Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Suck (2009)

Rock and Horror are practically brothers. In some cases it's an acquired taste, but for those that enjoy them, it's heaven. So it's not surprise that the two have been mixed together. From "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" to "Return of the Living Dead", the two have been not so strange bedfellows. As far as recent entries go, well there's "Queen of the Damned", which defined mediocrity, the absolutely atrocious "Neowolf", and Writer/Director/Star Rob Stefaniuk's 2009 entry "Suck."

Meet The Winners. They are a rock band that wants to make it big, but well, they suck. Well, bassist Jennifer (Jessica Paré) comes eye to eye with Queeny (Dimitri Coats), and the next thing you know, she's different. And by different, I mean she's a vampire. However, as she and other band members start to turn, they start to become more popular. Problem is, they don't really like being vampires, and then there's Eddie Van Helsing (Malcolm McDowell), who wants to stop this once and for all.

If there's anything that really saves "Suck" from well...sucking, it's the acting. All the performances fit the campy tone, and never become grating or obnoxious. McDowell manages to play Eddie Van Helsing (get it?) with a sly wink instead of overacting, and everyone playing a band member manages to do a good job. Then there's the appearances from rock royalty. Alice Cooper shows up as a bartender whose clearly up to no good, while Iggy Pop plays a concerned producer and Henry Rollins as an obnoxious radio DJ named Rockin' Roger. Even Moby is fun as the front-man of a band called "Secretary of Stake", clearly having fun with his reputation as a vegan pacifist and having a ball as a douche. Plus, some of the jokes really work (I loved the obligatory dead drummer joke) and it's nice to see Dave Foley give a funny performance.

Sadly, the film still didn't win me over completely. For one thing, there are several references/tributes to classic album covers that tend to induce eye-rolling instead of the chuckles that it intends. Also, while many of the performances and cameos work, there are ones that tend to tank. In particular is Christopher Ratz as the roadie Hugo, whose French-Canadian doofus shickt is tiresome from the get go. Then there's the cameo from Alex Lifeson from Rush as a border agent, which just feels like the director thought "Hey man, we've got Alex Lifeson!" Finally, there's the conclusion, which pretty much screams "Hey guys, how about "Suck II: Suck Harder?"" No thank you.

As it stands, the best way to describe "Suck" as a whole is that it's 60% a lot of fun, and 40% of it feels like a Direct to TV movie from VH1. Decent, but not exactly essential.

Rating: 6/10

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