A volatile, toxic potion of satire and nihilism, road movie and science fiction, violence and comedy, the unclassifiable sensibility of Alex Cox's Repo Man is the model and inspiration for a potent strain of post-punk Amer... more »ican comedy that includes not only Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), but also early Coen brothers (Raising Arizona, in particular), Men in Black, and even (in a weird way) The X-Files. Otto, a baby-face punk played by Emilio Estevez, becomes an apprentice to Bud (Harry Dean Stanton), a coke-snorting, veteran repo-man-of-honor prowling the streets of a Los Angeles wasteland populated by hoods, wackos, burnouts, conspiracy theorists, and aliens of every stripe. It may seem chaotic at first glance, but there's a "latticework of coincidence" (as Tracey Walter puts it) underlying everything. Repo Man is a key American movie of the 1980s--just as Taxi Driver, Nashville, and Chinatown are key American movies of the '70s. With a scorching soundtrack that features Iggy Pop, Fear, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and Suicidal Tendencies. --Jim Emerson« less
Maddi Hausmann Sojourner | Silicon Valley, CA USA | 12/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Repo Man is completely unclassifiable. Funny, dark, biting, thrilling, confusing, action, adventure, it's all there. Emilio Estevez plays Otto, a "white suburban punk" living in LA's sprawl, with a nowhere job that he loses in the film's second scene. When his hippie parents admit they sent his college fund to a TV preacher (We're sending Bibles to El Salvador!), Otto meets Bud (Harry Dean Stanton), a cocaine-driven Repo Man who needs an extra driver. Otto joins the firm and soon learns the Repo Code; Bud's version (You see, a Repo Man gets himself INTO tense situations), and the other regulars at Helping Hand Auto share their philosophies too. Light finds Bud's view tedious but is willing to handle shoot-outs when he's not reading parodies of Scientology (Diuretix), Miller seems completely neuron-fried (The more you drive, the less intelligent you are), and Oly is along to make a four-pack. (Did you notice the four experienced Repo Men are named after beers?) Let's go get a drink, kid!Multiple plot strands at first seem unrelated, but bind together closer and tighter as the film moves along. Otto and the other Repo Men are on the lookout for a 1964 Chevy Malibu, with a $25,000 bounty. So are some creepy FBI agents, who stalk and kidnap Otto. And so are Helping Hand's arch-rivals, who careen into the plot whenever things are getting dull. The car's driven by a nuclear physicist in from Los Alamos, who warned a CHP officer not to look in the trunk (with deadly results). Otto's punk friends find the car while breaking into a pharmaceutical factory, but they're too stupid to keep it. (These three are some of the dumbest criminals ever shown in film, including Kevin Kline's Otto in _A Fish Called Wanda_) Otto finds love, after a fashion, but since this is Reaganesque LA, even his girlfriend has her own motives. ("Otto! What about our relationship?" Otto's reply is a brilliant retort to Cary Grant's last line in Gone with the Wind.)The film abounds with hilarious throw-away lines, signs, and labels. Several scenes take place in food stores, and all the food is generically labeled. Multiple viewings are required to catch them all; be sure to read all the signs in the windows. Even the TV preacher shows up on several television sets. Repo Man takes its structure from Miller's bizarre rant about the cosmic latticework of interconnectedness, because everything is interconnected, and Miller turns out to be right about all of it by the end. "And flying saucers are... You got it. Time Machines."Top it off with a TERRIFIC sound track by Iggy Pop, Black Flag, The Circle Jerks, and a host of others from the punk scene and this is one of the best movies ever made."
Great Movie, Lousy DVD
The Cool Guy | The City, USA | 06/16/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"First off, let me say that I LOVE this movie. There is nothing else out there like it. It is the first movie about Nothing, long before Seinfeld and Napoleon Dynamite came along.
But actually, it's not about Nothing. It's about a quest. A quest to find the Holy Grail of car reposession: A Chevy Malibu.
So why 2 stars? Because this DVD SUCKED, that's why. The widescreen was pretty good, and the audio was okay. But other than that, where were the captions or subtitles? And more importantly, WHERE WERE ALL THE GREAT SCENES I REMEMBERED?
I never saw this in the theater. I grew up watching reruns of it on TBS. I got to hear all the repeats of "flip you" and "melonfarmer" in all their dubbed glory. When Leila swears at Otto at the end, my memory is her saying, "You Nerrrrd!" Not that-other-word.
That's okay. I can deal with more cussing. In fact, I like it. But what makes me want to say "Flip You" to the makers of this DVD is that we are missing all these great scenes:
1. The crazy guy in the car babbles on and on to Kevin about various things, including Lorna Doone cookies. Kevin's response is, "Lorna Doones? I love Lorna Doones!" From this DVD - GONE!!!
2. Bud gets pissed at a phone booth for no apparent reason and goes and gets a baseball bat or crowbar or something and beats the thing to smithereens. Otto wants to get in on the action, so he picks up the bat and starts doing some smashing of his own, with some nice maniacal laughter. Bud has to make him quit and leave. This scene - GONE!!!
3. Otto goes home again to see his hippy parents. The Good Reverend on TV is going on and on of course. I remember him saying these specific very cool lines, "Suffer the fires of eternal damnation! Now these are the end times..." Otto's parents are covered in spider webs. He walks up to the TV and turns it off. They give him a kind of lost look, and he gives them a disgusted look, and finally he just walks out the door with nothing else said. This Nice Scene - GONE!!!
4. Seems like the "Bad Man", Lite did a lot more talking on the movie I remember. Seems like he said some stuff about "break the bone", like in the song. Where did it show that in this DVD? GONE, that's where!!!
5. There was one scene with the crazy guy in the car where he is talking either to Otto or Kevin, and he runs his fingers through his hair. As he runs his fingers through his hair, a handful of hair falls out. This was really gross but crucial to us fully understanding how far his radiation poisoning had progressed. Where is this scene, I ask you? GONE!!!
6. I'M SURE THERE ARE MORE SCENES, BUT WHERE ARE THEY??? GONE! GONE, I TELL YOU!!!
And why? I wouldn't mind this if this was just a regular DVD, but this supposed to be the "Special Edition" DVD! When are you movie execs going to figure out that we consumers don't care about gimmicks like tin-cases shaped like license plates? We want SUBSTANCE, not PACKAGING.
I haven't listened to the commentary track yet, but everybody has good things to say about it so I'll give a star for that at least.
Now, on to the soundtrack. This is a great soundtrack, but it too left me disappointed. I recognized the songs in it, but where was the main Repo Man track? You know which one I mean! I wanted to hear the lonely guitar solo that comes up while Otto walks the streets alone. That awesome track that comes up while the bum is sobbing on the side of the street and Otto just keeps on walking past, ignoring him as just part of the wasteland that is Urban USA. Where was that incredible soul-transcending track by the Plugz? We get a taste of it on the final track, but nothing like the main track. How disappointing.
The bottom line: If you've gotta have Repo Man, it's a good buy. But I'm still holding on to my much-worn VHS recording of the cable version. I suggest you do the same."
A Proud One Among Many
Jason N. Mical | Bellevue, WA, USA | 08/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every decade, there seems to be a movie that defines the angst of the culture and the subculture, the collective feeling that something is wrong with the establishment. To call this zeitgeist is misleading; these films don't reflect the spirit of the times as much as they somehow tap into the opposite - they manage to create an all-around sense of unease about the state of the world. In the 1960s, it was The Graduate and the bombshell look at the end. For the 1990s, Fight Club identified many things wrong both with pop culture and those acting in rebellion against it. For the Reagan-saturated 1980s, the distinction falls squarely on Alex Cox's debut film Repo Man. In one of his first roles, Emilio Estevez plays Otto, a street punk who loses his job and college savings in the same day due to misunderstandings and television preachers. At the end of his rope financially and mentally, he agrees to make a quick 20 bucks by helping experienced repo man Bud (Harry Dean Stanton). Realizing the potential to make a good living, and an "intense" life in his new job, Otto signs up with the crew and becomes a repo man. On the way, he meets an unusual woman (Olivia Barash) whom he rapidly falls in lust with. When word comes down the wire that there's an enormous commission out on a 1964 Chevy Malibu, Otto and all the other repo men set out to look for the car with the huge score. What they find in the trunk is so unusual, it will change everything - EVERYTHING.What makes Repo Man so unique is the obvious satirization not only of regular, and in this case conservative Reagean-esque, culture, from the "John Wayne was [gay]" speech to Bud's trashing of Russia, but the send-ups of punk culture (Let's go do some crimes! Yeah, let's get sushi and not pay!) Otto is the everyman in every sense of the word, as he - like us - realizes that no matter what culture he tries to be a part of, he never fits in, and those strains of culture are so rife with stupidity and hypocrisy that he no longer wants to belong. Like The Graduate and Fight Club, Repo Man also refuses to supply a stock answer, instead making the audience question instead of spoonfeeding them. Plus, it's roll-on-the-floor funny, with some of the best oneliners since Evil Dead 2 or Terminator 2. Alex Cox made Repo Man while still in film school, and he basically admits it's little more than a trumped-up student film. The lack of budget is obvious at times, but the killer screenplay and direction more than make up for that slight fault. As usual, the movie looks excellent on Anchor Bay's DVD; the sound and video are as clear as you can ask for, with a remixed 5.1 audio track to boot. There's a great commentary track with Alex Cox, some castmembers (sadly, no Harry Dean or Emilio), and some crew; it's a lot like a Kevin Smith commentary, with everyone sitting in one room, having a great time talking about a great film. There are no other extras to speak of, unless you buy the collector's tin (which does not look like the normal Repo Man cover - it looks like a California license plate, with Repo Man on it). The collector's tin has the soundtrack on CD and a booklet about the movie with a little comic in it. Unless you are a major fan or must have the best of the best of the best edition, there's no need to buy the more expensive version, but if you want it, you'd better get it quick, because at 30,000 copies, it'll be gone before you know it.I would definitely check this movie out if you can, and would recommend buying it to anyone who asked."
"I don't want no commies in my car. No Christians either."
Ronald Battista | Colorado Springs, CO | 04/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alex Cox sends up the Reagan era in a black comedy about car reposession. With a stellar soundtrack and lots of quotables, Cox is the precursor to the Coens and Tarantino. Cox sends up everything but the kitchen sink-suburban life, televangelism, nuclear fear, UFO conspiracies, commercialism, self help cults, and more I'm sure I missed here. Straight up lo-budget classic if you have a taste for irony and absurdity."
Not as special as I hoped
wes2020 | Chicago, IL | 10/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I assume if you are even reading the reviews of Repo Man- Special Edition Dvd, you love this movie.
On to the Special Edition Packaging.
The first thing you have to do is LOWER your expectations. It comes in this cheezy metal box, like a holiday cookie tin. The lid has a graphic of a California license plate that says appropriately enough Repo Man, and Oct 2002 where the date goes on a license plate. It is not embossed or anything that might make it cool. The rest of the box is unremarkable. On the unpainted bottom is a sticker saying what number you have in the limited edition. I have 08512/30000, it is just a sticker.
Inside the disapointments continue. The 24 page book is a minimilist tribute to a great film. There is not very much information of interest, and only a few good photos. You don't need these photos if you have movie. Then there is a 5x7" postcard of the movie poster with chapter info on the back. The dvd and the cd come in 2 disc cd case with no cover. Just a dvd with part of the movie poster silkscreened on it. and the cd with
the 11 original sound track songs on it. Time, >38 minutes. There is no individual packaging for either.
There is nothing in the packaging that makes this special.
The picture quality is excellent. The sound quality is excellent.
There are little to no extras on the disc. This get frustrating as one version of the trailers shows a snippet of a scene where Bud (Harry Dean Stanton) is beating the hell out of some phone boths with a sledgehammer. In another snippet from the same trailer the repo wives look like the may be at the office, or something that is not in the film. Yet, the extras have NO extended scenes or deleted scenes. To make matters worse the commentary discusses a made for t.v. version of the film that was radically different from the version they are talking about. So I keep thinking I want to see these scenes. If they are hidden on the dvd anywhere I cannot find them. I thought a special edition would have more extras.
Buy this special addition because you love this movie and you love the soundtrack and you want to own them. Do not buy this for dvd extras or cool packaging, you will be sorely dissapointed."