Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Kevin Taylor & r & & r & Repo Man & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & H & lt;/span & ow many times have you hit the "bonus materials" button on a DVD and found an hour of yawns? Repo Man, the quirky, punk-rock fueled 1984 film about life in a world teetering on the madness of nuclear war, is a cherished exception, featuring amiable chit-chat between director Alex Cox and Sam Cohen, inventor of the neutron bomb, as they watch the movie together.


Score.


It's a weird touch that is precisely in character with this dark comedy featuring Emilio Estevez as Otto, an aimless young punker, and the sepulchral Harry Dean Stanton as Bud, who tricks Otto into life as a repo man.


The central gimmick has repo men all over Los Angeles chasing a 1964 Chevy Malibu that has a $20,000 bounty. UFO nuts are also looking for the car, as are an army of nearly identical blond FBI agents -- all men in black. The delirious man at the wheel is the late Fox Harris, playing an eye-patched madman J. Frank Parnell, who invented the neutron bomb.


At one point, as he weaves down gritty industrial streets, Parnell rhapsodizes about the effects of the neutron bomb to Otto: "Eyes melt, skin explodes, everybody dead!" he says in a nostalgic singsong. He adds, "So immoral, working on the thing can drive you mad. That's what happened to this friend of mine. So he had a lobotomy. Now he's well again."


In the Reagan 1980s, it was as if the nation had a lobotomy and dreamed it was well again. Without any heavy hammering, Repo Man depicts the insanity of the times with plenty of humor and well-sketched seedy characters.


The DVD extras also include a weird Zen interview with Stanton and a wonderful breakfast-table dialogue between writer/director Cox and "two old chums from UCLA," producers Jonathan Wacks and Peter McCarthy. The three describe the tensions that nearly destroyed their friendship, the movie's 19 (yes, 19) endings and clueless studio execs. They also reveal that the generic consumer items in the film -- cans labeled FOOD or DRINK -- were not a stinging rebuke of Hollywood but something else entirely.


And then there is Zander Schloss, a dead ringer for Napoleon Dynamite -- only 20 years early. The movie tells how this can happen.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Crash > Click > Cash
  • Crash > Click > Cash

    Lawyers and chiropractors already have your name, your address and the police report from your car accident — and they want you to hire them
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Starting Small
  • Starting Small

    A village of tiny houses in Spokane Valley could serve as a model for fighting homelessness in the region
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Drastic Action
  • Drastic Action

    Spokane among seven school districts sued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction; plus, trio of police-chief finalists are in town
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap

Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Wednesday of every month

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Lane Ends Ahead

    Spokane wants to improve a mile-long section of Monroe — but that means taking away two lanes
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • Too Smart for School

    What happens when a 12-year-old prodigy tries to go to college in Spokane?
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

green zone


marijuana


Briefs


election 2016


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • The <i>Real</i> Rachel Dolezal
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation