I have been a fan of Darren Lynn Bousman for quite some time. Some may think it's because he directed some of the Saw movies (Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV) and though I do like some of them, what really grabbed my attention was his movie The Devil's Carnival. After seeing that for the first time I was absolutely blown away and I was told by many people to see his earlier film, "Repo! The Genetic Opera" since it was similar in style. Of course, having loved The Devil's Carnival I thought I would enjoy Repo! just as much - alas, I did not - and within 15 minutes I had shut the movie off with the notion I would never watch it again.
It's been a few years since that incident and when I was asked to go see a shadow cast perform "Repo! The Genetic Opera" I was hesitant. I was urged by my friend to give Repo! another chance, and with nothing to lose, I went ahead and decided to attend the event. I'm not sure what was going on in my head a few years ago when I tried to watch Repo!, because this time, I was absolutely blown away. I loved every minute of the film - from the casting choices, to the creativity of the film, to the songs, and everything in between.
For those of you who are not familiar with "Repo! The Genetic Opera" let me fill you in. Imagine that in the future, you need a new organ, and instead of paying out right you have the chance to finance the organ through a biotech company - just like you would for a car loan. Sounds great right? Tons of people will have the possibility of getting a new organ without paying top dollar. Only problem is, if you don't keep up with your payments, then the repossession men will come after you. You've signed a contract in blood and the repo men demand the payments. Now, add in some amazing music and a fantastic cast and you have one hell of a movie! The movie is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and stars Paul Sorvino, Alexa PenaVega, Anthony Head, Terrance Zdunich (who is also the writer of the movie), Paris Hilton (who ends up doing a fantastic job in this film - I'm just as surprised as you are), Bill Moseley, Nivek Ogre (of Skinny Puppy) and Sarah Brightman.
As I mentioned before, I was seeing the movie with a shadow cast. I've experienced this before with Rocky Horror Picture Show so I knew it was something I was going to enjoy. The company that was putting on the event is called Addicted To The Knife and they are a Southern California Repo Shadowcast. To say they did a terrific job would be an understatement. Though there was some technical difficulties in the beginning, they were able to handle those issues professionally and with humor, making sure the audience was attended to. During their performance, it was apparent that they not only loved the movie Repo! but also thoroughly enjoyed reenacting it. There was so much heart and soul in their performance and they made sure to constantly interact with the audience. To add even more fun to the event, some of the characters dressed up as not only the characters from the movie but also as different upcoming holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza etc. Also, if you donated $5 you could get a gag bag which had fun items that related to the movie that you could interact with during certain points of the film.
Overall, Addicted To The Knife, did a great job of putting together a fun and interactive evening for fans (and new fans) of Repo! Even with there being a shadow cast, I was able to follow the movie and understand what was going on and honestly, it really added to the experience of watching the film. I enjoyed seeing how much love and dedication these actors had for the film and it is now apparent to me why "Repo! The Genetic Opera" is such a cult film. If you haven't seen Repo! I highly suggest checking it out. It's original and not like anything else out there - it's also incredibly dark and INCREDIBLY gory. Also, if you have the chance to check out Addicted To The Knife perform Repo! do so, as you will be in for a fantastic evening of murder and mayhem!
Repo! The Genetic Opera Review
by Shannon McGrew