I am very willing to bet that like me, you passed by the cover of this movie, Repo! The Genetic Opera, at Best Buy, or Blockbuster, or on Netflix, and you laughed at it. You mentally mocked the cheezily-suited "Repo Man" on the cover, what with his glowing eyes and "made in mom's basement" costume production value appearance. Hell, after the faggy title and lame image the first thing I saw was the name of the fourth billing on the cover: Paris Hilton. I didn't even give it a second glance after that. In case you didn't know, I think Paris Hilton is the second greatest trick the Devil ever pulled, next to convincing the world she didn't exist.
Anyway, over the next few weeks I started noticing a ton of online reviewers just pissing their pants over the supposed greatness of Repo! The Genetic Opera. They kept claiming that despite it's really ghey cover — and especially despite Paris Hilton — it was a pretty damn good rock opera. They kept comparing it to Rocky Horror even (which I didn't hold against it too much.... I... I had a bad experience at a Halloween Rocky Horror show when I was a lad....... I don't like to talk about it unless completely wasted and in the company of hot, sympathetic chicks)! I was still very wary of it until I read about the other stars in this thing (other than The World's Whore, Paris): Anthony Stewart Head (TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer's GILES!), Ogre (didn't know who he was, but loved his name), and of course The Angel of Music herself, SARAH BRIGHTMAN. When I saw that last name I ran out and picked up a Blu-ray copy of Repo! that very night. I didn't care if it was as good as Once More With Feeling or as horribly bad as that "all singing" episode of Scrubs — my musical goddess was in it, and that was good enough for me.
Well?.......... Well, um, it isn't horrible... Honestly, it isn't a terrible musical, but.... Well, it suffers from what I call "Lazy Man's Musical Syndrome" (or LMMS for short). What is LMMS, you ponder like a stibbons? LMMS is when a musical's writer tries to make all of the lines in the production into song, but instead of rhyming them, or even fitting them all into their own beautiful pentameter of perfection, he just has the stars try and add melodies to declarative sentences. For example, instead of having somebody sing something like the following verse:
I'm scared, I'm all alone;
Don't know where I am, or have a phone.
Somebody's there, oh please, don't touch my bones;
Don't rape me, I'm just an old crone!
You like that? I just made that up just now. Anyway, instead of something like that, these LMMS people write something like the following, and they have their singers make up for their own laziness by trying to add some kind of melodic fluctuation to it:
Where am I? What am I doing here? This place it truuuuuuuly creeping me out. Maybe I shouldn't beeeeeeee heeeeeeeeere... What? Was that a sound? Is there someboooooooody theeeeeeeere? Who iiiiiiiiiiiiiis it? Who iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis it? Ah! I am very terrifiiiiiiiiiiiiiied!
Really now. If you're going to try to make a musical then for God's sake put some flowing music and songs into the damn thing! Honestly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Joss Whedon learned how to play instruments and write music just so that he could create that one episode of his show in musical form, and his first time out he filled his Buffy Opera with nothing but catchy, singable tunes that not only rhyme and tell a story with each verse, but are all memorable as fuck! And you, you LMMS sufferers, you take how long to write a rock opera, with supposed years of experience behind you, and you have to resort to making your talented stars try and croon discombobulated paragraphs? Shame on you.....
Does the fact that 1/2 of the "songs" in Repo! The Genetic Opera are not really songs hurt its final rating? Yeah, a little bit, but despite that heavy flaw I still enjoyed this thing. Yes, it's obvious that it's simply trying to be another Rocky Horror (meaning it's wanting so bad to be a "classic" that's shown on Friday nights at midnight showings, wherein it hopes that all the people who go to see it every week dress up as their favorite characters and throw things at the screen) with bits of Sweeney Todd's hyper-violence thrown in for good measure, but despite itself Repo! is still enjoyable to those who can handle it.
What's it about, you ask like a small child who accidentally stumbled onto daddy's recording of Skinemax's late night offerings one afternoon on the DVR? Well Repo! goes a little something like this: It's the near future and for some unknowable reason people's organs are starting to fail at an epidemic rate. Rotti Largo is a rich douchebag who takes advantage of this by giving the world designer organs for exorbitant fees through his new company GeneCo, then he uses his connections in the government to push into law the ability to repossess the hearts, livers, and kidneys of the poor slobs who fall behind on their payments. This is how the feared legal assassins known as the Repo Men came into being. The greatest of these Repo Men is Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Giles. He was once a promising doctor who stole Largo's love away from him a long time ago, and now is his little bitch (because of something that Largo holds over his head like a water balloon filled with bat guano), forced to recollect the barcoded GeneCo organs from the still living. Giles has a daughter named Shilo (Spy Kids' Alexa Vega — who makes me feel dirty for finding her attractive despite the fact that she's actually around 20 years old), who's sickly and forced to be locked up in the family's dark and dreary mansion "for her own health and safety," but who frequently sneaks out to visit her dead mommy's grave and to experience the world she's forbidden from seeing.... And for good reason, seeing as the world has become a cesspool of downtrodden poor fucks that makes the universe of Blade Runner look like the set of the Teletubbies during a rainbow parade.
Fairly important background characters are Largo's mentally retarded children (the stupid and aggressively violent Pavi, the stupid and face-swapping Luigi, and the stupid, ugly, and illegal morphine-using Amber Sweet [Hilton]), Ogre's grave robbing storyteller (and morphine-made-from-the-dead drug distributor), and of course Sarah Brightman as the large-eyed Blind Mag. Along with 5-6 actually good musical numbers, Sarah Brightman saved this thing from utter destruction. Yeah, Giles and Alexa were good in their roles, but they were apparently told to ham them up whenever possible... Never a good direction to be given even to a classically-trained actor. But Sarah, who grew up on the stage, gave a fucking fantastic performance full of emotion and thought... And I'm not just kissing her gorgeous ass here — Sarah's Blind Mag was the only character that I truly empathized with. While Giles is mourning for his dead wife who he thinks he killed, and Shilo whines about wanting to be free from under daddy's thumb, and Largo and his children act like evil and mongoloid assholes to everyone, Blind Mag is just caught in the middle of this shitstorm, and it appears that she won't even be useful to anyone in the near future, which means bad things for our little songstress. Oh, and Blind Mag is also Shilo's godmother, and apparently the only person who truly wants to help and protect the young hottie from the terrors of the world at large.
Anyway, all these characters meet, interact, betray, and fall prey to everybody else until we get to the tragic end where pretty much everybody dies who you don't want to die. Unfortunately Paris lives, and that got a negative point from me even though she loses face before the end credits (literally, it falls the fuck off). Honestly though, with the blood bath that this thing became by the closing credits they couldn't just kill the skankiest of the skanks too? Disappointing.
Once again though, I feel the need to emphasize that despite its problems Repo! The Genetic Opera isn't half bad. There were about a half dozen songs in it (that were really songs) that I really liked, and the story itself was complex (if not silly) enough to make me think about it when all was said and done. Honestly, Paris Hilton was pure stunt/cunt casting, but she wasn't even as horrible as I had hoped she'd be. And she was only in it for about 5 to 10 minutes of total screen time. My only real problem with this flick/opera was that it wasn't all about Blind Mag. What I wouldn't do, and who I wouldn't KILL, for a fun, high-production valued musical movie starring Sarah Brightman!
Oh, and other than Sarah's songs, my favorite number had to be Ogre's as he tells Shilo all about the illegal morphine that he sells (to clients like Paris). Just the way that he describes how useless and stupid his clientele are (especially Paris) with a nice beat behind it made me smile.
What's this?! I make it a point of hooking up that Transylvania tranny Paris Hilton in a fancy, schmancy new musical movie about gore and the failings of the human condition, and God one-ups me by casting his own right-hand, angelic songstress in the same flick!? Unbelievable.
Even I must admit that Ms. Brightman's beauty, grace, and talent far outshine the disgustingness of the diseased and crusty tramp that I placed all my bets on... God's been holding that trump card over me for the past few years now... I never thought he'd have the holy balls to actually play it.
Damn it to HELL!
I don't know why the Rossman tried so hard to get me to watch this little fashizzle movie... I hates me any kind of musicale operatic experimentation that don't feature lyrics about some deaf, dumb, and blind kid who can sure play a mean pinball.
I did open my mind though, G, and in the end I was kind of glad that I's did... Because it just drove home what I already knew to be true in my bones: Nothin' will ever touch Tommy, bitches! No, not Rocky Horror (egads, man! Do you really believe that the Horror is any good in any way?), not Ziggy Stardust (though this was pretty close to being real art), and most definitely not nothin' by Andrew Lloyd Webber qualifies as a "rock opera" the likes of which The Who already perfected... Though Avantasia does come close... But still, my point, my little whores, is that this "Genetic Rock Opera" is a sham. One or two songs max made me tap my toes, and I really hates me that Hilton ho. Nothin' with that cranky skank is ever good... Including porn.