Sunday, September 11, 2011

Repo: The Genetic Opera

As I have stated before, I like musical films and I like horror films and when you combine the two it is very interesting to watch. Now there is a sub-genre of the musical that is the most mesmerizing to watch and that is the rock opera because there are only a few lines of dialogue spoken: all the rest are sung. Since I like horror films and musicals, when you tell me you have Sarah Brightman of Phantom of The Opera and Anthony Stewart Head from Buffy The Vampire Slayer series in a combination of those two genres...I am more than happy to sit down and watch Repo: The Genetic Opera.

Film Plot: As explained by GraveRobber (our opera's chorus if you will) an epidemic of organ failures plagues the world of the not so distant future. GeneCo, a multi-billion dollar biotech company rises from the tragedy to provide organ transplants but for a profit...and at an even bigger price. If payments can not be made then the organs are repossessed by the Repo Men, trained doctors turned into legal assassins to get back the organs by any means necessary. Nathan Wallace is the head of the Repo Men, working under the orders of GeneCo's president, Rotti Largo with whom he shares a past and a dark secret that concerns the death of Nathan's wife Marni.

Nathan is a man torn between two personalities as the sociopathic, remorseless Repo Man and overprotective yet gentle father to his seventeen-year old daughter, Shiloh. Kept from the outside world because of  a rare blood disease inherited from her deceased mother at birth, Shiloh watches the world from her bedroom window and is sometimes able to escape while her father is off doing his "work". On one such night out, Shiloh runs into Blind Mag, an opera singer who works for GeneCo and is a recipient of a pair of holographic eyes that allow her to see. The woman is an old friend of Marni's, shocked to see Shiloh alive as she thought the girl had died when she was born, and also about to be the latest victim of The Repo Man.

Not to happy about his latest assignment as Mag is Shiloh's godmother and was his wife's best friend, Nathan is goaded into the job by Rotti and his two sons, Luigi and Pavi, which causes the line between Nathan Wallace and The Repo Man to become all the more non-existent when it seems that Shiloh is set to become the new heir to GeneCo due to Rotti's disappointment in his psychopathic sons and his surgery obsessed, vamp of a daughter Amber (which is not her real name). With so much deception, truths are revealed, lies are unmasked and everything is coming to a head to be revealed at the Genetic Opera where the final curtain will fall...but who will live to see another day and who will face their final act?

The visualizations of this film are Gothic, bleak, twisted and completely visceral but make a fine interpretation of an almost post-apocalyptic world literally made of sex, drugs and rock and roll. As stated, I love watching Sarah Brightman and Anthony Stewart Head in his film mostly because Brightman is a sensational singer who looks at least half her actual age and still sings like she did when she played Christine in Phantom Of The Opera. Head also makes a surprising turn from being stuffy "Giles" to playing a role that is part villain, part hero and showcases a voice only glimpsed on Buffy but full blown to make him a modern day rock star. The only other actors that gain my praise are Paul Sorvino as Rotti because who can not love a man so over the top but so cultured and Alexa Vega, who is a very talented young actress even if not too good a singer but she proves she can handle adult roles that make an impression.

There is, however, one thing about Repo: The Genetic Opera that has me on the fence and that is Paris Hilton. Not that I hate her but to me: she can't act. Her singing isn't a problem (actually I love her singing voice) but even though most of the dialogue is sung, the spoken word type of singing she does sounds just awful to me for reasons I can't explain. Paris may have impressed the director enough to get the role as Amber but why does it seem to me that she is being type casted as herself (a spoiled heiress) and then exploited to be overtly sexual (like she was in her sex tape) ? It's just my opinion really but I will admit that at least Paris is trying to act and as long as you try and give an effort to your performance it saves it from being awful.

Last words: If you love gore and opera, then you will enjoy Repo: The Genetic Opera. If you don't love opera, you'll still like this movie if you are a fan of gore. If you aren't a fan of gore but you still want to see a great film, try to get over it and give this film a chance.

Next blog: Tamara

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