Underrated: Repo The Genetic Opera

un·der·rate
/ˌəndə(r)ˈrāte
verb
past tense: underrated; past participle: underrated, underestimate the extent, value, or importance of (someone or something).

“a very underrated film”

Grease, Carousel, West Side Story, Hamilton, Newsies, Rocky Horror, Aida, Hairspray, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair… these musicals (and others I haven’t named) have transcended time and become a part of musical history, pop culture, etc. Some have turned into films, others have been shortened for the smaller screen and then there are those that don’t get much love or attention as they should.

When you think of musicals and horror-esque subject matter, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is probably the only one that people can name off the top of their head and there hasn’t been a musical like that before. However, in the same playing field, we have a film that started out as a stage play and developed into a film, more like cult film status, released in 2008, and combines comic art and gore, I present Repo! The Genetic Opera.

repo_1

If you love musicals, especially rock operas, you’d get into this. If you like Rocky Horror, you will also get into this.

repo_5I bought this film on dvd maybe around 2009. 2010-ish on a whim at a Best Buy (along with Hellraiser) and I saw it was a musical and you guys who do not know, outside of horror, musicals are equally my favorite genre. I love musicals. I love how cheesy and corny they can be, emotional, the dancing, these characters breaking out into song and dance and no one bats an eye. I love musicals so to see that this was a thing, I was into it.

repo_4What makes Repo fun is the narrative. We are following the story of a young lady named Shiloh (Alexa Vega) who is living in a time where this huge megacorporation GeneCo is supplying organs on a payment plan and the world is pretty much desolate. But if you do not pay or try to run, they send out the Repo Man, who literally takes back what you took. So if you needed heart and did not pay, they’d take the heart back. It’s a father/daughter tale, she’s rebellious and kept hidden away while her father Nathan (Anthony Stewart Head of Buffy fame) is “protecting” her but it doesn’t pan out well. There’s also some other family drama between the 3 Largo children (Hilton, Moseley, Ogre) and their father Rotti (Sorvino) who is terminally ill.

repo_6“The costumes are cool, I like the look for the Repo Man and anything Paris Hilton wore was great (I heard she actually supplied her own clothes for her role as Amber Sweet). The special effects are cool, the great is great, more blood the better but I really liked the comic strip angle. The actor who played Graverobber (Terrence Zdunich), who also co-wrote the screenplay and was in developing the stage play), is a great artist and designed all those comic panels throughout the film. Talent upon talent in this movie.

repo_2Yes, the movie didn’t do well at the box office and the studio behind it didn’t do promotions (I always find it so shady when studios don’t back a film fully) and the reviews were mixed. Visually, it’s cool looking. The songs are quite fun, the narrative is fun but I can see why some people have criticism about the film.

It’s worth the watch, in my opinion.

Repo! The Genetic Opera stars Alexa Vega, Paul Sorvino, Anthony Stewart Head, Sarah Brightman, Paris Hilton, Bill Moseley, Ogre and Terrance Zdunich. It was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman of Saw fame.

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