Repo Man

Repo Man

4.3 6
Director: Alex Cox

Cast: Alex Cox, Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Olivia Barash

     
 

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Alex Cox's directorial debut was a wickedly funny and willfully bizarre story that became a major cult item once it began making the art-house rounds a year after its release (an initial run in a string of Southern grind houses and drive-ins, where it was billed as an action film, was a resounding failure). Having lost his job and his girlfriend, punk rocker Otto… See more details below

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Overview

Alex Cox's directorial debut was a wickedly funny and willfully bizarre story that became a major cult item once it began making the art-house rounds a year after its release (an initial run in a string of Southern grind houses and drive-ins, where it was billed as an action film, was a resounding failure). Having lost his job and his girlfriend, punk rocker Otto (Emilio Estevez) meets a guy named Bud (Harry Dean Stanton) who offers him $25 to drive his wife's car out of a "bad area." When a handful of angry people start chasing Otto, he realizes that something is up, and he discovers that Bud repossesses cars for a living. With few immediate prospects, Otto joins Bud at the repo yard and is soon "ripping" cars with the best of them. When an anonymous source posts a $20,000 reward for a missing 1964 Chevy Malibu, it turns out that what's valuable isn't the car itself, but what's in the trunk, which is very hot, glows brightly, and kills anyone who comes in contact with it. A vaguely surreal modern-noir science-fiction comedy with echoes of Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Repo Man is packed with more incongruous sight gags than anyone can absorb in one viewing; keep your eyes peeled for the air fresheners, the generic newspaper box, and the watches without hands. Harry Dean Stanton gives a superb comic performance as the intense but laid-back Bud, Emilio Estevez delivers perhaps the best work of his career as the petulant but goofy Otto, and Tracey Walter is hilarious as the spaced out repo-yard man Miller. Iggy Pop wrote and performed the theme song and The Circle Jerks appear as a lounge band.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The directorial debut of Alex Cox, who went on to direct the brilliant Sid and Nancy, Repo Man is one of the great cult classics of the '80s. (It also has the distinction of having been produced by ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith.) Emilio Estevez stars as Otto, a young delinquent who finds his calling in life as an automobile repossessor. He shares the screen with an oddball cast of crooks, scientists, and conspiracy theorists, all of whom are seeking an elusive Chevy Malibu and the mysterious extraterrestrial contents hidden in its trunk. The bizarre plot ricochets nicely through car chases and gunfights, with some quieter moments where Otto is taught the ropes -- and the "repo code" -- by veteran repossessor Bud, played with typical sleepy-eyed cool by Harry Dean Stanton. However, it's the broad parody of the evils and oddities of American life and the mind-numbing effects of television, mixed nicely with some acid-washed crackpot philosophy that gives Repo Man its wonderfully distinctive flavor. The limited edition DVD from Anchor Bay features commentary from director Alex Cox, executive producer Michael Nesmith, and actor Sy Richardson; it also includes the original video and theatrical trailers and comes in a collectible tin with the original soundtrack CD and more.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
A highly amusing synthesis of thinking man's science fiction, post-modern humor, and a punk rocker's jaundiced take on a culture at the point of collapse, Repo Man was destined to be a "cult film." It was too off-skew for mainstream audiences, but, if you're in tune with its wit and rhythms, it's hard not to love it. Writer and director Alex Cox has a great time picking off satiric targets in 1980s America (Los Angeles variety): generic food, UFO cultists, absurd pseudo-religions, suburban teenage angst, and the worship of the automobile, among many others; and the dialogue ranks with the most memorable movie writing in the post-Altman, pre-Tarantino era. After years of great supporting performances in movies good and bad, Harry Dean Stanton got one of his first leading roles and made the most of it; his bemused beatnik-noir cool fits Bud like a glove, and he's hilarious without ever playing the comedy too heavily. Emilio Estevez is his perfect foil as Otto, a punk's rage simmering just beneath his suburban slacker surface. And the score, by pioneering Latino punks The Plugz, combines the sound of Ennio Morricone's spaghetti Western scores with enough ironic distance to serve as both tribute and affectionate parody, a perfect combination for this film; the periodic blasts of Southern California hardcore from Fear, Black Flag, and Suicidal Tendencies match the mood and mark the time period. But why do none of the watches have hands?

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/16/2013
UPC:
0715515104814
Original Release:
1984
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
678

Special Features

New, restored 2K digital transfer, approved by director Alex Cox, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; Audio commentary featuring Cox, executive producer Michael Nesmith, casting director Victoria Thomas, and actors Sy Richardson, Zander Schloss, and Del Zamora; New interviews with musicians Iggy Pop and Keith Morris and actors Dick Rude, Olivia Barash, and Miguel Sandoval; Deleted scenes and trailers; Roundtable discussion about the making of the film, featuring Cox, producers Peter McCarthy and Jonathan Wacks, Zamora, Richardson, and Rude; Conversation between actor Harry Dean Stanton and McCarthy; Cox's "cleaned up" television version of the film; ; Plus: ; A booklet featuring an essay by critic Sam McPheeters, an illustrated production history by Cox, and a 1987 interview with real-life repo man Mark Lewis

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Harry Dean Stanton Bud
Emilio Estevez Otto Maddox
Olivia Barash Leila
Tracey Walter Miller
Sy Richardson Lite
Jennifer Balgobin Debbi
Richard Foronjy Plettschner
Del Zamora Lagarto Rodriguez
Fox Harris J. Frank Parnell
Vonetta McGee Marlene
Alex Cox Actor
Todd Darling Actor
Jac McAnelly Pakman
Tom Musca Actor
Michael Sandoval Archie
Dolores Deluxe Actor
Kelita Kelly Delilah
Circle Jerks Nightclub Band
Dorothy Bartlett Old Lady
Laura Sorenson Repo Wife No.4
Susan Barnes Agent Rogers
Tom Finnegan Oly
Eddie Velez Napo
Zander Schloss Kevin
Dick Rude Duke
Bruce White Rev. Larry
Biff Yeager Agent B
Ed Pansullo Agnet E
Steve Mattson Agent S
Helen Martin Mrs. Parks
Jon St. Elwood Miner
Sue Kiel Ms. Magruder
David Chung Sheriff
Cynthia Szigeti U.F.O. Lady
Michael Bennett Blond Agent
Jimmy Buffett Blond Agent
Angelique Pettyjohn Repo Wife No.2
Logan Carter Repo Wife No.3
George Sawava Repo Victim No.1
Bob Ellis Soda Jerk
Monona Wali Nurse
Rodney Bingenheimer Club Owner
Jorge Martinez Tennis Player
Nancy Richardson Tennis Player
Con Covert Harry Pace
Eddie Hice Stunt
Rick Barker Stunt
Harry Wowchuk Stunt
Fred Scheiwiller Stunt
Michael Walters Stunt
Harry Hauss Helicopter Pilot
Rick Seaman Stunt
Keith Morris Actor

Technical Credits
Alex Cox Director,Screenwriter
Allen Alsobrook Production Manager
Lynda Burbank Art Director
Theda Deramus Costumes/Costume Designer
Dennis E. Dolan Editor
J. Rae Fox Art Director
Roger George Special Effects
Tito Larriva Score Composer
Humberto Larriva Score Composer
Peter McCarthy Producer
Robby Müller Cinematographer
Steve Nelson Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Nesmith Executive Producer
Gerald T. Olson Associate Producer
Iggy Pop Score Composer,Songwriter
Henry Rollins Songwriter
Victoria Thomas Casting
Jonathan Wacks Producer

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