Directed by Rob Stefaniuk
Starring Rob Stefaniuk, Jessica Pare, Paul Anthony, Malcolm McDowell, Henry Rollins, Moby, Dimitri Coats, Dave Foley and Alice Cooper.
SUCK is out now in the UK on DVD from Fabulous Films!
Suck follows a rock band called the Winners, consisting of vocalist Joey Winner (Stefaniuk), bassist Jennifer (Jessica Paré), guitarist Tyler (Paul Anthony), drummer Sam (Mike Lobel), and French-Canadian roadie Hugo (Chris Ratz), along with their creepy manager Jeff (Dave Foley). As they tour across Canada and the USA Jennifer is turned into a vampire by Queeny (Dimitri Coats). A vampire hunter (who is afraid of the dark) named Eddie Van Helsing (McDowell) chases them down.
While on tour, one by one the band are turned into vampires. The band grows in popularity but Joey is losing interest in the vampire lifestyle. Joey tells Jennifer that they can become human again but they will need to kill Queeny. As they tour the country looking for Queeny the meet a number of freaks along the way.
Over the years there have been many versions of the blood sucking demon, some are classics like Nosferatu in 1922 right up to the modern day and Edward Cullen in the much derided Twilight. However you look at the way they have been portrayed most have had a new slant attached to them. Nosferatu with the long fingernails or Edward and being sparkly (Stop laughing at the back!). Suck, directed by Stefaniuk, of ‘Phil The Alien’ and the upcoming ‘Anxietyville’ decides to hit the middle ground and go for a more middle of the road vampire which could quite easily be pulled off with a decent budget at your next Halloween party.
Often with low budget horror you have to be spot on with tone. You could potentially get away with a bad cast or script but if tone is not focussed, you will lose the audience. Suck hits it’s tone on the head early and continually gets it right. Focussing somewhere between The Rocky Horror Show and Idle Hands, both classic films. The tone is not too light to not make it scary and its not too dark and gory so you can enjoy it which ever way you like your horror films.
As the main cast are in a band, and sing original songs, another aspect of Suck that is well done is the music. If the songs weren’t catchy, this would drag you straight out of the film, but the music is played dead straight and I could quite easily have the songs on my headphones. In fact, the moment the film finished I checked on iTunes and the soundtrack is actually on there. Money well spent I say.
The main cast, mostly all Canadian actors work well with the material especially the main female Jennifer, played by Jessica Pare of Mad Men and Hot Tub Time Machine, having to play meek and innocent to start and be overly sexual once transformed into a vampire.
Being a metalhead for many years the film has a real kick in it with the various cameos from musicians. Alice Cooper plays an all powerful demon (with wings!), Henry Rollins a Radio DJ (playing well off his spoken word persona he now carries) and Alex Lifeson from Rush. The best of all the cameo s lies with Moby, I wont spoil who he plays but its played for laughs, Moby is clearly game, and runs with the role.
Being a stalwart of the genre Malcolm McDowell plays a vampire hunter called Eddie Van Helsing, what a great name, and he is afraid of the dark. To me McDowell comes across as quite the serious actor, but in this semi-comedic role he plays against type and has fun. When I first heard of this film, I had trepidations. Was this film going to make fun of the two things I enjoy most, heavy metal music and horror, or was it going to enjoy the trappings of both and put a new spin on it? With the way the director shoots the film, the music and the acting I can safely say I was surprised by how great Suck is. I’d highly recommend it, and only wish it was slightly longer.