Saturday, January 30th, 2010
Director Alex Cox has made Repo Chick, a spiritual successor to his 1984 punk rock sci-fi odyssey Repo Man. From viewing the trailer for Repo Chick though, it seems to hold little of the spirit of the original. For those not familiar with this great cult film, Repo Man is the story of Otto (Emilio Estevez, is one of his best roles) a disaffected Los Angeles punker who gets caught up in the repossession business thanks to a speed addled repo man extraordinaire named Bud (Harry Dean Stanton). Where the movie starts to twist is with the introduction of a 1964 Chevy Malibu whose trunk contains something deadly, and possibly not of this earth.
Repo Man captures the bland aesthetics and impotent rage of the suburban faux punk lifestyle rebelling against an era where homogeny was praised. Menial jobs, bad fluorescent lighting, and products labeled with nothing more than their names, e.g. a can simply labeled “food” and beer in an unadorned white can save for the word “beer”. It’s when Otto starts to dig below the surface that he finally finds a driving force to get off his ass, and possibly the planet. Repo Man also has one of the finest 80s punk soundtracks outside of Return of the Living Dead. A mix of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, The Plugz, Fear, and Suicidal Tendencies that fits the film like a custom made sonic glove. Repo Man is a film very closely tied to one place and one era that has not really lost any of its charm or relevance thanks to its ability to transcend its initial purpose. It will be interesting to see where Repo Chick falls into place.