Repo! The Genetic Opera

“Amber please, I warned you about this! Happiness is not a warm scalpel!”

Rotti Largo

A gory musical set in a dystopian future of body modification and organ repossession with hints of BioShock, Repo! has the potential to be roaring, campy fun and it’s easy to see how it has been co-opted by fans in a similar way to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Schlocky production values are no impediment in that respect, but sadly neither the music nor writing are of sufficient quality to merit this devotion. My only advance exposure had been to the catchy “Zydrate Anatomy”; after watching, I still can’t properly recall any other musical number in this tedious affair. The film’s secret weapon, which rescues it from being completely unwatchable, is Anthony Head (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) who commits fully and is able to belt out tunes whilst bringing some genuine dramatic depth to his role. The rest of the cast can manage one or the other (and often neither, which is perhaps to be expected with the stunt casting of Paris Hilton — who was still relevant in 2008). Repo! screenings might be fun to cosplay with friends, but those fans are likely bringing more skill and creativity than the film’s creators did in the first place.