Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cult Classics - Repo Man

Again, might as well get it over with. I try to keep this a family blog as best I can, but in the first big scene in the supermarket, Emilio Estevez delivers the "F--k you" for the ages. And for some reason, I'm so glad they didn't skimp on the crane shot when he knocks his friend into the cans. By the time The Mighty Ducks rolled around, though, I couldn't help but think to myself, well, any damage that Repo Man did to his career has finally been completely undone... Yes, it's Repo Man time. Probably the most outrageous film ever produced by an ex-Monkee. (That is, Good Outrageous. For bad outrageous, the worst film an ex-Monkee has ever ACTED in has got to be Deadfall... no disrespect) Accept no imitations, not the new Repo Men with Jude Law and Forest Whitaker, and probably not the official Repo Man sequel, Repo Chick... I've heard it's not that good. I have yet to see it, though, so I guess I'm willing to judge it in the spirit of its predecessor.
I guess people... some people most identify with the portrait of disaffected youth, which writer-director Alex Cox would later explore just as brilliantly with Sid and Nancy, but in its sum total Cox would probably describe Repo Man as neo-noir. It's three movies in one: Emilio's journey in a strange world, a story of Area 51 and aliens, and of course, the life of the repo man. Oh, sure, there's a couple dozen reality shows now about repo men and pawn shops, but don't they owe a little bit to the instant case? I thinks me so.
I hate to discuss the plot here. Well, to be honest, I usually do, but especially so here. For me, the joys are in the journey, and the plot is sufficiently labyrinthine enough to justify several viewings, and I know quite a few people in the Repo Man cult, as it were. For some reason, they don't own a copy of it on DVD... gotta look into that. Also, I'm just a sucker for looking to see who's in the credits. I saw a few names still working today: Betsy Magruder, now working for Joel and Ethan. Additional photography: Robert Richardson! Well, HE'S gone on to more Oscar-worthy fare, to say the least, but still does the occasional slumming job; clearly not as much as he used to. And of course, everybody's friend, Tracey Walter. The final scene is the stuff of tin hat religions: the fall of Bud, the rise of Miller. The actor who drove the Chevy Malibu for most of the film was good, but I guess Dennis Hopper wasn't available at the time. The black dude, Sy Richardson, I thought I recognized him from Tapeheads! Is he resisting the urge to work with Tyler Perry? It appears so. Oh, and for Atari-heads like me, one's gotta like the ol' Atari 8-bit font of old. It pops up occasionally, like in that documentary about the dude trying to break the old Missile Command record. I guess he was putting too much thought into it or something. The guy who originally did it... man, he was in the zone! Didn't worry about the chips breaking down or anything, he just did it! As for me, I gotta lay off the Boulder Dash 2 for a while and get back to my homework. Viva La 80s!

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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