Repo! The Genetic Opera ***1/2



Has there ever been a time where you see a movie preview and say that you will never, ever see that movie? This happened to me with Repo. When I first saw the preview for this movie, I thought it looked terrible. Then I heard that the movie is an opera, which means that all the dialogue is sung, and I was sure that it was going to be a bad movie. But something happened. I watched the movie. And you what? I loved it.

The movie stars Alexa Vega as Shiloh, a girl who has a terrible heart condition and has to stay indoors all the time. While visiting her mother's tomb (she has to wear a gas mask to go there), she walks out of the tomb and gets locked out. She discovers that there is an entire world outside of her house that she never knew. During the course of the movie she will find out a lot of things, especially about her past, that she did not know.

Repo! takes place in the future. Organ failure is on the rise and there are not enough people to be donors. A company called Geneco develops synthetic organs and leases them to the people in need. If these people can not pay their debt then a repo man is sent out to get the organ back. This makes murder legal, but only for Geneco.

Like I said before, this is an opera, and I feel that many people will be turned off by this. But if they give the movie a chance, they will find that the movie is filled with ideas. This movie is especially topical given everything that has been going on with our health care system. Are we close to having our own Geneco and thus, our own repo men? The idea doesn't seem to be that far fetched.

I loved Repo! I think, and this has been said a lot, that it is this generation's Rocky Horror Picture Show. But where that movie was about being who you are and not letting people judge you, this movie is a cautionary tale about greed and personal appearance. We live in an age where plastic surgery is more important to some than being healthy and Repo! tears that idea to shreds.

The songs in Repo! are pretty good. Since most of the dialogue is sung, I thought that the songs would suffer, and for the most part they don't. Director Darren Lynn Bousman shows that he has something more to offer than just another Saw movie. There is a small scene in the movie where Shiloh takes to her dad over "phone" while he is extracting someone's spine. It's little touches like this that make the movie rewatchable.

Repo! got shit on by Lionsgate when it came to the release of this movie. The only reason that it played in theaters at all is because Bousman and the writers went from city to city showing the movie, and as word of mouth spread so did the reputation of the movie. This is a movie that any horror fans needs to see, but I think that any musical fan needs to see this movie too. The gore in the movie is comical and over the top. Repo! is a very entertaining movie that you are not likely to forget.