What movie was that...?

26 July 2011

Repo Man

directed by Alex Cox

In all honesty, I would watch (and probably love) Harry Dean Stanton in anything, and I mean anything. Even the worst piece of filmic refuse would be a welcomed addition to my collective cinematic memory bank if it involved HD Stanton. Luckily, Alex Cox’s cult classic Repo Man is not only anti-refuse, it’s a shit ton of madcap, wild fun. Alex Cox’s sense of humor is not for everyone, but if you are on the same page as this iconic filmmaker, then Repo Man is your cup of whatever the hell it is you drink. Emilio Estevez is fantastic as shiftless, loserish suburban punker Otto, who is taken under the wing of repo man Bud (Stanton). Bud lives by the repo code and snorts speed to be ever prepared to rip a car at any hour of the night or day, but when a marked Chevy Malibu worth 20 Gs gets the attention of every ripper in town, Bud and Otto find themselves in a mess that goes from batshit to even more batshit. The film is ludicrous in the way that Rubber was ludicrous, which is to say it’s a knowing lampooning of genre films, society and the pretension of “art” (I just choked a bit as I typed that ugly word), and a competently made lampooning at that. Stellar character actors like Tracey Walter (Batman) and Miquel Sandoval (Walker, Jurassic Park) help round out the absurdity. Hell, Cox even finds a way to get Jimmy Buffett (one of the blond agents) to not annoy me, and the Iggy Pop title track is righteous. Btw, anyone who was all “Dude, those end credits are insane!” when they watched David Fincher’s thriller Seven need to do a little cinematic homework…

A note: I had the good fortune of getting to see Alex Cox’s not sequel, Repo Chick, on the big screen at the now boarded up art house dive in Detroit. Same brand of humor. Same brand of crazy. Totally worth it.  Hopefully, The Burton Theatre will resurrect like a Phoenix from the ashes and start blessing the Detroit area with quality indie cinema again soon, but for now let’s all pour out a little liquor on the curb in their memory. 

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