I usually visit Apple’s movie trailers site every couple of days but having been on holiday for a while I had lots to catch up on. Among the good (Ed Norton’s latest Pride and Glory) and the bad (standard horror slasher Splinter) is the downright bizarre. It’s a rock opera from the producers of Saw, and it has one of the worst titles in living memory.
Repo! The Genetic Opera is set in a not too distant future where an organ failure epidemic has plagued the earth. Biotech company GeneCo has stepped in to save the day, offering out organ transplants in exchange for cash. Those that miss their payments receive a visit from the company’s Repo Men, hence the title.
If that seems like a wild premise, believe me the trailer more than lives up to it.
I’ve watched it four or five times now and I still can’t get my head around it. All I do know is that I love it. I’m just not sure why.
The trailer shows off the vocal talents of Buffy’s Anthony Head and we catch a few glimpses of Sarah Brightman (who thought up that bit of casting?) so you’d assume that it will deliver on the song front. As a huge fan of musicals, it also appears to come with the requisite shoehorning of dialogue in song form. I particularly like, at the halfway point, the whispering of the words ‘Assassin’, ‘Murderer’, ‘Monster’ to describe Head’s Repo Man life, followed by his bellowing of ‘I’m only living a lie’. It’s quite powerful on the one hand, faintly ridiculous on the other but then musicals often tread this fine line.
Being a rock opera, this is a decidedly dark affair and the effects, while bringing nothing new to the silver screen, are at least effective in a Dark City-esque fashion. Plus the comic book panels used throughout are a nice touch, although again this is a bit old hat now.
Perhaps most disturbing though is the appearance in the trailer of Paris ‘I’m an actress me’ Hilton. Who’d have thought we’d ever see here alongside the former Phantom of the Opera starlet?
Sporting a loud soundtrack, lots of masked ladies wearing precious little clothing and the former Gold Blend guy as a hired killer, you can think what you want about it but you certainly can’t label it ordinary. I only hope this one makes it to Leicester.
See it for yourself, and don’t forget to check out our interview with its director, Darren Lynn Bousman here.