REPO! The Genetic Opera

Last night, I had the chance to see REPO! The Genetic Opera – A Rock Opera / Movie Musical [also, ] at The Clinton St Theater.

Since I’ve moved to Portland, I realized that one of the few places outside of downtown that I remember from when I was in high school is the Clinton St Theater. Back in the 80’s, I saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show there. I wasn’t the one driving, so I never really knew where the cinema was; but, I passed by the cinema one day and realized that was the place. The trip there, back in the day, was also memorable because we saw a possum and a cat trying to have sex in the street …

Anyhow, I’m pretty sure that I heard about this film on Whedonesque, but really didn’t know what I was going to see when I went. The crowd was definitely excited and the show was sold out. I saw a couple people I knew in line, but the crowd was pretty uniformly of a goth flavour. From the crowd, I’d have guessed that this was an appropriate show for a cinema that still plays Rocky every week.

The cast is great. The music was good. Lyrics has great moments. The production of the film was well-done. And, as a musical, it had a good, solid feeling; not like a string of annoyingly thrown together songs and styles as seems to be, inexplicably, popular these days.

Well, there’s lots of information about the film online, and I don’t really have much to add to all of that; except to say that any negative reviews of the film must has seen some other film than what I did. This was an all-around well done film that if not for a single problem would have been a completely entertaining experience:

The Clinton St Theater is in desperate need of a decent sound system. I mean, it is really freakin’ abysmal. For a film like this with what I imagine is an amazingly well-done audio track, though I can only guess since what I experienced was so disappointing, to sound as if the audio were being piped through a long-distance telephone call … that’s pretty bad. The auteurs, who were there before and after to help promote the film, extolled how much better it would have been if we’d been able to hear the 5.1 audio. I double checked with some of the people I knew, that had been to that cinema, and they also said that it was definitely the cinema not the film that was so bad.

So, I suppose that the film could have actually been bad, if I had been able to actually hear it all. And, I don’t mean to say that the film was something that changed my life, as the announcer before the showing suggested it would do. However, there were some sparklingly good lines and bits of business in this film that suggest that my good opinion of it would only get better if I had seen this in a better cinema.

I could easily see this film as a new Rocky, and there were already people in the audience starting to interact with the film in a similar way. I definitely commend this film to anyone that can even slightly imagine a mash-up of Rocky Horror Picture Show, Bioshock, and Buffy’s ‘Once More, With Feeling’. It’s got all the signs of being a cult classic … and it’s brand new.

You can check out some of the music via the film’s myspace and there’s a downloadable trailer for the film over at apple. And, it appears that this is being pre-listed at amazon so you can sign up to be notified when it is released on blu-ray.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that it’s brilliant; but it was definitely fun and entertaining.