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USA 2008
Directed by
Darren Lynn Bousman
98 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars

Repo! The Genetic Opera

Repo! The Genetic Opera is rather like one of those concept albums, full of strutting heroics and god-awful head-banging rock music, that were all the rage in the 70s and that no-one listens to any more. Add the fact that it was directed by the man who helmed Saw II, III and IV and you can safely predict this isn’t going to be good. That Paris Hilton plays one of the main roles pretty much guarantees it. And sure enough.....

Based on an off-Broadway play, Repo! is set in a futuristic world in which it is fashionable to change one’s internal organs, a practice which has made Rotti Largo (Paul Sorvino), head of Geneco Corp, and his demented children, very wealthy. If you can’t pay for your organs Rotti sends the Repo Man (Anthony Stewart Head, or Giles to Buffy fans) to extract them. So cue lots of guts being splashed about and of course, scantily-clad women are on tap for this purpose. Most of the witless dialogue is sung, although where the women are concerned, with the exception of MORpop diva, Sarah Brightman, who plays Blind Mag, screeched is a more appropriate word.

It’s a tuneless affair and its monotonous characterisations and general crassness make a mockery of the putative comparison to the mid-'70s classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Dario Argento meets Brian De Palma on an extremely off day would be closer to the mark (Brightman was married to Andrew Lloyd Webber and starred in his stage production of The Phantom Of The Opera. Argento made a version of the story in 1999 and De Palma in 1974, as Phantom of The Paradise)

Rather surprisingly, a good deal of money (presumably coming from the hugely successful Saw franchise) was spent on this tosh with expensive production values and extensive post-production work. It is edited like a MTV video and evidently aimed at earning a cult standing with a similar audience although I suspect that 98 mins of this will be more than even they can stand (the original print was 150m!!).




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