Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Repo The Genetic Opera - My review comes in a little glass vial

So, since people were talking about this last night on my Facebook, I wanted to go ahead and re post  this review I did for Repo last February. Have a look:

Repo – The Genetic Opera Review
by Rob Dimension

It’s been years since Horror fans had a musical to grab on to; our “go-to” guy was always “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Truly a classic. Horror fans lately,  have to deal with being subjected to horrible remakes, lousy, no frills DVD releases and just terrible PG-13 dribble. This review will probably be all over the place, simply because I am actually excited about this one…so much stuff to get out…a serious Horror geek out.

In 2008 a little musical designed for Horror fans slipped under many radars including my own. Repo – The Genetic Opera was dubbed “Goth Opera”, while that might be a generalized opinion, it does not do this film justice. The original price tag of $19.99 was probably what made many opt to pass on this, look we are all afraid to even spend $15 on non-sense, trust me...I have been down this road before. I make these decisions weekly in front of the DVD section. I try to give many low budget, independent filmmakers a chance. Those that know me, really do know this to be true. I have written numerous reviews for all levels of Horror films, including some amazing films that I have pimped out over the years. Repo won me over, 90 minutes of grave robbing, murder, blood and guts…and of course song.

Repo has a decent cast of some fairly new comers like Alexa Vega (Spy Kids, The Sleepover) and Ogre to media queen Paris Hilton (Simple Life, House of Wax) to veteran actors like Anthony Steward Head from Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, Bill Moseley who is known by Horror fans for his portrayal of Otis in House of 1,000 Corpses and Devils Rejects) and Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas).

Synopsis - Repo is the story of a not-so distant worldwide epidemic of organ failures that just affect the entire planet. Out of this tragedy emerges a savior: Geneco, a bio-tech company that offers organ transplants …for a price. Those who miss their payments are scheduled for repossession… and hunted by the REPO man.

Our leads are Alexa Vega, very pretty Shilo is born with a blood disease, but she risks it all for the possibility of a cure. The Repo man is played by Anthony Stewart Head who pulls double duty between the sympathetic Father and the Repo Man, forced by Rotti Largo to “take back the parts”. Rotti Largo (Sorvino) tries to play both sides as well, masking himself as a savior, only to be discovered as an underhanded killer.

Trust me when I say this, I never thought that Paris Hilton could be good in anything. She is awesome in this film playing the daughter of Geneco creator Rotti Largo. Good ole’ Amber Sweet (Hilton) is addicted to a form of pain killers and plastic surgery. Bill Moseley doesn’t disappoint either, his portrayal of Luigi Largo is hilarious, just over the top antics similar to Otis from Rejects, and Moseley is great. Orge who plays Pavi Largo is like a modern version of Leatherface, but doesn’t come off like a cheap rip-off. Just a great supporting cast that deliver right from the get go.

Personally, I have a crush on “Blind Mag”, a character that was born blind. Mag is given the ability to see by signing her life away in a contract to sing for GeneCo Genetic Opera. She is marked for repossession and is set to deliver her final performance for the company. This leads to a great ending of reveal told through song, drama and of course, blood.

I never thought I would enjoy any kind of musical this much, especially an Opera…but come on…it’s Horror. The gore factor lacks a little, the effects are very simple but the overall presentation of the landscape, colors and set designs make up for this. The red splashes in combination of the grey and bland tones mix perfect. The futuristic element is not over done but still visually stunning enough to suspend believe. The film was criticized because of its small set scale, I think it provides and extra charm. Repo was designed to be presented on stage, the “feel” of this film transitions nicely.

The Music – I really enjoy the music here, between the Father and Daughter conversations, to the evil Largo singing about his unworthy children. Blind Mag stole my heart; the Grave Robber plays the narrator/pitch man and does a tremendous job. I will be picking up the soundtrack.

Final Word – It’s worth picking up if you enjoyed Rocky Horror and want to see something different. If you are a horror fan, this is a must have. If you are looking for simple cheap thrills and PG-13 crap, skip it and stick to films that have no substance. This film is produced from the people who brought you the Saw films (which have hit or miss in the 6 releases), but I would support Twisted Pictures if a sequel ever came out.


  1. Amber Sweet is addicted to the knife`
    Addicted to the knife?
    Addicted to the knife....
    Love this film!!! And yes, Blind Mag (Sarah Brightman from the stage version of Phantom of the Opera)is amazingly gorgeous and talented!
    "How'd you do that?"
    "Do what?"
    " Do that! That eye thing"
    "These eyes can do more than just see"
    For those that haven't yet beheld (because watching isnt' enough, you have to behold this film) Repo! put it on your to rent list immediately!
    Dreaded Dreams
    Petunia Scareum

  2. My friends here on Long Island put on a Shadow Cast showing of Repo! (where they act out the film as it's playing) at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington. Some of them got into it when Repo! was a little stage opera. I love how this little movie, with nearly no advertising, has found its audience.

  3. Thanks guys for reading...much appreciated