Repo man

United States, 1984

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A groundbreaking movie that introduced a punk sensibility to the film noir genre. Otto (Emilio Estevez) is a bored young man, just fired from his job in a supermarket, who meets up with a smooth-talking loner (Harry Dean Stanton) who recruits him as a “repo man”: a repossesor of cars because of default of payment. The strange plot involves aliens, Government spies and assorted punks and gangsters all searching for a 1964 Chevy Malibu which may hold the secret of life and death. The plot, however, doesn’t really matter. What does is the assured surreal landscape that Alex Cox discovers in the underbelly of suburban Los Angeles, and his irreverent experiments with genre. The LA of Repo Man is a disintegrating city, violent and alienated, but the film manages to undiscover a weird and sometimes eloquent beauty in the decay. The soundtrack, featuring US independant punk music from bands like Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag and Iggy Pop is outstanding.

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In ACMI's collection



Alex Cox


Jonathan Wacks

Peter McCarthy

production company

Edge City Productions

Michael Nesmith Productions



Production places
United States
Production dates

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier




Audience classification

R (18+)






VHS; Access Print (Section 1)



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