REPO! The Genetic Opera
Not too long into the future, corporations will gain the power to take our lives and repossess our organs—this is the vision of REPO! The Genetic Opera. Writers Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich, along with director Darren Lynn Bousman bring the original 2002 stage show to feature film. This rock operatic, corporate fairytale makes daring moves with its visuals and content, including its eclectic cast. Alexa Vega (Spy Kids), Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Sarah Brightman (Phantom of the Opera), Paris Hilton (The Simple Life), Ogre (of popular industrial band, Skinny Puppy) and horror icon, Bill Moseley all partake in the gruesome distopian tale.
A defining aspect of the movie is, of course, the music. Written and composed by Smith and Zdunich, respectively, the songs reflect an operatic derivation of the gothic metal and industrial styles. The songwriting is in no way comparable to Andrew Lloyd Webber, but who is? I thoroughly enjoyed a particular tune sung by Alex Vega entitled, “Infected” where she emphatically sings, “Why are my genetics such a bitch?” That’s what I would like to know.
Although, despite REPO!’s innovation and cult following, it still falls short in comparison to other cult classics such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Little Shop of Horrors, and Reefer Madness. The movie’s plot holes, uncorroborated themes, and lack of character conflicts all attribute to the missing “epic factor” of REPO! Even so, this does not mean that I was not entertained. I was enthralled with the Sweeny-Todd-on-crack-in-the-future vibe, and I could tell that the creators wanted to pay homage to their cult predecessors. Who knew organ transplants could be so sexy?