Sunday, May 19, 2013

Repo Man (Alex Cox, 1984)

I've come to Repo Man surprisingly late, given how it contains so many elements I cannot help but love: anti-Reagan social commentary, a cultural snapshot soundtrack (coupled with a willingness to critique the bands it comprises), and a free-for-all style that finds touchstones in the bleakest of noirs, the strangest of '50s-'60s sci-fi and even a bit of Grease. I'm not quite sure it congeals in the final stretch, but then even if all these traits fell into place, the resulting mix would be so strange it might not look cohesive anyway. So many movies these days chase cult film status by also unloading what they can on the screen, but Repo Man has an attitude of ingenuity and self-challenge, not narcissistic promotion. I wish there were more films like it, but I suppose if there were, the lightning-in-a-bottle quality of this curio would be lost.

You can read my longer thoughts on the film at Spectrum Culture.

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