Fri
Dec 5 2008 7:03pm

Here’s Hoping Alex Cox’s Repo Man Sequel Isn’t One Big Circle Jerk

In 1984, first-time director Alex Cox unleashed upon an unsuspecting public one of the weirdest, most brilliant indie movies ever made. If you think of the Eighties in terms of John Hughes and Cameron Crowe teen movies, Repo Man is like the crazy hot punk guy who crashed the prom, spiked the punch, and threw a grenade into the Teacher’s Lounge...in other words, it’s the coolest movie ever. And now there’s going to be a sequel.

Well, technically it’s Sequel Number Two, if you count the graphic novel version, Waldo’s Hawaiian Holiday, written by Cox and illustrated by Chris Bones and Justin Randall, which came out in March 2008. Either way, I have no idea what to think about this. David Lynch is apparently producing, which could be a great sign. But how the hell do you make a sequel, twenty-five years later, to the trippy mishmash of William Burroughs references and the L.A. punk scene, film noir and Plates of Shrimp, aliens, beer, and pre-Mighty Ducks Emilio Estevez that made the original so...well, original?

According to Cox, the new movie will “unfold against the background of the credit crunch and the subprime mortgage crisis in the US, where repossessions of homes, cars and other forms of property is at a new high.” Also, there’s a female lead, apparently, since the film, which is scheduled to begin filming in January, is titled Repo Chick.

I don’t know. I’m nervous, but also kind of excited to see what Cox comes up with. My biggest question, though, is about the soundtrack: how can the sequel even attempt to match the original in terms of music, when it remains one of my favorite soundtracks of all time? Iggy Pop, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, The Plugz, and The Circle Jerks...the music is the heart and soul of Repo Man, and perfectly captured the essence of the gritty Los Angeles punkdom of the time. Not that there’s not a ton of great music out there, but what really compares nowadays? At least Iggy’s still out there rocking, same as he ever was, but it will be interesting to see who else will help Cox fuel his anarchic punk vision all over again...

23 comments
Durandal
1. Durandal
Hmmmm. Repo Man's one of my all-time favorite movies, but I fear it's too closely tied into its era to be revisited. That movie's like an early-80s surf-punk mosquito, perfectly preserved in amber forever. Or something.

But man. Wouldn't it be cool if they actually nailed it?
will shetterly
2. willshetterly
In 1984, there were three fine indie films: Repo Man, Brother from Another Planet, and Night of the Comet. None of them made the ballot for the Hugo. Our silly genre....
Chuk Goodin
3. Chuk
Repo Man was one of my favourite movies for many years (I think I finally overplayed it). I especially like the dubbed-for-TV version.

It would take someone with a lot more imagination than I have to make a worthy sequel. (Well, or at least someone who puts a lot more effort into it than I do...)
Liza .
4. aedifica
For me Repo Chick will have a hard time living up to Repo Man purely because I won't be watching it for the first time in a new friend's dorm room my freshman year of college. (The same friend showed me Closet Land, which I usually describe as "the *best* movie I never want to see again." I did see it again despite my giving it that description. It's excellent--Alan Rickman and Madeleine Stowe do a fine job in it and are the only actors.) But back to Repo Man:

"Let's do some crime."
"Yeah. Let's get some sushi--and not pay!"
Durandal
5. Dr. UNIX
What music?
Isn't it obvious? OPEN SOURCE DRM FREE MUSIC

One reason they used the Circle Jerks, Plugz, Iggy Pop, et al is they were cheap. So it's only logical that they follow in the same spirit for Repo Chick.

Though, I hope they steer away from the likes of Feist. Personal preference.
Durandal
6. Marc Arsenault
Those mellonfarmers better not flip it up! I'm hoping dubstep makes its way to LA in time, or wherever Alex Cox is. Is Dick Rude involved?
Daniel Spector
7. Danjite
"One reason they used the Circle Jerks, Plugz, Iggy Pop, et al is they were cheap"

Cheap nothing- they used the music without licenses at all- didn't even ask. I was the guy who initiated the lawsuit for Black Flag to try to get at least some cash out of it.
Durandal
8. Just some guy on the internet
"they used the music without licenses at all- didn't even ask"
Don't think so, at least not with Iggy Pop - he wrote the movie's theme song working from the script, even working in a reference to a deleted sequence ("using my head for an ashtray") - and since the Circle Jerks appeared in the film one would have to imagine they signed the usual waivers.
Durandal
9. Just Me
The problem will be not the music, there is enough great music out there. It will be the viewers of a previous generation putting their cultural blinders on against one of the era's defining films. This film needs to address the current cultural milieu, not be a reflection of the previous film.

The question I have is whether there is something near the same counterculture in L.A. as there was in the 80's? Mass media and marketing claims so much of what previously would have been an active youth counterculture.

Still be interesting to see...
Durandal
10. Fleem
Just to note -- IIRC Repo Man was set in Albuquerque, not LA.
Durandal
11. SF in SF
Oh my gosh, a sequel will so suck - why mess with a good thing??? Repo Man was a product of it's time, knowing, hip, and hilarious to boot. We just showed it at our SF in SF movie nights, and it really really holds up. It's still intense. After all, the life of a repo man is always intense.
Durandal
12. EricLBS
"Cheap nothing- they used the music without licenses at all- didn't even ask. I was the guy who initiated the lawsuit for Black Flag to try to get at least some cash out of it."


They didn't use "Burning Down the House" due to rights issues, so it's kind of hard to imagine Cox not clearing the Black Flag song.

Not saying you're making it up, but... no.. actually, I think I am saying that. Stop making stuff up, it's silly.
Durandal
13. Danjite
I checked my (aged) notes and everyone else is right- we were suing over unauthorised use in the Soundtrack- not the film itself.

The film use was legit, the use in the LP was not.

Mea culpa.
Durandal
14. martyred_cars
Ohh, I don't know. I can be hopeful about sequels, but Lost Boys 2 has me a little skittish lately. However, I caught this reality thing on cable recently called Operacion Repo that was brilliant, and it struck me that there's a timelessness to auto repossession. It could work. And if David Lynch is involved, well, we can hope.

"The more you drive, the less intelligent you are."
Durandal
15. Shii
After all, the life of a repo man is always intense.

If the life of a repo man is always intense it can be just as intense in the 21st century. Don't deny today's hipsters their own disescapist fantasy.
R O T
16. rogerothornhill
If you're going to be aggressively self-identified as an Out of the Mainstream Purist, isn't doing a sequel pretty much a sellout by definition?

These are minor issues. Hack the mainstream and subvert from within :)
Durandal
17. Elian Gonzalez
I suppose there better not be a scene with the Repo Chick carrying an iPod.
Durandal
18. driftedpunk
Roger that, roger -sequel doesn't ooze originality or counterculture. Who are this generation's disaffected punks -the kids who don't text? I just hope they don't do a Mission: Impossible and put Emilio in the first scene and kill him within 3 minutes.
Durandal
19. Artnam
Like it or not, Repo Chick has completed principal photography. The lead is actress, Jaclyn Jonet, who was the female lead in "Searchers 2.0", which is also written and directed by Repo Man director, Alex Cox. Many cast members from Alex Cox's other films, Repo Man, Sid & Nancy, Straight to Hell, Walker, Death and the Compass, The Winner, Revenger's Tragedy, El Patrullero and Searchers 2.0, are in Repo Chick.

Some of the cast members are Del Zamora, Miguel Sandoval, Robert Beltran, Chloe Webb, Karen Black, Tracy Walter, Tom Finnegan, Eddie Velez, Zander Schloss, amongst many others.

Artnam
Durandal
21. jim boggs
the movie was not good at all. i am not sure why so many people liked this movie. The reviews of this movie were not good either.
Durandal
24. Incall
Had so much fun watching this movie,it's really worth a glance.
Gary Gibson
26. garygibson
I love Repo Man, and even if the sequel proves not to be as good, I don't blame Cox for making a shot at it: the original's enough of a cult movie that I'd bert the investors were at least willing to back a sequel on the hopes they'd get their money back through dvd rentals - money they probably weren't willing to spend on something original.

Sometimes even the best people have to whore themselves when they're trapped in Hollywood.
Durandal
27. Scottjmorrison
Repo Chick interview with Alex Cox - Check it - http://turfhugger.blogspot.com/2009/09/anti-golf-hits-venice-film-fest_20.html

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