Home Opinion “Repo!”: The Worst (Best) Movie You’ve Never Heard Of

“Repo!”: The Worst (Best) Movie You’ve Never Heard Of

Written by Ren Monin

It’s springtime again, and the weather is just absolutely gorgeous outside. So what better time to stay cooped up inside your dorm and watch movies? 

When it comes to films, there’s almost an infinite number to choose from, and there are even more people with opinions regarding them. Well-executed movies (usually with big budgets to match) can generate millions or even billions of dollars of revenue, while smaller projects may gather a small – but devoted – group of hardcore fans. One such film is Repo! The Genetic Opera. 

Like the title suggests, Repo! is a rock opera. The storyline follows Shilo Wallace, a sheltered 17-year-old girl, as she navigates a post-dystopian world where disease has ravaged mankind, and a single family dominates the organ transplant industry. Her father, Nathan, secretly works for this family. This is an incredibly oversimplified summary of the plot, though.  There are a lot of other elements, such as the tragic past love triangle between Shilo’s father, dead mother, and the head of the powerful Largo family, Rotti, which ended with Rotti poisoning her, and pinning it on Nathan Wallace. There’s also the illicit trade of the bright blue painkiller – EXTRACTED FROM CORPSES –  called Zydrate, and the job that Shilo’s father carries out – “repossessing” organs from people who couldn’t pay. This job title is shortened to “repo man.” That’s still not even the end! There’s also the mysterious “face of the company,” a formerly blind opera singer aptly named “Blind Mag,” and Rotti’s three awful adult children who are all competing to inherit the company, Geneco. And what about Nathan poisoning Shilo intentionally so she’ll never leave home?

Sound confusing? That’s because it is! The movie has about four separate plots happening simultaneously, and only ties them together within the last fifteen or so minutes. The special effects are also terrible, the fake gore is cheap and awful, and the CGI is mediocre at best. Even if you give it some grace for being produced back in 2008, it’s still an objectively subpar film coming from a typical movie critic – or even regular moviegoer – ‘s perspective. The songs are pretty hit-or-miss, and the cinematography is… interesting, to say the least. The entire movie is very, VERY dark from a lighting standpoint. The poor quality may be due in part to the low budget – only 8 million dollars, not including the personal funds that Paris Hilton, who played a role in the movie – dedicated to production. If you’re someone who watches movies critically and cares a lot about quality? This film is DEFINITELY not for you. 

But let me tell you a little secret. I absolutely loved Repo! The poor quality almost made it more charming to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the gothic and almost emo vibe, the costumes were absolutely slaying, and I was genuinely emotionally invested in the story, even though I didn’t completely understand what was going on the entire time. 

Giving this movie an accurate rating is incredibly difficult. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 37%, whereas the audience rating is a 73%. But, this is my review and I get to be as subjective as I want! So I give Repo! The Genetic Opera a 90%. Would absolutely recommend, especially to those with a passion for gory, gothic musicals!