Suck (2009)

It’s hard to believe but it took me eighteen days before I finally got to a vampire movie. I was planning to start with Daybreakers but somehow the rock ‘n roll horror comedy Suck was higher on the ol’ Netflix queue, even though I don’t remember putting it on there. I’m glad I did though, because it’s not half bad. Granted it’s a bit of a rip off of the first act of the dreadful movie adaptation of Queen of the Damned (not to mention the 1990 Dean Cameron tour de force, Rockula), but it’s generally funny and smart, and it boasts a hip soundtrack and plenty of clever music industry gags to boot.

Yeah, they went there.

The story: The best thing you can say about the Canadian band, The Winners, is that their name demonstrates a mastery of irony. After yet another poorly attended show at yet another tiny bar, their agent quits on them just as they’re about to being touring southward to New York and a promised industry showcase at the CMJ music marathon. Coincidentally I just looked online and found out that CMJ 2010 kicks off today, so that’s pretty lucky skillful timing on my part.

After the show the band’s bassist, sexy Jessica Paré (who fans of Mad Men will attest already had a lot going on in the teeth department), is musically seduced and converted by creepy rock vampire Queeny. She returns to the stage with brighter eyes and paler skin, and the band’s gigs start attracting more followers on the strength of her magnetism. It isn’t long before the rest of the group realizes the source of their newfound popularity, and the terrible price of fame. Will they be able to resist the temptation to join her in undead rockstardom?

Music lover.

Biggest letdown: After a promising beginning, things get considerably sloppier once the vampire secret starts to go public. The whole first hour or so is really clever and stylish (love the toy car sequences in lieu of road trip montages), and there are a lot of fun jabs at life on the road for a struggling band: all the guys are at least somewhat in love with the one female in the group, the roadie dutifully dismembering her victims, etc. The obvious commentaries on addiction and famous people getting away with murder are a bit too pronounced but at least they’re interesting and artistically valid. I was disappointed, then, when toward the end the movie suddenly shifts to a weird actiony confrontation. I might have been more interested if they took the musical theme a little further and made the villains a rival rock band so they could have finished things on stage, where Suck is at its best.

Only a matter of time before she ditches the band for a solo project.

Why you should watch: There are a lot of times when the band’s not on stage yet characters are portrayed singing songs. Really most of the time they’re only lip syncing to someone else’s songs, but the overall impression is something like a watered down rock opera, which is a much more natural fit for a vampire movie than you might think. Complementing the concept nicely is a bevy of real life rock stars and musicians who make appearances in the film: Iggy Pop (who, at 63, is still more ripped than I ever was or will be), Alice Cooper, Carole Pope, Henry Rollins, Alex Lifeson (Rush, motherfuckers!), Dimitri Coats and more. Many of them score some pretty funny inside jokes and Iggy especially is still as weirdly compelling on screen as ever.

"Reason for your visit to the U.S.?"

Memorable Moment: I wasn’t really in love with this movie but part of that is because I didn’t get a lot of the jokes until I looked up the cast of famous supporting characters and realized what I missed. One scene I did enjoy right off the bat was when renowned vegetarian and pacifist Moby appears as Beef Bellows. Beef is the lead singer of The Secretaries of Steak, a violent metal band that encourages fans to hurl raw meat at the stage so he can drizzle meat juice on his head. Chuckle.

Choice quote: “Dude lemme tell you what I’ve learned in my many many travels: always use a condom and never trust a goddamn vampire.”

About the Rating System

5 Responses to “Suck (2009)”

  1. Good old vampire comedies….reminds me of Once Bitten with none other than Jim Carey at his spark in 1985.

  2. […] Suck – Vampires rock! […]

  3. […] Suck – Vampires rock! […]

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