A helpful shortcut for negotiating the heaps of texts in this modern world: all attempts to give something familiar or antique a self-consciously edgy, gritty makeover can be, de facto, written off as terrible. Reassuring American songbook standards (“Over the Rainbow,” “What a Wonderful World,” etc.) performed in breakneck pop-punk style? Terrible. Movies set in centuries past where actual rules of comport are ignored and everyone acts like frisky undergraduates with ruffled collars? Terrible. Steampunk? Terrible, terrible, terrible.
Enter Repo! The Genetic Opera—”Not your parents’ opera!”—a cloacal sludge of Guignol, compared to which watching The Apple is a cultural experience on par with hearing Rigoletto sung at the old La Fenice. A designed cult object hopefully anticipating a congregation of worshippers, Repo! arrives in (limited) release to make a play for the hearts of high-school musical theater vets and those kids who wear 18-hole Doc Martens and hang out by the food court Arthur Treacher’s in full mortician’s wax makeup.
Click here to read the rest of Nick Pinkerton’s review of Repo! The Genetic Opera.