Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Repo Man (1984)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Repo Man (1984)

In director/scriptwriter Alex Cox's off-beat, debut cult film with a punk/New Wave sensibility suitable for the mid 1980s - it was a hybrid sci-fi black comedy crime film similar in plot to Kiss Me Deadly (1955) (and its nuclear Pandora's box) - and later inspired the glowing suitcase in Pulp Fiction (1994), in its tale about car repossessions in Los Angeles and possible radioactive extra-terrestrials in the trunk of a car (the film's MacGuffin). It featured many quotable but nonsensical lines of dialogue, such as: "Let's go get sushi and not pay," "The more you drive, the less intelligent you are," "I don't want no Commies in my car. No Christians either," and "John Wayne was a fag."

The low-budget and irreverent independent film Repo Man (although distributed by Universal Pictures) was executive-produced by The Monkees' rock band performer Michael Nesmith - it was his first credited role as the executive producer of a feature film, after his earlier Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982).

The film failed at the box-office for many reasons, not the least of which was its meandering and amateurish plot, but was revived by its best-selling punk-rock soundtrack (featuring Black Flag, The Circle Jerks, Fear, Suicidal Tendencies, The Plugz, and Iggy Pop) and its reemergence on VHS tapes. Cox's under-appreciated film was a brutal satire that criticized American society and its consumerism (and tacky advertising), greedy James Baker-like tele-evangelists, and exhibited youth's rebelliousness and disaffected disdain over the social, political, and racial norms of the time. Many of the characters were named after popular, low-priced beer brands, for example: Bud(weiser), Miller, Oly(mpia), and Lite. And many depictions of consumable products were seen to be packaged with bland generic labels (i.e., "FOOD," "BEER," "DRINK," "ALL PURPOSE DETERGENT," or "CORN FLAKES") - to comment on life's oppressive plainness.

The film's poster presented a fairly succinct synopsis of the plot:

"Meet Otto. He's a clean-cut kid in a dirty business. He's a Repo Man. He steals cars legally. Now, he's out to repossess a '64 Chevy Malibu...with an amazing reward of $20,000. But, Otto is not alone. There are others who want the car and will do anything to get it. The risks are great, because hidden in the trunk is something so incredible it could destroy them all. We'll give you a hint... it glows in the dark."

REPO MAN ... it's 4 A.M., do you know where your car is?

  • the opening title credits to the sound of an Iggy Pop tune ("Repo Man Theme Song") were presented with monochromatic fluorescent green outlines on a road map, viewed with static jump cuts on a 1980s computer monitor, traveling from Los Alamos, NM (the famed site for secret nuclear research) south to Albuquerque, NM and then heading westward on Interstate 40 (and/or Route 66 and other smaller state highways) through Arizona, and passing by Meteor Crater near Winslow, AZ, Seligman, Kingman and Yucca, before entering into California (at Needles), and ending up just east of the ghost-town of Goffs, CA on a secondary road (just off Hwy 95) on the outskirts of the Mojave Desert - marked by a blinking bulls-eye
  • in the film's classic opening sequence - J. Frank Parnell (Fox Harris), the driver of a dilapidated tan-colored 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu sedan was on a journey from Los Alamos, NM to California's Mojave Desert; he wore black rimmed glasses (one eye was clear and the other patched); he was pursued and pulled over for his weaving and erratic driving by a highway motorcycle cop (Varnum Honey); [Note: The rear license plate read KBB-283]; the cop asked: "What you got in the trunk?" and despite a warning from the spaced-out Frank about his cargo: ("You don't wanna look in there"), the cop asked for the car keys
  • when the cop opened the trunk as Frank watched from his rear-view mirror, he was immediately vaporized by a nuclear blast down to his semi-melted, smoking leather boots [Note: A similar scene was earlier seen in Timerider (1982), co-written and produced (uncredited) by Michael Nesmith; also note how the rear license plate changed to 127-GBH]
  • without getting out of the car to retrieve the car keys, Frank drove off and continued his westward drive to Los Angeles; the opening suggested an iconic 'Holy Grail' existence of a glowing white-light thing (a weapons-grade plutonium, radioactive neutron bomb or the remains of four dead aliens?) being transported by an insane government agent
  • the film's central teenaged character was 18 year-old young punk rocker Otto Maddox (Emilio Estevez) who was introduced at his job in Los Angeles, CA; he was a nihilistic, delinquent, disaffected grocery store (Pik 'N Pay) stock clerk, who was viewed stacking a display of generic cans of "YELLOW CLING SLICED PEACHES"; he was working alongside his nerdy, simpleton co-worker-friend Kevn (Zander Schloss) who was annoyingly singing a 7-Up ad jingle: ("I'm feeling 7-up. Feeling 7-up. I'm feeling 7-up. It's a crisp refreshing feeling, crystal clear and light. America's drinking 7-up and it sure feels right. Feeling lucky 7")
  • Otto was becoming aggravated by Kevin's singing, and was also warned by his boss Mr. Humphries (Charles Hopkins) for being late on the job, and for not paying attention to spacing the cans properly; Otto became belligerent and insubordinate by cursing at his boss ("F--k you!"); when Kevin reacted with a chuckle, Otto shoved him into the display of peach cans, and shot double middle-fingers at the store's security guard (Luis Contreras) before storming off; Kevin also lost his job for laughing at Otto's misfortune
Otto Fired from His Pik 'N Pay Clerk Job by His Boss For Insubordination
  • afterwards, Otto was slam-dancing at a raucous, back-alley warehouse punk club-party, where he met up with his best friend - recently-released from the "slammer" Duke (Dick Rude); shortly later in a house party (in Kevin's parents' house!) after Otto returned upstairs after going to get a beer, he caught his punk-rock girlfriend Debbi (Jennifer Balgobin) having sex with Duke - her new sex partner; upset by his romantic break-up and his job firing, the disillusioned, disenfranchised and frustrated Otto sat by railroad tracks as dawn approached, halfway singing the lyrics to Black Flag's "TV Party" ("...We're dedicated to our favorite shows Saturday Night Live! Monday Night Football! Dallas! Jeffersons! Gilligan's Islands! Flintstones!...")

Otto's Girlfriend Debbi With Punk Rocker Duke

At Dawn by RR Tracks, the Disillusioned Otto Was Getting Drunk

Bud Parked by the Side of Road

Otto Offered $25 by Bud to Drive A Car Out of the "Bad Area"

Bud Attacked by the Repossessed Car's Angry True Owner

The Car With NM Plates Swerving In Front of Bud's and Otto's Cars on the Freeway
  • in the early morning, laid-back Bud (Harry Dean Stanton) was parked in a Chevy Caprice, and noticed Otto wandering aimlessly in a dangerous Hispanic neighborhood in LA; he pulled up next to him and offered him $25 dollars - to assist him by driving his sick and pregnant 'old lady's' car (a white 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon) - who was about to deliver twins at a hospital - to get her car out of the "bad area"; while following Bud's car out of the area, Otto realized something was up when the car's white-haired Hispanic owner (George Sawaya) and his wife emerged and attacked him; as they drove on the freeway, the '64 Chevy Malibu with NM plates (with its left blinker on) swerved to its right in front of them

Master 'Repo-Man" Bud (Harry Dean Stanton)

Owner Oly (Tom Finnegan)

Cop Otto Plettschner (Richard Foronjy)

Phone-Receptionist/Secretary Marlene (Vonetta McGee)

Unorthodox Black Man Lite (Sy Richardson)

Hippie Mechanic and Conspiracy Theorist Miller (Tracey Walter)
Bud Interacting With The Helping Hand Acceptance Corporation Office Employees
  • Otto (his name rhymes with "Auto") ended up following Bud to the parking lot and the offices of the Helping Hand Acceptance Corporation (a predatory 'repossession' car company that seized cars from deadbeat and delinquent debtors); inside the front office, an angry black repo victim and pimp Miner (Jon St. Elwood) and his girlfriend Delilah (Kelitta Kelly) were arguing with repo officer Oly (Tom Finnegan) at one of the desks; Miner paid cash to retrieve his Cadillac before leaving; Otto realized that he had been swindled by Bud's deceitful ruse to repossess the Hispanic man's car
  • Otto became contemptuously defiant ("You're all repo men!") and poured out the generic Beer he was given by Oly; when master 'repo-man' Bud offered Otto a job as his apprentice: ("What do you say, kid? We're always on the look out for a few good men"): Otto turned him down: ("Screw that! I ain't gonna be no repo man, no way"); the office's receptionist Marlene reminded Bud (who had a fake ID stating his age was 21) that he was already on the payroll as she handed him $25 dollars for the job: ("It's too late - you already are"); as Otto left the lot, mechanic Miller (Tracey Walter) handed him a Christmas-pine tree air freshener ("You find one in every car. You'll see") [Note: Miller's prediction was often confirmed during the film - with multiple views of the tree fresheners in cars and on a motorcycle]
  • meanwhile, in the Mojave Desert, men in white Hazmat radiation-proof suits were searching an area with a local Sheriff (David Chung) and a woman dressed in black - later identified as eccentric alien-seeker Agent Rogersz (Susan Barnes) with a white-gloved, metal left hand - to investigate the motorcycle cop's death [Note: Her artificial left hand paid homage to the mad Hitleresque scientist in Kubrick's black comedy Dr. Strangelove: Or (1964)]
  • the Sheriff asked: "What could have done that to him? Gasoline? Napalm?"; the woman responded: "It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes"; in a van with two blonde government agents also dressed in black, she was notified via a computer screen that their suspect was partly-confirmed to be on West Coast (possibly LA)
  • now unemployed and distressed by the aimless job options available to them, while visiting an employment office and perusing newspaper listings with Kevin, Otto paid a visit to his ex-hippie, catatonic, stoned-out marijuana-smoking parents (Jonathon Hugger and Sharon Gregg) who lived in Edge City [Note: later in the film, Otto took a bus to his hometown of Edge City; Edge City was the name of the film's production company]; they were seen mesmerized watching a TV broadcast of preacher Reverend Larry (Bruce White): "Destroy the twin evils of godless communism abroad and liberal humanism at home"; in the kitchen as Otto was eating directly out of an opened can of "FOOD," he heard the preacher admitting: "I do want your money. Because God wants your money"
  • Otto discovered that his father had been convinced to give his promised HS graduation money reward (of $1,000 for completing HS, to fund a trip to Europe) to the crooked, right-wing tele-evangelist Reverend Larry's telethon, to send Bibles to El Salvador, in exchange for having their names inscribed on “The Honor Roll of the Chariots of Fire": (Father: "It was a gift from all of us, jointly")
  • in the next scene, the restless Otto had changed his mind about Bud's job offer and was riding with Bud, who explained he would be paid on commission; as part of Otto's job training, Bud described some of the requirements of the job; he had to dress like a detective to scare off people who might think he was carrying a gun ("Only an asshole gets killed for a car"); and he would also work mostly at night and be sleep-deprived; as Bud and Otto snorted a line of coke to keep awake, he explained the "Repo Code" of honor: "Never broke into a car. Never hot-wired a car, kid. I never broke into a trunk. I shall not cause harm to any vehicle nor the personal contents thereof. Nor through inaction let that vehicle or the personal contents thereof come to harm. That's what I call the Repo Code, kid. Don't forget it - etch it in your brain. Not many people got a code to live by anymore" [Note: Bud's code was a paraphrase of Isaac Asimov's First Law of Robotics; while repo-ing cars with Lite, Otto broke all of Bud's Repo Code rules]
  • then as Bud pointed to a group of four rowdy tennis players having their vehicle towed, he added: "Ordinary f--kin' people I hate 'em....See an ordinary person spends his life avoiding tense situations. Repo man spends his life getting into tense situations"; Bud proposed going to buy booze: ("Let's go get a drink") and literally bought two 4-packs of "DRINK" in a liquor store; after leaving, Otto's trio of thieving punk friends (Otto's ex-girlfriend Debbi, Duke, and Archie (Miguel Sandoval)), who had chosen a path of crime, rose up from behind the counter in the midst of robbing the liquor store owner [Note: Throughtout the film, the punks robbed every liquor store where Bud and Otto bought beer]
  • Otto had been easily lured to work in the exploitative, exciting and unpredictable world of automobile repossession populated by wild, rule-breaking desperados; the co-workers at Otto's new job became his 'family' of sorts - they were a number of eccentric, mercenary, rebellious and paranoid characters who shared a certain camaraderie and clannish relationship with each other, and the world-weary, laconic Bud was becoming Otto's surrogate father figure
  • meanwhile in the middle of the night, Parnell's '64 Chevy Malibu drove by the disabled white government van parked on an LA bridge, as Hazmat suit-wearing men were looking under the hood
  • while out driving around in the LA River basin, Bud and Otto were confronted by two used car swindlers and degenerate scam-artists - the hated rival Rodriguez Brothers (Lagarto (Del Zamora) and Napoleon "Napo" (Eddie Velez)) - who challenged them in their open red convertible to a car race in the LA wash [Note: A similar scene was in Grease (1978)]
  • after the short chase, the brothers drove off, and Bud reacted: "Repo man's always intense"; Otto was happily surprised: "Gee, Bud. You never told me it was gonna be like this, man. Cops and robbers. (laughter) Real live car chases (laughter)"
Rival Competition From the Rodriguez Brothers - Racing Them in the LA River Basin
  • when they returned to another liquor store for more drinks, it had also just been robbed by the inept punk gang members; as they awaited the clerk, Bud warned Otto about their competitive rivals the Rodriguez Brothers - whose used car sales lot sold Helping Hand's repossessed car at low prices (with high interest rates) in order to keep the turn-over rate of repo-cars high: ("Two notorious delinquents currently responsible for at least thirty vehicles in the field")
  • while Otto was on a job with Lite, who considered the Rodriguez Brothers as "car thieves just like us," he learned about one of Lite's unorthodox methods to repossess cars; with females, he scared them off with a dead rat in a paper bag: ("It never fails"); although when the tactic was attempted by Otto on a Ms. Magruder (Sue Kiel) seated in her 1975 MG B Roadster, Otto was maced in the face before she drove off
  • one day outside a coin-op laundromat, Bud expressed his disdain for irresponsible rich people: ("I've never understood it....The f--kin' millionaires. They never pay their bills"); he was referring to delinquent brokerage consultant Bruce I. Pearson (Dale Reynolds), the owner of a huge, flashy red 1976 Cadillac El Dorado convertible parked out in front of a laundromat; Otto boasted to Bud: "Don't underestimate me, Ace," and was able to easily repossess the man's car and drive off
  • while taking the Cadillac back to the yard, Otto was distracted by a cute brunette Leila (Olivia Barash) running down a sidewalk, and plowed into garbage cans on the curb, set there by an English Dustbin Lady (Dorothy Bartlett) who scolded and reprimanded Otto for his recklessness and refusal to help pick up the cans and garbage: ("Pick it up! Look at you. You pick it up. You know yourself you were wrong")
  • after taking on the hitcher, Otto bragged to her that he was a "repo-man" and then had to explain further: ("It's a repossesser. I take back cars from dildos who don't pay their bills. Cool huh?"); during the ride, she ducked down to avoid being spotted by the two blonde, sinister-looking Government Agents wearing black and driving in a nearby car ("If they see me, they'll kill me"); wearing a 'Smiley Face' button on her dress and also on a similar wristwatch, she showed Otto a crumpled and cryptic photograph she had in her possession, and claimed that it depicted the bodies of four radioactive dead aliens - actually, it looked like a picture of condoms filled with water and wearing grass skirts; Otto laughed: "It looks like sausage"
Hitchhiker Leila (Olivia Barash) - Employed at the United Fruitcake Outlet

Leila's Picture of 4 Dead Aliens

UFO (United Fruitcake Outlet)

Quick Make-Out Scene in Backseat of Parked Car
  • Leila predicted that the photo would be on the cover of every major tabloid newspaper in two days' time; she also claimed that she was part of a secret underground network of renegades who believed in the existence of ETs or extraterrestrials and life in outer space; one of the scientists in their "secret sect" had recently smuggled alien corpses from the Los Alamos AF base in the trunk of a 1964 Chevy Malibu; she also told how the car went missing and it had to be found soon: ("We've got to find him"); the group was preparing a press conference to tell the world about the aliens, and was conducting a search (a 'repo' search in a sense) for the car, the scientist and the "hot" aliens
  • Otto dropped the ET-activist and conspiracy theorist Leila off at her place of work - the United Fruitcake Outlet (with initials UFO); after they briefly chatted, she coyly hinted she was OK with making out with him - and invited Otto to be with her in the backseat of his repo car; the camera was positioned from across the street in the sped-up time-lapsed segment, with squeals of implied sex heard from them [Note: A sped-up sex scene was also in Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971).]
A Search Was Announced for the Missing Chevy Malibu, and the Aliens in Its Car Trunk

$20,000 Bounty Offered for the '64 Chevy Malibu

Leila's Picture of Dead Aliens On Front Page of Tabloid
  • as Leila had stated, a $20,000 bounty 'wanted notice' and offer (from XX Finance and the renegade underground network) went out for the Chevy Malibu - it was the reward for locating the car (and its trunk's contents of stolen alien corpses); when the transmission came in to the Helping Hand's office, Oly instructed Marlene to not tell Helping Hand's overworked "boys" about it; Otto had just returned to the office, and was at his desk reading The News - with the headlines: "Top Professor's Startling Discovery...E.T.s Will Land Any Day Now - Aliens Will Bring Joy & Happiness to all the Earth"
  • on another job to repossess a red 1970 Pontiac Firebird, Otto (with a Slim Jim) and Lite (with a briefcase) broke into the car - the car alarm went off as they hot-wired the vehicle; before speeding off, Lite required Otto to wear his seat-belt: ("I don't ride with anybody unless they wear their seatbelt. It's one of my rules"); Otto found Lite's chrome-plated .45 caliber handgun weapon in the briefcase, used to scare-off car owners (Lite boasted: "I'd kill anybody who crosses me")
  • as they drove on, Otto (and Lite) noticed gift-wrapped boxes in the backseat, and casually threw them out the window, not knowing that they contained wrapped wads of cash; Otto was reminded that Lite had given him a self-help book Dioretix ("The Science of Matter Over Mind") and was urged to read it: "You'd better read it and quick. That book will change your life. Found it in a Maseratti in Beverly Hills" [Note: The book was a reference to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's book Dianetics]
  • in a vacant lot under a freeway, spaced-out, screwy Miller, a wacko mechanic working at Helping Hand, delivered a bizarre philosophical monologue to co-worker Otto about a "lattice of coincidence" while burning clothes (and Otto's self-help book) in an oil drum: "A lot o' people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch o' unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice o' coincidence that lays on top o' everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: Suppose you're thinkin' about a Plate o' Shrimp. Suddenly somebody'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness"
  • Miller went on to describe other elements or instances of "weirdness" that were tied together, including the Bermuda Triangle, and UFOs, and how the Mayans invented television; he mentioned how "people get so hung up on specifics. They miss out on seeing the whole thing"; he oddly thought about how "in South America, thousands of people go missing every year. Nobody knows where they go"; he hypothesized that flying saucers and spaceships were time machines that brought people from the future, and also took people into the past; finally, he stated his own personal preference for transportation - the bus, and that he refused or was unable to drive: ("I don't wanna know how. I don't wanna learn. See? The more you drive, the less intelligent you are")
  • the sickened lunatic Los Alamos scientist Parnell, with broken sunglasses was seen driving erratically in the 1964 Chevy Malibu in LA, where he was scheduled to meet other UFO compatriots
  • as Bud phoned the competitive Rodriguez brothers from a pay-phone booth outside their warehouse about acquiring a different vehicle, it was revealed that the brothers had secretly been given the "repo sheet" by Marlene on the missing '64 Chevy Malibu and its reward; they learned about the $20,000 bounty, but seemed disinterested because it possibly involved drugs; meanwhile, they were ignoring Bud's pestering and yelling from outside: "Don't care how long it takes, dildos. Repo man's got all night every night"; a paper airplane (the notice about the $20K reward) sailed down to Bud's feet and he exclaimed: "Jesus Christ, 20 thousand dollars!" - it was implied that he told Otto about it
  • meanwhile, Otto phoned Leila (her phone was being tapped and monitored by Agent Rogersz in a white van), and told her in a message: "I heard something about that car"; as Otto entered the United Fruitcake Outlet building's front door to meet up with Leila, he was photographed by the two blonde Agents sitting in a nearby car; Otto and Leila entered a cinder-block room with a neon-light wall decoration, plus a prominent life-sized statue of an alien humanoid; after pulling down his pants, Otto playfully instructed Leila to take off her clothes and give him a blow-job - and she slapped him twice before leaving to attend a cell meeting with co-worker Deirdre
  • Bud was already fantasizing with Lite about collecting the Chevy reward money and going "indy" (and running his own repo yard while other employees did the work); during another job while Bud was preaching about how the US capitalist free society was based upon the "sacred trust" of credit (unlike Communist countries), he told Otto: "I don't want any Commies in my car. No Christians either"
  • the '64 Chevy Malibu emerged from a drive-thru car wash [Note: One of the attendants was the film's director Alex Cox] and pulled up to the gas pumps at the service station, attended by Otto's clueless friend Kevin; by this time, Parnell had become so weakened and sickened by the radioactivity that he exited his car and was vomiting; the sneaky, predatory repo Rodriguez Brothers, Lagarto and Napo, pulled up next to the car and hijacked it
  • Otto reluctantly decided to repossess a vehicle he thought was owned by elderly black lady Mrs. Parks (Helen Martin); as Otto was about to drive off in the car parked out front of her house, he overheard Mrs. Parks inside her house berating her son (with band-members who all rode motorscooters) for squandering the money she had given him to make payments on his 1971 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser; Otto gunned the car, but it went nowhere (the rear wheels were up on jacks); he was pulled out by Mrs. Parks' son and other band-members and beaten over the head with a guitar
  • back at the Helping Hands lot, while Miller was chanting a Native-American-sounding healing ritual or dance as he attended to Otto's bruised head, Officer Plettschner bragged about his extensive background compared to young Otto's rookie status: "Three times decorated in two World Wars. I was killin' people while you were still swimmin' around in your father's balls. You little scum bag! I worked five years in a slaughter house and ten years as a prison guard in Attica"
  • sweating profusely in the radioactively-'hot' Malibu, the two Rodriguez brothers parked outside a small all-night diner and split up to buy sodas and to call Marlene from a pay-phone booth; [Note: Miller's earlier monologue referred to a Plate O' Shrimp, visible in this scene in an advertisement in the window of the diner]
  • their parked Chevy Malibu was stolen by Otto's ex-friends - the three thieving punks, who had been ineptly robbing a nearby pharmaceutical business (to a refrain of "Ride of the Valkyries"), and spilled bottles of pills onto the sidewalk; as they ran off, Archie paused to shake hands with a bum before the trio hopped into Parnell's stolen car for an opportune getaway
  • during another night job with Lite, Otto attempted to repossess a 1965 royal blue Ford Mustang parked in front of a house, and found himself fired at by a "maniac" inside; he called for Lite to pick him up as he scrambled from the car; Lite drove up and fired 8 times with his revolver at the house and then ordered Otto to finish the repo: ("You're still on the job, white boy"); afterwards, Lite confessed he was just shooting blanks: ("Blanks get the job done too")
  • the next day, Parnell used a pay-phone (and a scrambler) to call Leila, who was directly down the street from him in another pay phone booth; she shouted: "Look out!" as Parnell's booth was rammed by two government agents in a 1971 AMC Matador; Parnell escaped, but the agents caught up to Leila who was running away on foot - and abducted her: "Happy face! You want a ride?"; she was questioned in their white van and when asked: "Why are you looking for the Malibu?", she bluntly told them: "Because of the trunk. The aliens inside....Extra-terrestrials"; they also suspected that her boyfriend was Otto
  • in an outdoor party scene at the Helping Hand yard with all the beer-drinking colleagues together, including Miller, Otto, Bud, Lite, Marlene and Plettschner, Bud stood up for Otto who had been injured on the job but wasn't seeking recrimination: "A repo man goes at it alone"; after Marlene and Oly brought up John Wayne's name as a prime example of a rugged macho-man, Plettschner agreed: "Greatest American that ever lived," but Miller disagreed: "John Wayne was a fag...He was, too, you boys. I installed two-way mirrors in his pad in Brentwood, and he come to the door in a dress"; [Note: The reference to Wayne being a fag was also heard as a line of dialogue by Joe Buck (Jon Voight) in Midnight Cowboy (1969) - "John Wayne! Are you gonna tell me he's a fag?"] Oly also added in protest: "That doesn't mean he was a homo, Miller. Lotta straight guys like to watch their buddies f--k. I know I do....Don't you?"
  • Otto was compelled to admit (falsely) who had injured him as part of the Repo code that demanded vengeance, and in the next sequence, his repo-gang knocked on the front door of Mr. Humphries' residence; Otto's ex-boss was felled with one swing of a baseball bat [Note: An out-of-focus Kevin was briefly glimpsed in the background inside Humphries' living room, standing next to a Christmas tree as the 7-Up jingle-ad played]
  • in the Helping Hand office, the TV playing in the background mentioned how the government had bombed Latin America refugee camps, and explained that they were terrorist enclaves - "The President admitted that US war planes have napalmed refugees camps in Southern Mexico. He explained that these camps were in fact guerrilla bases. In strife-torn Guatemala, shots were fired at the US embassy and government troops retaliated killing 50..." [Note: This was part of the film's underlying message that the world was undergoing apocalyptic change]; Leila was compelled (or freely cooperated) with her kidnappers (Agent Rogersz and the blonde agents) to phone Otto and meet up with him in a nightclub bar; there, Otto was being questioned by Leila and the Agent to divulge whatever information he had on the aliens: (Leila: "These aliens aren't on ice or anything. They could be starting to decay. We've got to find them before they turn into mush")
  • they were interrupted by Otto's three hostile, crime-obsessed punk ex-friends; Duke offered everyone a snort of Butyl Nitrate that spilled onto the table, and then was brutally sarcastic with Otto about their broken friendship: "I really love ya, man. You're my best friend. Because you always f--king came to see me while I was in Juvie"; Otto blamed his neglect on work: "I'm busy, man. I told ya I was working"; Debbi and Archie fawned over and kissed the 'metal' bionic hand of Agent Rogersz before leaving
  • meanwhile, after wandering around LA on foot, Parnell had located his car parked outside the night-club; the three punks emerged from the club and confronted Parnell attempting to retake his car; he challenged Duke into opening the trunk, who further claimed he wasn't intimidated - using a James Cagney gangster-accent: ("I said I ain't afraid of nothin'. I kill people like you"); Duke slightly opened up the trunk, burned his hand; wrapped it in a handkerchief, and then opened the trunk even further before Debbi pushed him away to save him from further heat-burns; but then Archie (calling himself "Invincible") wished to show off to Debbi: ("Hey Debbi, watch this!") and completely opened up the trunk - and was incinerated - except for his smoking boots; Duke and Debbi were scared away and went off to commit more crimes: (Duke: "Let's go get Sushi, and not pay"), allowing Parnell to reclaim and take possession of his car
  • by now, a frantic search for the car was underway by many competing groups: the Rodriguez Brothers were the first to locate Parnell driving in LA, and Napo yelled out: "Special deputies pull over" - but Parnell ignored them; the four Helping Han repo men (Bud, Oly, Lite, and Miller) were also driving around LA, and happened to come up behind the Rodriguez Brothers driving alongside the '64 Chevy Malibu; to settle long-standing rivalries between the two groups, Bud side-swiped the Rodriguez vehicle and forced it to pull over and park under an elevated highway (the Lower Grand Avenue Concourse in towntown LA)
  • in the confusion, Parnell drove off in the green-glowing Malibu; Bud threatened the brothers with a baseball bat; as a result, a harrassment suit ("malicious damage, medical expenses and harrassment") was filed against Helping Hand and the belligerent Bud was fired by Oly
  • after being fired, Bud also felt both angry and alienated from Otto, and reprimanded him: "What's a matter with you? Don't you like your job anymore? Not too happy in your job? I mean I feel like we're not communicating anymore. When we first started out, I thought I could teach you something, share something with you, for Christ's sake"
  • Otto deserted Bud, and was walking by himself in a derelict, slummy section of LA, where he glimpsed two men in white Hazmat suits lifting a corpse and depositing it into a white van: (Voice-over: "I'm picking up a dead body. I'm putting my hands around his body. I'm, I'm carrying his limp torso to the truck, and he feels like he's, he's only been dead for a little while, but...")
  • Otto caught sight of the '64 Chevy Malibu and chased after it; when Otto finally caught up to the car, Parnell offered him a hitched ride; Parnell introduced himself and then the lobotomized "loonie" admitted he was going insane: ("Did you ever feel as if your mind had started to erode? Ever been to Utah?")

During an Aimless Drive, Parnell Told Otto About His Lobotomized, Tormented Scientist Friend (Himself!)

Parnell Slumped Over with a Bloody Nose

Parnell Dying From Radiation, and Dragged From the Chevy Malibu by Otto to a Park Bench
  • during their aimless drive, Otto was told about Parnell's tormented scientist 'friend' who invented the neutron bomb and requested a lobotomy after realizing the consequences of nuclear war: ("Ra-di-a-tion, yes indeed! You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked, goggle-boxed 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 'em, too. When they canceled the project, it almost did me in. One day my mind was literally a-burst. The next day nothing. Swept away. But I showed them. I had a lobotomy in the end"); Otto asked: "Isn't that for loonies?"; Parnell continued: ("Not at all. A friend of mine had one. Designer of the neutron bomb. You ever hear of the neutron bomb? Destroys people - leaves buildings standing. Fits in a suitcase. It's so small, no one knows it's there until - BLAMMO. Eyes melt, skin explodes, everybody dead. So immoral, working on the thing can drive you mad. That's what happened to this friend of mine. So he had a lobotomy. Now he's well again"); and then, Parnell admitted he was talking about himself - his own work at Los Alamos, and his own lobotomy
  • Parnell slumped forward into the steering wheel, and passed out, with blood dripping from his nose, due to radiation sickness and prolonged exposure; Otto dragged Parnell's body out of the car, left him on a park bench next to a RR crossing sign (where he presumably died), and drove back to the Helping Hand lot, where he parked the Malibu, locked the gate and went on a search for Bud; he noticed a handwritten sign on the gate: "BIG PARTY AT MILLER'S C U THERE!"
  • at Miller's party, Otto was surrounded and manhandled by two Repo Wives (Janet Chan and Angelique Pettyjohn), who called him a "young New-Waver"; Otto hadn't realized that when he locked the car in the yard's lot, Bud had been lying in wait there to resteal and then hide the 64 Chevy Malibu; after parking the prized vehicle elsewhere, Bud retrieved his own car and reunited with Otto, and insisted he wasn't angry at his apprentice
  • while Bud and Otto were buying "BEER" inside a local liquor store, in a parked car out front, Duke was proposing to Debbi, suggesting that they settle down and start a family: ("It just seems like the thing to do"), but Debbi called him an "asshole"; during their botched store robbery and Mexican stand-off, Debbi shot Bud in the head, and Duke was shot in the chest by the downed and wounded security guard Luis (from the grocery store); when Duke approached to finish off Luis on the floor, the heavy-set store clerk shot-gunned Duke in the back; Debbi retaliated by gunning down the clerk behind the counter; she tossed Otto a bag of generic POPCORN before she fled
  • Otto comforted Duke as he slowly died on the floor and gasped: "I know a life of crime led me to this sorry fate. And yet I, I blame society. Society made me what I am," but Otto strongly disagreed: "That's bulls--t. You';re a white suburban punk, just like me"; Duke answered: "But it still hurts" before he coughed up blood and expired
  • Parnell was found dead on the park bench by government agents in the white van, and his irradiated corpse was torched; Otto returned to Helping Hand and realized the '64 Chevy Malibu he had parked there was missing; through the office window, he saw that Marlene was being questioned by two blonde gov't agents; he was able to help Marlene escape through the back door, but as Otto fled out the front door, he was seized by other government officials
  • Otto was held captive in an empty interrogation room and bound on a table, as Agent Rogersz and Leila viewed him through one of the white van's TV monitors; electrical charges were being used to torture him to answer questions about the Malibu, although he honestly divulged everything he knew: "Somebody ripped it from the yard"; Leila and the Agent watched as a trench-coated trio (Marlene teamed up with the Rodriguez Brothers) rescued Otto and ran off; Agent Rogersz was non-chalant about it: "That's all part of the plan"
  • Marlene, Otto, and the two brothers entered the hospital where Bud had been taken to be treated for his serious gunshot head injury after the robbery-shootout; Otto and Marlene stole two medical uniforms during a ride up in an elevator to Bud's floor; Otto pulled back a sheet on a gurney in a hallway, and caught a glimpse of Kevin (with a shattered eyeglass lens); in Bud's room, Otto apologized for 'splitting' and leaving him on the floor of the liquor store
  • after being followed, Marlene and Otto fled down a hospital stairwell from the two blonde government agents, and Napo engaged in a gun-battle with them; on his own, Bud was motivated to vacate his hospital room when he heard evangelist Rev. Larry on his room TV exhorting his followers to phone with information about a "sweet old lady's" stolen Chevy Malibu; Bud retrieved the glowing-green Chevy Malibu (he was the only one who knew its whereabouts - it was in the hospital parking garage!) and drove it back to the Helping Hand's repossession lot
  • meanwhile, the two brothers, Otto and Marlene were initially unable to evade pursuit by a large group of agents and Agent Rogersz in the parking garage, but eventually were able to get away - driving off in the Rodriguez' vehicle; Otto fled separately in a stolen car, and hurriedly drove to the Helping Hand office
  • as a shower of ice cubes rained down on him, Otto arrived at the lot and saw Bud defiantly sitting behind the whee of the parked, glowing bright green Malibu; Otto walked up and suggested that they negotiate how to split the $20,000 reward for the car, as a helicopter approached with a bright spotlight and circled above them - with loudspeaker warnings
Bud Drove the Glowing Malibu Back into the Helping Hand's Lot, Where He Sat Behind the Wheel (With His Bandaged Head)
  • Bud resisted the agents' attempts to acquire the car by disobeying their instructions to get away from the car; Otto warned Bud to be sensible and surrender the car - repeating the phrase: "Only an asshole gets killed over a car"; the defiant Bud exited the car and began waving his handgun in an attempt to defend his claim to the car: "Come and get me copper. I'm well armed and I know where you live"; Bud was machine-gunned at long range by a sniper-agent and fell back into Otto's arms, as he contemptuously added: "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees!" [Note: Bud was paraphrasing Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata who said: "Better to die on your feet than to live a lifetime on your knees"]; as Bud slowly died in Otto's arms, he calmly asked for a cigarette

Bud: "Come and get me, copper!"

Bud Machine-Gunned by a Sniper in a Helicopter
  • as Otto held on tightly to the dying Bud, the Malibu (with sparks) emitted a mysterious, blinding light force field [Note: the scene paid homage to Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)], and held back or incinerated a trio of holy men and the agents wearing flame-retardant Hazmat suits who tried to get close; the tele-evangelist's Bible that was being held out was also struck by sparks and burst into flames, and he blurted out: "Holy sheep-s--t!"
Hazmat-Suited Gov't Agents and the Tele-Evangelist (With His Bible) Couldn't Get Near the Car and Some Were Incinerated
  • in the film's final moments, Helping Hand mechanic Miller (a believer in aliens - a time traveler?) was the only one to confidently and harmlessly approach the car; he was easily able to slide behind the wheel to go for a "little spin" even though he didn't know how to drive; he summoned Otto to join him as a passenger; Otto left the dying Bud, and also ignored Leila's question: "What about our relationship?" - he replied: "F--k that!"; she responded with "You s--t-head! I'm glad I tortured you! How can you leave me? I'm the one who's supposed to be in that car"
  • Otto climbed on board as a passenger to become a time-traveler for an euphoric, cosmic drive; they miraculously levitated, floated and rose straight upward into the air; Oly proudly looked up from the ground and exclaimed: "Best god-damned car in the yard"
  • as they sped away for an "intense" ride across the LA skyline, Otto gazed out the window: (Otto: "Wow! This is intense!" Miller: "The life of a repo man is always intense"); the car briefly flew around downtown Los Angeles, and then blasted or zoomed off into interplanetary outer space - similar to Star Wars (1977)
  • the ending credits scrolled in a reversed fashion - downwards instead of upwards (again inspired by Kiss Me Deadly's opening credits)

Cop to Parnell Driving a 1964 Chevy Malibu into California's Mojave Desert: "What you got in the trunk?"

Chevy Malibu with NM Plates KBB 283

Cop Disintegrated and Vaporized After Opening the Trunk

Cop's Melted and Smoking Boots [Note: The license plate changed to 127-GBH]

Otto At First Refusing a Repo-Man Job - Pouring Out A Can of Beer

In the Mojave Desert - Agent Rogersz (Susan Barnes) Investigating the Motorcycle Cop's Death

Eccentric Alien-Seeking Government Agent Rogersz With a Gloved, Metal Left Hand In a White Van with Two Blonde Government Agents

Crooked Preacher Rev. Larry (Bruce White) on Television

Otto In His Home Eating Directly From an Opened Can of Generic "FOOD"

Otto's Stoned-Out Ex-Hippie Parents Watching the Tele-Evangelist on TV

Mentor Bud's Recitation of the "Repo Code" to Otto While They Snorted Coke Together in His Car

Bud Buying Cans of "DRINK" at a Liquor Store

Otto's Punk Friends Robbing the Same Liquor Store

Parnell in the '64 Chevy Malibu on an LA Bridge and Driving by the White Van

More of Apprentice Otto's Mentoring by Bud and Lite

Otto Maced in the Face By Delinquent Car Owner Ms. Magruder (Sue Kiel)

Otto Repossessing a Red Pontiac Firebird with Lite

Lite's Self-Help Book Dioretix

Mechanic Co-Worker Miller's Wacky Monologue to Otto About "Cosmic Unconsciousness"

The Rodriguez Brothers in Cahoots with Marlene

Bud's Yelling: "Repo man's got all night every night"

The Notice About the $20K Reward for the Chevy Malibu

Otto and Leila Inside the United Fruitcake Outlet

The '64 Chevy Malibu Emerging From a Car Wash

The Sickened Parnell Exiting the Vehicle at the Gas Station

In the All-Night Diner, an Advertisement for a "Plate O' Shrimp" - a Luncheon Special for $2.95

Lite to Otto After a Scary Repo: "Blanks get the job done too"

Miller's Classic Tale About John Wayne: "John Wayne was a fag..."

Oly's Answer to Miller: "That doesn't mean he was a homo, Miller"

In a Nightclub Bar, Otto's Ex-Punk Friends (l to r): Debbi, Archie, Duke

Parnell Confronted by the Three Punks At His Own Car

Duke Tricked into Opening the Malibu Car Trunk - It Burned His Hand

Archie Was Incinerated

At Miller's Party, Otto Surrounded by Two Repo Wives

Debbi and Duke Confronting Otto and Bud During Liquor Store Robbery

Otto Comforting the Dying Duke After Store Shootout

Otto's Torture by Government Agents, Viewed on a TV Monitor in the White Van by Leila and Agent Rogersz

Otto Rescued by Marlene and the Rodriguez Brothers

In the Hospital, Otto Apologizing to Bud For Leaving Him at the Liquor Store

By Himself, Bud Escaped From the Hospital Parking Area in the Glowing-Green Chevy Malibu

The Group Was Surrounded and Captured in the Hospital Parking Facility, Before Evading Capture

Miller Confidently Approached the Chevy Malibu

Bright Green Glowing Malibu

Miller Sliding Over to Take the Wheel ("Going For a Little Spin")

Bud Summoned to Join Miller

Glowing and Levitating Car

Otto's Wide-Eyed Amazement

The Speeding Car

Cosmic Ride (Otto: "Wow! This is Intense!")


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