Repo Man (1984)

Day: January 28th, Movie: 29

When looking for science fiction movies, I did not expect one of them to be Repo Man. I was having a tough time believing that a movie about men who repossess cars could be a sci-fi flick. Spoiler alert: It was.

In Repo Man, we start out with Otto (Emilio Estevez), a young punk who was fired from his job as a stock clerk at a supermarket. His girlfriend left him form his best friend sending Otto into a depression. As he was walking around LA, Bud (Harry Dean Stanton) pulled up in a car and offered Otto $25 to drive his other car out of the bad neighborhood because Bud’s wife was in labor.

That turned out to be a lie. Instead, Bud was repossessing a car and he took Otto back with him to the company for which he worked. He was offered a job as a repo man. Otto was not happy about this initially, but, when Otto learned that his parents had given their money away to a televangelist, Otto returned to accept the job at the repo company.

Meanwhile, a 1964 Chevy Malibu was being driven by J. Frank Parnell (Fox Harris). He was being pursued by several different agencies and individuals because the car contained something amazing, perhaps even extraterrestrial, in the trunk. a highway patrolman had pulled Parnell over and opened the trunk, releasing a flash of light that disintegrated him, leaving only his boots.

Of course, the storylines would cross, bringing a lot of weirdness to the LA scene.

There were several other actors involved in this film that brought some good work besides Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton. Other actors in the film included Tracey Walter (Bob from Batman 1989, Frog from Best of the West, Cookie from City Slickers, among others), Olivia Barash, Sy Richardson, Vonetta McGee, Richard Foronjy, Eddie Velez, Zander Schloss, Miguel Sandoval, Helen Martin and the Circle Jerks.

Repo Man was a very funny, dark comedy that did not pull any punches. Otto started out as a very unlikable character, but as the film moved forward, Estevez was able to provide more positives to Otto, even though he was never what I would call the hero of the story. There were so many weird things that went on that worked in the overall narrative.

The performances were all pretty great, with many of them going way over the top. The characters are both real and caricatures at the same time, which is an impressive balance. Everything went through the POV of Emilio Estevez and kept the insane things normal.

Repo Man was a surprise for me. I expected to not enjoy this one much, but I found it to be different than I expected.

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