Horror Film Director

A Brief Lesson in History

Posted on February 25th, by Darren Lynn Bousman in blog, Repo! The Genetic Opera. 70 comments


December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor was bombed…

July 21, 1969 – The first man walked on the moon…

August 16, 1977 – Elvis Prestley died…

November 9, 1989 – The Berlin Wall fell…

The following year, 1990,  Vanilla Ice would release his opus of an album “TO THE EXTREME”

These dates are cold, hard facts… They are history… All one needs to do is go to any library or local search engine and you are provided with pages upon pages, of information commemorating these truths. I call them ‘truths’ as they are undisputed realities, backed up with hundreds, if not thousands of ‘proofs’ surrounding the events.

Our schools provide us textbooks to educate ourselves about the past. Higher learning offers majors, doctorates in this very subject…. HISTORY.

However, before one has a HISTORY – they have a BIRTH, a date of creation; a place where it all ‘began’.

Last week an article was forwarded to me. This article was from a very popular and, dare I say, ‘credible’ site, suggesting our beloved little opera, REPO, was inspired by a recently released book, The Repossession Mambo. The website went on to propose that a similarly titled movie, also based on the book, was nothing more than a coincidence – as our two movies were created at roughly the same time.

At first I laughed this off. Then I started seeing other sites suggesting the same thing… It wasn’t long before my facebook and twitter accounts were inundated with questions regarding our involvement in REPO MEN (aka The Repossession Mambo).

Again, I tried to ignore commenting on the whole REPO! vs. Repo Men nonsense, as in my mind there was no VS. Just the facts…  But even yesterday, I was doing an interview for my comic book, when the reviewer asked if I wanted to comment on the similarities between our two projects.  Since I have not read Repossession Mambo – or seen REPO MEN, I really had nothing to say.

She asked me to comment on the similarities of our posters:  I did some digging and did find quite a few similarities – see below.

She asked me to comment on the similarities of our PROMOTIONAL ART on our WEB PAGES:

The reporter went so far as to dig up old promo art for our stage play. – Again here is a side by side.

And yes, she even asked if I noticed the similarities between our evil corporations and their logos….

The interviewer ended her interrogation by showing me the following…


Pronunciation: kō-ˈin(t)-sə-dən(t)s, -sə-ˌden(t)s

Function: noun

Date: 1605

1 : the act or condition of coinciding : correspondence 2 : the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection;

Coincidence… Maybe the above are all just that… All Coincidences…  I can write all of this off?

The breaking point however came this morning as friend,  SPOOKY DAN, sent me  his blog. (Click here to read the blog)  After reading it, I was kind of speechless. In REPO! we have a drug called ‘Z’ a glowing pain killer used in the organ trade… In REPO MEN it’s called “Q” and it’s red… In REPO! GeneCo turns on Nathan Wallace and he is a man on the run… In REPO MEN, it’s The Union that turns on Remy… I couldn’t bare to finish reading his blog.

I will leave all the strange coincidences alone.  I will not address the striking similarities of Spooky Dan’s Blog, this has happened many times, in movies… Similarities.

Before now I really haven’t felt the need to comment on our timeline… But alas, REPO too has a creation date. A life – one seeped in over a decade of history.

I want to deal in HISTORY.  As that is what this blog is about… Not finger pointing… But establishing a timeline that can be referenced in future articles.

So, take a seat, sit back, and let’s dispel some rumors.


REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA started in 1999 with the creation of ‘THE GALLERY’ – a two-man performance troupe. Its founding members, TERRANCE ZDUNICH and DARREN SMITH, wrote and produced ’10 Minute Opera’s’ which they went on to perform at Night Clubs and Coffee Houses around the Los Angeles area.

One of their first and most popular ’10 Minute Operas’ entitled ‘THE NECROMERCHANTS DEBT” featured a song called “THE GENETIC REPO MAN,” which became an instant hit in their rapidly growing fan base.

In one of their first public performances on Saturday, May 20, 2000 at Wednesday’s House Coffee Shop, 2409 Main St, Santa Monica, they performed “THE GENETIC REPO MAN” live. It became instantly clear that this storyline, revolving around a futuristic organ repo man, had to be expanded.

Zdunich and Smith continued to workshop this storyline for the next two years – fostering a growing cult following.

Repo! The Genetic Opera had a fan base, a web presence and music available for purchase!

In 2002, I entered the picture. I was introduced to the duo and I immediately fell in love with their libretto. I begged… I pleaded… I groveled to let them let me direct their opera.

The planets aligned, the Gods spoke, and I was the director of REPO!

We launched the full-length stage show in Hollywood at the JOHN RAITT theatre. What was supposed to be a two night engagement turned into an extended run due to the consistently sold out shows and rapidly growing word of mouth.

By the end of 2002, REPO! had a following.

Over the next two years, Terrance Zdunich and Darren Smith refined their libretto. They re-launched their show in 2004, with a ‘face lift’, a new theatre, a new director and new songs.

The fandom continued to grow – as did the ‘legacy’ of REPO!

In Summer 2005, Repo! was offered an exciting opportunity to perform off – off Broadway, under the direction of Terrance Zduinch.

Repo! The Genetic Opera opened August 4, 2005 at the WINGS theatre in NYC.

It was during this time that I was directing SAW 2. Terrance, Darren and I stayed in close communication. We would email each other consistently plotting about turning our little opera into a FILM.

My managers and agents set up meetings all around town where I went in to pitch the film version of REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA. However, even with the success of SAW 2 under my belt, nary a bite on wanting to make this ballsy rock opera.

After completing SAW 3 in 2006, Terrance and Darren flew up to Toronto – and we shot and edited a sales tool to show all of the clowns who turned REPO, or who didn’t get it WHY it was awesome, and WHY it worked not only as an indie stage play, but as a film. Shawnee Smith, Michael Rooker, J Larose, and Terrance Zdunich starred in the ten minute short film showcasing what made REPO cool, different and original.

Later that year, with the help of my managers, agents, and lawyer – we had a very private – very cool screening of the short film at the ENDEAVOR screening room with all the important players in town. Studio heads, execs, producers all showed up. 48 hours later LGF/TWISTED PICTURES stepped up and guaranteed us a green light.

The following year, we were filming REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA in Toronto.

So, what’s the point of this entire blog? Why the ramblings?

HISTORY. Repo has been around for over ten years, and well-documented at that… From our origins in the late 90’s to our amazing fans SHADOW CASTING our movie today.

We have been accessible for public consumption for years, available on ITUNES, the web, and the stage.

So before you write an article, or make claims that we are based on a book that was only published ‘this year,’ do your homework. Do your research, LEARN YOUR HISTORY.

Here is our history, my fellow students. Laid out in glorious black and white…  What say you?

I am not trying to start a war here, or call shenanigans. I just want the facts to speak for themselves.

In conclusion, I wish nothing but the best for REPO MEN, or REPOSSESSION MAMBO.  Miquel Sapochnick, Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner all seem like nice guys.  They like me, are just filmmakers trying to produce ‘art.  As I have always said – the world is big enough for the both of us to exist in… BUT, if one is going to report the facts… They must know the ‘history’. The origins.  Repo! has been around awhile… We didn’t force cult overnight as some have suggested.  We nurtured it over ten LONG years.  We bleed for REPO!  We burned bridges for REPO!  We lived and died REPO!

As REPO MEN nears their release, more light is being shined on the ‘issues’, the ‘similarities’… I, like you, am surprised by how closely our two stories seem to be.  I can’t sit here and say REVOLT!  But, I can do my part to shine the light on the ‘integrity’, the ‘origins’, the ‘life’ of Repo! The Genetic Opera.

Much love,


*REPO MEN photos/poster property of Universal.    *REPOSSESSION MAMBO cover Mass Market Paperback, Harper Collins

70 thoughts on “A Brief Lesson in History

    • It depends on how owns the rights to Repo! as to who can sue. In theory, if the film comes out and there are a lot of overlaps, enough that raise plagiarism concerns, whomever owns the rights to Repo! (I imagine that would be either LGF or Twisted Pictures) can sue Universal, the writers of the film, who created the story for the film, etc. There’s a long list of people that could be sued behind Repo Men.

      But that’s not a legal opinion as I don’t know who owns the rights to Repo!

      To answer your question though, yes, someone can sue and I’d back Repo! all the way to the bank on this one. I am surprised Universal even wants to take a chance on releasing this film because of that. There must be enough differences that they feel confident a lawsuit wouldn’t be filed against them.

      After the way Lionsgate did Kevin Greutert regarding Saw VII, I’m surprised they haven’t tried getting an injunction against the release of Repo Men. At least until the concerns of plagiarism are settled.

    • The main issues are money and politics. Lions Gate would have to spend alot of money to litigate not to mention they don’t want to drive a wedge between them and Universal. There is alot of incestuous behavior in the industry and this is a great example of it. Its obvious that the, so called “Creator’s” (lol) have not a creative bone or they wouldn’t have had to model every single thing about “Ripoff Men” after Repo! The Genetic Opera. It must have have been exhausting lifting all those ideas.

      it makes no difference at all that Lions Gate or Universal has allowed this to go on as Darren stated “if one is going to report the facts… They must know the ‘history’. The origins. Repo! has been around awhile…”.

      Repo! The Genetic Opera was made for all the right reasons by an amazing group of people for an amazing group of fans
      and that is the history that will resonate long after “Ripoff Men” is being sold at the 99 cent store.


      Peace out

  1. Well said, Darren.

    If anyone disputes the time around either production, unless out of ignorance (since ignorance can be forgiven once the truth is known – as long as the truth itself is treated as such) I vote we leave the person in a locked room with the Largo clan for a few months.

    *cough* I’m not irate, no, not at all…

    Personally, I desperately hope Ripoff Meh fails miserably. And that very, very few people who see it mistake it for Repo – an ex of mine recognized Repo!Opera the second he saw it, ’cause his Dad took him to see it in L.A. when he was a kid. But, with damn near every aspect of the story being so similar… It’s going to be tough to hear people credit the fantasm of the stage show to that load of horse shit.

    Anyhow, ramble over. Someone track down the Largo kids.

    • I heartily agree with you in nearly every aspect. I must say that I intend to see Repo Men, if only to inform those around me about Repo! Opera. I must say it’s disappointing that the newer movie will probably be more accepted in the mainstream market especially because I guarantee it won’t have the kind of emotionality that Repo! Opera has. I know I won’t cry at the end of Repo Men like I do EVERY time I watch Repo! Opera. I just can’t imagine this type of plot without all the goth-rock-opera trappings. The beauty of it is that it’s completely different from anything else out there (I’m talking mood, music, lyrics, filmography, acting, etc.–not plot). If you can’t appreciate it for the content, you at least must admit that it is wonderful simply because it is very good at just being what it is, which really applies to any movie (including Repo Men, if it turns out that way).

      ROCK ON, OPERA!!!

      • I completely agree. No one in the audience of Repo Men will feel the same way they would after the movie if they’d seen Repo! The Genetic Opera intsead. It’s a completely unique project, which is probably why it didn’t get so much publicity. It didn’t fit in with all the overly name-brand, “perfect” movies that are being put out today. Avatar had the same plot as Pocahontas and several other movies, but did that stop it from topping them? No, because it had its own twist that made people feel differently about the movie. Repo! Opera will live on long after Repo Men leaves theaters and minds.

    • idiots will be idiots.
      any moron to too stupid to NOT imdb a movie they know nothing about before writing about it shouldn’t be given the time of day

      • Greetings all,
        Just a quick thought on all of this. I’m not discussing whether anyone ripped anyone off or not. I think Darren stated the facts which should lay ANY doubt to final rest. As to legal proceedings, I leave that to his choice and discretion.
        What I want to talk about is INTEGRITY in Hollywood/the US film industry. By education I am trained as a special effects artist. I have worked on several independent films in this capacity and know a fair deal of how the film industry works both small scale and large. I have noticed on the small films, there is a great deal of personal INTEGRITY, original ideas, and giving credit where it’s due.
        Hollywood apparently has never HEARD of INTEGRITY. Or, if they did, it DIED with the studio system. LACK OF INTEGRITY in Hollywood is the REASON that the worldwide film industry is now centered in places like Vancouver or New Zealand. Producers will not THINK of shooting in Hollywood, for fear that SOMEONE will steal their work. The unions fought for integrity of the individual artist, but got corrupted, and Tinseltown has died.
        In every dying cause, there are a few individuals who stand ABOVE the crowd and show that, in a world where integrity has been “reposessed”, they will stick to their guns and show the world that THEY have not surrendered their integrity. Roger Corman is such an individual. Buzz Berkeley was. Cukor, DeMille, and, dare I add, DARREN BOUSMAN. Let the other sycophants toss their accusations and sling their muck – Darren and these other individuals stand ABOVE and as such, will not be soiled.
        This is why lots of creative individuals are AFRAID of Hollywood, and why I myself am nowhere near the city. The union quest for integrity has unfortunately caused rampant inflation and with the economy, you just cannot afford to LIVE in LA. I know a talented couple of effects artists who worked on 7 NAME productions, and still could NOT afford to live anywhere but in a campground, out of their car. Writers and pitch men are AFRAID to toss around new ideas in fear that their ideas will be STOLEN by the very studio they are pitching to. The Writer’s Guild is supposed to protect their scripts, but anyone wanting to steal an idea can say, “we never heard of that, but now that we see it, our film idea is 10% different, and that is above copyright law.”
        Hollywood lost its integrity, it’s accountability, and its SOUL in it’s desire to COPY instead of originate. How many films in the last 10 years were remakes of old TV programs or older movies? There is FEAR of being ORIGINAL. Darren does not know this fear. And I can assume that he can sleep soundly at night knowing that his vision, his integrity, has spawned for him an ARMY of fans, all of whom have integrity themselves, who are willing to STAND UP and go to bat for him, to support him, to show Darren that your originality and integrity are appreciated and honored.
        Just a thought from an industry “sort-of” insider. Let’s take it all back. REPOSESS our creativity, each and every one. Turn the other cheek on imitators, accusers. Keep being a fan, keep shadowcasting, keep being creative.
        Lord Mordred
        The House of Ravensword – Corvidae Productions – special effects production design and fabrication for film, theatre, haunted attractions and special events. house_of_ravensword@yahoo.com

  2. to be honest any time you mention spooky dan i get sick to my stomach that guy makes yoou look so bad. He acts like he created REPO! i thought you created this Opera shit?!

    • I never got the impression Spooky is trying to make it seem like he created Repo! He is a huge fan like the rest of us and I would like to know how he makes dlb look bad.

      Taylor Sweet is correct. TZ and DS started this opera shit.

    • to ZYDRATE GIRL – you obviously have never met spooky dan. he is one of the nicest people i’ve ever met! and he has helped promote REPO tremendously, the way their own studio should have. you should apologize to him, if you are a true REPO fan…sorry, but it’s too true.
      Besides, this is about the TOTAL RIP OFF of this amazing story just because someone wanted it done without the music. That’s why they did this! I hope that at the end of this, REPO the GENETUC OPERA gets more publicity so that it will never die!!!! The injustice’s in life are so blatant it’s outrageous!

      • i hate typos…GENETIC if you please!! mmmmm, that reminds me of Pavi. No Way does the rip off Repo have a delicious Pavi in it!! Mmmmmm that leads us to GraveRobber…Nope, Jude Law is not sexy eye candy

          • I think Jude Law is attractive, but he can’t possibly compare to Graverobber and Pavi…not to mention that there’s also Nathan and Blind Mag to compete with for the hot factor…Repo Men has no chance of having that much smexiness.

  3. @Zydrategirl actually, TZ and DS started this opera shit.

    And Darren, I love all you and Spooky are doing to shed light on the similarties between the two and how we started this Opera Shit. It’s plain historical fact, as you have so proven in this article. ^_^

  4. Thanks for the timeline. Everything I’ve seen where you and Terrance speak on this, you guys have shown such graciousness and respect, both to those involved with Repo Men and your own work. The well deserved confidence you place in Repo!The Genetic Opera speaks well of it and you. If nothing else the controversy hopefully will introduce even more to the little rock opera that could(and does.) You guys are great. We’ll keep the faith.

  5. Darren, thank you so much for this blog. I tried to create a timeline of my own, but there is so little left of the stage play online presence, it was hard. This is so much more complete than anything I could have done.
    And the pics from the shows– awesome!
    Now we have something with which to educate the masses.

  6. ZydrateGirl, what Taylor Sweet said. TZ and DS started this. Spooky Dan helps out whatever way he can. He KNOWS he didn’t start this. His love for Repo is BEYOND any other Repo fan person. Let him do his job and don’t say things like that.

    Darren, thank you so much for this. It’s great to see that you’re taking this so well in a way. And I’m sure everyone in the Repo community is doing whatever they can for The Genetic Opera. :].

  7. I am not at all trying to discount that you guys have been around for well over ten years. The facts do indeed speak for themselves.

    I do wish, however, that people would also do their research and discover the history of Repo Men/Repossession Mambo, which has also been around for well over ten years. Some things really *are* just coincidences, whether it seems believable or not.

    SpookyDan’s final paragraphs in the blog you linked to really kind of disgusted me. In that essay at the back of the book (which, yes, I have read) Eric Garcia was doing nothing more than exactly what you are doing here: stating the facts, and explaining the history. And yet SD calls him out, saying he’s just “covering his ass”? How low, and pathetic, and it really just reeks of juvenile name-calling and raspberry-blowing. Frankly, I wouldn’t want someone with that level of professionalism/maturity gunning for my cause.

    • Where can I find out the history of Repossession Mambo? I would love to hear how it has been around for 10 years and his concepts for the project (seriously, no sarcasm here). Also I do believe there are coincidences but for so many aspects of Mambo to be practically the same as Repo Opera is beyond being a coincidence IMO.

      • If you don’t mind spending the money on it (it’s only like $9 on amazon) try reading the book. In the back of it there’s a nice essay by Eric Garcia about the origins of Repossession Mambo/his own trials and tribulations while trying to get a film made of it. It’s a very interesting read. 🙂

        Or you can check out this link: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/43628

      • In the back of the paperback for Repo Men coming out tomorrow, the history regarding Repossession Mamba is told. In a nutshell, he wrote the short story in 1997 after driving by a pawnshop that had a picture of a heart in the window and it got him to wondering about pawnshops buying your heart for cash… He wrote the short story and gave a copy to a director who said it had the makings of a movie, but at the time the author was writing another book and shelved the short story until that novel was done.

  8. Excellent article Darren. I’m quite pleased. I think the facts speak for themselves.

    (Oh, and slightly related, I got into Repo! because I had mistaken it’s Road Show III appearance for a limited release of “Gene Generation”. Funny how this stuff works huh?)

  9. Why isn’t it ever really mentioned that Repo Mambo moved into the editing room next door to Repo! Opera? I guess it’s kind of an insignificant fact- aside from the point that Repo Mambo just so happened to be suspiciously close to the Repo Opera team when Repo Mambo was assembling “their” film… Semi-permeable walls maybe? …

    PS: I want a hit of Q….. and I’m not… … … … asking for you…(?)

  10. honestly, who cares.

    one, Repo-Men looks like utter garbage.

    two, Repo! has a loving fan base that will keep it alive much much longer than Repo Men will ever run and rent.

    So instead of making such a deal out of it, be the bigger man and accept/ignore it. The nature of Hollywood seems always to borrow and rehash until nothing is sacred. YOU ARE REMAKING something right now remember?! This shit happens all the time…it doesn’t make it right but there is no point in attacking a film that will be of lesser quality to yours anyway. It shows arrogance..especially coming from someone who is in the process of re-imaging or remaking or borrowing the title of a previous movie.

  11. Thank you for posting this- I always love learning more about my favorite movie. When I heard of Repo Men, I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. Yes, coincidences like this happen, but… :/
    Anyway, I guess at this point, Repo! fans can only hope that Repo Men generates more (civil) press and discussion for Repo! We all know you’ve helped create something great.

  12. Back when I first saw Repo! The Genetic Opera, I wanted to continue to spread the love of this wonderful creation and even bring it to theatres in my tiny little Bay Area, CA town…(I still want to do this…)
    I have a new mission. Opening night of Repo Men, I am gathering up all of the people that I have already gotten into Repo!, and I am having a little protest party. We will not bash. We will not speak badly. We will be dressed up as characters, and we will sing the songs that we love so well. People will look at us like we are crazy, yet their curiosity will be sparked and we can show them the light. Oh, and there will be lots of pictures. 🙂
    Long Live Repo! The Genetic Opera!
    P.S. I can’t wait until the second Repo! comes out, just to see how horribly they will try to make a second Repo Men. *thoughts*

  13. Yeah I’ve heard about this atrocity coming for a while now and I think it’s just crap. I’m sorry but I don’t care what they say, I am just convinced that Repo Men is a blatant RIP OFF! You guys who are associated with REPO! are handling it very well, and like true gentlement though I must say.. SO BRAVO 🙂

    Those bastards have A-Listers, and unfortuantely better advertising than you guys ever did. But I know for a fact that the movie will never be as good, will never have the fan base, or the love for it that REPO! has.

  14. (Funny for you all my anti-spam word was of all things Repo)

    I have read this, Terrence’s, and even Spooky Dan’s Thought feelings a views, and I have to say this much all of them have told us basically the same thing. Do not Attack the film Repo Men. All id truly does is give the more publicity, if people ask you tell them the facts. Not they ripped off the movie we all love but when Repo! started and why we love it, play them a song, show them a clip or if you can have them watch the move, in the end this time next year The Opera will still be running and the Garcia’s Mambo will be over and done. I myself am a part of not one but two shadow casts in my area and am I looking forward to spreading the love of Repo! The Genetic Opera through them both

  15. I only heard of Repo! recently, but a friend let me borrow (commandeer) a copy, which I have watched several times. When my brother informed me he was going to watch repo men, I immediately thought it was a series spin-off of Repo! I asked him what it was about. He told me it was about a team of people collecting organs bought on credit. I immediately searched Repo! on IMDB to get the intel, and was led to this blog. The similarities are staggering!!! I do deeply hope that there is at least some sort of public announcement addressing said similarities and an inquiry made into the situation. If nothing else, I’ll wait for repo men to come out on netflix and have a repo marathon… First the opera, then the imitation, and see how many similarities we can find… Make it a game! (and my anti-spam word was repo, too!)

  16. ok so ive been following repo! the genetic opera for almost 4 years now. from going from “oh god.. why is he doing a musical?!” to “holy shit this isi gonna be amazing!” when i first heard about “reposession mambo” i thought wow. this is rediculous… repo! works their asses off for 10 years and they get fucked with a limited release, and these rip offs come and get a 1 way ticket to a wide release?! thi is fucked up. then the trailer was released. i watched it several times to get a real feel b4 i talked about it. first time i watched it i watched it as a REPO! fan. i thought it was a terrible idea and hated the fact that one of my 3 of my fav. actors would have somthing to do with a rip off project (forrest liev and jude). then i watched it again as a fan of FILM. the movie looks very good. and seems like it has a more realistic modern feel to it. i will see this movie. i will give my honest opinion on it as a film. and b4 the movie starts im going to pass out flyers for the CA REPO! shadow casts and have my ipod ready for people to watch the real repo! trailer and try my best to convince them to keep an open mind that this is pretty much a remake and to chek out where it really came from. 😉

  17. Thank you, thank you, thank you. A friend of mine was telling me about Repo Men… and when I looked up the plot it sparked an argument and an infuriated me about how it was EXACTLY like REPO! The Genetic Opera. Thank you for straightening everything out. Hopefully people will stop trying to blame the underdog and realize that the topdogs are the ones that did wrong.

  18. I think the better question would be that since we’ve supported “Repo!” for so long and have made it The Musical of the 00s… have the fans earned a decent DVD release yet?

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  20. The problem is that Repo Men isn’t Repo! The Genetic Opera….and that’s why if Lions Gate sued they probably won’t win. Yes, Repo Men is an almost genetic lab grown clone of REPO! but it changes a few key details to make sure that it doesn’t get a lawsuit.

    However, it will be more accepted by the mainstream because its not REPO!. The reason why I have gathered from friends who I’ve let borrow it. They love the music and think its great but A)the story is weird and hard to figure out, B)the songs were poorly written and the movie was poorly done, and C) its too Gothic and depressing.

    I love my friends but I also realize that REPO! isn’t for everyone. It’s a dark Opera almost reminding me of a Greek tradegy as I watched it. The reason why Repo will get a better box office grossing and more “mainstream” fans is because its mainstream. I can’t say if I will hate it or not. I’m a REPO! fan because it speaks to me and I identify with almost all the characters except for Amber at times.

    I have a feeling I will have to watch Repo with my family because my dad and bro are action junkies. Until I see it and see all of the evidence I can’t cry foul just yet.

  21. The real Greek tragedy is the timing. Eric Garcia wrote a short story in 1997, and fell in love with the concept, reworking it into a novel. While he built his career as a novelist with Anonymous Rex and Matchstick Men, he continued to work on Reposession Mambo, both as a novel and as a screenplay with his best friend, a screenwriter.

    As for the similarities, the scenario pretty much writes itself. Artificial organs bought on loans. Reposession is inevitable for those who default. The reposession operatives are feared and hated. How do we inject drama or moral angst into this scenario? The standard sob story of a family torn apart is an everyday occurrence in this scenario, but what if a repo man got behind on his own payments? What if the hunter became the hunted?

    And of course he’s got to work for a big corporation; the anti-capitalist message is embedded in the concept of the repo man as the bad guy. And of course they use scalpels; what else can they use? And of course there are anti-rejection drugs.

    The original Battlestar Galactica seized on the popularity of Star Wars, and created its own original story. I don’t know which came first, Pokemon or Digimon, but the concepts in execution are lightyears apart.

    By the time Eric Garcia had finished his novel’s first draft, perhaps two thousand people had seen The Necromerchant’s Debt. REPO! didn’t have time to gain popularity by the time Reposession Mambo was being turned into a screenplay. And of course, since they were being filmed at adjacent soundstages at the same time, their pre-production had each ended at approximately the same time.

    • Hmm. Of coarse of coarse of coarse.

      A short story basis written in 1997 is not a verifiable fact. Repo! had already come out by the time Repossesion Mambo was published.
      And if the plot lines just “HAD” to go a certain direction by reasoning of the premise…
      Did RepoMen really HAVE to do all of their promo art in a similar vein?
      Their newest trailer is a cartoon in the same *artstyle* as all the comic elements of Repo! that have been documented and developed over many years.

      I mean its obvious that the movie machine copies shit to make a buck. I give Darren Bousman credit for not making the Genetic Opera what the easy money wanted him to make it as…
      and now we can watch it the “accessible” way
      thanks to directors and writers with no sense of integrity. Kudos to them and all who support them. You make lovely cogs in the machine. If we didn’t have watered down bottom shelf every once in a while we’d forget why the aged stuff tastes so good.

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  23. It’s funny when I first saw the preview for Repo Men, 3 maybe 4 months ago…I had no doubt in my mind that it was lifted from Repo!
    I wondered at first if it was associated with you guys but then intuition kicked in and I thought, As awesome a storyline, cast and world as you guys had, there’s no way you would scrap all of that in favor of Jude Law and Forest Whitaker…This just doesn’t seem right. I’m torn on if I should even bother with it. I fell in love with Repo the minute I stumbled across the preview last year and I bought it the first chance I got! I hope this makes people seek out the original and brings you more fans…

  24. Mikey believes that this new upcoming feature is nothing more than a rip-off of Repo! It is quit concerning how this may take off and how people will get soo caught up in the mainstream; they wont take notice of the real unique story of organ repossession(Repo!, duh). I was overly shocked and confused when I was watching a movie in theaters and saw a previews and advertisments for Repo Men…(I looked for Darren Smith’s and
    Terrance Zdunich’s name, to which was not on the poster) I became angry….ahhh

    I myself would love to see another expansion on Repo! and can remember pushing it on everyone to enjoy, trying to build up a fanbase so more will be produced. Everyone that Mikey has urged to see this movie has thoroughly enjoyed its strage/dark approach, its emotional character relationships, and the music is epic as fuck(pardon the language, but its true). It sticks in your head and doesnt leave, becoming part of your life if you will(inside jokes with Repo! is hilarious).

    I do not believe that Repo Men is going to thrive long after it has been released on dvd and maintain itself as a cult-classic, whereas Repo! is definately heading. I whole-heartily agree with Emmie that “Repo! Opera will live on long after Repo Men leaves theaters and minds.”-Emmie


  25. I don’t have a horse in this race, but I thought I’d add a little bit to the “suing for copyright infringement” debate.

    As I understand it from a family friend who is an attorney specializing in Intellectual Property, showing that there are similarities or sameness between the two properties isn’t enough. You have to also show that the defendant in the suit had been knowingly exposed to the plaintiff’s materials. If you can’t prove that Garcia saw or heard of REPO! in enough detail to steal it, then there isn’t much of a case.

  26. Pingback: Which came first? “Repo Men” or “Repo! The Genetic Opera”? » Scene-Stealers

  27. The only reason I know about this Genetic Opera is because of Repo Men.

    You guys should bow down and say thank you for getting all this attention that you wouldnt have gotten otherwise.

    • You really think that people are going to take a two-sentence post seriously; that people will be all “OMG REPO MEN IS THE SH*T I LOVE IT F*CK THE OPERA I LOVE REPO MEN” because of your post? As if. Besides, to each his own.

      By the way, why would you just come in here spewing stuff like that? Troll.

  28. I just watched Repo Men and loved. Earlier this year I tried watching the Genetic Opera and turned it off after 26 minutes. It was horrible. The reason you are still pushing this “plagiarism” thing is because they made a way better movie. Opera was just a lame wannabe Rocky Horror Picture How and that movie sucks balls to…Literally

  29. Yeah.. we were pretty SHOCKED when we saw the preview for REPO MEN!! It definitely seemed like a good case for litigation. But, after REPO MEN failed to do well, we let it slide. REPO! has an amazing fan-base, and I’d take a certain ‘skinny puppy’ over Jude, ANY DAY!!!!!

  30. Considering I’m listening to Chromaggia, I believe “Repo! The Genectic Opera” was better than “Repo Men” for a number of reasons. The Genectic Opera had seprate plots for almost everyone,for example, “Blind Mag” was stuck in a contract and couldn’t get out and wanted to meet her God Daughter. “Grave Robber” got sucked up into the drug dealer bussiness as a way to make money. “Amber Sweet” is spoiled women who walked the wrong path. While as “Repomen” “Remi” is the main Character, you mostly only learn about his life. Another Reason is that “Repo! The Genectic Opera” had me wanting me to learn the end, wher as in “Repomen” I figured it all out with in half an hour. “Repo! The Genectic Opera”, was unexpected with almost everything. Both movies were enjoyable, and Everyone should see both.

  31. REPO! is the shit!
    I saw it for the first time last night and I was amazed! I did find a creepy resemblence from the main character the repo man to John Lithgow very erie but also very cool in a way. He looks and sings just like him! 😛
    Anyways, it’s obvious who started this whole thing and I think it would be awesome to do a prequel or something or maybe shilo becomes the first repo girl… that would be awesome!!!

  32. I have to say, when repo men first came out i threw a fit! I was utterly pissed off. However, its given me the chance to introduce Repo! to many new people. Whenever someone mentioned repo men I’d respond with “Did you know there is one like that, but better. Its called Repo! the genetic opera, and has a fan base pretty close to Rocky.” Fans of the opera have exploded around here. Repomen came and went pretty quickly tho, while I made sure the opera stuck around. <3

  33. When I saw “REPO:TGO” I was honestly blown away. I showed it to my sister, she was blown away. It is one of the universally loved movies in my group of friends, and when I first saw the poster for “Repo Men”, I thought “Wow. That’s pretty blatant. But not that surprising.”

    Hollywood has been doing this for decades. Original ideas and movies that genuinely touch people get hacked, sliced, picked, stripped, and reproduced over and over and over. They don’t even bother to make look like something else anymore. So honestly, I didn’t even watch the film or care, because I thought it was either a rip off of the musical, or the two were both based on the same story, and I seriously doubted “Repo Men” would look or feel nearly as cool as “TGO”.

    Also, “Repo Men” doesn’t have Bill Moseley or Ogre. (I am a HUGE Skinny Puppy fan.)

    I’m glad you took the time to illustrate this rather awesome history of “REPO:TGO”. I’m also glad you pointed out the book the other movie is based on. I’m not nearly as disdainful of “Repo Men” as I was before.

    Congrats on making an original cult classic.

    PS…One other thing. You directed an episode of FEAR ITSELF in Edmonton, Alberta called “New Year’s Day.” I played the zombie with half my face burned off and shit. That was a really awesome time. It was my first and only time on a real set, and I will never forget it. Thanks.

  34. I have never seen Repo men… I saw the trailer and it just didn’t appeal to me. I love Repo! and after the first time I saw it searched for a month so I could get the bluray. I may watch Repo men some day, but not to compare to Repo! just to see if it makes a decent movie. I will not participate in the flame wars, but I will be happy to voice my love for The Genetic Opera!

  35. Pingback: Repo the genetic Opera vs Repo Men a war that never ends.

  36. I know this is random, but hell yeah we’re still shadowcasting!!!!! I’m Shilo in our up coming production and I must say it’s exhilarating!!! (Michigan Theater Jackson, MI November 19th 2011; for anyone who might possibly be interested lol. btw we actually sing if that helps)

  37. What I want to see is a new cut of Repo TGO. Whether it be a director’s cut, producer’s cut, Repoman’s cut, I don’t care. I want only one thing, for that cut to be made in lots of places and for lots of new songs or extended songs, deleted scenes and a bit more back story to be filled in. So…. not so much a cut really as a…… “Repoman Centipede Chorale” I know that description sounds absurd but I’m sure Repo fans get it.

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