Continuing the punk theme from “Jesus of Suburbia,” Number 9 on Dave’s Strange World all-time favorite movies is Alex Cox’s funny, nasty tale of punks, UFOs, repo men, and the CIA. This movie came out around the time me and my friends started getting into punk. In 1984, punk as a late-1970s fad had faded and whatever was left just got harder and more aggressive, hence the adjective “hardcore.” By this point, there wasn’t much mainstream media exposure to punk, other than “Blackboard Jungle”-style exposes of wayward youth on the evening news.
So when a major studio (in this case, Universal) film featured hardcore punk as a prominent part of the film and soundtrack, it was something we all paid attention to. Granted, “Repo Man” portrayed punks as stupid, violent, and amoral for the most part, but nearly all of the characters in “Repo Man” were stupid, violent, and amoral, so no one cared and laughed their asses off.
This is a really funny, subversive film that’s still hilarious to this day. It’s nihilistic sense of humor predated Quentin Tarantino’s films by about 8 years and when I first saw “Reservoir Dogs” in 1992, I described to friends as “Repo Man” meets “Goodfellas.” I realize that may strike most people as odd, but when you consider the characters in “Repo” and “Reservoir”‘s mutual misanthropy, it makes perfect sense in my book.
Of the many great scenes in “Repo Man,” I love this one where Emilio Estevez’s character is talking to his punk friend who is dying after being shot during an attempted hold-up. Estevez casually comforts his friend during his death rattle by saying “You’re going to be all right, man … Maybe not.”