Newport Beach Film Festival: Suck Review

Rob Stefaniuk’s Suck is not your average (noticing our NBFF trend?) vampire flick. Sure, the vampires kill people, drink blood, and hate the sunlight, but they also rock. This Canadian horror rock musical follows a band as it slowly chooses the dark side in order to make it big. Does film deliver the goods, or does it…well, suck? Find out after the break.

Joey (Stefaniuk) leads a band ironically called “The Winners”. What’s ironic about it is that they aren’t winning anything. Their manager Jeff (Dave Foley) is planning to quit, Joey is constantly having to ask for money from his girlfriend, and they just lost a big gig in front of music executives. Just when Joey begins to think he’s a hack, luck comes their way. Jennifer (Jessica Paré), the band’s bassist and ex-girlfriend to Joey, becomes a vampire, and audiences love it. Eventually she turns the rest of the band into vampires as well, and Joey is forced to make a choice: Lose his soul or lose his dream.

As deep as that may sound, Suck is a very superficial film. As to be expected, it is also a comedy. The film is very tongue-and-cheek, and let’s you know it from the start. Maybe appropiately, the film has no soul, and when characters are forced to make decisions, you really don’t care. Even the jokes aren’t that great, because there’s no real drama. There’s very little talk about the mythology of vampires, which helps keep the foot on the pedal, but leaves something lacking.

That being said, there are definitely some positives (insert blood joke here) to enjoy in Suck. The music is really good, though the film constantly goes away from the “musical” part of its premise. The smaller roles and cameos are probably the highlights of the film. Foley, of course, is hilarious, but so is Malcolm McDowell as Van Helsing’s decendent. The rock cameos of Alice Cooper, Moby, Henry Rollins, and especially Iggy Pop made this movie worth watching.

Sure, this may be a throwaway movie that won’t move you or change the landscape of filmmaking, but it’s a lot of fun despite its flaws. Isn’t that what really matters?

Suck premiered in September 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival and is currently awaiting distribution after Alliance Films bought the rights. See the trailer below.

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