Please don’t judge Repo Man by it’s atrocious cover art, it’s actually a very smart action/comedy/sci-fi movie that is surprisingly fresh even all these years later.
In a nutshell, Repo Man is about an LA punk rocker named Otto (Emilio Estevez) that gets tricked into reposessing a car by Bud (Harry Dean Stanton) and finds out he really likes the life of a repo man. As all of this is happening, there is a man driving around something in his trunk that vaporizes anyone that opens it. Obviously, the two stories eventually intertwine and we learn the truth of what is happening. It’s actually quite well done.
Repo Man does not fit in many conventional standards. It’s not an action film. It’s not a sci-fi film. It’s not a comedy. Though there are certainly large portions of those genres and maybe a few more, the tone is constantly evolving. The inclusion of all those genres does not come at the expense of the others either, it’s all balanced nicely.
If you live in Region B (Europe, Africa, Australia, et al.) then I would strongly suggest picking up Eureka’s Masters of Cinema entry. It looks absolutely fantastic. Those of other in Region A…Pray for a Criterion release or get a region free player. It’s also available on Netflix Instant Watch for now.
Repo Man is a movie that I was expecting to be really schlocky and qualify as so-bad-its-good. While the acting and some of the dialogue is not very good, the film doesn’t suffer because of it. In fact, it seems to make a point to rise above it. Harry Dean Stanton in particular is wonderful. I was not expecting to enjoy Repo Man nearly as much as I did and I’m afraid I will be unable to do it justice in merely writing about it. It’s a film that just needs to be seen.
I give it 4 trunk vaporizations out of 5.