<eyeroll> Bollocks. "Repo Man" went out of its way to be apolitical, and that's obvious from the *lack* of it in the script. Sure, there some nuttiness about John Wayne allegedly being a fag, but it's from a character who may have "done a lot of acid in the 60s". Even the supposed anti-religion angle is clearly played for comedy rather than as a "message", because it's later revealed that the Reverend and the Feds have been simultaneously chasing the Malibu McGuffin.
Actually, there was quite a bit of it in the script, at least in terms of political content:Bud: Credit is a sacred trust, it's what our free society is founded on. Do you think they give a damn about their bills in Russia? I said, do you think they give a damn about their bills in Russia?
Otto: They don't pay bills in Russia, it's all free.
Bud: All free? Free my ass. What are you, a *beep* commie? Huh?
Otto: No, I ain't no commie.
Bud: Well, you better not be. I don't want no commies in my car. No Christians either.
This little exchange between Bud and Otto was commonly heard during the Reagan era.
And then there was Kevin's homage to Corporate America and how everyone and anyone can be a success if they just put their mind to it:Kevin: There's *beep* room to move as a fry cook. I could be manager in two years. King. God.
This is very much a Reaganite viewpoint.
And then there's a bit of Cold War commentary and the belief that nuclear war is winnable:J. Frank Parnell: Ever been to Utah? Ra-di-a-tion. Yes, indeed. You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it's bad for you. Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too. When they canceled the project it almost did me in.
Then a comment on the War on Drugs, another one of Reagan's political babies:Lagarto Rodriguez: Hermanos Rodriguez do not approve of drugs.
Marlene: Neither do I, but it's my birthday.
Reagan was also responsible for mandatory seat-belt legislation:Lite: Put your seatbelt on, boy. I don't ride with anybody 'less they wear their seatbelt. It's one of my rules.
Reagan also backed regimes which tortured their citizens:Leila: I'd torture someone in a second if it was up to me.
Then there was the obligatory "I fought the war for your sort" types during that era:Otto Plettschner, Rent-A-Cop: You're *beep* right I'm Plettschner! Otto Plettschner! Three times decorated in two world wars! I was killing people while you were still swimming around in your father's balls! You little scumbag! I worked five years in a slaughterhouse, and ten years as a prison guard in Attica!
And then of course, when Otto is listening to the TV in one scene, we hear this:The president admitted that U.S. war planes have napalmed refugees camps in Southern Mexico. He explained that these camps were in fact guerrilla bases.
Well, if the PRESIDENT says that there's a threat in Latin America, then of course it must be true. This is the kind of BS Reagan and his party had been imposing on the US for quite some time.
This movie is definitely a scathing political commentary on Reaganism, which is still relevant today, since every president who has followed Reagan has been mindlessly continuing Reagan's policies to the point we're at now.
Nice analysis, Stevicious-2. To Mikeexx - Relax. Two arguments here. 1. To appreciate the movie is it helpful to understand that Repo Man was intended as an indictment of Regan-era values? And 2. Was Reganaism really all bad?
'Absolutely yes' to 1. The film wasn't all that explicit about it, but art rarely comes right out and states the arguments implied. But it wasn't really only that or all 'liberal' criticism either. It skewers ex-hippie idealism and UFOlogist types too. It's about the era more than merely Reganism.
'mixed bag', IMO, to 2.
It's not about an "era" at all. Aside from clearly period technology (old-style cathode-ray TV sets, ubiquitous lack of cell-phones, etc), it has the same timeless black-comedy appeal of "Dr. Strangelove".
"...art rarely comes right out and states the arguments implied"
Well, BAD art does, all the time (and that's usually a primary reason why it's bad).
Well, if the PRESIDENT says that there's a threat in Latin America, then of course it must be true.
So obviously it has to be Reagan bombing Latin America, as opposed to, say, Obama drone-striking Yemen.
Democrat and Republican administrations are as indistinguishable as Mountain Dew and Mellow Yellow: If you didn't see the label, you wouldn't know the difference.
"It's about the era more than merely Reganism. "
That hit the nail right on the head!
Still Shooting With Film!
However, all of that was subdued and in the background. Alex Cox waited for "Walker" to try something overtly political, and what a disaster that was!