A prefab cult object comes off as a leaden, preaching-to-the-choir liberal satire

Repo Chick

on January 15, 2011 by Vadim Rizov
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Years after 1984's genuine cult hit Repo Man, Alex Cox reunites members of his stock company (some of whom were in the original film) for this highly conceptual oddity. Shot against blatantly artificial green screens and enacted with various stiff degrees of campy incompetence, the saga of heiress turned repo woman turned national hero, Pixxi De La Chasse (Jaclyn Jonet), namechecks WMDs and big-ups veganism, among other talking points. Self-mocking but listless and shot in a textureless world, few jokes escape from this comic black hole. The bulk of tickets will be purchased by confused Repo Man fans who don't do their homework beforehand, making prospects small.

Vapid Pixxi is disinherited by her snotty family after too many arrests, instances of "unprotected sex with backup dancers" and debts. When her car is repossessed, she discovers she herself has a knack for repossession. The ultimate bounty: an antique train that may or may not exist, with a bounty of $1 million dollars attached to it. After using computer hacking to destroy her family's fortune, Pixxi sets out in quest of the train, which is being used to host dignitaries on a day's journey down a proposed energy tunnel. The hosts, led by pony-tailed Lorenzo (Del Zamora), turn out to be terrorists who'll blow up Los Angeles unless golf courses (which poison the environment) are banned, the sport is outlawed and the President converts to vegetarianism. It's up to Pixxi to save the day.

Cox's point, of course, is that even if the terrorists are extreme, they're right: society would be better off their way. Though Pixxi's spunk makes her surprisingly appealing, she's ultimately serving the inevitable predators of capitalism in a post-financial-apocalypse where the only non-military growth industry is repossession. All of which is exactly as heavy-handed as it sounds.

The opening credits stress that this is "a true story." Only the dimensions have been changed." Repo Chick takes place in today's climate of financial despair, writ large; in that sense, the film's delayed release has only increased its topicality. The leaden satire, though, is heavier even than Southland Tales, and the paranoia not as convincing as the films of Craig Baldwin (). Even when presenting itself as a goofy trifle, the film never gels to that minimal standard.

Distributor: Industrial Entertainment
Cast: Jaclyn Jonet, Miguel Sandoval, Del Zamora, Alex Feldman, Chloe Webb, Xander Berkeley and Rosanna Arquette
Director/Screenwriters: Alex Cox
Producers: Eric Bassett, Alex Cox, Bingo Gubelmann, Daren Hicks, Benji Kohn, Austin Stark and Simon Tams
Genre: Comedy
Rating: Unrated
Running time: 85 min
Release date: January 14 NY

 

Tags: Jaclyn Jonet, Miguel Sandoval, Del Zamora, Alex Feldman, Chloe Webb, Xander Berkeley and Rosanna Arquette, Alex Cox, Bingo Gubelmann, Daren Hicks, Benji Kohn, Austin Stark, Simon Tams
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