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YMMV / Repo! The Genetic Opera

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  • Actor Allusion:
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Nathan is a possessive father who deprives his daughter of any contact with the outside world and deliberately tries to stunt her maturity out of a selfish fear of losing her, thus giving her no experience outside of his interactions with her. He also poisons her to keep her dependent on him, which could prove to be the very reason he loses her in the first place. He is an evil captor who has a sympathetic motive.
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  • Ascended Fanon: The creative team has been very accepting of fan theories (such as the idea that Single Mom's name is actually "Mary Sue").
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: It's a rock opera about drugs, corporations, family drama, organ harvesting, and grave robbery. It's also a literal opera, as nearly every line is sung. It features unconventional casting choices such as Paris Hilton and Alexa Vega, as well as directed by someone known primarily for Saw sequels. You can see why critics disliked it... for the same reasons it's a Cult Classic.
  • Awesome Music: Many. "Chase the morning" and "Zydrate Anatomy" are two examples.
  • 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.
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  • Complete Monster: Rottismo "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.
  • Creepy Awesome: Blind Mag, Graverobber & Pavi Largo.
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  • Critical Dissonance: Most critics were tough on this film. They warned people away, rated it as low as possible, expressed horror at the casting choices, scoffed at the low budget, and generally just sat there being sick into their hats. But to no avail — a large percentage of the people who actually watched the film loved it, and Repo! has gathered together a very strong underground following.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Just about anything to do with the Largo siblings. And Nathan under the influence of his psychotic Repo Man personality playing ventriloquist with a corpse definitely deserves mention too. The last part with the puppet is probably the freakiest moment in the entire film, and it's subtle and small as Hell: he and the puppet are singing at the same time.
  • Cult Classic: Despite how much professional critics hated the film, it has a small, extremely dedicated fanbase that adores it. The fandom is quite active, despite its small size.
  • 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.)
  • Double Standard: All three Largo siblings are petty, vindictive, spiteful, philandering "scalpel sluts" addicted to surgery, yet Pavi and Luigi are largely considered sexy Ensemble Darkhorses for it while their sister Amber Sweet is nowhere near as popualr. This, despite how the brothers are full-blown murderers and rapists who kill and wear other people's faces on-screen, while Amber is implied to have only consensual sex for drugs, and is usually too high to actively hurt anyone till the very end. A large part of this is likely due to the fact Paris Hilton was cast as Amber Sweet.
  • Ear Worm: EVERYTHING.
    • Zydrate comes in a little glass vial.
      • A little glass vial?
    • And the little glass vial goes into the gun like a battery.
      • Ah! Ah!
    • And the Zydrate Gun goes somewhere against your anatomy.
    • And when the gun goes off it sparks, and you're ready for surgery.
      • SURGERY!
    • Didn't know I loved you so much...but I do.
    • Lungs and livers and bladders and hearts!
    • What's the matter, Graverobber? Can't get it up if the girl's breathing?
    • It's quick!... It's clean... And it's pure. It'll change your life, rest assured. It's the 21st Century... Cure! And it's my job... To steal and rob... GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVES!!!!
  • 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.
  • Executive Meddling: An attempt at it, anyway. In the DVD commentary, Darren Bousman mentions several instances of having to go to war with one or more of the producers in order to get a certain scene into the final cut. As Bousman refused to name names, however, it is anyone's guess as to whether these fights were with various producers, or all with the same producer who just happened to be a pain in the arse.
  • 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 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 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:
    • Persons claim that this movie is 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.
  • 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.
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  • 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 realises 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.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Not only is Rotti Largo terminally ill, he's had to deal with Luigi, Amber, and Pavi. They could make anyone turn into a bastard. On the other hand, having to deal with Rotti himself could work the same way.
    • Luigi, Amber, and Pavi also qualify though. Luigi has a sad moment after Rotti's death, during the press conference. After his spontaneous temper tantrum, he starts crying, and the last thing we hear him say is, *Sob.* "Dad!" in a pathetic voice. Also, when Rotti disowns his children onstage and calls them useless, Pavi lets out such a pathetic little wail that some viewers expressed the desire to reach into the screen and hug him. As for Amber, the face humiliation is bad enough, but the sad look she has when her father disowns her publicly also gets her some sympathy points.
  • 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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