Get Excited for the Criterion Collection’s ‘Repo Man’ Release With Three Reasons
1984 was a good year for Harry Dean Stanton. Not only did he lead Wim Wenders existential romantic yearning masterpiece Paris, Texas, but he also starred as Bud in Alex Cox’s classic Repo Man alongside a young and spritely Emilio Estevez . And whereas Paris, Texas has been a Criterion Collection staple for some time now, Repo Man gets its collection release today, and with it comes Three Reasons why you’ll love this movie. Their reasons are simple: it’s a punk classic, a sci-fi classic, and a cult classic all wrapped in one.
In his article Repo Man: A Lattice of Coincidence, Sam McPheeters writes:
…Like Billy Wilder and so many others, Cox saw Los Angeles through the eyes of a foreigner. Perhaps this perspective helped him gauge the weight of the city’s car culture. There is a boxy, sinister element to all the key autos: Bud’s Chevy Impala, Otto’s heisted AMC Matador, the Chevy Malibu that really did get stolen during filming. Actors auditioned in cars. The film’s only glamorous ride, the Rodriguez brothers’ 1964 Ford Falcon convertible, felt the wrath of Stanton’s baseball bat— during an on-set argument over his right to wield a real baseball bat in place of a prop one. And as a car film, Repo Man faithfully captures the terrors of its era. In Grease—a movie with a similar magic-chariot finale— the paved L.A. River is a private racetrack for gleaming hot rods. Here, it’s Bud’s doomsday escape route.
…I was lucky enough to see Repo Man in its first theatrical run. I was fifteen and just attempting the jump from the illicit grubbiness of sci-fi fandom to the illicit prestige of hardcore punk. The movie seemed perfectly targeted to my demographic. I remember my shock that someone in a position of any authority knew enough about this subculture to make such an uncondescending film, one that so gracefully captured the scene’s fluid silliness. The moment when the sheet is removed from Kevin in the hospital scene was a revelation; I simply didn’t know movies could work like that. Of course, I still don’t.
So if you weren’t already excited for Repo Man‘s release, check out the Three Reasons below, read the rest of McPheeters article, and get your copy now.