Anthony Stewart Head and Alexa Vega usher in 09 with over-the-top opera.
REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA (Darren Lynn Bousman) Rating: NNNN
If you've had your fill of Oscar bait, make the first film you see in 2009 truly memorable. It occasionally tries too hard, but Repo! The Genetic Opera, an over-the-top, in-your-face and very gutsy (in every sense) cult classic in the making, could become the Rocky Horror Picture Show of the torture-porn generation.
Repo!'s a full-on goth opera set in a Blade Runnerish metropolis where organ transplants are commonplace, missed medical payments result in instant - and gruesomely bloody - repossession and tabloid magazines detail every intestine-removing moment.
Buffy's Anthony Stewart Head plays an overprotective father who leads a double life as the scalpel-wielding masked organ repo man. Alexa Vega is his Joan Jettish rebellious daughter, and Paul Sorvino portrays the Tony Soprano-like head of the transplant company who's trying to decide which of his twisted offspring to put in his will.
It might not have a singalong soundtrack, but damn if this isn't fun. The lyrics are surprisingly smart and rock-opera-appropriate, and all of the cast acquit themselves rather well in the vocals department. In fact, Sarah Brightman as a bio-enhanced opera singer and Paris Hilton as a plastic-surgery-obsessed wannabe singer almost steal the whole twisted show.
Definitely for fans of Buffy's musical episode, Phantom Of The Opera and the Saw movies, three of which were directed by Darren Lynn Bousman. Repo! is stylishly, ghoulishly shot, and every penny of the slight budget is up on the scream, er, screen.
Returns tonight (Thursday, January 1) for a limited run at the Bloor.