If I was going to make a list of movies that I had to beg, plead, bribe people to go to with me, Repo Man would be the first one on there. (For the record: this does not include any movies where a tantrum was thrown until ‘I got my way’--that is another movie list.) I first saw Repo Man in Minneapolis at the Cedar Theater, 1984.
Really, my only relevant connection to the movie was the fact that Michael Nesmith had produced and that it had some potentially great music in it and I had really liked a vignette in the movie ‘Nightmares’ called ‘Bishop of Battle’ about a kid (Repo Man star Emilio Estevez) that was obsessed with a particular video game (Repo Man and Bishop of Battle also feature similar music from the era: Black Flag, etc.)
There are some films that just ‘form’ you or ‘push’ your sensibilities down a particular path that ‘lead’ you to another great movie that, possibly, you would never have experienced if you had not seen a particular movie in the first place. In this case, ‘Repo Man’ just out and out blew the ‘scales’ off my eyes and I saw the possibilities of film!
By the end I was ‘exhausted’ (again, my emotionally ‘exhausted’ films are for another list.) It was parts absurd, existential, hilarious and this is why I think it still really holds up as a great film. The Repo Men themselves were ‘alien’ in the sense that they were disconnected from the ‘common’ populace world, and they work outside any moral or ethical code grounds. There really is nothing character wise that connects them with any particular time/place.
To me it’s joyous and refreshing and definitely a movie to be shared (hence the begging of my roommate at the time: “we really need to see this!”)
This week Criterion released ‘Repo Man’ on DVD and Blu Ray.