Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

repoIn the end I felt nothing watching “Repo!” Did I hate it? No. Did I loved it? Sometimes, only sometimes and this thanks to the performances by the cast of little known or breakthrough performers who help to tell the story of a society where kidneys are a business and one boss Ritto wants to flourish. This is an age where musicals are now the basic norm and have been raking in the bucks. It’s just sad that a musical that pitches to every audience, we horror fans aren’t included. There are even thick operatic tones thanks to the dulcet tones of Paul Sorvino; it’s a grab bag for the whole lot.

Bousman makes a very good case for breaking out of the conventions in horror and bringing the yawn soaked torture porn and a dash of “Minority Report.” His own quasi-Goth heavy metal bonanza is a well told yarn about a society run by Gene co. a corporation that’s helped legalize organ purchasing but should the patient miss one fee, and Geneco send in their brand of vicious repo men. Bousman’s taste of the musical genre leaves a long over due response because with “Rocky Horror” there’s been almost nothing to stand for the various tones.

One of the winning traits of the film is the strong musical performance from people like Alexa Vega as hero Shilo, and Bill Mosely who plays a slimy juvenile son to Ritto anxious for his father to die so he or his brother and sister can battle for ownership. The world put before us is not that different as Bousman paints all characters ugly in their way and since plastic surgery has become a common occurrence in Genco’s world, enough is never enough with the patience of Sorvino’s character running his minions and twisted children in to mutilation. All in all “Repo!”  is no big spectacle that it wants us to think it is, but for almost two hours and a respective case of cult stars and newcomers (Bill Mosely, Paris Hilton), it’s a fun rock ride with more pros than cons.

I wanted to love “Repo!” And when I say that, I emphasize that it was one of the most peculiar examples of great filmmaking set to the musical genre, which is probably why we may never see it for the reason being. “Repo!” wants to be this industrial, teeth grinding, gut busting feast of gore and torture while also allowing the same conventions from “Rocky Horror” with costumed freaks, teary devotion, and tours but I don’t know if we’ll be able to get so far with Bousman’s own modern musical that takes a science fiction gleam in to an apparent horror film. It likely won’t be a film that thousands will commend in the new year, but it has a potential for greatness since musicals are all the rage. The case for its quality is solid, the music is catchy, and “Repo!” may just destined for cult royalty.