Posted by: Kat | February 4, 2009

Repo: The Genetic Opera Review 2

Ever since I watched the trailer for Repo: The Genetic Opera in early 2008 I have been eagerly anticipating its release.  Not only was the cast appealing, but I love rock and I love opera. It was also a film that was going to cover my favourite subjects, Genetics and Dystopian futures.  Very morbid of me I know, but I have a fascination with the medical and this film seemed to cover the bases.  So I waited with baited breathe and waited… Then they released the soundtrack, which I thought meant that the film was going to be released, but as I live in Australia things that are of cult or niche in nature very rarely get released at the same time that it does in the States. I went to the website and watched the “Zydrate Anatomy” video which was posted and I was even more eager to watch this film. A Gothic future with catchy songs, the modern Rocky Horror! But still no news on when it was going to be released. Then as luck would have it someone gave me a copy of it to watch just recently and I was as giddy as a lesbian watching a PINK concert (now thats a sight!) I ran home like Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka (but without the excessive announcing that I had won the golden ticket) and I put the DVD in my computer and pressed play.

Now watching a Rock opera with violent organ repossessions, surgery, and other such wonders at 1am in the morning can be quite an interesting joy ride. But have you ever watched a film that, after the first viewing, walked away unsure of whether or not you liked what you saw or not? I had that feeling after watching Repo for the first time, so I embarked to watch it again at a more sobering hour of the day and found myself loving it.

Repo the Genetic Opera is set in a future dystopian society where Organ transplants/replacements and cosmetic surgery have become a fashion statement. Everyone in the world possesses organs or body parts that do not belong to them, and the main reason for this in the beginning was because mankind was suffering from an epidemic of organ failures. So in steps Rotti with his organ transplant surgery and changes the world. He introduces a new drug called Zydrate which removes the pain of the surgery completely and all is well, even for those who need surgery and can’t pay just yet. Everything is all fine and dandy until of course you forget to make a payment and then sweet innocent Rotti sends his Repo man after you… and whilst your awake, with no anaesthetic, the Repo Man (aka Nathan, aka Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) comes and repossesses the GENECO organs. So here you have some guy in a leather outfit pulling peoples spleens and spines out in the middle of the street without remorse. Tasty!

We then learn that Repo Man aka Nathan has a 17 year old daughter,  and that Nathan is suffering a bad case of Munchausen by Proxy, by keeping his daughter ‘ill’ in order to contain her and keep her with him at all times. He also thinks he murdered her mother so he has a lot of guilt going on. Poor Repo man!

Away from this is Rotti’s children, Pavi, Luigi and Amber. Pavi is someone reminiscent of a mime artist, who instead of painting his face white, he just repossesses other people’s faces and uses them as masks for his own. Phantom of the Opera gone wrong! Then there is Luigi who is a violent chap and likes to make holes in people. Then there is the surgically addicted Amber Sweet (Paris Hilton) who continually changes her appearance throughout the film, which I think was really cool.

The whole film is about how Rotti is looking for an heir to his GENECO empire and there is a lot of past reminiscing and discovery; oh yeah and a lot of singing. The whole world is macabre and dark and Gothic. Its full of death and grave robbers, Zydrate addicts and other such wonders. A city built on the dead! The whole journey throughout this movie is one dark turn after the other, and my oh my is it fun to watch!

The singing is alright, but the lyrics themselves are complex and some of the songs are really not meant to be lyrical. Even Sarah Brightman who plays the opera singer, Blind Mag, had trouble with some of the songs. But it was entertaining and who knew that the little spykid, Alexa Vega could sing? I didn’t…

Repo the Genetic Opera is a gothic rollercoaster of weirdness, that looks fantastic. It definitely has that “im not shot on film” look about it, but it was entertaining and a fun movie to watch. It has definitely made a fan out of me, but if you are going to watch this film you need to go into it with an open mind. Don’t sit there and criticize it to shreds, because it is by far from perfect. It is a cult hit no doubt about it.

And y’know with lines like “why oh why are my genetics such a bitch?” how can you go wrong!


Also see Six’s Review of Repo! The Genetic Opera.



  1. I agree. This was a really good and entertaining
    film, but I didn’t realize that until my second viewing. The first twenty minutes, I almost took
    the DVD out of the player ! The songs stuck in
    my head, and that’s what really sold me.

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