Repo Man (1984) — Which involves aliens, somehow

“Let’s go get sushi and not pay.”

Justin’s rating: Two and a half Eberts

Justin’s review: I think shows like ER and The Practice were highly overrated in the “reality job drama” field. Okay, so you get dozens of traumas wheeled in to your hospital every night, many with interesting kitchen appliances sticking out of them. But do the interesting perks of your job compete with dead aliens stashed in a trunk that turn all who behold their sight into fine ash? No, it does not.

Otto (Emilio Estevez) is a new wave punk who employs at your nasty neighborhood repo service for a job. Under the tutelage of Bud (Harry Dean Stanton), Otto learns the tricks of the trade and generally how to jack cars from people brandishing guns. Weird and wacky hijinks ensue ranging from car chases, a double-crossing girlfriend, generic food, and some extraterrestrials in a Chevy Malibu.

Repo Man is ruthlessly crazy. Otto moves through his series of adventures taking everything in stride — but not necessarily with the best attitude. The relationship between Bud and Otto is the very definition of “iron sharpening iron.” Otto doesn’t want to be treated like a lackey, and Bud has some serious issues to work out. And, hey, if you don’t like them, you can compare them with their co-workers. Those guys are one Prozac pill away from the asylum.

Way before Men in Black and The X-Files, we were treated to a taste of government conspiracy (such as a gov’ment lady who has a metal hand) and tabloid aliens. Nobody seems to mind much when the white suited agents go around torching the dead bodies left in the wake of the Malibu. But in the end, the only one who gets this $20,000 car is…

It’s called a cliffhanger, people. Watch the movie.

Didja notice?

  • The Repo Code
  • Every car has a tree air freshener
  • Heavy use of foreshadowing
  • What food substance the aliens look like
  • Everything Miller (the dirty guy) says pretty much comes true during the movie
  • Most of the main characters are named after beer
  • Otto’s real age
  • All the food and drink products have generic names

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