Starring: Rob Stefaniuk, Jessica Paré, Malcolm McDowell, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper
Director: Rob Stefaniuk
Distributed by: Capri Films
“Sex, blood and rock ‘n’ roll.”
In Suck, a small independent Canadian rock band, The Winners, are working hard to make it big, but they are only able to attain gigs in mostly empty bars and other small venues. After being dropped by their business manager, the frontman of the band, Joey Winner (Rob Stefaniuk), decides to continue touring while he tries to figure out his and the band’s future. When their bass player, Jennifer (Jessica Paré), is invited to a party after their gig she returns the next day as a vampire. Suddenly, the band quickly begins to gain popularity due to Jennifer’s newfound powers and otherworldly beauty. As the tour takes them from Canada to America, the other members are slowly turned into vampires by Jennifer and The Winners popularity grows with each new show. It comes down to a decision by Joey whether or not he will join the band and become a vampire.
Meanwhile, Eddie Van Helsing (Malcolm McDowell) is on the hunt for a vampire named Queenie (Dimitri Coats), who was the one who initially turned Jennifer. Eddie is seeking revenge for Queenie killing his girlfriend years ago. This puts the band into Eddie’s sights and he hunts them through the movie.
This film is the brainchild of Rob Stefaniuk who wrote, directed, and starred in it. Usually when I see that in an independent film, it signifies a bad viewing experience with the writer making his character the main focus and not leaving a lot of room for the other characters to grow. However, that is not the case here. We do follow Joey through most of the film, but the story is balanced well and allows the development of the other band members and secondary characters.
While Suck is a horror comedy, it is also a love song to music with a focus on rock ‘n’ roll. With that in mind, Rob Stefaniuk was able to gather a phenomenal cast of musicians to play roles in the film. Alice Cooper plays an ancient vampire who guides Joey throughout the movie trying to convince him to become a vampire. Iggy Pop plays an aging musician that seems to have experienced vampires in the industry before and gives Joey advice to dump Jessica from the band before things go south. Other cameos in the film include Moby, Henry Rollins, Carole Pope, and more.
And speaking of music, the soundtrack for the film is not bad at all with some good original songs including “So Close It Hurts”, “Suck”, and “The Fool”. These and other songs were all written by and mostly performed by, you guessed it, Rob Stefaniuk. There are other songs from some of the artists in the film including Alice Cooper’s “I am the Spider” and “Flesh and Bone” by Burning Brides. There are some missteps as far as songs go, I did not particularly care for the song “This is Your Brain on Drugs” but you may have different loves depending on your tastes. Unfortunately (for people like me who like to have physical media), if you are interested in grabbing this soundtrack you can only get it digitally through iTunes.
This movie is really quite enjoyable, but it does not punch hard into any individual genre. As a horror film, Suck never scares and does not have an overabundance of gore, with only the inclusion of vampires labeling it as horror. As a comedy, it delivers only chuckles versus belly laughs. This does not ruin the film, but if you looking for tears in your eyes from either laughing too hard or being terrified then this is not what you should be putting in your player. What you will get is a connection to the characters and a smoothly flowing plot punctuated by some good music, entertaining dialogue, and some solid acting.
Effects in Suck are perfectly used and range from practical to C.G.I. The C.G.I. seems to only be used in subtleties and probably for the stop-motion animation in the transition scenes. The vampire makeup is mostly traditional with shape fangs and white skin with C.G.I. used to enhance their look when using their vague vampire powers. Makeup, lighting, and camera techniques are used the majority of the time and there are some scenes that appear to be enhanced in post-production. The combined use of all these techniques gives Suck a professional look.
Some shout out performances. Jessica Paré with her changes in body language and attitude when changed into a vampire. Chris Ratz as the put-upon roadie Hugo gets some of the best comedic scenes and lines. Malcolm McDowell always puts on a great performance. Henry Rollins did a pretty good job as DJ Rocking Roger throughout the film, but only shares scenes with other cast members once in the movie. Sadly for me, Alice Cooper performance did not stand out in the way I feel the character could have and Iggy Pop seemed to play Iggy Pop (although he did a decent job of it). The movie did not suffer for these performances, however.
While I wouldn’t yet call it a huge cult film, I can say it is great for a movie night or a recommendation to friends. It does have some clichés and jokes that possibly only make sense if you are in the industry (drummers seem to get a bad rap), but it never fails to entertain. To be honest, when I initially purchased it I saw three things on the cover: Alice Cooper, Malcolm McDowell, and Iggy Pop. I thought that this movie was not going to be any good, but to see these three in a film together was worth sitting through the rest (spoiler: they never appear together in the movie). After first viewing it, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It has since earned a permanent place in my film library and something I have watched and re-watched. If you like vampires, comedy, and rock ‘n’ roll, then sit back, enjoy, and save me some popcorn.
A fun vampire comedy with solid acting and a good plot. I loved all the rock ‘n’ roll cameos and the use of a more traditional vampire look. While not a laugh out loud comedy or a scary horror film, it still kept me entertained from the beginning until the end. The music was solid enough that I went out and bought the soundtrack.
Fool on the Hill:
I thought this movie was brilliant. The actors were good, the plot was decent, the movie was so weird and hilarious, and there were awesome rock and roll references! I laughed through the entire thing. It even starred some of my favorite rock stars! That being said, the strange humor and somewhat subtle references may not impress some people, but if you are into music and you’re looking for a silly movie I would DEFINITELY recommend this one!