Repo : The Genetic Opera [DVD]

By Captain Cumquat

WOW! I’m not even sure I really understand what I just saw, but as far as fantasy-rock-horror-musicals go, I’d say this movie delivered everything it promised and then some. One of the freshest film experiences I’ve had since ”Moulin Rouge”. This is one of those movies that haunts you long after the end credits roll. All of the daring of ”Rocky Horror” but none of the camp and ten times the gore.

The story: In the brave new world of 2056 GeneCo emerges as a leader of the new commerce of redistributing biological parts. However, if you should default on your payments to GeneCo, a Repo man comes to reclaim the part – sans anesthetic. Needless to say to default on your loan becomes a messy situation. Maybe if the GeneCo policy were in place last year the economy would still be intact today. Shilo (Alexa Vega) is a girl who suffers from bad blood and an over-protective father, Nathan (Anthony Head – Giles from TVs “Buffy”!). What Shilo doesn’t know is that Nathan is being blackmailed by the president of GeneCo (Paul Sorvino) to be a repo man.

Major kudos to director Darren Lynn Bousman who struck such a unique tone with Terrance Zdunich’s script. Zdunich, who is mostly recognized as a storyboard artist, not only penned this gothic opera but also stars as the Graverobber – and has one of the best voices in the cast – not withstanding the magnificent Sarah Brightman, who plays Blind Mag. The music spans the breadth of Italian aria to industrial to heavy metal technical rock in 7/4 time. A stunning display of creative virtuosity. Though most of the other voices in the cast paled in comparison to Mr. Zdunich and Ms. Brightman, the entire cast (yes, including Paris Hilton) served the bizarre story exquisitely.

Extras

The bonus features on the DVD consist of an interesting featurette that follows the production as a series of mini stage performances in rock clubs in Los Angeles in 2001 to the creation of a 10 min. short to the filming of it with the producers of the ”SAW” franchise. There is also a short featurette about Anthony Head’s character’s moral dilemma as a legal killer.

If you’re bored with the run of the mill horror offerings lately, perhaps you need to think outside the coffin with this next-generation good ole’ fantasy ”Rock Horror” Opera.