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Repo Chick

“Repo Chick”

After watching Repo Chick I had a vision. Francis Ford Coppola is going to make a Prequel Trilogy to “The Godfather” entirely made with green screen CG. As a matter of fact, every movie you’ve ever seen is either going to suffer the demise of a “Prequel Trilogy” or a “reboot” with catastrophic results, it must have been in all the directors’ contracts from the very beginning. This “could” have been a good idea, at least until somebody said, “we’ll shoot it all in a studio with a green screen.” 

I don’t know the story behind “Repo Chick” and I don’t want to know. There isn’t simply a big difference in filmmaking from Repo Man to Repo Chick, or style or acting, the most astounding thing is while shooting the first scenes somebody thought it would work, the differences mean nothing when you’re staring at the screen and realize these people aren’t even trying.  At some point these directors we’ve all come to know either stop giving a shit, or they become so out of their minds with arrogance they think people will just suck up anything they put on video. Oh, there is something being said in this “movie” but truthfully, I’ve sort of seen it already. Watch “War, Inc.” or “Terminal City Ricochet,” which are both much better movies. There’s a couple ‘new statements’ here, but really, the “Chick” who they picked to lead their movie is just fucking awful to watch and you simply don’t care what the fuck is being said no matter how “relevant” it is supposed to be.  Oh, believe me, I “get it” I get who she’s supposed to be, and it’s dull, it’s cliche, it’s not really all that clever, and since the actress is just not going to give any kind of performance, well fuck it, there’s nothing here to keep anybody interested.  Plug in the fake backgrounds and ‘effects’ and it looks pretty much like you’re watching a crappy made-for-youtube amateur movie. 

The composition of shots, the close-ups, this becomes annoying to watch… Perhaps it was made for $1000, but add to the fact that this movie is retreading similar plot points and ideas in “Repo Man” I ask, why did you make this “movie” because it really isn’t “fun” which is the biggest selling point of “Repo Man.” That was such a “fun” movie that you want to watch it again and again, no matter the cheap effects, what the fuck happened here? What the fuck were these people thinking? This isn’t fun, and it surely isn’t funny—not in execution it isn’t… there are a great many “poorly executed” movies which end up still being something to see, it pains me to say it, but this isn’t schlock, it’s god-awful and boring.

It’s not really a sequel, it’s sort of a ‘remake’ but not really, at best, it’s “imitation” Repo Man, it’s like somebody on Youtube decided to rehash “Repo Man” with some sort of new contemporary set of ‘issues’ or social criticisms but fails pretentiously because their execution of it is so bad. It literally is like watching a movie “trying to be” like Repo Man with almost nothing that was anywhere near anything like the original, as if they didn’t really know what made Repo Man so good…as if George Lucas has made a ‘remake’ or sequel to Repo Man, or as if Peter Jackson, after falling on hard times, scraped up a few thousand bucks and set out to produce the ‘reboot’ of Repo Man, but not even caring how bad the CG looked, nor that there was no CG in the original, nor that there could have been anything to the ‘performances’ of the actors in the original, and it wasn’t about the acting, or the set pieces…or anything for that matter.

This movie is literally an insult to Repo Man, just like Phantom Menace is an insult to Star Wars, or the Hobbit is an insult to Lord of the Rings, or Star Trek (2009) is an insult to the 1960s Star Trek. It keeps being said, over and over, “what the fuck are these people thinking?” “Why the fuck would they do this?” There surely isn’t any hidden irony here in making such garbage ‘re-visitations’ of previous works. I can only assume that there is in fact a ‘secret rule’ in filmmaking, that if you make a great film, you must follow it up with some sort of shitty sequel which doesn’t simply show that you just don’t have it any more, but that you don’t even understand the movie you previously made at all. Perhaps when filmmakers become successful, they just stop trying, they don’t care any more, they’re too well fed and too lazy to bother with suffering for their “art.” 

This is one more movie to add to the ever-growing list of movies which should never have been re-visited by their creators.(or by anyone else for that matter).  Prometheus. Star Wars. The Hobbit.  I have a feeling Avatar 2 is going to suck so bad that people will be astounded that James Cameron even made it. I have a feeling that “Clive Barker’s” Reboot of Hellraiser will make people wonder what the fuck he was thinking, and on and on and on. Just stop. Just stop. Just stop. If you truly have no vision for your sequels, prequels and reboots, just stop. If you’re not willing to suffer as much as you did making the original, don’t try, how about something ‘new’ for a change? Is that too much to ask? Perhaps they actually do run out of fresh ideas, and hope that people won’t notice. Sure we do like to see sequels if there’s a good enough reason… Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls is the perfect example of “why the fuck did you make that movie?” Did we ask for this? No. Did we say, give us anything so long as it’s called “Indiana Jones.” Nope. Well, perhaps we did in the end, assholes went and paid for it didn’t they?

In this case, it’s not some big-budget remake, and nobody even knew this thing ever came out (on video) at least I didn’t, but for fuck’s sakes all this movie does is force the audience to ask themselves, “this is the guy who made Repo Man?” “What the fuck happened?”  Aside from the fact that there’s better CG effects on youtube videos, this movie just has nothing going for it. Clearly somebody thought it would be funny, but they’d be wrong, in order to be fun or even funny, you have to try, you have to ‘get there,’ not just let the video roll on and sip your coffee and say, “well that was good, we’ll fix it in post.”  The fact that they’re shooting this all on video gives them the ability to do 1000 takes if they have to in order to get something good, but instead, it looks like this shit. And by “this shit” I mean I’ve seen “this shit” before. “This shit” is what you see from countless Asylum and SyFy movies, and worse, any Troma Movie made/released by Troma in the last couple years. A bunch of shitty actors on video pretending to make a movie with a video camera. If you’re not going to give us anything, if it’s all done with a computer, then this is not the experience of watching a movie. 

I am reminded of the “Plasmatics” music video where Wendy O’Williams drives a bus through a wall of television sets. It’s all real. She drives a real bus through a stacked up ‘wall’ of old real television sets, busts through them, shit flies everywhere, she jumps off the bus and it explodes. It’s all real, all practical pyrotechnic effects, everything you see is staged, but all real. There was a time when even something as simple as this was real art that entertained. Yes, it was a stunt, and it was sensational, but it was all really happening, captured on 3/4 inch video, and it was greatness.  Alex Cox could have made this “movie” so much better by even shooting it in VHS, or by going out to the desert , or collecting junk, or shooting in an old abandoned factory or anything, but what he did was make the perfect example of how not to use the shitty fake digital technology that exists so you can sit on your ass and not really try. I get his use of toys instead of real cars or objects, but it doesn’t work, it may be a vision of some sort of ‘style’ but the execution simply isn’t there. Look at “Manborg,” which is made exactly the same way, but since there’s some creative shit going on there in props and design and heavy use of callbacks to pop culture it works enough to ‘get you there’ and there’s a lot more going on to keep a person interested in watching. If you’re going to use this CG shit for everything, you better have something that balances it out. “Manborg” is one of the few movies which manages to come up with that thing that will balance out the cheesy awful quality you’re seeing. Yes, it’s supposed to be cheesy, but there’s enough going on to keep it going.  I think it fails to make much of a comment on anything, but it’s still worth something. “Repo Chick” offers absolutely nothing new short of a few drab and poorly executed comments on the economy, and it is not trying heavily to get all this across, as a viewer, your eyes glaze over and you don’t even want to give a shit because you keep thinking of the studio they’re shooting all this video in, this CG shit just isn’t good enough, it’s one of the reasons Phantom Menace fucking sucks. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend or not on it, it just ALWAYS sucks for the simplest reason: you notice how much the people making it aren’t really trying. 

The characters in “Repo Chick” are nowhere near as interesting as the ones in “Repo Man,” and this is ultimately the biggest flaw. They could have been, but the cast pretty much sucks, and they’re not really doing anything interesting most of the time. So, if the characters pretty much suck, you’re watching a bunch of actors on green screen talk to nothing, shit, it just sucks man. There is something going on here with all this shit in this movie, but it’s lazy, it’s like somebody took a big shit full of laziness and said, well, here you go, this is my next “Repo Man” eat it up, because I don’t care, I threw in some lines there about the shitty world you live in, but I wasn’t paying attention if the actors were doing their jobs or not, I didn’t even look at the dailies, and I sent the footage off to the computer guys and they used their “plug-ins” or whatever and well, there you go. 

My advice to anybody out there who wants to make their own movie with no money, use VHS, don’t use widescreen digital shit with CG effects. Shoot it on old video cameras, use shitty practical effects, rubber masks and fireworks, go to a junkyard, don’t buy realistic costumes, go to thrift stores and just buy a lot of different colorful shit that has nothing to do with realism, don’t even try to make a ‘real movie’ and do you know what will happen? You’ll end up with something watchable, you’ll end up with something that ends up looking ‘real’ because it will be more ‘real’ than any of this shit people have been making for the last decade.  If you have a little more money and can afford 16mm film, shit, you’ll end up with a classic even if it doesn’t have a plot, because it will look 10 times better than any of this new shit. People will remember it. They’ll sit through it. All this new shit all looks the same and it all sucks. 

Don’t waste your time here, “Terminal City Ricochet,” the original “Repo Man,” “Repo Men,” “War, Inc.” and pretty much any episode of “Land of the Lost” is better than this crap. Sorry Alex Cox, and anybody else out there with a video camera and a computer, you have to actually “try” in order to make something even worth watching, the computer won’t do it for you. 

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