Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Howdy Sci-Fi film fanatics! This here is yer old pal Major Mac Maniac! You young’uns might not remember me on account of I been hangin’ out here in space fer the last ten years or so. I’m beginnin’ ta think them there NASA lab-jockeys have plumb fergut about me up here in orbit on the Hysterical IV. Now I know how that there John Tracy felt bein’ stuck on Space-Monitor duty whilest the rest o’ his kin got ta go off rescuin’ folks in in their fancy Donnervogle. What can I say? I watched the dang show while I was stationed in Germany! Sorry fer gittin’ side tracked, but the damn machine transliteratin’ this here post is puttin’ down every verb I spit out. It’s probably havenin’ a computation conniption fit figurin’ out how ta spell my high-faulting dissertation. I finally made me a deal with the Ruskies ta upgrade my dish so I can pick up the Playboy channel… I mean… so I can hook up ta the Internets and contribute to Freak’s little blog.
Ol’ Doc Freak’s been spendin’ so much time convertin’ hours of Zombzany’s video tapes ta digital doo doo that he’s been remiss in his duties as a sci fi film freak! I aim ta correct that blunder with a review of some of the latest films that Hollywood has the gall ta label SF. The most recent cinematic concoction that I could call science fiction is the film Repo Men, which was released ta theaters last year, but I only just caught on HBO via my dish. Maybe I’ve been starved for entertainment fer too long, but this here dystopian drama weren’t too bad!

In this here version of the future, there is a mega-corporation called The Union that has cornered the market on mechanical replacement organs. The upside is that all the folks that can afford ‘em lead long healthy lives. Unfortunately, these organ replacement do-hickys, or modules as The Union likes ta call ‘em,  ain’t cheap and most folks have ta sign an installment payment plan ta afford ‘em. Just like when you cain’t make yer payments on that fancy new vehicle that ya shouldn’t a bought, The Union sends someone to repossess yer mechanical organ – whilest its still in yer gizzards! That’s where our “hero”, Remy and his partner Jake, the Repo Men come in. Remy makes good money fer his family killin’ innocent people for The Union whilst rippin’ their artificial part out of ‘em. His wife Carol ain’t too keen on her hubby’s job and she eventually talks him into applyin’ for a sales job at the company. Remy pulls one last repo job ta celebrate, but he has a heart attack when a gizmo he was usin’ on a client backfires. The Union replaces his heart with a fancy new mechanical one, which forces Remy to keep workin’ as a repo man just so’s he kin make the payments on it. Carol leaves the poor bastard, and even worse, Remy finds out that after his accident, he don’t have the “heart” ta kill no more. Git it? Remy ain’t got a real heart, so he ain’t got the heart to be a Repo Man no more? Yeesh! Everyone’s a critic. Anyhow’s…whiles Remy’s sulkin’ in a bar, he meets this here gal that has some drug issues and he helps her clean up. Remy discovers that Beth has a whole slew of these gizmos in her and that The Union is on her tail too. She and Remy run off ta hide in a real low-rent district of the city – if’n ya knows what I mean – but eventually some of Remy’s former repo buddies turn up and he’s forced ta kill ‘em in order to save himself and his new gal pal. After a failed attempt ta escape the country at the airport which involves Remy killin’ lots of repo men, Remy decides his only course of action left ta him is ta shut down the main frame Union computer and erase the existence of he and Beth from their records forever.

Repo Men is former storyboard artist Miguel Sapochnik’s first film as a director and its purty good for a rookie effort. Repo Men looks and feels like a very believable future, because for the most part it is set in what looks like a contemporary city. There ain’t no flyin’ cars or space ships – which is a little dissapointin’ – but there is some spaced out gadgets and such. The guns that the Repo Men stun the victims with look a little like stun guns, only they’re equipped with multiple shots and don’t have them lame wires hangin’ off ‘em. The repo men have an unhealthy fetish for knives in this movie and spend a lot of it cuttin’ up people or fightin’ with ‘em. There’s a heck of a lot of blood sprayin’ in this fick and if’n you’re just a trifle squeamish about that sort of thing this film ain’t fer you!


As far as the characters are concerned, Remy the repo man, as portrayed by Jude Law, is a fairly complex feller. At first we don’t like him much ‘cause he don’t seem ta fret much about the cuttin’ up and killin’ of his clients. As the film goes on, we find out why Remy has become what he has and why eventually he turns away from his job and whole former life. This is some pretty slick actin’ on Law’s part and I ani’t been much of a fan of his other sci-fi work like Gattaca or eXistenZ. Forest Whitaker is a talented actor, but his role as Jake seems fairly limited, despite the importance of his role in Remy’s life. Alice Braga plays Beth and she does a remarkable job of playing a gal who is forced by her world to adapt to its cruelties by any means necessary. A lesser actress would make her a tough bitch, but Barga shows both a softer vulnerable side to her character, as well as the more pragmatic tougher side of Beth. Liev Schreiber is perfect as the head of the local branch office of The Union, as he plays him with an emotionless ruthlessness that would be required of someone of his position.
Don’t get me wrong. Repo Men ain’t no great work of art. I ain’t much for artsy fartsy sci-fi films anyhow, so Repo Men gives me just enough real nuts and bolts science fiction world buildin’ ta make me believe in the story of a callous society created by the wholesale murder of consumers of the life giving, and ultimately life taking, modules created by The Union. Check out Repo Men! It’ll give ya a kick in the gizzards!


  1. I enjoyed this one as well, it reminded me a bit of Daybreakers with its themes, with the whole consumerism critique thing.

  2. I reckon you an’ I are in the minority on this flick. Most of the reviews I read were purty negative. Most folks didn’t like the black comedy vibe mixed with the old ultra-violence. I can see your comparing Repo Men to Daybreakers in tone, but Repo Men’s themes are more comparable to Logan’s Run and Blade Runner. ‘Course it ain’t nearly as good as them films, but it is almost as good. Thanks fer checkin’ in, Connoisseur!