Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Review Rating: 9
In the not too distant future, an epidemic of organ failures gives rise to GeneCo, a company that finances organ replacements on credit. However, organ repossession is now legal too.
Okay, yes, this movie is a musical. With a name like Genetic Opera, it’s kind of obvious. However, the songs are sung with passion and fire, from every single actor, in a kind of full throttle insanity that’s hard to find in movies these days. Watching Repo! is rather like watching a combination of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, House of 1000 Corpses, and Sweeney Todd all at once, and I do mean that in the coolest way possible.
The guy who plays the character the Grave robber, Terrance Zdunich, is apparently a hold-over from the stage production of Repo! and holy crow does he rock my world. His character seems to be the equivalent of the Narrator of the opera too, and his voice wrings sorrow and rage from the rafters. Oh and did you know, Zdunich wrote the whole story, along with Darren Smith!
Sir Anthony Head, who plays both the father of Shilo and the scary and violent Repo Man, is astounding when he sings, while he slices and dices his way through his victims! Somehow, seeing a large man strap on yard after yard of latex and rubber to prepare for slaughter is creepy and dangerous yes, but attractive in that ultra-strange way.
And yes, Paris Hilton is in Repo! Before you let your dislike of her ruin the opportunity to see a perfectly wonderful movie, know a few things. She plays the character Amber Sweet, daughter of Rotti Largo the owner of GeneCo and the most powerful family in the world, right? A spoiled child who thinks she can sing, is addicted to surgery and the street version of the painkiller Zydrate. Right, there’s a scene where Amber is going to sing in front of a lot of people at the ultimate opera, and yeah, her face falls OFF. Laugh at the irony with me.
Paul Sorvino plays Rotti Largo, the founder and father of GeneCo. You might remember him and his chilling voice from Romeo + Juliet, as the father Capulet. His other two children, both men, are played by Bill Moseley of House of 1000 Corpses fame (ooh, another irony), and Ogre of the band Skinny Puppy plays the face-changing Pavi Largo.
And don’t forget, what an astounding move, Sarah Brightman as Blind Mag! For those of you not exactly up on culture, Brightman is famous for playing Christine in the stage versions of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera! Ah, another irony. I love the eye makeup they give her for those replacement eyes, it makes her look like a cross between the Living Dead Dolls and Riddick from Pitch Black.
Alexa Vega, who plays the main character Shilo, the daughter of the Repo Man and a pivotal character for everyone involved, does a fine job. However, pardon me, she doesn’t really look or sound seventeen, as she’s supposed to be in the movie. But hey, it is the future where surgery is a fashion statement!
Brought to you by the same wicked mind who thought up the Saw movies, Repo! The Genetic Opera is an instant phenomenon, and will sing its’ way into your bones!