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DVD Review: Repo! The Genetic Opera

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Repo! The Genetic Opera is a rock opera with horror and science fiction themes.   
The film takes place in the near future, where GeneCo offers organ transplants to the masses after an epidemic of organ failures threatens the world's populations.   But there’s a catch – if the patients don’t make their payments then GeneCo can repossess the organs.  GeneCo uses Repo Men to collect their property, by literally cutting the person open and yanking out the organ or organs the person has defaulted on.  The head Repo Man is Nathan Wallace played by Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) who works for CEO Rotti Largo (Paul Sorvino) and his three children Luigi (Bill Moseley), Pavi (Nivek Ogre) and Amber Sweet (Paris Hilton).

Nathan also has a daughter named Shilo who he’s kept locked up in his house for reasons that are only revealed in the climax of the film.  Eventually Shilo gets out of the house, not only does she discover her father’s double life/identity; but all that death, deceit, and betrayal is revealed to link her family to the Rottis.

Anyone who’s familiar with Head’s career will know he was perfect for this role.  However the second commentary discuses that although he was the production team's first choice, he got the role because the person they originally cast had to drop out.  Head is fun to watch in his double role of Wallace and the Repo Man; Sorvino is good as the heartless CEO, and Alexa Vega is great as Shilo, even Paris Hilton does a believable job as a spoiled surgery-addicted billionairess, (possibly a bit of typecasting)

The songs are fun, twisted, and catchy; since this is an opera there are twists and turns that ultimately end in tragedy.  In the second commentary it’s mentioned that you’ll love this film or hate it; well, count me in as one who loves it.  Between this and Doctor Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog the musical might be making a comeback.

Repo's first commentary is from director Darren Lynn Bousman and actors Alexa Vega, Bill Moseley, and Nivek Ogre.  This is a lively commentary with the group having fun, telling jokes, and singing along before Bousman takes control and gives some history of the film, the restructuring of the first act, and what the shoot was like, this makes for a fun listen.

A second commentary track features Repo! co-creators Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich, music producer Joseph Bishara, and Bousman again.  This track is more of a  technical discussion, and delves the film's theatrical production history, and its translation from stage to film.  They also talk about scenes that were deleted and whole plots that were filmed and then removed. Of course with Bousman on both tracks some information is repeated but both tracks are worth listening to. 

"From Stage to Screen" is a brief behind-the-scenes featurette that contains interviews with the cast and crew and gives a quick history of where the film came from.

"Legal Assassin: A Repo Man on the Edge" is even shorter than the previous featurette and gives a quick recap of the Repo! story and its casting achievements.  

Bousman mentions that if the DVD does well, we could see a director’s cut, I for one hope the DVD does phenomenal so that the full three-hour version can be seen. Throw in a sing-along which is already planned for the March Blu-ray release and that would make a double-dip for Repo! a must buy for anyone who enjoyed this DVD.

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