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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Suck (2009) review


SUCK 2010

Rob Stefaniuk (Joey), Jessica Pare (Jennifer), Paul Anthony (Tyler), Mike Lobel (Sam), Chris Ratz (Hugo), Dimitri Coats (Queeny), Malcolm McDowall (Eddie Van Helsing), Alice Cooper (Bartender/Devil), Moby (Beef), Henry Rollins (Rockin' Roger), Iggy Pop (Victor), Dave Foley (Jeff), Barbara Mamabolo (Danielle)

Directed by Rob Stefaniuk

The Short Version: A rockin' good  time is found here in this too cool take on the increasingly anemic vampire sub genre. Gorged on fresh blood, it's the ROCKY HORROR for the new millennium and one of the most creatively fun movies I've seen all year.

The rock band 'The Winners' are losers in the world of rock and roll. One fateful night performing in a club changes their lives forever when Jennifer, a member of the band, decides to go home with a curious and creepy admirer named Queeny. Upon her return, Jennifer is noticeably different. When the band hits the road, they leave a slew of corpses behind, but their new Gothically ghoulish gimmick brings them lots of attention including the nyctophobic Eddie Van Helsing.

This wickedly inventive Canadian horror-comedy-rock and roll-road movie-musical is quite a lot of fun, more so than I expected. Director Stefaniuk (who also had a prior career in fledgling bands) also wrote the script and collaborated with the films composer, John Kastner on the many songs featured in the movie. Some of the cast members, for authenticity, learned to play the songs despite not having any experience with musical instruments. 

The best possible comparison I could make with this movie is that it's the millennium version of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975). There's also a heavy rock video vibe that frequently surfaces accompanied by the use of some interesting stop motion effects and also some haunting, demonic painted skies that occasionally feature eyes watching our heroes as they travel from one misadventure to the next. The movie also playfully and subtley explores the many decadent proponents that are the stigmas of being in a band such as the sex and the drugs. 


In one of the more novel touches, footage from McDowall's O LUCKY MAN! (1973) is integrated during a flashback sequence where we get Eddie Van Helsing's backstory involving his encounter with Queeny, who took away his girlfriend, a singer named Danielle. In my eyes, McDowall has erased the memory of Dr. Loomis in Rob Zombie's celluloid shit stain that was the brutally bad HALLOWEEN "reimagining". Here, he's funny as the quirky, one eyed vampire slayer who's afraid of the dark. 

The cast is chock full of music personalities both big and small such as Alice Cooper (whose daughter also has a role in the film), who plays a tall, pale and gruesome overseer who also acts as something of the conscience of the Joey character. There's Iggy Pop, Moby, Henry Rollins, Dimitri Coats and the director himself. All the songs are good and would make a great soundtrack should one ever be produced. There's also a number of sight gags including a great one that mimicks the cover to Bruce Springsteen's iconic album cover to 'Born In the USA'. Dave Foley from the 'Kids In the Hall' has a role here as well.

Possessing several really hilarious bits (the convenience store and Canadian border sequence come to mind) as well as one character who eventually becomes an homage to Renfield from the original novel, SUCK has quite the potential to become a big cult item as noted from the 'Rolling Stone' review. As much as I have grown to despise the gushing arterial flow of vampire movies of late, I must admit that this ingenious little movie is one that doesn't SUCK.

This review is representative of the E1 Entertainment DVD


Aaron said...

DAMNIT! I was gonna review this one later today. You beat me to it. Oh well. I will read this review later on after I watch it.

venoms5 said...

I been sitting on it for a few days now. Got a bunch more to post, but this new format on blogger is driving me up the wall. I'm having a lot of problems with it right now.

Great movie, though. I enjoyed it a lot and didn't think I was going to like it at all.

Aaron said...

Yeah the new format sucks balls. I still use the old one and I hope they don't get rid of it any time soon. I only switch to the new one to post the Amazon widget things and then switch back to the "vintage" format.

The Film Connoisseur said...

This is a movie that I would have normally skipped at the video store, but your review has made me change my mind, gonna be checking it out soon.

Agree with you on Halloween re-imaging, wow that last one, part II really blew! Saw it the other day and finally understood what all the hoopla was about, it was terrible!

venoms5 said...

@ Aaron: You can still use the old one? How do you switch back? I looked and didn't see anything. It's probably in front of me no doubt! Hell, I can't even get the amazon widget to work half the time. It shows up on some of them and doesn't on others.

venoms5 said...

@ Fran: It was a lot of fun, Fran. I had a good time with it.

I actually liked Zombie's HALLOWEEN 2 better than his first attempt. It was shit, but did have some good moments here and there.

The Film Connoisseur said...

Seriously? I hated that Halloween II, what I didnt like about it was that it took out the mystery, they decided to take Myers mask off and to top things off, suddenly Myers looks like Rob Zombie. I guess that was supposed to be some kind of an inside joke on Zombies part? Making Myers look like himself?

I did like bits and pieces of it, the kills were effective at times, and I liked some of the shots, but ultimately, I think it messed too much with the iconic Myers. ANd it felt like one of Zombies music videos at times as well, I thought he'd gotten past that already with House of a 1000 Corpses.

I just remember watching H2 and feeling like Zombie half assed the movie, I know he didnt really have his heart on this one either, he was getting a lot of crap from the studio.

venoms5 said...

I don't like any of Rob Zombie's movies, actually. DEVIL'S REJECTS is the closest I've come to actually liking one of his films from start to finish. HALLOWEEN 2 had some interesting mean spirited moments, but that first one he did...

I did a Remakes: Redux, or Ridiculous article a while back where I compared both his HALLOWEEN's to the first two original HALLOWEEN's, Fran, if you ever have time to check it out.

He probably wouldn't get shit from studios if he'd just make a good movie and leave out all the infantile dialog that he is so fond of. Looks like his BLOB remake has been derailed and now he's moving on to what appears to be an un-acknowledged remake of CITY OF THE DEAD called THE LORDS OF SALEM.

The Film Connoisseur said...

I'll check out your article Brian.

And dont forget that T.REX movie he was planning to make, I was extremely curious for it, unfortunately, nothing has come of it yet.

LORDS OF SALEM sounds like an interesting project. I just hope that whatever it is he makes next, he completely redeems himself in the eyes of horror fans.

venoms5 said...

Oh, yeah, that supernatural biker flick. It had a cool poster, I must say.

Aaron said...

Go to Settings and on that first page scroll down to where it says "Select post editor" (it's located below Global Settings if you can't find it). I use that to switch back and forth. The Amazon widget works fine on my posts. Feel free to delete this comment!

venoms5 said...

Nice, thanks, Aaron, that works great! I found a way to get the amazon linking box to work without creating a widget, or link. As soon as I added the code by switching to HTML, it worked every time.

Last night, I ran into another stumbling block. I couldn't upload images that I had cropped. It would only take JPG, PNG and GIF images and it still wouldn't take them even after I saved images that way.

I had several other problems, too, but hopefully they'll get all these bugs worked out over time. But for now, I'm gonna follow your lead and use the old editor. It's what I'm most familiar with and is much smoother.

Jay Shatzer said...

I was debating on checking out this flick, but you've just sold me. If it's as entertaining as Rocky Horror Picture Show, then I'm in.

venoms5 said...

I enjoyed it quite a bit, Jay. I wasn't expecting much at all from it. It was a nice surprise.

Carl Manes said...

Im grabbing it immediately after that review, sounds like a friggin blast man, the Horrsical seems to be a growing trend after Repo

venoms5 said...

It's worth buying in my opinion, Carl. I liked it a lot and I am sick to death of vampires at this point. I did see the new sequel to 30 DAYS OF NIGHT and it was kinda lame. Just lots of machine gun battles with vampires that speak Klingon. The ending made no fucking sense at all. Maybe it would if I saw the first film from start to finish.

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