main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Headscratchers: Repo! The Genetic Opera
  • So at the end of the opera, when Shilo and Nathan are singing to one another, it's touching and all... but surely instead of singing she could have called an ambulance? Or informed the audience that it wasn't part of the show? Just saying...
    • I think she does ask for help just before the song. Past that, though, she's a sheltered teenager seeing that her beloved dad is dying, and probably is more concerned with reassuring him that she's taken back "Dad, I hate you, go and die!" and loves him after all. Also, it's probably pretty obvious that with all that blood loss, the gunshot, and also having had some tendons(or something) sliced in his legs to cripple him, he's going to die no matter what, and therefore there's no use in trying to call an ambulance.
  • Blind Mag tells Shilo, "You have your mother's eyes, her hair." Not only is Shilo wearing a wig, but the wig looks nothing like Marni's hair as seen in flashbacks.
    • Though to be honest, the bugginess is an improvement on what she thought before she saw the Marni flashbacks—namely, that Nathan had made Shilo a wig out of her dead mother's hair.
      • Dude, you too? This troper thought it was Marni's hair, up until seeing Needle Through A Bug and realizing she still had her own hair...unless THAT's a wig...-insert Mind Screw here-
      • It's still possible that it could be Marni's hair. It's about the right colour and length, just straighter.
      • I don't know; Marni's hair looks lighter than the pitch black of Shilo's wig to me.
      • That could just be from the sepia tones of the flashbacks/the blueness of the holograms, though.
      • I figured it meant Nathan wanted to make Shilo into a perfect clone of Marni. Which is very, very scary when you think about it too much.
      • Right, this troper assumed that Shilo's dad just had the wig be made to resemble Marni's hair. As for the comment on the eyes, this troper assumed that Mag was talking figuratively, like when someone says that a child has "their father's smile" or something similar.
      • To further confuse things, Terrance Zdunich stated at a recent Shadow Cast event that in a previous incarnation of the stage play, it was Mag who got Marni's eyes. This troper was there and is still sort of WTF over the knowledge.
      • In the deleted scene "Needle Through a Bug", Marni(whose body has been very well preserved by Nathan) is clearly bald and appears to have no eyes. My assumption is her eyes were upgraded for Meg and her hair was weaved into a wig for Shilo.
  • "Genterns, let's secure that final skin graft and stat! Scalpel, needle, thread!" What do they need these for when Pavi's faces are VERY CLEARLY held on by, and was attached by the Genterns five seconds earlier to, those weird clip things?
    • I think they're attaching the face's lips and stuff to his lips, so they move when he talks. Otherwise...he'd be out of sync.
      • I don't think Pavi has lips.
    • Either that or the skin graft is on some other part of his body...or they could be fixing the face to prep it for Pavi's clips.
    • I thought the clips were an aesthetic choice, and ceased to be structural (except possibly as a backup way to keep the face from falling off) by the time the surgery was complete.
    • "Scalpel" is actually the most confusing of that - Pavi's face is clearly an open wound, and they already have the face, so... what are they cutting, exactly?
  • Everyone on TV Tropes and in publicity materials says Pavi is a rapist...but all the girls he's with are always very willing, and there's never even a mention of it in the movie. Is that aspect something from the stage play or what?
    • Probably. This Troper personally believes that if you say no, you get your face cut off...after/while/before he rapes you.
    • Possibly those photos Rotti flips through in the beginning were meant to establish this, but the photo quality is so poor and they go by so fast it's impossible to tell.
    • Also, the only women we really ever see Pavi with are Genterns who are probably paid to be willing. Who knows how it goes with any other woman?
    • This was actually Wordof Goded in an interview. While murder can be played up as dark humor, rape is very rarely funny and the creators didn't want to offend. So we the audience are supposed to know it's part of his character, they just didn't show it.
    • Just because he's not a (known, anyway) Zydrate addict doesn't mean he doesn't have access to it.
  • I've always wondered how Rotti knew Shilo didn't have a blood disease. I mean, he knew it wasn't something genetic, that's true, but he seems awfully sure that Nathan drugging her was her only problem.
    • Don't forget, Rotti was Nathan's boss. Probably where Nathan got some benign ingredients for the poison which he gave to some other doctor and said "Hey, what could these do?" and voila, the answer.
      • And considering that it's plausible for Rotti to have cameras everywhere, on top of having one of his employees sneak poison into Nathan's lab...
    • The way I understood it Marni never had a blood disease at all, and the ONLY people who would have ever known that are Rotti and Nathan Nathan because he thought she died from his "cure" and Rotti because he poisoned her So Rotti would have known from the beginning that the "blood disease" claim HAD to be false. Additionally he would have known that whatever was making her sick had to be coming from Nathan because he was that only other person that knew Marni didn't die from a blood disease at all.
      • Even if Rotti poisoned Marnie and she was never sick, Nathan would certainly think she was sick. He would believe the blood disease did not have time to kill her since his cure did so but he had to think she was sick from something.
      • It may not be important, but the scene where Rotti talks to Shilo in the limo bears mentioning. When Shilo gets out her medicine, the guard on her left takes the bottle and can be seen with it when Shilo takes the glass from the other. Maybe Rotti had her palm one of the pills to have tested later?
    • It's also possible that Rotti's a Living Lie Detector. He has been able to keep his children from murdering him, after all.
    • It's shown that Rotti has cameras on Shilo (for no apparent reason) in 21st Century Cure, so why wouldn't he have cameras elsewhere that could show him that Nathan was poisoning his daughter
      • I got the impression those cameras were security cameras—they were in a graveyard known to be frequented by grave robbers (or more specifically, the Grave-Robber who was also shagging Rotti's daughter.)
  • Why kill in every case if the repossession could be carried out non-lethally? In the case of Blind Mag, for instance, you could take the corneas back without killing her, and it would certainly look better to not kill such a public figure. On the other hand, if you do plan to kill every person you send a Repo Man after, why not scavenge all their functional body parts while you're at it? Nathan is only ever seen reclaiming the part that technically belongs to GeneCo, but given that GeneCo appears to more or less run everything, couldn't they take the whole person and sell all their parts, profiting much more from their death?
    • My personal theory on this is that in a world where, thanks to GeneCo, people are living much longer because of their procedures, overpopulation is probably a problem. So the Repo Man serves a double function. Recovering Geneco property and making it so there's one less mouth to feed in the world. And as for the other organs that might just be a case of "Even Evil has Standards" in that Rotti sees nothing wrong with someone killing and stealing organs that he considers belonging to him, but thinks that taking organs that they didn't give the victim would be wrong.
      • I don't think that overpopulation would be a problem at all; more likely underpopulation because of the plague. But perhaps they have a world food/other shortage and so they're trying to control the population for that reason.
    • I think that depending on time restraints, they might just be able to take all the organs. Mainly because in Thankless Job, we see Nathan empty a guy's torso; I always thought that he was collecting everything for GeneCo...
      • It's entirely possible that every organ in the guy's chest was GeneCo property. Other possibilities are that the organ required was near the back of the torso, forcing Nathan to work through some other bits; or Nathan, in his murderous Repo persona, was just having a little "fun" since his victim was already dead.
      • Also, the setting is premised on a wave of organ failures that, despite a supply of artificial organs being produced by GeneCo, has by no means abated. These organ recipients have already had the need to get at least one organ replaced, they're probably much likelier to suffer a second or even third organ failure than normal, and the organs might not even be strong enough to survive a transplant. Though harvesting natural organs from the now literal deadbeats might make for a good "cheapo" second hand quality organ for the poor, but then again Rotti may want to maintain his synthetic organ monopoly at high prices for the sheer evil glee of it/population control as mentioned above.
      • This troper will have to go and find out which site it is, but one of the viral sites launched to help promote Repo tells that one of Zydrate's unmentioned side effects is to mimic the disease that lead to the massive organ failure epidemic, thereby ensuring that GeneCo would have an endless stream of people needing new parts. Coincidentally, at least two of the viral sites imply that non-lethal repossessions do happen.
    • Non-lethal reclamations are probably rare for the simple reason that it would be counter to the whole implacable enforcer vibe that the Repo Men are going for. Rotti himself, being vindictive enough to Shoot the Messenger, would likely not care. Also, cold as it sounds, odds are that someone who gets an organ reclaimed for not being able to pay is likely to be unable to scrounge up enough money now that they're partially or wholly disabled to repurchase the lost organ, much less pay for a the follow up care such a removal would require, so in business terms they likely don't lose much repeat business. Though maybe a debtor who "turns himself in" might at least get the benefit of a proper surgery and Zydrate to ease the pain. They'd likely still die, but not in pain. And of course, the primary reasons they don't do non-lethal reclamations are because it's not evil enough for this dystopian future.
      • While the option for a proper surgery might exist, the populace seems to have grow too attached to life to simply let go. GeneCo's business plan seems to be "Give people a few surgeries, get them hooked on the knife and Zydrate, and profit," I doubt anybody is thinking clearly when they realize that their payments are up. It seems like most of the repo man's victims didn't see their payment time coming, and had to run the same day it was due, so clearly most GeneCo customers are sky high enough to be suckered into the idea of immortality through surgery.
      • The situation with Blind Mag still bugs me. I mean, she was the best friend of the Repo Man's late wife, and her corneas could have easily been removed without killing her or seriously damaging GeneCo's property. Even if she wasn't aware that Nathan was a Repo Man, she had to know that he was a doctor, and worked closely with Rotti. In addition, although she was certainly willing to die (albeit on her own terms rather than GeneCo's), she'd also just discovered that Shiloh was alive, which should have given her more than enough reason to live. Why wouldn't she approach Nathan to at least try to work out a method of returning the corneas to GeneCo without killing her?
      • Well Nathan kicked her out of his house immediately once she showed up so I don't think there would be much point in her asking.
      • This troper believes Mag knew that Nathan was a Repo Man, but also felt that she was (to some extent) no better than the more evil characters because she promoted the company that sanctioned so much death. Thus, for her, Redemption Equals Death—perhaps doubly so once she knew Shilo was alive.
      • Dude, you're forgetting that Mag wasn't suicidal—she was still alive when she ripped out her eyes. Rotti killed Mag, for defying him.
      • She would have died pretty damn soon after ripping her eyes out, so she probably was suicidal.
      • And what did she really think Rotti would do to her for that stunt? She's seen him and his heirs kill for less.
      • I figured by Mag's willingness to die in the act of defying Geneco she obviously didn't fear death, but she didn't do it intending to die, that was simply the only way to go about it. The death and thus release from contract was just a nice bonus.
      • I'm pretty sure that it wasn't Mag's corneas that got replaced (even if Wordof God says otherwise), seeing as the cornea is the clear covering of the pupil and iris, because that is Artistic License - Biology. Mag's irises seem to be mechanical (they expand and contract much the way camera shutters do) and her eyes are capable of projecting holograms. Thus, the entire eyeball must have been a Gene Co implant. (The fact that the hardware required for the holograms would have had to be small, and the expanding/contracting linked to mental cues suggests that they were very well made as well.)
    • Before seeing the film (I haven't seen the stage version, so here I mean "before seeing the story") I always thought that they also took enough organs to cover what the person owed them, with some sort of At Cost count for the organs. With an additional cost of the Zydrate, the surgery, and the rehabilitation, all those materials and man-hours end up costing a lot more than just a pair of corneas (again, at the time I hadn't seen the story, so it was just a non-lethal organ reclamation and not a reference to Blind Mag), so they may as well take both lungs, a kidney, and two lobes of your liver if you hadn't had a chance to pay anything, and the people who had paid enough that what remained was less than or equal to the cost of the organs (and possibly a Repo Man house call) only lost their GeneCo organs. Think of it as renting an apartment, and the landlord is allowed to take your furniture up to the least amount possible that is equal to or greater than what you owe (plus, sometimes, the cost of Repo-sessing storing your organs the stuff that still legally belongs to you) in the event that you default. In Mag's case, it wasn't the repossession that killed her but the punishment for turning her coat, especially where everyone would see the announcement and hear her reasons.
    • Regarding non-lethal repossessions in general, it looked like Nathan hoped to spare the pancreas "patient" before the prospect of exposing himself to Shilo forced his hand (it's - barely - possible to go without a pancreas). It's just that the Largos wanted Mag in particular dead ("we can't afford a scandal here").
  • Regarding Rotti and Luigi: considering Rotti had no problem shooting the messenger, or poisoning Marni, I can't see why he didn't take more to Luigi as a potential heir before receiving his bad news. Luigi might be an angry murderer, but if Rotti had taught him to channel that anger more appropriately, like calling your victims into your private office before stabbing them to death, then Luigi might have ended up better. From Luigi crying over his dad's death to his MySpace profile indications, Luigi wouldn't have been too bad a choice for the new head of GeneCo, as he loves his dad and has the proper vision to run the company, and somehow I don't think Rotti would have a problem if Luigi killed Pavi and Amber provided he did it quietly.
    • The key word in that last sentence being "quietly. Luigi has no sense of subtlety.
    • Just because they were similar doesn't mean that Rotti would have liked Luigi's qualities. It's possible that Rotti didn't see himself as a ruthless psychopath but as a good person who did what he had to and regretted it, while he saw Luigi as he was (a dangerous nut). He wanted Shilo as his own because she was Marni's daughter, but he probably also liked that she was quiet and loyal and more or less sane (which his children weren't).
  • It always bugged me that the Graverobber, who surely doesn't actually want to be captured by the Repo Men/Police stands up in the grave yard to scream in 21st Century Cure. Sure, it's dramatic, but is the epic epic enough to justify being captured and killed by GeneCo?
    • It's a combination of Rule of Cool and the fact that he can always trip Shilo and leave her to the GeneCo cops if nothing else.
    • He's awesome. That's why.
    • I thought he wasn't actually screaming, and that screaming his song was just the best way to convey his mood and Shiloh's reaction to a theatrical audience. Like how in the movie Shiloh doesn't actually change clothes in "Seventeen".
    • ACTUAL ANSWER: Terrance Zdunich said he did it to appear cooler to Shilo, who he thought was attractive.
  • Why is Rotti actually at Marni and Nathan's wedding? He's just standing in the background, glaring holes into Nate's head and crying while drinking. It...makes not much sense at all, really.
    • Well, Nathan was apparently Rotti's friend (heck, he was originally going to inherit GeneCo until he married Marni). Rotti probably acted like he forgave Nathan for stealing her until he could devise suitable revenge, so that Nathan wouldn't suspect him when he took it. Which, in fact, worked like a charm, to the point where Nathan went insane blaming himself.
  • How the hell did Rotti's bodyguards taser Nathan through the heavy rubber Repo Man uniform? It should be an electrical insulator.
    • Could be that the prods are sharp enough to punch through the rubber.
      • Or that the fabric just looks like rubber, and is actually something else.
    • Rubber? I thought it was leather.
      • Though that would still be an insulator.
      • Rubber? I 'ardly know 'er! (Sorry) You can't hose down leather like you see Nathan doing without drying it carefully. I believe his suit is rubber, or at least some kind of fabric that has the same properties.
  • Why didn't Mag just pay for her eyes while she was getting vast sums of cash being the Voice of GeneCo? Then the eyes would be her's and Rotti couldn't steal her eyes, legally.
    • It was probably the way the contract was written up. Instead of the standard payment plan (which would be taken care of with her opera money), it seemed more like: "Hey, we'll lend you some eyes while you're singing for us - but only while you're singing for us." Mag herself expresses regret, saying that she was young and made a bunch of big mistakes; one of which was probably signing the contract right away and being too excited about actually seeing for the first time in her life to think about renegotiation.
    • Her bad contract was explicitly mentioned. I took it as being said that for giving her sight, Gene Co owned the Blind Mag entity, and she didn't quite think the ramifications through. She can't pay off the debt in cash because the debt has already been paid with her freedom, and she would have to make a new deal to exchange her freedom for cash (which they wouldn't do for the cash she had after they took their percentage, if they didn't just name themselves the executors of every penny of her estate and declare that they as executors outranked her as the principal).
  • Okay, follow me into the convoluted logic that follows, re: Amber Sweet's drug and surgery addiction. I'll admit in advance I haven't read all the extended universe materials, but if the show can't bother to explain things properly in the first place, then yeah, it's probably going to bug. Here we go. Amber Sweet is addicted to a drug that her father's company created, yeah? Why does she need to get it off of a back-alley graverobber when she lives inside the factory that makes the stuff? She and her brothers are seen playing in the organ supplies earlier in the movie, even if her father's cut her off from company surgical procedures, there doesn't seem to be many real limits or enforcement on what she and her brothers can or can't do in evidence. For that matter, why in the world is there even an issue about her surgeries? If the fad of this Crapsack World is to get custom elective surgeries that you don't need for any reason other than your ego, Amber's ever-changing face should be marketing for the company, not its shame. Y'know, as long as it stays on.
    • Also, if you put this into context with any other company with an exploitable product. If you ran a liquor company would you want to easily supply your alcoholic mess of a daughter with more and more booze and use her drunken slob self as a marketing tool? Amber's not just a customer of Gene Co, she's a shameful mess of excess. She probably has to get back alley Zydrate because she's been cut off. Combine this with that she's supposed to be in charge of the support group for addicts and you see why she's a problem for Gene Co.
    • GeneCo can't possibly have a REAL problem with the Graverobber. If anything, encouraging the Graverobber (and drug dealing) also encourages the publicity surrounding the drug, making it seem harder to obtain and more valuable. Amber Sweet apparently prefers the Graverobber to the "real" drug, which could be an extension of her fetish for dangerous pursuits, or maybe the stuff that the Graverobber gets is more concentrated than what GeneCo offers (he's pulling it straight from dead people and shooting it into people shortly thereafter, so it's definitely "fresh"). Also, at the beginning, Rotti prevents the Graverobber and Shilo from getting arrested (arguably, he's protecting Shilo — but what's stopping him from allowing the Graverobber to be incarcerated?). Rotti can afford to act as the totalitarian dictator of the entire city, because he essentially owns everyone (from the inside out). The Graverobber doesn't seem to be harming his empire, or maybe Rotti just doesn't want to piss off Amber by incarcerating the Graverobber when clearly she gets off on the "danger" of going through a drug dealer and using shady surgeons instead of "licensed" ones. I also suspect that even the shadiest of surgeons are affiliated with GeneCo in the end, anyway.
    • It's actually stated in the movie that the version used by GeneCo is a more dilute, non-addictive version of the drug, implied to be synthetic. The stuff Grave-Robber pulls out of corpses is organic and pure.
      • As well, GeneCo's supplies would be much easier to trace, and therefore easier for Rotti (or the press) to get details of her habits. If she goes through the back alleys, there's the advantage of things being a little easier to hide.
  • This brings me to my next bugging point. Amber's botched face job. Done by GeneCo? If so, understandable publicity problem. If done by the sub-market that's always under discussion, why does GeneCo allow their products to be delivered in such a way? Are they GeneCo products? Rip-offs? If there was any choice for synthetic organs and pointless elective surgeries other than GeneCo, wouldn't that be vastly preferential to facing the Repo Man? If the illegal sub-market does all these surgery jobs with GeneCo products, how does GeneCo wind up tracking these people down for payment? Wouldn't the point of an illegal sub market be that you aren't on GeneCo's records?
    • It seems that absolutely everything and everyone is affiliated with GeneCo, even people who pretend not to be (see: Nathan's entire life?). There are no other surgical companies discussed or named, so presumably they've bought out every surgeon/doctor in the city (and just about everybody else, too — they've even bought the opera, for crying out loud!). There IS no off-brand, and people try to convince themselves that if they use underground surgeons, the Repo Men won't find them. Obviously, this doesn't work, but by the time you find that out, you're dead. If there were off-brand surgical companies, then there would be competition, and GeneCo would no longer be the monopoly, and there would be no plot. Gene Co probably fosters and funds pretend "competing" surgical companies, to give the illusion of choice. They could provide substandard services and charge less for them, or use these companies as a training ground for novice surgeons.
    • Also, it would be advantageous to provide fake "bad" care by underground, cheaper surgeons, because then if the care fails to be up to standards, the patient will need to return for more replacement organs/treatment. And maybe the second time, they'll actually use GeneCo and take out even MORE loans.
    • It was a rush job. She goes on-stage within hours of arranging surgery to get a new face (not getting surgery, asking for surgery), and they don't want it to look bad so they do a slap-dash patch job of it. Since they tried to make her face look as natural as possible, the skin didn't have time to graft and (since she didn't have clips holding her face on like her brother) it simply started peeling under the stress of singing, then fell off under the stress of dancing with the top edge peeling off. If she hadn't been under the influence of Zydrate, she wouldn't have been able to exert the skin enough for it to start splitting under the makeup, let alone peel off.
  • And finally... all of Rotti's kids are older than Shilo. Who is their mother? Never once is it mentioned where they came from far as I can tell, and Rotti talks about Marni like she's the only woman he ever even thought about being with. Were they all grown in tubes?
    • That, while the probability is questionable, is certainly possible. I mean, Rotti is the head of a company capable of providing people with working synthetic organs, full-body upgrades and Magic Plastic Surgery. Given this, the possibility that the Largo children were conceived in a petri dish and grown in artificial wombs doesn't seem that ridiculous.
    • Or maybe they're just the bastard children of random women or prostitutes. Rotti clearly sees Shiloh as a worthier heir to his company, even though she isn't blood-related to him, because she is blood-related to Marni whom he loved. So, ... clearly his "real" children must not pose any emotional ties to him. I doubt they're petri-dish creations, though, because then how would they have any genetic tie or legal claim to Rotti's fortune. (Unless they're clones of him — but if they're clones, then why wouldn't he have more respect for them? Or go and try to clone Marni, if cloning is an option?)
    • If you want to accept information from the official Myspaces into your view of canon, Luigi's mom was gone before he could remember what happened to her, and Pavi's (who may or may not also be Amber's) died when he was eight. I've always suspected that his continued focus on her is mostly because she was stolen from him by his employee, and that if she'd married him and then died of her disease even without the poison to help her along he'd remember her as just another dead wife instead of as the great love of his life who turned around and betrayed him.
      • Small objection: The idea that Marni had any blood disease prior to her death is never actually stated, and thus (as far as this troper can tell) part of the story Nathan made up for Shilo—and possibly for himself as well.
      • True, it might not have really been a blood disease, but Nathan and Rotti's backstories agree that she really was sick with something, it's unlikely that Nathan would have risked the health of his wife and unborn child trying out untested medicine on her if it wasn't something lethal, and if she'd stayed with Rotti then Geneco might have been just as helpless at coming up with a cure as Nathan was up until the try that killed her, so it doesn't really change anything if her illness had nothing to do with her blood.
    • He's rich, and they were most likely conceived in the present (as of the time that the movie came out) or near-future, though it could have been the near past depending on how much they've youthened themselves (the normal-faced heir seemed like he could have been well into his 40s or older in the movie). It would be scandalous but far from odd if they were born to mistresses or soon-to-be-ex-wives (or a wife), or if he had made them because he cared more about an heir than a relationship and then deemed them all to be unfit to rule. If he wasn't rich when they were conceived, or was rich but not famously so, then he was just a rich guy whose kids' mother isn't around from the view of the public and could have had a marriage of convenience or no marriage at all as poor people are wont to do *smug stereo-fictional rich person laugh*.
    • ACTUAL ANSWER: Word of God says Rotti, like Donald Trump, was a serial husband... except, instead of divorce, he had his wives killed (or killed them himself.) All three Largo siblings have a different mother.
  • Why is Pavi the only member of the Largo family who has an accent? Rotti and the other kids sound pretty American, so unless Pavi's mother was Italian or Rotti had Pavi raised in Italy there's no reason for him to have such a thick accent.
    • Look under Funny Foreigner in the main article:
    • Co-writer Terrance Zdunich stated at a 2008 screening afterparty that a young, stuttering Pavi crafted the accent to hide his speech impediment. This is widely accepted as a canon part of the Expanded Universe.
      • 99% correct. He said there was a speech impediment, but never specified it was stuttering. The fandom just decided it was the most likely.
  • There are people who believe Mag's eyes are Marni's; that is to say Mag's surgery took place after Marni's death and they used Marni's eyes in the transplant. However, in the picture of Mag going under the knife we clearly see Marni, very much alive, at her side. Also, I doubt Marni had Digital Corneas. So where are people getting the "Mag's eyes are Marni's" theory? Is that what happened in the play and they just changed it for the movie?
    • Yep, that plot detail was originally in the play, but was changed for the movie. (Word of God confirmed this at a Shadow Cast screening not too long ago.)
  • This troper wants to know just how extensive GeneCo's monopoly is. Surely they've cornered the biotechnology market and most, if not all, health care that requires surgery. They probably also do dental, now that I think about it. Anyway, my point is, do other options exist? I'm not sure I would trust GeneCo if I just had the flu or something. Now that I think about it, do other companies exist, period? Or has GeneCo drilled itself into every facet of life?
    • Other companies probably exist, but they'd all be owned by GeneCo. They might be making their own competition, so they can bring them down if they get too popular and people stop frequenting GeneCo itself.
  • While Shiloh absconds to the opera, and Nathan is beset by Repo Men in the basement, we hear what sounds like a loud speaker announcement by Rotti: "Attention all GeneCo employees, apprehend the Repo Man Nathan Wallace at once!" If Nathan can hear this in the basement, why doesn't Shiloh hear it in the house, or as she's going down the front steps of the house?
    • Hey, I'd like to know that, too! (My guess is that she's too focused on going to the opera and whatnot to pay attention to anything else, but I am not a mind reader.)
      • I assumed Nathan couldn't hear it. I thought it was just an announcement at GeneCo headquarters and the only reason we, the audience, can hear it is so we'll know what's going on.
    • I figured it was an announcement on the wrist communicator things GeneCo employees (and everyone?) wears, and it was only broadcast to GeneCo employees. So we were hearing it through one of the would-be assassins Nathan had just dispatched.
  • What's the point of Amber's bondage guards? The only thing they really seem to do is help her get another hit of illegal drugs, and (in a deleted scene) help her prostitute herself to the Gravedigger for more drugs. They don't really seem to be doing any actual guarding, but they seem rather uncaring about her to be adoring stalker-fanboys.
    • It's probably also to mirror her fathers henchwomen as Foreshadowing for the last couple minutes of the film.
    • I vote that their purpose was to make sure that she didn't get herself into too much trouble, i.e. being mugged. Or maybe they acted as designated drivers/escorts. And they're uncaring because they're emotional, as well as possibly physical, eunuchs. (I forget where I heard that tidbit.)
      • The eunuch bit is from the website. They also clearly serve to bring Amber home when she knocks herself out on Zydrate.
      • In Zydrate Anatomy, when Gravedigger pushes Amber against the wall, her body guards come and remove him.
    • And in the aforementioned deleted scene ("Try My New Parts"), Graverobber looks carefully at Amber's bodyguards before having sex with her, which implies that they've stopped him from doing something at some point. The bodyguards are probably there to make sure she doesn't get mugged or raped. Or die of overdose—because if GeneCo could ever get bad PR...
  • Why is it called "The Genetic Opera" when it's not an opera? It's not even a rock opera. It's a musical. There is a difference.
    • In the context of the movie, The Genetic Opera is the event that takes place all through act two. The film itself is an opera because the majority of the dialogue is sung. There are a few lines spoken, but there are a few lines spoken in Jesus Christ Superstar, too (for example) and that's also considered a rock opera.
      • That's the thing, though. Being mostly sung doesn't make it an opera. There are musicals that are completely sung and operas with spoken dialogue. Opera implies a certain compositional and performance style that, aside from the aforementioned Genetic Opera scene, is simply not there. Technically calling Jesus Christ Superstar a rock opera is a misnomer as well, as it's neither rock nor an opera. Neither are most other "rock operas" for that matter.
      • According to the dictionary I have (Encarta World English Dictionary), an opera is "a dramatic work where music is a dominant part of the performance. It is usually highly stylized, with the actors often singing rather than reciting their lines and typically has recurring themes intensified by musical repetitions developed as the piece progresses." I think Repo counts as one of those.
      • The difference between operas and musicals is generally disputed, but it's generally agreed that operas have far more complex scores and many recurring themes, plus separate recitative (sung dialogue) and arias (traditional songs). Musicals are mostly just songs, with few or no recurring themes (reprises don't count - by recurring I mean a theme reappears multiple times, often with different lyrics and tones). Repo! is definitely an opera. It has many recurring themes and separate recitative and aria parts. There are, however, several musicals that straddle the line, such as Sweeney Todd.
      • This. "Repo" is actually one of the better examples of a modern opera. Just as one example, the tune of "Infected", one of the first songs, is reprised with a different meaning in "We Started This Opera Shit", one of the last ones. Not only that, but it's well-bookended with the Graverobber's narration and Shilo's answering in "Genetic Emancipation" of the questions she asked in "Infected". /nerd
      • The film's in-universe Genetic Opera is actually something closer to an opera... through the eyes of a man who has more money than God and can do whatever he wants, which includes actually murdering two people on stage and pretending it was all part of the show. "We Started This Op'ra" is a little more rock driven, but once it comes onto the stage becomes a lot more subdued, "Blame Not My Cheeks" apes opera before the inevitable happens, and "Chromaggia" is legitimate, real life opera. It also represents a lot of classic opera themes: redemption, death, regret, jealousy, family, spectacle, etc. You don't have many faux sportscasters advertising operas in real life, so try to imagine a world where that's totally normal.
  • In the picture of Pavi that is given to Rotti at the start of the film, Pavi is stealing a face, however has a fine one of his own, and yet later on when he wears faces as a mask, it appears his own face is no longer there, and it's just muscle on show. I'm assuming this image was not of his first face-theft, so why does he have a normal face one minute, and no face the next?
    • We don't know how long it's been between those photos and his current state. When his face is exposed, it still looks pretty raw. If the photos had been collected over several months, there's enough time for collecting faces as a hobby, botched surgery on his own, and finally wearing the collection. It's also implied that Pavi is the test subject for GeneCo's Replace Your Face campaign, as evidenced by some of the posters and magazine covers.
  • It bugs me when, after/mid Zydrate Anatomy, Grave Robber whistles something, and Shiloh goes "That's Blind Mag's song!" The only singing of hers up to that point we'd heard was random wailing. Wtf is he talking about?
    • Shilo sees a poster and goes "Hey, that's Blind Mag!" Even so, we haven't heard anything but wailing, but Shilo often watches Blind Mag sing from the gigantic floating TV thing. She have probably heard songs from there.
    • Shilo does say "Hey, that's Blind Mag's song." I think we're supposed to assume that it's a bit from one of Mag's songs and Shilo would know, because she seems to be a big fan of hers. Because we haven't heard it before, however, Shilo needs to tell the audience, "Hey, that's Blind Mag's song" so that Amber's reaction makes sense.
    • I just figured that Graverobber was whistling a bit from her earlier duet with Rotti (when they opened the opera house.)
    • Actually, it's from the song that Mag sings in the commercial that Shilo was watching... Tao of Mag.
  • The comic book bits. Why are they even there? I can understand the ones in the beginning explaining the back-story, but why have them in the middle? We just learn exactly what the comic says about ten seconds later in song, so what's the point?
    • Idiosyncratic Wipe. It just uses a form that's consistent with the style the intro used.
    • Also, Executive Meddling - The Studio didn't trust audiences to be able to pick up on the story through the music and the comic book panels were added in later.
      • To their credit, at least Terrance Zdunich (the Repo creator who played Graverobber, who is also a comic artist) was allowed to do the artwork himself so it would match the movie stylistically.
  • What was the reason for the violence of the organ harvesting? Some of that was to make the victims/ex-customers/what-have-you an example to keep potential ex-customers from defaulting, but all of the "prepared" ex-customers (as opposed to the ambushed ex-customers) have bondage attire (is that the right word?), and Nathan breaks a guy's neck while harvesting his spine, and the Repo Men almost never treat intestines with any care whatsoever. If Nathan was harvesting a kidney, I could understand breaking his neck to stop the noise from interfering with the phone call, but doesn't purposely making unusable the organ you're harvesting kind of detract from the point of harvesting it (I had assumed that if he wanted spinal fluid, it would be less wasteful to extract it with a needle)? Was that just Nathan's hobby, playing with GeneCo's waste products, and the other Repo Men are either less wasteful/destructive in the post-mortem period or are just as insane as him? If so, why do they bother pulling out the bowels if they're just going to damage them in the process? Rule Of Gory?
    • I think there was just certain organs they went for and cleaned out the rest. Also made it look more horrible and gross to do that. I suspect none of the Repo cared about the rest of the body. It is also possible the body parts are fake or artificial.
  • At the end, was Graverobber implying that he was establishing himself as the new head of GeneCo, with Amber's new face as his figurehead? Or was that just him playing the narrator in the tradition of an operatic chorus, like how Clopin in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame was a completely different character with different knowledge and values based on whether he was playing the narrator or the Jester character? Was he crucified, as the credits may have implied (I only got two chances to see the credits, and someone was talking over them both times)?
    • Dramatics, I guess. The will naming Shilo as Rotti's heir just illustrates what he was saying - Shilo refused to kill Nathan to get GeneCo, and Rotti died soon afterward, leaving the will unsigned, so the top spot is open to anyone who can hold it.
  • Where does the spelling 'Shiloh' come from? As far as I can tell, the official spelling is 'Shilo'.
    • Shiloh is a real name and far more common than "Shilo" (I, for one, have never seen it for anyone but the Repo character), and not everyone watches with [Language] For The Hearing Impaired Closed-Captioning or has read the official character blogs or bios (and not every subtitler uses the official script).
  • In the lyrics for Needle through a Bug, Graverobber says "Fucking Amber cleaned me out" Is fucking an adjective describing Amber or is it a verb? It's been driving me insane!
    • Both.
    • The lyrics are actually "That fucking Amber cleaned me out", so I guess it's an adjective.
  • Shiloh says the line "You used my mother's death to use my father". Where did she find that out? Did she just sort of assume he did, because I'm pretty sure this detail was never explained to her.
    • Obviously, Largo is a Manipulative Bastard. Shilo has the facts on her side - her father works for Geneco, he feels responsible for her mother's death, Shilo knows her dad and has to figure that the death of her mother is probably why her father is working for a psycho like Largo. Not to mention that he's just tried to pull the same thing on Shilo twice - offering her a cure after she catches the Repo Man and offering her Geneco after killing her father. She just gets a burst of clarity after being confronted with a lot of life changing information. I don't think she knew that Largo killed her mother. I think Largo took that secret to the grave, but she does know that Largo is perfectly capable of blackmailing someone into doing something they don't necessarily want to do.
  • There is a character named Single Mother who is apparently The Scrappy but I for the life of me cant find out who this character was. Who is she and what did she do?
    • In the we start this opera shit song, she's the blonde woman who gets up sings a bit then shows everyone her tits.
    • I can only assume the reason they don't like her is because she flashes the camera, as it's the only instance of real nudity in the show, and it's safe to say the general fandom majority are teenage girls.
    • There was this one fan who said that she hated the single mom because she felt like a woman who may have kids watching at home shouldn't be displaying her body like that. I think I agree with them there.
      • Wait, are we talking reality or fiction here? Because if it's fiction: she's fictional. The next time I need to kill a reviewer for complaining about character actions being immoral, I'm carving "IT'S FICTION!" into their corpse. If we're talking reality, what are her kids doing watching the movie? She knows what it's like. She's in it! If she let her kids watch it, she clearly does. not. care!
      • If she's not there with them she can't control if they watch it at home, can she? And if she doesn't care that her kids are seeing something like that, including her flashing, that just makes her actions there more cringe-worthy.
      • I think we're talking fiction, and what? It's fine that Rotti is evil because this is only a movie? You've never disliked a character?
      • Hating a character for being immoral is nothing new, nor is there anything wrong with it. Indeed, many authors deliberately encourage their audiences to hate specific characters for their immoral actions (usually these characters are termed "villains"). Granted, I'm not sure why this particular character garners so much hate, considering pretty-much everyone else in the setting is shown committing far more immoral deeds...
    • This troper loves Single Mother, but I can see her being a villainous character: she's basically a shill for Gene Co, quite possibly got paid off (or had a similar contract as Blind Mag), and seems like an overall awful and oblivious (if not outright stupid) person... which pretty much applies to the entire audience of the Genetic Opera.
    • I don't mind her showing her body, but it does bug me that she made it a lot more likely that she'll be leaving her kids Repo-man created orphans by tacking a vanity makeover on top of the kidney surgery she needed (and couldn't afford without one of Geneco's payment plans, meaning that her financial situation probably isn't one where she should let herself be talked into vanity surgery).
  • How is Blind Mag Shilo's godmom? I mean, she thought Shilo died with her mother. Marni died before she could even give birth to Shilo. As far as I know, children are baptised after they are born, not before.
    • Actually, from this Troper's experiences IRL, godparents are often chosen at some point during the pregnancy. It is likely that Marni named Mag as godmother a good while before she, y'know, died.
    • Even if Marni and Nathan were going to name Mag a godparent at the official ceremony, she would probably be asked and have accepted before. She does have a moment of dithering before saying, "I'm your—godmum."
      • Plenty of people name godparents to their children without baptizing them as a baby.
  • "Sometimes I wanted to cry when the people on TV were not quite the way we were. Somehow I guess I just knew...but I didn't know I'd love you so much." What did she know, exactly?
    • I'm pretty sure that she means that she knew that their family was not the same as the people on TV.
  • A bit of a nitpick here, but I was listening to Didn't Know I Love You So Much, and Shilo mentions watching the TV. If Nathan was trying to keep Shilo away from society, why would he buy her a television, where she could learn about society from watching it?
    • Well, his reasons for keeping her away from everyone was so that nothing would happen to cause him to lose her. With the blood disease, she wasn't willing to go further than the graveyard to capture some bugs before Rotti intervened and practically kidnapped her. If she just watched TV (which would give her something to do while spending her life locked in her bedroom) then it wouldn't risk her relationship with Nathan.
    • Besides, we saw her watching TV.
  • Rotti's offer to Shilo at the end. The murdered interns, bidders, and doctor would be easy enough for the Largos' means and influence to bury; Mag's death, despite the witnesses, could have easily been played off as an accident; Nathan's death, if it had been at the hands of GeneCo, probably would have been lawful in this world's screwed-up legal system; but how did they plan to cast Shilo not only killing a clearly neutralized Nathan in front of the entire country, but receiving an entire company in consideration?
    • Publicity stunt? They weren't seeing what they thought they were seeing.

Remember the TitansHeadscratchers/FilmRequiem for a Dream

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy