To celebrate October and Halloween, the spookiest month of the year, the staff at Nerds and Beyond are revisiting our favorite movies each day throughout the month to bring you the very best moments from those movies.
The movie I am about to introduce you to one of my favorites and has also gained a cult following like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It is an extremely underrated movie that you may not have heard of called Repo! The Genetic Opera.
It is a rock opera. It was written by Darren Smith (Not with My Daughter) and Terrance Zdunich (The Devil’s Carnival) and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II). The movie came out in 2008 and based on a 2002 musical of the same name. It is the science fiction, gothic rock, and a musical horror movie with a star-studded cast you have been anticipating. Filled with catchy songs, one-liners, and at times it is comical and very grotesque. I admit it is a lot to take in at once.
Repo! The Genetic Opera takes place in the year 2056, where an epidemic of organ failures has shattered earth. In its place are people addicted to painkillers called Zydrate, and surgery and murder are approved by law. In comes GeneCo, a company that offers organ transplants but for a steep price. If you miss even one payment, the Repo Man will hunt you down and take back what was given to you, or rather what was put inside of you.
What first lead me to this movie was the fact that it was a musical and the actor who played Giles, Buffy’s watcher from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was in it. While this is not a Halloween focused movie, it certainly is creepy and bloody enough to be included. But what hooked and drew me in was the cast, music, and the overall look of the movie.
Former spy kid Alexa PenaVega is Shilo Wallace, a teenager that cannot leave her house because of an alleged blood disorder inherited from her mother. She dreams of going out into the world.
In this movie, we are treated to a new side of Anthony Stewart Head, seeing him take on the gruesome role of Nathan Wallace. Father, widower, killer. Nathan blames himself for the death of his wife, Marni, who got tragically poisoned. Because of circumstances around his wife’s death, he doubles as the Repo Man. With teams from GeneCops, the Repo Man, who is a skilled assassin, goes out and repossess organs from the ones who cannot pay.
Sarah Brightman, who is a professional soprano singer, brings Blind Mag to life. She was friends with Shilo’s mother and is also her godmother. Blind Mag was born blind, but GeneCo gave her the ability to see if she sings and represents the company forever.
Heiress Paris Hilton transforms into Amber Sweet. She is the spoiled daughter of Rotti, the owner of GeneCo. Amber thinks she should be the star singing on stage, not Blind Mag. Oh yeah, Amber is also heavily addicted to plastic surgery and Zydrate. Because of this, her appearance is always changing throughout the movie with each procedure she gets. I have to admit, Hilton killed it in this role.
The music sticks with you even after you have finished watching. Each song exists on its own and carries its personal stories. While the quality of the singing is not perfect since not everyone is a professional musician, that adds to the authenticity of it all.
The soundtrack varies from love ballads, comedic, classical opera, and hard rock. Some songs featured are “Genetic repo Man,” “Shilo Wakes,” “Tao of Mag,” “Thankless Job,” “Come Back,” “At the Opera Tonight,” “Chromaggia,” “Zydrate Anatomy,” and more.
The general look of the movie is unique and dark. The opening credits and anyone’s backstory we get are in a graphic novel style. With them being done that way, we can get more information without losing time on the overall story. The color schemes are dark and shadow-filled, acting as a separate character telling its own story. Talking about the aesthetic would not be complete without mentioning the fabulous costumes. They were created in a gothic steampunk theme that was designed for each character’s personality.
Watch the thrilling trailer for Repo! The Genetic Opera below!