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October 5, 2010

Movie Review: Suck (2009)

by Jeff Dolniak

When the acclaimed horror-spoof Suck came across the desks here at the Cinema Head Cheese office, I had to wrestle the new vampire comedy-from E1 Entertainment and director Rob Stefaniuk- out of our eager staff's paws. After climbing over the mountain of KFC Double-Down wrappers on my desk and wading through spilled Milwaukee Best -courtesy of Kevin Moyers- ,I grabbed the Blu-Ray from the top of our "to watch" stack, before any of the Cheesers. With likes of rock legends, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper (that guy from Monster Dog), Henry Rollins, genre great Malcom McDowell and my favorite "Kid" from "Kid's in The Hall, Dave Foley; Suck has really got some star-power going for it. What an assemblage of talent, I thought. Oh and look… a quote from Rolling Stone saying Suck has the potential to be a cult classic". The Blu-Ray quickly disappeared into the slim orifice of my Playstation 3.


The story of Suck starts out in a shadowy, grubby, hole-in-the-wall club, where an uber-shit-aceous band called "The Winners" are jamming out some of their pitiful tunes. Jennifer (Jessica Pare) is the cute bassist of "The Winners"; who on this very night, following her show gets seduced by a goth-vampire guy (Dimitri Coats of the band the Burning Brides). This guy's got curls like Keri Russell and the complexion of Nipsey; but she thinks he's is one hot piece of man arse. That surely doesn't bode well for her mortal way of life as now she's a blood-sucking vampire, thanks to her rendezvous with mystery curls. Meanwhile, Joey (Rob Stefaniuk), front man of "The Winners", battles with their un-receptive manager (Dave Foley) and takes advice from the bartender/Devil (Alice Cooper).

The plot of Suck kind of reminds me of one of my favorite horror films of the 90's, Brian Yuzna's, Return of the Living Dead: Part Three. Sure there isn't the music or the star-power of Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins and company, as featured in Suck; but the story involves similar details. In Suck, Jennifer is bitten by a vampire, and then protected by her band-mates (who hide her thirst for blood). Return of the Living Dead: Part Three's zombified lead (Mindi Clarke) is sheltered by her loving boyfriend, who really just wants her to stop munching human brains. One of the more amusing bits in Suck has a scene very similar to Yuzna's film. This scene involves the stabbing of a Slurpee straw into the neck of a horny convenience store clerk (ample arterial sprays spurting from the nerd's wound). She of course feeds on the poor bloke; much like the zombie girl of Return of the Living Dead: Part Three does in a convenience store. The tone of Suck though, is much more upbeat being it's a comedy (or at least tries to be).

Though our story in Suck has its head-scratching moments, it's rock legends who do a fine job giving anything to the viewer to enjoy. Alice Cooper is solid as the Devil. The man doesn't really need much help looking the part- and he can also mix a mean Black Russian in his part-time job as "the bartender"-. Iggy Pop (who at 92, still has better abs than I'll ever have) is very cool in his brief scene. Unfortunately, for Iggy fans, it takes nearly an hour to get to it. Moby is surprisingly funny as a Judas Priest wanna-be. I'm not a Moby fan by any stretch, but his few lines were pretty humorous. Henry Rollins also helps with the "comedy" element as the cocky, microphone licking DJ, Rockin Roger.

Suck looks quite good in its Blu-Ray version. The colors are very sharp and there aren't any noticeable blemishes in E1's presentation .The details of our vampire's appearances (right down to their glowing aqua blue eyes) don't leave anything to our imagination. Sound is excellent as well; which is important, since there is a fairly strong soundtrack (aside from several of Stefaniuk's songs that I just couldn't get into). The extra features on Suck are a very generous bonus: You get a making of documentary titled, Down to the Crossroads or: How to Make a Movie Suck, a music video from The Burning Brides, called Flesh and Bone and an audio commentary by, director and star, Rob Stefaniuk as well as cinematographer, Gregor Hagey. The commentary isn't a bad listen. Both gentlemen elaborate the rigors of gathering such a unique cast, licensing some of the classic tunes that are on the soundtrack and shooting around beautiful Toronto, Canada. Stefaniuk had a lot on his plate for this shoot (being that he acted, wrote, directed etc.) so there was no shortage of information on the track.

Suck isn't that "cult classic" some have said, but if you are a fan of Iggy, Alice or Henry, this film may be worth a watch.

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