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Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides (King Lear 1.1)

  • Aug 10, 2010
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"It's almost Shakespearean," I said.
"Comedia de l'arte," Lady Dinwhistle replied.
"Grand guignol."
I was out of theatre references so I turned my attention back to the movie.  I got an A in high school drama but there was no use in trying to one-up a girl with a degree in musical theatre.  To my relief Lady D was fully engrossed in Repo! and wasn't listening to me anymore.

There's a scene in Buffy, an episode in season 3, in which Giles threatens Snyder.  In that moment, more so than in any other, we get a glimpse not only of Giles' darkness but also of Anthony Stewart Head's range.  He's not just good to play stuffy British librarians and adulterous coffee aficionados, but can carry a complex and musical role such as that of Nathan in Repo! The Genetic Opera.

Rotti is the head of Geneco, a company that provides organs and other body parts for transplant and employs Nathan, the mysterious repo man who repossesses your organs if you don't keep up your payments.  Rotti's three children are spoiled, decadent brats and he can't bear to leave his company to them.  Motivated by jealousy, Rotti plots to turn Nathan's teen-aged daughter, Shilo, against him and bequeath Geneco to her.

Quite apart from Anthony Stewart Head's show-stopping performance, Repo! succeeds for numerous reasons.  The film has a highly stylized gothic look and feel about it.  The world of the repo man is a decrepit cityscape, once majestic but let to rot in the filth of glamorous excess.  The music, while perhaps not as full as it could have been (thanks to Lady D for articulating that thought) is still a challenging mix of styles and the film, true to its musical genre, tells its tale almost entirely in song.

Repo!'s story is filled with cunning plots, lies, and death.  Almost Shakespearean in nature, reminiscent of King Lear in particular, characters speak to themselves and address the audience at other times.  And then there's GraveDigger who is rather Puck-like in that he schemes sometimes for, sometimes against, the other characters, but who also serves as a kind of Greek chorus, commenting on the proceedings. 

Although not overly complicated, the story is layered as the lies built around the main characters have piled up over the years.  And as would befit any great tragedy, it all comes to a bloody head in the end.
Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides (King Lear 1.1) Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides (King Lear 1.1) Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides (King Lear 1.1) Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides (King Lear 1.1)

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More Repo! The Genetic Opera reviews
review by . April 29, 2011
posted in Cult Cinema
"Repo: The Genetic Opera" is one of the worst musicals ever to hit theaters. Directed by "Saw II" helmer Darren Lynn Bousman, the film is a hybrid of "Saw" and "The Sound of Music", with visually ugly and narratively clumsy results. This movie is a mess from start to finish, hoping to catch our attention with talented actors in bad roles, bad music that never had potential, and CGI that might just look pretty if this disaster could have gotten the "gothic horror" look right.    I …
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   I've always tried my absolute best to be one of the first to check out cult films. In fact, people come to me looking for recommendations or with queries as far as the cult cinema is concerned. Repo is one of the few films I've had the distinct pleasure of viewing this year which I wish I'd seen on the big screen. This is, by far, one of the greater films made in the past several years which truly deserves it's instant cult status & I'm hoping one of the theatres in my …
review by . September 22, 2010
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Pros: unique, catchy songs, interesting story and characters, universal themes      Cons: dark, bloody, uneven pacing, difficult to follow layout      The Bottom Line: This is opera as you've never seen it before!      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.    In the not too distant future, an epidemic threatens humanity causing organ failures. GeneCo arises as the savior of the …
review by . February 26, 2010
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I thought the title sounded cheesy, but a friend with similar tastes recommended it so highly I had to rent it. Then I had to buy it. Now I just had to buy it in blu-ray in addition to the soundtrack, that is how addicted to this musical I am! When I first heard the title, I thought it was something to do with Repoing cars, but it is body parts, which makes all the difference. I am a gore fan, and there is plenty to go around. Add to that a brilliant musical score that has something for everyone, …
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I love horror movies. I love to talk about them, read about them, and even watch them from time to time. I write a blog and host a weekly podacast with Count Vardulon in which we argue about, laugh over, … more
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About this movie


Repo! The Genetic Opera is a 2008 United States rock opera-musical film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman. The film is based on a play written and composed by Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich.

The film opened in a very limited release on November 7, 2008. Originally, it opened on seven screens in the United States cities of Pasadena; Chicago; Mobile; Charlotte; Kansas City; and Toronto and Ottawa in Canada. The film took in $3,250 per screen on its opening day. It also had a limited Canadian release, playing in Toronto from November 21-27, 2008. A 22-track soundtrack was released online on September 30, 2008, with an extended version containing 38 tracks released almost exclusively for download on February 20, 2009. The DVD and Blu-ray were released January 20, 2009.

To coincide with the film's release, Bousman, Smith, and Zdunich, as well as various cast members, did a touring version of the film. Principal cast and crew also did extensive Q&A sessions following each screening. Because of strong ticket sales, a second and third touring session were added, in addition to a British tour across four locations. A Repo! Road Show was announced on January 28 in 10 cities. This show will be similar to the Repo! Road Tour, except it will be almost completely fan-run.

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Genre: Music, Musical
Release Date: September 19, 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Terrance Zdunich, Darren Smith
DVD Release Date: January 20, 2009
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: Twisted Pictures, Lions Gate
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