This movie has been in the Netflix Queue for ages, and I liked the trailer enough that it was one of my rare fan/’likes’ on Facebook. But I never got around to watching it, discouraged by the awful Rottentomatoes ratings, the ‘so bad its good’ reputation, the fact that it called itself an opera, and just the whole B movie… thing.
I was really surprised, though, because I actually found it really moving and interesting. One thing that I am starting to appreciate in life is that growing up with a stage actress sister meant that over the years I’ve actually gotten used to the musical as a storytelling device. The name Repo, the Genetic Opera, is not a joke – it actually is an opera, with some pretty great songs. I was finding myself humming some of them throughout the day.
Some of it was probably well aimed at me – kid with overbearing parents, dad with daughter growing up and getting smart enough to call him out when he’s being unfair. I also dug the whole ambience – the colors, the flying super-billboards, the holograms and gas masks. I really dug the opera singer’s doll-eyes and the repo man just had an amazing presence – maniacal one minute, sad and haunted the next.
A lot of gore, though – whew! I will remember some of the cringe moments from this one for a while. But then again I have never been a horror fan per se, so I am a bit of an innocent when it comes to such things. It did seem appropriate to the themes, though – cheap lives, body parts as commodities, sexualizing surgery, and all. It worked pretty well, even if I saw more than enough intestines for one night.
I think the main thing was that it was original. I mean, I have no problem with formula movies. I never got tired of Clint Eastwood movies and love a good superhero origin story, for example. But this was something that just was not like anything I had seen before. And I think that is great and should be applauded. I guess a ‘cult following’ is what you get the only reward you get these days…