In a crossover genre that reminded me a bit of the only other big exposure I’ve had to operetta style plays/shows (i.e. Cats), Repo! The Genetic Opera was a twist and melding of something I’m not used to seeing at all. And, big plus, in the form of a movie. And what more could seal this musical deal? Darren Lynn Bousman, director of Saws 2-4, was the director. That’s a pretty sweet marmalade right there. And I was surprisingly not bored during this horror/rock opera/film extravaganza.
In a strange dystopian intro scene that may remind those of us who have seen Mystery Men of a similar grimy town flyby, there is a new way of living in the city. And that is prologued by the GraveRobber (Terrance Zdunich). In this new dark and sinister world, people are living longer. How, you may ask? Through the use of artificial organs. You
GraveRobber, the teller of our tale. (Is that a cat from Cats right next to him?)
can pay for these organs with a monthly fee, but it must be paid on time to GeneCo. If not, “Rotti” Largo (Paul Sorvino) will send his RepoMen after you and remove it from you.
The story focuses around a doctor Nathan Wallace (Anthony Head) and his sick daughter, Shilo (Alexa Vega). In a story of sick and twisted nip/tuck pleasure, betrayal and love, and discovered identities, Repo! The Genetic Opera combines the operatic style of singing with the gruesomeness of shock rock. What I found surprising, coming from a director who has done such a violent and intestine filled series, gave a bit of humor and poise to the blood and guts. I was never grossed out (as if this film or any other could do that) by the events unfolding before me, it was more with the type of music and subject matter. It was a winning combo, to be sure.
Paris Hilton, can you tell?
I liked the subject matter (dystopian world of the morbid) and found it to be a simple enough plot to get across with how many underlying motives were at play. What I was semi-impressed with was the singing. Anthony Head, star of Buffy and featured on my favorite British comedy, Little Britain, was a phenomenal singer. Alexa Vega, a bit weak, which surprised me. Terrence Zdunich was a phenomenally good stage presence in front of the camera. I enjoyed his pop out of a trash can every once in a while. He had the Cats vibe down. His morbid look was appealing and flashy, almost like a Rum Tum Tugger (although this guy didn’t do any theater before this, so far as I can tell…).
Some surprising cast though in this film. Paul Sorvino, star of musicals and dramas and a couple of Italian Mafioso films, was a good presence, but weak as a counter character/villain to Nathan (Anthony Head) the age difference was a bit of a problem for the plot device they had to deal with, and so it just came off as odd. His singing was a bit weak too, but I think that’s something that happens when you have to speak/sing lines in a rock opera. Sarah Brightman, English singing extraordinaire was delightfully pleasant for as small of a role as she was given. Her
A little bit of blood never hurt Buffy…
singing sent a few chills down the old spine.
And there’s even more! Throw in Bill Moseley, actor from a shit-ton of horror films, including a few Rob Zombie vehicles. And Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy (industrial metal band for those of you who don’t know)? Who knew? I could barely put the names and the faces together with this nip/tuck of a performance. Oh, and Paris Hilton for sex appeal. No big surprise there.
Enjoy that open wound, guy.
In an hour and a half of rockin’ and a rollin’, you’re exposed to the world of blood and guts, drums and guitar. I’ve never seen a movie like this before, and this sets the bar sort of high on expectations (and no, I won’t be watching Rent anytime soon). So move aside The Wiz, because there’s a new favorite musical film in town. And it’s got more of an edge to it. So strap in and hide your organs for Repo! A 6.4 out of 10.
All right, I’m gonna put this out there, I like brokeNCYDE. Yes, any metal fan that knew I liked both metal and brokeNCYDE would most likely rather see my head on a pike than talk to me, but it’s the truth. I’ve been listening to them since they released their EP, “BC13” back in 2008 and I love it. Most people say that crunkcore is a stain on the face of modern music. They say it’s a travesty to the creativity of music and that it’s so offensive that they would not wish it upon their worst enemy. But let’s get one thing straight. Bands like brokeNCYDE, along with others like Dot Dot Curve:) (Another of my personal favorites, big fan of Spanky) Blood on the Dance Floor, the Millionaires, and Jeffree Star have brought rise to a kind of music that brings together two genres into one: screamo and rap. Now, don’t get me wrong, I find something inherently wrong with most of the rap scene that is active and thriving today, but bear with me. Crunkcore is a new vision. Back in middle school, I was a big fan of rap. I loved 50 Cent and G-Unit. I thought Ludacris was (and still is) fantastic. DMX was the man. And then I grew up and found a sound that was my own, that I loved. I am a diehard metal fan til the end of my days. And then I found brokeNCYDE. My roommate told me I was an idiot to listen to “shit like that.” That more than likely sparked me to investigate further. And what I found is I do love crunkcore. It’s an unholy and quite hilarious union of two types of music who would rather have nothing to do with each other. It incorporates the heavy and sick beats that I’ve come to appreciate from hip-hop and southern gangsta rap, with a few songs leaning more towards typical pop-ish dance beats. (And who is subject to finding themselves a bit of a toe-tapper to the occasional techno-trance song?) But the best thing to couple with these beats and typical rap lyrics about partying, drugs, and sex? SCREAMING. And lots of it. Sure, you have the occasional auto-tuned voice in there, but, all-in-all, it’s about the screaming, one of my favorite things about metal/screamo. I personally love playing brokeNCYDE or Dot Dot Curve for one of my unsuspecting rap-loving friends, just to see their reactions when the screaming hits them. And so, in honor of this love, I’ve decided to review brokeNCYDE’s newest album, “Will Never Die” (2010).
All I have to say is they toned back on the screaming in general, but it is by no means absent. The beats are far better in comparison to “I’m Not A Fan, but the Kids Like it.” (Although I do think the world of that album. It characterized my 2009.) Since I’m partial to the screaming, some of my favorites songs are “Always Go Hard” and “U Ain’t Crunk.” I love the ending to “Always Go Hard,” the screaming from Se7en and Phat J are fantastic. The album starts off well with “Dis Iz Rager Dude” and keeps up with the cleaner than “I’m Not a Fan…” lyrics, giving more of a wider appeal to those who wouldn’t dare let their kids touch these albums. “Shake” is a near radio worthy song with a typical rap beat that would be in any respectable dance club. As the album goes, one of the more anticipated songs that I liked from when they released it on myspace, “Teach Me how to Scream” starts well with the intro and definitely gives the message that brokeNCYDE knows they’re a crunkcore band and proud to provide a double entendre to prove that point. The synthesizer beats work well on this album for the singing parts, and the beats work well for the screaming. The album ends really strong with my favorite song, “U Ain’t Crunk,” the sick triplets coming together to provide the riff during the hook is fantastic, leaving the album with a bang and brokeNCYDE rides out with “Ride Slow” and “Sunshine.” All in all, this is more than I expected after I so thoroughly enjoyed their EP and first full length album. In the words of Phat J: “Youse a hater/Youse a hater/Sorry things didn’t work out in your favor.” Definitely a 11 out of 10, just cause I can. So here’s a bit of brokeNCYDE’s good shiz, if you’re interested. Here’s to the abyss.
I talk about metal and such in my profile and I just thought I would clarify exactly what that means for those of you who are interested. As far as metal goes, I love all kinds (except Hair Metal). I love death, black, progressive, heavy, screamo, grindcore, hardcore, punk, electronicore, alternative, crabcore, Sumeriancore, the list goes on. I love it all. Ever since I found Deftones back in 2000 when I watched the Matrix, I was hooked. A whole new kind of music was available to me, and so I will share it with you. Every once in a while if I review a CD or have the urge to share a good band I’ll just post a video or something. I hope you all enjoy some Deftones. I can’t believe they’ve been around since I was born and a bit more. 22 years!!! Some of the best ones never die. You gotta give credit to Chino Moreno for his amazing vocals and Abe Cunningham for his great drum beats that keep me coming back despite their seemingly simplistic grooves and breakdowns. Deftones will always have a special place in my heart for opening a whole new world of music to me.
So here’s a little some of Deftones for you. Take this as a jumping point, into the abyss.