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The Paris Hilton horror musical you can watch on Amazon Prime right now

You know, the phrase "Paris Hilton science fiction gothic horror musical" gets thrown around a lot these days, so why not revisit where all the hubbub began with 2008's Repo! The Genetic Opera?

It all started back in 1996, when writers Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich began collaborating on a stage story titled The Necromerchant's Debt, built around the premise of a world where a person's organs could be repossessed. Over the next six years, the concept gestated, and was performed live for the first time in 2002. By 2005, most of the show's details were nailed down, and it wasn't long before the play, by now titled Repo!, was being shopped around as a feature film. In 2008, that film saw the light of day. Repo! The Genetic Opera was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, best known as the director of the second, third, and fourth entries in the Saw franchise.

Critics were not kind to the goth opera's movie adaptation when it was first released — it currently holds a 40% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Nathan Lee of The New York Times described Repo! as "an excruciating new torture," while other reviewers chose even more cutting words. They said that it was wanting for depth. They claimed that it was missing an emotional core. But there was one thing, objectively, that they couldn't argue the motion picture lacked: Paris Hilton, dressed like Jessica Jones at a Vampire: The Masquerade live action role players' convention, singing about how great it is to get surgical procedures.

Repo! was Paris Hilton's musical debut

Repo! The Genetic Opera wasn't Hilton's first journey into cinematic bleakness. In 2005, Jaume Collet-Serra's House of Wax remake banked heavily on the public's love-hate relationship with the socialite, utilizing an advertising campaign called "See Paris Die." Hilton would go on to win a Golden Raspberry award for Worst Actress for her performance. She received a second Worst Actress award for 2008's The Hottie and the Nottie, the same year that she took home Worst Supporting Actress for Repo! These combined performances would later land her the 2010 Golden Raspberry for Worst Actress of the Decade.

Unfortunately, despite early excitement on the part of the production team regarding a possible sequel or prequel, Repo! ate it hard at the box office, pulling in less than $200,000 on an $8.5 million budget. In the years since, it's found a cult audience, becoming a popular late-night, second-run offering, but in 2012, creator Terrance Zdunich described any decisions about a possible Repo! Part II as "really out of our hands," saying, "We no longer own Repo!" Instead, Zdunich and Bousman decided to create another horror musical, The Devil's Carnival (also available on Amazon), featuring several returning cast members from their first film.

In the years since the release of Repo! The Genetic Opera, the public's Hilton Fever broke, and the heiress and performer has largely shied away from acting work. Still, we'll always have this goth opera to look back on and remember a gentler time, a bizarre would-be franchise, and a simpler life.