Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Notable Cast: Alexa Vega, Paul Sorvino, Anthony Head, Paris Hilton, Bill Moseley, Terrance Zdunich

Rating: R

Review: Who says horror lovers can’t appreciate some classy musical action every once in a while? We’re not all about the blood and guts 24/7…but a little splattering doesn’t hurt! First came The Little Shop of Horrors, then came The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and to this day the horror/musical mash-up genre is still thankfully growing. Think Repo Men, but instead of dialogue we get a heavy industrial metal operatic score and a plot expressed in song. If you’ve seen any of the Saw films Bousman headed, you also wouldn’t be surprised at the most insane amount of gore ever to be included in a musical. As a quick summary, in the future, GeneCo monopolizes the organ selling business. Offering extended life to those left for dead in less technologically advanced times, Rotti Largo (Sorvino) built an empire on the sick. But, when clients can’t make the payments for their new lease on life, the Repo man is called to take back company property…in very gruesome fashion. The real star here is Terrance Zdunich though, who plays the GraveRobber character. Repo! was his brainchild, serving as writer, composer, producer, artist, and director during the numerous stages this project went through over the span of 10 years. Zdunich never gave up though, and now he has this magnificent gothic rock fest after believing in his work and making his own dreams come true. In the respect of the music, Alexa Vega absolutely floored me with her voice, as did Head, Brightman, and Zdunich’s entrancing yet rhythmic numbers. Very strong and very powerful, I wanted to rock out right there in my basement. Also, the musical delivery brought a goofy fun to the horror elements, for example as the Repo man is singing amidst the slicing and dicing. At the same time as you’re enjoying the tunes though, we’re treated to some tantalizing kills that match those of straight horror films. There’s certainly no shortage of gross outs and screams, which I couldn’t have been happier about. Repo! ended up being a unique and fresh watch, which hit the spot personally. Zdunich gave his creation so much attitude and spunk, and I have to say Bousman’s direction worked well with Terrance’s vision. The settings and costumes kept the dark tone flowing throughout, yet brought a bright life via detail and an overarching “cool” factor, like Repo! had a huge pair and wanted everyone to know. Zdunich’s story is extremely inspirational, and his final product benefits from the drawn out growth stage. After my Repo! viewing, I’m on pins and needles for his 2012 follow-up “The Devil’s Carnival,” re-teaming both Zdunich and Bousman for another horror musical. I’m game for round 2….

Netflix Rating: 4/5

About Matt Donato

Co-Founder of the Certified Forgotten Universe. Editor, Podcaster, Writer, and pretty rad dude. Don't feed him after midnight, but beers are encouraged. Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd: @DoNatoBomb.
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