any horror film this year, and the ideas of conglomerates taking over the jobs public services, such as hospitals, to help feed a peculiar organ fashion trend, is a chilling comment on the nature of North American society and its media-controlled environment. The plot is very much a horror twist on classic dystopian literature, such as "Brave New World" and "1984". Unfortunately, the movie pays little attention to developing the story, preferring to spend more time on mind-numbingly boring musical numbers. Understandably, an opera usually is comprised of songs in place of regular dialog; however, here it comes at the expense of the story. Not much happens throughout the films running time – maybe about forty minutes worth of story in the whole hundred minutes – and the rest is just overdone, overwrought music video sequences. Throw in the fact that not enough time is spent developing the seemingly endless amount of characters, and you've got yourself a film that falls way short of its potential.

Repo! is being marketed as a "cult" film and cult films aren't always known for being the strongest films in terms of character and story. Unfortunately, Repo! is just too tedious for there to be any fun to be had. The musical numbers are a jumbled mish-mash of opera, industrial, punk-rock, and heavy metal. Although I'm personally not one of those "Rocky Horror" fanatics, the tunes were catchy; they stayed with you. With Repo!, there's nothing that will stay with you once the films over, let alone anything that sounds remotely pleasant to the ears. Bousman would've been wise to at least have incorporated some sort of action throughout the musical numbers, but characters seem regulated to standing around as they belt out their numbers. Considering 95% of the film is told through music, there is a lot of standing around going on, and not much else, save for a couple of gore gags.

Bousman would have been wise to strip the film of the opera aspect completely and focus on developing the other aspects of the film, but then again, the musical aspect is key to the "cult" status that this movie is trying so hard to obtain. However, cult films cannot be manufactured. There is a huge difference between Rocky Horror and Repo!: Rocky Horror came out of nowhere and slowly developed a cult following over the years as audiences connected with it. Repo! already had a fan following before it had even finished filming. It's a film where everything from the stars (genre faves like Anthony Stewart Head and Bill Moseley) to the genre (musicals are frequently cult films) have been employed to create a "cult" film. A production company can't make a cult film. Audiences make a cult film. That's why Repo! will fizzle out and be regulated to DVD obscurity, while Rocky Horror will continue to play in theaters for many more years to come.

  • Dylan, allhorrorfilms.com
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