DVD Review: Repo! The Genetic Opera

>> Thursday, April 09, 2009

In year 2056, an epidemic of organ failure swept the planet. A company called GeneCo emerged to provide organ transplants to the sick for a price. And when the sick misses a payment, they send a repo man out to reclaim the organ. In the middle of this is a 17 year old girl name Shiloh with a blood disease that she inherited from her mother, who died during childbirth. Her father is a doctor who invented a potion to save his wife but it wasn't successful and caused her death. Feeling his guilt, her father joined the dark side.

Repo! is quite the strange movie. I guess there aren't a lot of sci-fi fantasy musicals out there, so it takes a while to get used to. The whole thing started out a bit unconvincing, the songs and lyrics weren't really that great. For instance, nobody says "I'm your father, I'm a doctor." in real life, it's way too artificial for background info sakes, it's cheese. A lot of songs are oblong monologues with awkward unmelodious musical disguises for the same purposes. But after the initial get-to-know-each-other awkwardness, the story commenced in a much easier pace describing a world addicted to surgeries and medication.

While the music is still a questionable mix of Rock, Hip-Hop, Punk/Bubblegum Rock and New Age Opera a la Fifth Element, the other production values are quite high. The center character Shiloh is a goth-styled girl that reminds me of Vanessa Carlton and Emily the Strange. The art director should have gotten an award for the futuristic staging and special effects, notably Blind Mag's Eyes. The cast is very strange, I wonder what kind of cast director would choose Sarah Brightman and Paris Hilton to be in the same movie.

Repo! is positioning itself to be a cult classic imitating the success of maybe The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The original theater version still goes on tour from time to time. If you find yourself in a video store with no specific title in mind, why not give this oddball a chance? There are some gore and bloody scenes, so it's probably not for impressionable children. At the end, this movie would qualify as a very unique viewing experience. C-

P.S. I still wonder how did Sarah Brightman got into this movie? Without her this movie would probably suck big time but what was her agent thinking?

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