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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
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I've been a huge movie buff since childhood catching old horror and monster flicks on Shock Theater and kung fu movies at the drive-in during the late 70's and early 80's. I've had a long time fascination with, and appreciate all genres of fantastic cinema, good and bad. One fans cheese is another fans juicy steak. I like both equally and seldom find a film I truly dislike as I will find something of interest in just about anything. The bulk of the films or tv series' seen here are mostly from my childhood, or films I own in what has become an Amazing Colossal DVD collection.