Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I have no idea what to make of this film. I admire Darren Bousman for making SAW films as a way of getting his own pet project financed, and I’m curious as hell. Passion-driven movies like this can either turn out to be brilliant personal little gems or indulgent bags of shit, but they’re almost always worth seeing on some level, even if it’s just to witness the hubris on display.
Harry, I just saw a screening of Repo! The Genetic Opera Tuesday night at the Winnetka 21 in Chatsworth. Thought I would share my thoughts. If you use this, please call me "Kesselrunner". Repo! The Genetic Opera is an immensely innovative film that explores a future world where transplant organs are financed for profit. At the center of this movie is GeneCo, a biotech company that not only finances organs, but also uses deadly force to repossess them from clients who fall behindon payments. A rock opera at its core, Repo is both visually stunning and musically brilliant. Poetic recitatives replace traditional dialog and connect the larger musical numbers. It is worth repeating that the music in this film is fantastic: 24 hours later, I am still humming the songs The cast of Repo is as talented as it is eclectic. Paul Sorvino is brilliant as the conniving GeneCo president,Rotti Largo, and his vocals are among the best in the film. The inimitable Sarah Brightman is phenomenal in her portrayal of opera singer Blind Mag. Everything from her voice to her appearance is beautiful. Spy-Kid-turned-broadway-star Alexa Vega shines as 17-year-old Shilo Wallace, our unsuspecting heroine. Anthony Head, who some will remember as Giles from Buffy the Vampire, gives an enormous performance as Shilo's overprotective (albeit well-meaning), father, Nathan Wallace/Repo Man. I love the way Head changes the texture of his voice to illustrate the internal "Jeckle / Hyde" conflict plaguing his character. As Nathan, Head sings with a straight, pure tone but as Repo Man his voice takes on a rough, gravely quality. Bill Moseley and Kevin "Ogre" Ogilvie portray Rotti Largo's degenerate sons. Moseley plays the temperamental and violent Luigi. Ogilvie, who some might know from the band Silly Puppy, is amazing as the narcissistic, oversexed, face-stealing Pavi. Everything about his character is hilariously over-the-top. Frankly, I wish I could have seen more of him in this film. And then there is Paris Hilton, whose performance is one of the more shocking aspect of this film. Simply put, Paris Hilton is actually quite good. Not only do her vocals hold their own in the company of well seasoned performers like Brightman, but her acting is particularly impressive. Hilton appears as Rotti Largo's spoiled, drug addicted, image-obsessed daughter, Amber Sweet. Amber, however, is not a stagnant character. In a scene where Amber's face is horribly disfigured in a botched surgery, Hilton gives us subtle glimpses of Amber's vulnerability, though not in an overt or obvious way. I can't believe I am saying this, but Hilton delivers a nuanced performance, slowly peeling away Amber's layers (literally and figuratively) to ultimately reveal a humanity that made me feel strangely empathetic. I have no doubt that this is a breakthrough performance for Hilton. Kudos to co-writers/composers Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich (who, it is worth mentioning, gives one hell of a performance as GraveRobber - a sinister yet heroic drug dealer who functions as a narrator of sorts throughout the film) for creating such a deliciously unique and highly entertaining show, Director Darren Lynn Bousman also deserves praise for delivering a cohesive translation of a stage show to the big screen. Where the plot would have otherwise been lost in translation, Bousman seamlessly incorporates a graphic novel inspired prologue and digitally animated elements to give context to Smith and Zdunich's work. What impresses me the most about Repo is that over the past day or so I've caught myself thinking more and more about this film. I can't wait to see it again, And again. There is something in this film for everyone, elements that can be enjoyed by a vastly diverse audience. It has all the makings of a cult-classic. Repo! The Genetic Opera is a new breed of rock opera, perhaps a genre all its own. At a time when films seem to be growing less original by the day, Repo! The Genetic Opera is a welcome silver lining. -Kesselrunner