October 31, 2007

Repo - The Genetic OperaSometimes you happen across a story that`s so timely you`d thing your guardian angel placed it there for you to find. But on Halloween of course it`s a big black guardian angel with fangs and pointy claws. Mwahahahaha! I`m quite happy on the eve of all hallows to accept this explanation of how I came across “Repo – The Genetic Opera”.

It was dark when I got home and the campanologists in the Church across the valley were practicing, or were they trying to push back the demon hoards and their Trick Or treating minions milling about in their point hats and funky wigs? Whatever. It put me in just the right mood for writing about Repo. Or is it Repo! I`m sure the exclamation mark is important.

Repo started life as a stage production in 2002 penned by Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich. I have to admit my ignorance of their output. Apparently they blend performance art, music and theatre to produce their work, including Repo.

Originally Repo was a ten minute short opera called “The Necro-merchant`s Debt”. Smith and Zdunich produced the show in 2002 at the John Raitt Theatre in Hollywood, then again in 2004 at The SplitID Theatre, both productions were sell-outs. You can see elements of the stage show here. As I understand it the plot is superficially simple … In the not so distant future a pandemic of unprecedented proportions is causing the population`s organs to fail. Which is not a problem if you can afford a transplant. Unfortunately organs are so expensive they have to be leased and if you don`t keep up the payments the leasing company said the Repo Man to extract them … by any means necessary.

Wind forward to January 07 and the pair wheeled out a short film to entice a production company into producing a full length feature. And it worked. The full movie “Repo – The Genetic Opera” is in production and will be released next year in the US on 25 April 2008.

The film`s director is Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II and Saw III), which will give you a feel for the character of the production. Bousman`s style should suit this story down to the ground.

Three names that jump out at you from the cast list for good or ill are Paris Hilton “Pledge This” (2006), “Hottie and Nottie” (2008) and that awful “leaked” sex tape. Anthony Head “MacBeth” (2007), Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Little Britain. Sarah Brightman The Phantom of the Opera, the UK hit single “(I lost my heart to a) Starship Trooper” (If you don`t remember that track you can see it here, then you`ll wish you could forget it all over again 😛 Though this version is mixed with the movie “Starhip Troupers”, which actually improves it).

It`s a pity that the original players from the stage version have been replaced by the big names. Blind Mag, originally played by Annie Lee Moffett is now Brightman. Tony Perry`s Repo Man is now Anthony Head. Heather Sweet becomes Amber Sweet and turns from a pretty young actress from Manilla Marie-France Arcilla into, well, Paris Hilton. Maybe it had something to do with raising the finance for the feature film version?

I think the movie is destined to be a classic, maybe for all the wrong reasons, but a classic nonetheless. You have to recognise, just from the trailer the debt the production owes to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hellraiser and Saw (via Darren Lynn Bousman). The Bondage and BDSM imagery is distinct, if not exactly original.

You can see the official trailer for Repo here. 

Or, if you want something light, fluffy and well worn out, here`s Heff at the Halloween party at the Playboy Mansion. Not that Heff`s worn out, the fact that he still holds these promo parties at this age is so lame now. If I were him I`d just let someone else get on with running the company lock all the bunnies in the mansion with him and spend the rest of his life in one huge love-in.

Tags: Repo, Repo!, Repo – The Genetic Opera, Darren Smith, Terrance Zdunich, The Necro-merchant`s Debt, Darren Lynn Bousman, Saw II, Saw III, Paris Hilton, Anthony Head, Sarah Brightman, Annie Lee Moffett, Tony Perry, Marie-France Arcilla, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hellraiser, Halloween, Heff, Hugh Hefner, Playboy, Playboy Party, Playboy Halloween Party