E1 Entertainment // 2009 // 96 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 1st, 2010
Rock and roll never dies.
From writer/director/star Rob Stefaniuk, yet another vampire. But this one has a few things going for it to separate it from the pack.
The Winners is a small rock band desperate to make it big. They play small gigs, take in tiny amounts of cash and usually sleep in their car at night. Frontman Joey (Stefaniuk) will do anything to achieve success and the opportunity presents itself when the band's bass player (Jessica Pare) goes home with a mysterious stranger one evening and returns a vampire.
With this sexy new undead hook to their band, The Winners rocket to stardom -- and find themselves drawn into a world of blood-drinking and vamp-hunting.
It's a bold move to open up yourself to douchebag Internet mockery by naming your vampire movie Suck, but Rob Stefaniuk has put together a unique, entertaining little horror-comedy to potentially save him from such a gruesome fate.
You have to think that vampires are approaching the expiration date of their current runaway pop culture impact, but if there are fun, subversive movies like this dealing with the fang gangbangers, maybe we shouldn't drive a stake through the genre just yet.
It's not a homerun, but Suck is cool enough to be considered a ground-rule double...and when you're talking about the vamp field, packed as it is with crap and mediocrity, that's good enough for a recommendation.
Stefaniuk keeps the energy level high and wisely blends in music liberally with the vampire action. Suck is a rock movie at its heart and Stefaniuk and crew embrace this fact; the bass player's metal-infused transformation sequence is a stand-out. The story isn't held back either, as the progression from "bizarre rock band underdog movie" to full-on "vampire hunting spoof" moves along nicely and features some satisfying beats. Staking a vamp with an electric guitar? Genius.
Two big drawbacks keep Suck from really taking off: the vampire shenanigans and the humor. And seeing this is a horror-comedy, it is unfortunate to pull up lame in those two fairly pivotal categories. You'll get some neat make-up and fake incisors, and some blood flows liberally enough towards the end once the undead show really gets hopping, but overall the undead action was left wanting. Save for the righteous guitar kill, not much happens that pushes the gore factor; it's likely to leave fans of vampire hijinks wanting. And the big bad vampire? Looked like a demonic Carrot Top.
And, lastly, Suck wasn't that funny, or, at least as funny as movie about a vampire rock band should be.
The disc: a solid 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround, a lengthy making-of documentary, commentary with Rob Stefaniuk and cinematographer Gregor Hagey and a music video.
Suck doesn't suck.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: E1 Entertainment
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Music Video