• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Repo! The Genetic Opera

TITLE: Repo! The Genetic Opera

YEAR: 2008

GENRE: Horror and Musical

Horror musicals are not new: Sweeney Todd and Little Shop Oh Horrors each have multiple versions dating back to 1960, plus The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been rocking the midnight movie circuit for over 35 years. Despite this, horror musicals are pretty rare and only grace the market every few years. Even rarer would be a musical that combines the horror aspect into a memorable experience that will stick within the gray matter of the viewer for years to come. Repo! The Genetic Opera is an ultra rare cinematic experience that combines a quality horror/science fiction storyline and interesting song and dance numbers to make this film a worthy successor to the Rocky Horror midnight theater throne.

In the near future, business and industry have poisoned the air and water to the point where early death, terminal diseases, and organ transplants are a way of life for the wretched survivors. Terminally ill Rotti Largo (played by Paul Sorvino) owns GeneCo, a biotech company that steps to the plate to offer organ transplants to all including the less fortunate complete with financing for essential surgeries as well as surgeries as a fashion statement. But there is a catch: if the recipient does not keep up with their payments Gene-Co sends a repossession man to take the organs back! Nathan (Anthony Stuart Head) is the main repo man who has problems with his ill seventeen-year-old daughter Shilo (Alexa Vega) and memories of his dead wife. His problems are about to get worse when Largo orders a repossession from world-renowned singer Blind Mag (Sarah Brightman), Shilo’s favorite singer and a friend from his own past. In addition, Shilo is also becoming more and more sucked into GeneCo’s bizarre, morbid world and Nathan must do what he can to protect Shilo before GeneCo’s annual event the Genetic Opera and Blind Mag’s last performance. At the same event Largo must choose between his three rotten to the core children—addicted to surgery and all-around self-absorbed airhead Amber Sweet (Paris Hilton), psychotic and ill-tempered Luigi (Bill Moseley), and faceless pervert Pavi (Ogre)—and none of the options to run his companyare appealing.

Repo! The Genetic Opera is about as good as cult movies can be for several reasons. The storyline is surprisingly well developed and the viewer does develop an attachment to the unusually deep characters and their tragic and poisonous lives. The art direction by Anthony A. Ianni (who also did the excellent Defendor and a couple of the Saw films) is utterly fantastic for a lower budget film and adds to the image of urban decay and decadent morality displayed throughout the film; I also enjoyed the comic strips strewn throughout the film to help flesh in the past of Nathan and Largo. Very few words are spoken in Repo! The Genetic Opera as all the storyline is in singing: the music is especially well done and the performers are interesting especially Sorvino’s booming operatic voice and Brightman’s beautiful soprano tones. Another great performer is Terrence Zdunich as the Grave Robber, a sinister street punk who gathers up an addictive pain medication from corpses and serves as a narrator to our sordid litter tale; he has a great baritone voice and also wrote much of the wonderfully morbid music for Repo! The Genetic Opera. In addition, look for 1980’s rocker Joan Jett is a great cameo during the song “Seventeen”. Most of all, Repo! The Genetic Opera is simply a great story of evil corporations, the even more demented families behind the corporate logos, and the consequences to society when big business is allowed to run rampant on society and the dialogue and story is written in a way that is not preachy and delivers a bloody, engaging time.

It is a shame that Lionsgate gave this film a very limited release and more or less buried the product during a CEO change. Director Darren Lynn Bousman (who directed three of the Saw films) has delivered a classic horror epic that will surely be enjoyed by midnight movie watchers for years to come. I can not picture a better late night double feature than this and The Rocky Horror Picture Show for cult movie fans enjoying a very late night out on the town. Repo! The Genetic Opera is a virtual instant classic that should be seen by all horror fans and owned by rabid cult cinema fanatics.

* * * * *

–Mark

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