Repo Man

Repo Man Otto Alex Cox, Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Tracey Walter, Olivia Barash, Sy Richardson, Susan Barnes, Fox Harris

Repo Man: A down-and-out kid takes a job as a car Repo Man, but soon gets mixed up in an alien conspiracy. This feels intentionally retro and ‘cheapy’, like a 1950s era B-movie (aliens, radiation, dystopia…) Under the surface it feels like the director had a lot to say about the mood and culture of the time; unfortunately, it feels like there wasn’t enough budget or focus to properly explore the promising glimpses. The film’s set in quite a cynical version of L.A. where all factions are caricatured: the young punks/skinheads are knuckleheads, the repo men are jaded, the conspiracists are ‘nutjobs’, the government agents are obedient – it’s all a bit surreal, especially when characters drink from generically branded ‘Beer‘, ‘Rum’, & ‘Food’ bottles/tins, and spout lines like  “Fuck this… Lets go do some crimes”. It stands out most for focusing on the disenfranchised youth of the 1980s, but the appeal (and audience connection) have faded in the past 31 years. There’s a great Surf Rock / New Wave soundtrack, and some infamous lines of dialogue, particularly those delivered by Harry Dean Stanton, who’s the only actor that truly stands out, spitting magically heartfelt and bitter lines like “Ordinary fuckin’ people… I hate ’em”. Repo Man is billed as ‘Sci-Fi‘ and ‘Punk‘ – I’d argue that this is neither, but simply a Troma or Corman styled B-movie. It’s cheap, cheerful, in the same boat as Surf Nazis – but overall better, more charming, and feels authentically ‘cult.

Score: 3/10

Repo Man Car Alex Cox, Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Tracey Walter, Olivia Barash, Sy Richardson, Susan Barnes, Fox Harris Repo Man Punks Alex Cox, Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Tracey Walter, Olivia Barash, Sy Richardson, Susan Barnes, Fox Harris

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2 comments
  1. Oh, man, I can’t believe you didn’t like this. Given all your thoughts, I figured you’d give it more than a 3/10. The satire alone, like everything being generically labeled, elevated this movie above the standard cult crap. Oh, well.

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      I really wanted to like it, but for me all of the interesting stuff like the food, social message, satire etc were totally superficial and glossed over for blowjob jokes and stupid punks. It had LOADS of ideas and nice touches but not much focus.

      I also probably bigged it up a bit as I kept hearing the “Ordinary Fuckin’ People” quote everywhere for a while – and the internet generally LOVING this. I think it could be more of an American / L.A. thing?

      Like

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