‘Lungs and livers and bladders and hearts. You’ll always save a bundle when you buy our Geneco parts. Spleens, intestines, and spines and brains. All at warehouse prices but our quality’s the same. Geneco.’
So, Repo! The Genetic Opera is a fairly recent obsession for me. But it is an obsession. So, I thought I’d try and look at why it works…and, at the same time, doesn’t. Because, really, it was sort of a flop. It’s coming together after the fact. A cult movie.
WHY IT DOESN’T WORK: It doesn’t appeal to everyone. At all. The target audience is macabre. They have to be very into music—and I mean very into music. And they need to like sci-fi. And be willing to really pay attention to the movie. Because, if you don’t, you’ll miss stuff. I promise. It’s an intricate movie.
And the humor. The humor is another thing that’s going to turn away a lot of people. It’s grotesque, black humor. Using a corpse like a ventriloquism dummy. Stabbing people over shitty coffee.
WHY IT DOES WORK: But, if you can accept that black humor, you’ll have a great laugh. And it’s a great movie for fans of dystopian sci-fi. The concept of mass organ failures, organ replacement, organ repossession…it’s wonderful.
And the characters are classic opera, classic overstated personalities. Caricatures. I mean, a movie where a rapist and a murderer are the comic relief? You know it’s going to be a little out there. So, if you’re a little (or a lot) out there, give Repo! a try. I did, and I don’t regret it. Not in the slightest.