- Irony as She Is Cast: Fox Harris couldn't drive a car, a complication that led to many composite/body double shots becoming necessary. The first day he showed up to the set, he promptly proceeded to drive his car into a bridge. Subsequent scenes made him so nervous, he would break out into hives. The opening scene with the motorcycle cop on the desert highway was one such composite, made up of shots completed on different days with Alex Cox doubling Harris where necessary and Cox's bike mechanic Varnum Honey playing the cop.
- Referenced by...: The electronic band Future Sound of London titled their song "Eyes Pop, Skin Explodes, Everybody Dead" after a line from the movie.
- Throw It In!: Miller's monologue about time travel, flying saucers, the Mayans and plates of shrimp was written for the screen tests, as was Lite's monologue while he and Otto are breaking into the red Corvette. Both were added in when the filmmakers realized how funny they were and the former became a key part of the film's ending.
- Wag the Director: Harry Dean Stanton was quite difficult to deal with.
"I've worked with the greatest directors of all time. Francis Ford Coppola. Monte Hellman. You know why they're great? Because they let me do whatever the fuck I wanted!"
- He wanted to do a 'baseball-type signal' to Emilio Estevez in a scene where he had to show him where to park a car. Cox - a notorious sports-hater - refused the suggestion. According to Alex Cox on the DVD commentary, Stanton lost his temper:
- On another occasion, while filming a scene in which Bud brandishes a bat at the Rodriguez brothers, he anted a real bat and did actually use it in one take, swinging it around recklessly. The other cast members were (relatively) OK with it, but Robby Müller took Alex Cox aside and said: "Just now I felt the wind of a wooden baseball bat pass over my face. I will not shoot this scene unless all the actors use plastic bats." Unsurprisingly, Stanton was furious when asked to use a plastic bat, screaming out that "Harry Dean Stanton only uses REAL baseball bats." A literal tug of war ensued over the bat, much to the amusement of the crew. Fortunately, a quick-witted production assistant was able to swap the wooden bat out for a plastic one.
- Stanton's general moodiness and constant grumbling about money prompted Cox to consider writing him out of the rest of the film and giving his remaining scenes to Lite. Michael Nesmith vetoed this plan, so Stanton stayed in the picture. It also helped a little that Stanton noticed how the crew revered Muller, and began to do so in turn. So if Cox wanted something done, he'd sometimes tell Stanton that it was "for Robby". It worked.
- What Could Have Been:
- An alternate ending was planned but never filmed where Otto joins a group of South American revolutionaries. A small element of this ending can be viewed in the scene in which Marlene is at the Rodriguez brothers home, where an arsenal of weapons is stashed.
- Muhammad Ali was supposed to make a cameo during the film's climax but had to back out due to a prior commitment.
- Dennis Hopper was considered for Bud, but his erratic behavior at the time ultimately made him unsuitable for the part.
- The studio considered Mick Jagger for Bud.
- Lance Henriksen was a front runner for the part of the lobotomized driver of the Chevy Malibu.
- Another alternate ending had the entire city being annihilated in a nuclear explosion.
- Write What You Know: Alex Cox was a repo man for a while. The Repo Man's code is based on an amalgamation of wisdom given to him during his tenure.
Trivia / Repo Man