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‘Repo: the Genetic Opera’ to show in Northampton

“Repo: The Genetic Opera,” is a horror musical directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, of Saw fame. Set in the year 2056, Repo introduces us to a world where one company, GeneCo, has control. In this world, surgery is commonplace and organ repossession is legal. The Largo family, who own GeneCo, has total power.

“Repo: The Genetic Opera” has a colorful cast, including Alexa Vega, Anthony Stewart Head, Sarah Brightman, Bill Moseley, Paris Hilton, Paul Sorvino, as well as creators Terrence Zdunich and Darren Smith.

The film features catchy, rock-based songs, such as “Zydrate Anatomy” and “Mark It Up.” Though rock operas have been common in theater for the past decade, it is a fairly new genre for film.

The comic relief comes in the form of two brothers, one a murderer and the other a rapist. However, the movie is jam-packed with graphic depictions of organ repossessions that gore fans will love.

While “Repo” may not be perfect, it is original. This film combines a B-horror movie plot with a stunning rock score. However, there are a few problems, the first being Paris Hilton. Fortunately, the talent of actual, trained actors and large heap of special effects make-up, shadow Paris Hilton’s pathetically-played Amber Sweet, the only daughter in the Largo family. She plays a surgery-addicted brat. It is not that much of a stretch, and yet she cannot even accomplish playing the role.

The only other problem that might keep viewers away is the gore. There are two representations of gore in this movie: for the sake of being gory and for the sake of comedy. The wonderfully fake and campy gore is sure to illicit plenty of laughs. Then there is the cringe-worthy gore. Moments where the writers probably thought to themselves, “No one has died in thirty pages…let’s kill someone off!”

The major failing of the film is its story-telling ability, which is almost non-existent. The plot is thoroughly confusing. It is best to either go with a friend who has seen “Repo” before, or to look up the plot beforehand.

When “Repo: The Genetic Opera” premiered in 2008, it did not reach mainstream America. The limited release film played in only seven movie theaters in the United States. However, it took in over $3000 per screen on opening day alone, according to promotional materials.

The film became a hit with fans of “The Rocky Horror Picture” show. People started reenacting, or “shadowing,” the film, as has been done with the older film for more than 30 years.

The Academy of Music in Northampton will feature a local cast, Genetic Imperfection of South Hadley, shadowing “Repo” on Oct. 30 at midnight.

Special guest, co-author, artist, and star of “Repo,” Terrance Zdunich will be in attendance. From 9:30 p.m. to ten minutes before the show, he will be signing autographs. The night will also feature a question and answer session with Zdunich.

Tickets are $13 for students and $15 general admission. “Repo” is rated “R,” particularly for its violent content.

If going to the Academy of Music is not possible, Genetic Imperfection plays on the last Friday of each month at the Tower Theater in South Hadley, Mass.

Alissa Mesibov can be reached at amesibov@student.umass.edu and Melissa Sims can be reached at masims@student.umass.edu.

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