Backstage during the run of Acme Love Machine, the cast engaged in a debate about movies that we thought were great the first time we saw them, that somehow attained cult status in our memories, but really don't hold up when you watch them today.
There were a lot of movies mentioned, but the most controversial were Fast Times at Ridgemont High (we were split on it; I think it holds up just fine) and Repo Man.
I was convinced that Repo Man was a brilliant movie that would totally hold up, but nobody agreed with me. Before I could beat them all senseless with a little air freshener tree, or force them to look in the trunk, the stage manager called places. The argument was tabled and never revisited, and, I forgot about the discussion until last night, when I saw that Repo Man had just started on cable. I put down Planetary (which is awesome, by the way) and watched the movie, so I could Prove To Everyone That Repo Man Still Rules.
Actually, I kept an entirely open mind and watched with a critical eye, as objectively as possible.
Guess what? Repo Man still rules.
No, really. It does. It's funny, it's clever, it's insightful, it has cameo appearances from some of the greatest Los Angeles punk bands in history, and it's entirely unique.
There's also this thing that really hits me about the look of the film: I lived in Los Angeles in 1983 when the movie was produced, and the look of the exteriors remind me so much of being 11 years old, it's easily worth an additional star in my personal review of the film. I can't quite explain it, but if you lived here then, you should recognize the quality of the light, the smog, the buildings and cars in films like Repo Man, Fast Times, Valley Girl, and all those early 80s cop shows on television. Things have changed dramatically in twenty years, but it's pretty cool to have so many films that capture how my formative years looked, you know?
Via Wikipedia, I found a great interview with Director Alex Cox about the making of the film, and some totally awesome trivia: Repo Man was produced by Mike Nesmith, whose mother invented Liquid Paper. He was also in some band in the 60s.