“Let’s go get Sushi and not pay”

27 Jan

Cult of the Week 4- Repo Man

The Ark of the Covenant, having turned up in the boot of George Lucas' Chevy.

Within the heady broth of bong smoke and raspberry licorice that is Cult Film there are a few big films that always appear, and if your local rental place has a cult section you’ll usually find The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Blues Brothers, Dazed and Confused, Spinal Tap, and, if you’re lucky, Repo Man.  Alex Cox ( Sid And Nancy, Walker) never got the same blend of punk attitude and late-night weirdness to work this well again, but Repo Man is still a low budget marvel.

Due to the prevalence of artificial fabrics in the 80's, fires like these were common.

Repo Man is deliberately vague about its setting, but the public obsession with a strange religion (mocking Scientology before it was cool), stores stocked with generic products that simply say “CORN” or “BEER” and a pervading atmosphere of decay and degradation. Maybe that is just the 80’s after all. Otto Maddox (played by a young Emilio “Mighty Ducks” Estevez”) is just another teenage punk until he loses his job, his girlfriend and the money his parents promised him to a mission in El Salvador. With nothing better to do Otto wanders around until he bumps into Repo Man ‘Bud” (a wonderfully dirty Harry Dean Stanton) and from there is lead into the intense world of vehicle repossession.

What do they call a Royale with Cheese?

Once Otto gets accustomed to the Repo lifestyle, shit starts to get serious. A semi-macguffin in the form of a 1964 Chevrolet Malibu is the object of everyone’s desire, and soon Otto and Bud are driving around town fighting off punks, repo men, government agents and various other weirdos. In parts it resembles an old road movie with a punk aesthetic, wacky characters in search of a prize. All this is capped off with one of the best soundtracks in movie history with songs by Iggy Pop, Black Flag, The Circle Jerks and Suicidal Tendencies. At it’s best, Repo Man is a late-night-sci-fi-coked-up bastard of a movie that should be at the top of every movie fan who likes things to be…intense.

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