‘Repo Man’ Review: Only an Asshole gets killed for a Car.

Posted in The Screening Room by - February 18, 2015

We’ve gotten into some weird movies as of late during the Kulture Shocked Sci-Fi Marathon. The weekend Kulturecast covered the acid trip that is Zardoz, and we even talked about the genre defining film, Metropolis. However, today we’re covering what many might call the best film of 1984, Repo Man. Before we actually dive into this film, it needs to be stated that this is a weird film. It’s completely out of left field, but it’s completely worth that watch.

I’m actually pretty torn over how much story content to include in this review. Mostly due to the fact that if you watch this film, I don’t want any of the plot points ruined for you. However, I can set the film up for you. Repo Man follows Otto Maddox (Emilio Esteves), punk rocker just getting by in Los Angeles during the mid 80s. He gets fired from his crappy supermarket job and later gets conned into becoming a repo man. That’s as I’m willing to venture into the story. Repo Man is a film that needs to be experienced and I’ve always felt that that’s best accomplished when the first viewing of the film is unspoiled.

What’s most impressive with Repo Man has to be Robby Müller’s crisp camerawork. For me, a film’s success is broken down into groups listed by importance. Number 1 is always screen writing. If the script is bland or, heaven forbid, boring, then no matter how good your director and actors are, the film will struggle to tell its story effectively. Second is the cinematography. If the film doesn’t look good, who will want to watch it? Third is the score and overall sound design. I’ve spoken at length in the past about sound design. This is an area that can make or break a film with ease. Notice that I haven’t mentioned anything about the director or actors?

With Repo Man, we have a very smart screenplay written by Alex Cox that does a lot of different things. It’s an alien-invasion film, a punk-rock musical, and a send-up of American consumerism all in one. Most importantly though, it isn’t is boring. Very few films can be as busy, tell a story, and be entertaining.

I actually really love what Roger Ebert had to say about Repo Man:

I saw “Repo Man” near the end of a busy stretch on the movie beat: three days during which I saw more relentlessly bad movies than during any comparable period in memory. Most of those bad movies were so cynically constructed out of formula ideas and “commercial” ingredients that watching them was an ordeal. “Repo Man” comes out of left field, has no big stars, didn’t cost much, takes chances, dares to be unconventional, is funny, and works. There is a lesson here.

— Roger Ebert

I can’t help but agree with most critics on this film. Repo Man is complete sci-fi cult classic that has serious staying power for the modern film lover. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something that would be considered “off the beaten path”.

Final Say: Watch It

This post was written by
Comments are closed.