Saturday, May 25, 2013

Repo Man (1984)

Somewhere between the 70's and the 90's resides a mysterious and magical place called the 80's. And that, my friends, is where this movie came from. Aptly described as "an absurdist punk rock sci fi classic!," Repo Man soars above other films with its trespass into the glamorously impossible. It's not often I dwell on the plot of a movie, but this one is just too juicy to pass up:

"Frustrated punk rocker Otto quits his supermarket job after slugging a co-worker, and is later dumped by his girlfriend at a party. Wandering the streets in frustration, he is recruited in the repossession of a car by a repo agent. After discovering his parents have donated his college fund to a televangelist, he joins the repossession agency (Helping Hand Acceptance Corporation) as an apprentice "repo man". During his training, he is introduced into the mercenary and paranoid world of the drivers, befriended by a UFO conspiracy theorist, confronted by rival repo agents, discovers some of his one-time friends have turned to a life of crime, is lectured to near cosmic unconsciousness by the repo agency grounds worker, and finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue concerning a huge repossession bounty on a 1964 Chevy Malibu driven by a lunatic government scientist, with Top Secret cargo in the trunk." Written by Baroque

Thank you Mr. Baroque gopher. While your handle is beyond my comprehension, your plot summary is just right. This is clearly a movie that needs no other introduction, but since I just can't help myself...I have gleaned out some of the juiciest trivia bits for your chewing pleasure.

- All of the cars and police motorcycles have pine tree air fresheners. This is because the Little Trees company sponsored the movie (lamest sponsor ever...although they did also sponsor Se7en...)

-  Lite gives Otto a book called "DIORETIX" to "help change your life". This is a reference to L. Ron Hubbard's "Dianetics"

- The photo of aliens that Leila shows Otto, which is thought by some to be a plate of shrimp, is actually condoms filled with water wearing grass shirts

- When Otto takes food out of the refrigerator it is a blue and white can labeled 'Food - Meat Flavored'

- No special effects were used to make the Chevy Malibu glow while parked at the repossession lot. Instead, the car was completely coated with 3M reflective paint, at an approximate price of $600 per bucket

Let's see...what else. Oh wait, it's written and directed by Alex Cox, who also wrote and directed Sid and Nancy, and wrote the screenplay for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  It's got a soundtrack featuring names like Iggy Pop, Black Flag and The Circle Jerks.  It has Emilio Estevez in it, and I recognized one of the scenes from Timerider...

And then there are the quotes...there were too many good ones. You should probably just check out the site and read them all for yourself. But here are a couple.

Miner: You gonna give me my car, or do I gotta go to your house and shove your dog's head down the toilet?

Bud: Look at those assholes, ordinary fucking people. I hate 'em.

Miller: A lot o' people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch o' unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice o' coincidence that lays on top o' everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.
Otto: You eat a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippie days?
Miller: I'll give you another instance: you know how everybody's into weirdness right now?...

In Summary:

metal hands on female feds
melting radioactivity bodies
watching people melt alive "god i love this job"

what about our relationship? - fuck that!

it's a time machine!

I deem it:
"The greatest sci-fi punk-rock 80's comedy ever made!"

or as mentalcritic says it:  "If you're into weirdness, this is the Holy Grail."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I thought I was a cinephile but I had to scroll this far down your blog until I found a movie I've actually seen. And I fucking love Repo Man! I'll be sure to check out a few other movies that you've written about.