DIRECTED BY: Darren Lynn Bousman
FEATURING: Anthony Head, Paul Sorvino, Alexa Vega, Sarah Brightman, Bill Moseley, Paris Hilton
PLOT: A worldwide epidemic leaves humanity on the brink, but a biotechnology
company saves everyone…for a price. Anyone unwilling or unable to pay becomes the prey of a killing machine known as the Repo Man, who repossesses organs after he kills deadbeats!
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: Musicals, by their very nature, are weird, pseudo-realities that insist that in some situations, you just HAVE to sing. And dance. And harmonize with other people who also sing. And dance. And while it is difficult to say how that is not weird, Repo! The Genetic Opera manages to be oh-so pedestrian. Despite a plot that is a very distinct hybrid of Parts: The Clonus Horror, any random season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, and Tommy, there is no real imagination here, no sense of true creative force or even the vaguest idea how to be artistically subversive. It’s just throwaway horror movie culture pap that would have been forgotten already if it weren’t so damn awful.
COMMENTS: Every now and then a movie comes along that is so strikingly different and weird, people just have to stand up and take notice. Such a movie can become a cult film overnight, igniting passionate statements online like “[Repo!] is such an amazing and very cool artistically rich and collaboratively ingenious of characters with rich metal Gothic and opera soul.” But then again, sometimes a movie can seem original at first glance yet really be quite plain when one takes a closer look. Such is the case with Repo! The Genetic Opera. It is a collection of ideas from the bowels of the Joss Whedon fan-club message boards that is not so much weird as it is totally silly. To the casual observer, this might look like something that hasn’t been done before, but all it is at closer inspection is a series of things that have been done before, Continue reading CAPSULE: REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA (2008)
DIRECTED BY: Rob Zombie
FEATURING: Erin Daniels, Chris Hardwick, Rainn Wilson, Jennifer Jostyn, Karen Black, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, Robert Mukes, Dennis Fimple, Sid Haig
PLOT: Four college kids are abducted by a backwoods maniac family.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: Because the Texas Chainsaw Massacre ripoff plot was too tissue-thin to support a movie, heavy metal musician turned debutante director Rob Zombie’s fleshed the film out with stylistic excess. Home movies from inside the serial killers’ psyches, purposeless solarizations, classic drive-in intertitles, and clips of vintage B&W cheesecake constantly interrupt what action there is. The effect is not to make the film weird, but to draw attention to the director– “I’m Rob Zombie, trash horror aficionado, and I’m making a movie!”–and make him seem weird. It ends on a highly surrealistic note, but this is actually the weakest part of the movie.
COMMENTS: Make no bones about it: House of 1000 Corpses is bad. This movie is what happens when you take The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, drain out all the scary, and replace it with annoying. Still, if Zombie had to fail, at least he failed bombastically rather than meekly. If you took away the directorial flourishes from the movie and left only the plot, played straight, then this movie really would have been a nightmare (see the weirdly praised sequel The Devil’s Rejects).
The presence of trash film icons Sid Haig (Spider Baby) as the memorable sideshow Captain Spaulding (pictured) and Karen Black as the redneck matriarch adds some interest.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
“As Rob Zombie’s name twitched over the seizure-inducing opening credits sequence of ‘House of 1000 Corpses’, one highly eager dude in the 1/4 filled theatre gamely raised his fists and shouted, ‘Rob Zombie Rules!’ As the closing credits rolled an unbearably slow 88 minutes later, I’ll bet that same guy contemplated raising his fists again and announcing, ‘I apologize for rushing to judgment.'” -Todd Levin, Film Threat