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YMMV / Repo! The Genetic Opera

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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: "Esoteric" is the operative word for this film: it's a rock opera about drugs, corporations, family drama, organ harvesting, and grave robbery; it features some unconventional casting choices such as Paris Hilton and Alexa Vega; and it's director's previous claim to fame was the Saw sequels. Simply put, you either get this movie or you don't.
  • Awesome Music: It is titled The Genetic Opera, after all. "Chase the Morning," "Zydrate Anatomy" and "We Started This Opera Shit," in particular, a real stand-out numbers.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: "Seventeen" - the cinematography noticeably changes, and Shilo's goth dress replaced by a punk getup, for a rockstar fantasy where her bedroom becomes a stage, with a crowd barging in, dancing stuffed animals and skeletons, and Joan Jett on guitar. This is the only time in the film a musical number is accompanied by something other than either literal action or a flashback.
  • Complete Monster: Rottissimo "Rotti" Largo is the CEO of Geneco, who "cured the world" via a new organ trade, but convinced Congress to legalize organ repossessions, killing countless people via the Repo Men. When his lover Marni left him, Nathan poisoned her and convinced her husband he was responsible for her death, turning Nathan into a sadistic Repo Man while plotting to shape Nathan and Marni's daughter into his perfect heir. Rotti has multiple people killed, intending to kill Marni's best friend Blind Mag for trying to leave her contract as the face of Geneco by having Nathan do it, later murdering her for sheer spite when she defies him. He then tries to expose Nathan as a Repo Man to his daughter Shilo, shooting Nathan in a fit of rage when Shilo defies him at the end.
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  • Creepy Awesome: Blind Mag, Graverobber, Pavi Largo.
  • Critical Dissonance: Most professional critics outright told their readers not to see this film, giving it exceptionally low ratings, expressed horror at the casting choices, scoffed at the low budget, and generally just sat there being sick into their hats. Generally audience responses were more mixed-to-positive, resulting in a small but exceptionally dedicated cult fanbase.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: It's a gothic rock opera about organ repossession where everyone is on an all-scenery diet. The whole thing is just so campy that the shock wears off fast and you'll either find the disturbing imagery too ridiculous to find offensive or so awesome that you get wrapped up in it.
    • Just about anything to do with the Largo siblings. Their over-the-top squabbling as they casually commit downright evil acts embodies every repulsive stereotype about spoiled rich kids and thensome.
    • Nathan shoving his hand up the throat of a man he's just disemboweled though a hole in his chest and manipulating the guy's head like a ventriloquist dummy? Probably the most disturbing moment in the entire film. Nathan making the corpse puppet sing along with him? Hysterically human.
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  • Cult Classic: As mentioned above, critics despised the movie and it didn't speak much to the tastes of general audiences. Those for whom it did speak to, however, have given it a dedicated cult following and made it a 21st century Halloween staple.
  • Die for Our Ship: Amber for the Shilo/Grave-Robber fans, even though Shilo has no romantic feelings for Grave-Robber and Amber is just one of many women Grave-Robber apparently has a relationship with.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Pretty much all of the male characters, many of them doubling as in-universe examples (save for Luigi, whom no one in-universe likes).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Of the main cast, Blind Mag and Graverobber are actually relatively minor characters, but they have the biggest fan followings. For the former, her status as Broken Bird, Only Sane Man, and heart-wrenching tale are what make her so beloved. For the latter, his Lovable Rogue and Handsome Lech persona are a big reason why he's so popular, along with his Deadpan Snarker personality. It helps Graverobber that he's the Greek Chorus, essentially the audience's guide to the film. He's the first character we meet, and his first appearance is basically him taking the audience by the hand and leading them into this crapsack world.
    • Don't forget DJ Granny. Does she even get 10 seconds of screen time?
  • Evil Is Sexy: Some of the undisputed villains of the story—Luigi, Amber Sweet, and Pavi—are extremely sexual, with Amber in particular dressing herself and her henchmen in Fanservice outfits. The good (or at the very least, more sympathetic) characters, such as Nathan and Shilo, are dressed and act far more conservatively.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Shilo/Graverobber, Luigi/Mag. The former is liked by Terrance Zdunich himself.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With The Devil's Carnival, due to both being Cult Classic musicals with a lot of the same actors involved, and very similar tones and themes. It's to the point where the Repo! fandom and the Carnival fandom are basically the same fandom. It's just a matter of which one you became a fan of first.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The concept of an evil corporation taking over the world via monopolizing the donor organ market and being allowed to legally murder people who miss payments was presumably designed to be intentionally over-the-top, but fast forward to The New '10s and corporate privatization of basic essentials like food, water, and medicine has become a serious hot-button issue, an example being the backlash against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, which it is believed will likely contaminate the reservoir that is the main source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Native American Reservation.
  • Idiot Plot: People go along with plans against them or manipulations they had songs about figuring out or present when they were first explained, do nothing to avoid falling for them, and then act surprised at the reveal.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Arguably Rotti and his children, at least Luigi.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Fans of Anthony Stewart Head, Sarah Brightman, Paul Sorvino, Alexa Vega, Paris Hilton, Bill Mosely, and/or Nivek Ogre went to see Repo! based solely on their favourite actor/singer's appearance therein. Many of them are now devoted fans of the movie.
    • Take a look at the musician list, and see members of Bauhaus, Korn, Rasputina, and Guns N' Roses being credited, then look at the who the music producer is- X Japan's bandleader. And then watch "Seventeen" — see that Joan Jett cameo? That's right- people WILL have found this film because of rock bands.
    • There's also Anne Danielewski who people might remember from the 90's as Poe.
    • A lot of steampunk/cyberpunk and related communities got very excited prior to the film's release, and while the film does deliver on dystopian sci-fi, pretty much all the steampunk is relegated to the square and a few background repo men over at GeneCo.
  • Les Yay: Marni and Blind Mag. Also Amber Sweet and the Genterns in "Zydrate Anatomy".
  • Narm: "Seventeen" counts as this to many, as it's a ather jarring number featuring a teenager that is trying too hard (even for this movie), complete with puppets. It's easily the least liked among the fanbase.
  • Narm Charm: Critics complained about the cheesy lyrics, melodramatic performances, odd casting choices, and over-the-top costumes. The fans love it for the exact same reasons.
  • Older Than They Think: Some accuse this movie of being a rip-off of the novel Reposession Mambo despite the fact that the novel was first published in 2009 whereas the film came out in 2008 (the novel was in development as early as 1996, but that doesn't count). This itself ignores that the opera itself was first performed as a stage-show in 2001 and portions of the music were first performed as operettas in the 1990s. One film critic made this claim, until they were called on it.
  • Retroactive Recognition: A young Nina Dobrev has a cameo appearance as a teenage zydrate addict in one scene.
  • Rooting for the Empire: A lot of fans root for Rotti, while fully acknowledging that he's a bastard.
  • The Scrappy: Single Mom, for all that she barely appears in one scene, is seen as incredibly obnoxious. Though Single Mom's been somewhat Rescued from the Scrappy Heap since the shadowcast performances started, due to the brave shadow actresses who flash the audience live.
  • Squick:
    • Pretty much every time Shilo is on screen with an adult character, Amber Sweet's surgery montage, "Mark It Up", Grave-Robber getting up close and personal with his corpses, "Blame Not My Cheeks", Blind Mag's final song. Also, you might be squicked if you think too much about the meaning behind Rotti putting his arm around Mag and saying "technically you belong to GeneCo."
    • How about the fact that the large intestine is apparently the consistency of bread dough?
  • She Really Can Act: Many Repo! fans went in to see the film unhappy about Paris Hilton having a role, but after seeing her performance, came out with at least a grudging respect for her. A fair number have actually grown quite fond of her, defending her where they would once have joined in with the mocking. Heck, she sings on the same stage with the likes of Anthony Stewart Head, Paul Sorvino, Ogre, and Sarah Brightman without looking a complete fool. Not many could keep up with that kind of vocal talent.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Neither Nathan nor Shiloh ever find out that Rotti was the one who had Marni killed. Nathan's Roaring Rampage of Revenge would have been epic.
    • It's implied that Nathan realizes that Rotti poisoned Marni when Rotti tells Shilo "Your dad deserved whatever happened to him, he needed me and so do you!" and Nathan says in a very menacing tone "I remember". At this point however, his love for Shilo and desire to protect her from Rotti surpasses his urge for vengeance. At the time he's been left crippled in a wheelchair by the Genterns so he's not in any fit state to fight anyway.
    • The fact that Rotti actually did take Marnie's murder to his death makes it all the more disturbing as often in real life, monsters such as Josef Stalin die before being seen for all that they really are.
  • Uncanny Valley: Mag's eyes can sometimes produce this effect, especially when she uses them to project holograms.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Mag's holograms.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: A lot of people take their young children to see this movie, because hey, it has the girl from Spy Kids in it! And it's a musical! Never mind that it was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, or that the other stars include two horror film veterans and a violent gangster film veteran, or that the tamest of the trailers still contains a shot of someone being disemboweled...
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • One of the best examples ever. You would never, ever, ever expect to find this group of people in the same movie, and some, like Sarah Brightman, you'd never think to find in that kind of movie.
    • A behind-the-scenes example: The director vehemently refused to even consider Paris Hilton. Eventually they made him audition her, and she rocked out so hard that he hired her on the spot.


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