Directed by Alex Cox (Sid and Nancy, 1986) and Produced by Michael Nesmith (The Monkees), this Punk Rock, Sci Fi, Comedy – a product of the MTV Generation has become a cult classic. An anthem for the disenfranchised, the outcast… or rather, the kid who buys their punk accessories at the mall with mommy’s credit card – wholly unaware of the irony.
Emilio Estevez is Otto, a punk kid aimlessly moving from one dead-end job to the next. Like most punk kids, Otto has a problem with authority. And so, freshly fired from his stock boy job at a supermarket, he is coaxed into pulling a repo job by Bud (Harry Dean Stanton) for a quick buck.
In some ways, I feel this is the role Emilio Estevez was born to play. He’s the perfect counterpart to the craziness that surrounds his character throughout the film. He’s just along for the ride – down for whatever. And so, after making a few bucks repossessing a car, Otto kind of just wanders into that world and becomes a repo man himself. Not so much because he feels its cool or anything, but probably just because he has nothing better to do.
The story centers around a motley group of repo men all competing for the same jobs. One job in particular is a blue Malibu commanding a hefty $20,000 reward. The car just so happens to contain the bodies of extra terrestrials and as a result anyone in close contact with the vehicle sees some serious bad juju.
I like the wide and varied philosophies of the other repo men Otto hangs around with. There’s a lot of great moments. Like this scene:
I also like the choice to make all products generic; A can of food simply has a white label that reads “Food” and so on. And there’s a lot of knowing nods to the “smart kids” while maintaining just the right amount of quirky, rebellious edge to make it a true cult film. Plus it has a pretty cool soundtrack with title song by Iggy Pop, no less.
Definitely worth a watch – Repo Man is an original that stands on it’s own.