Published Sep 09, 2009Probably more noteworthy for its star-studded, musical supporting cast, which includes Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins and Moby, Suck doesn't live up to its title but it isn't anything particularly memorable either. There are some catchy songs, some clever musical references and a reasonable amount of blood, making its brief running time engaging, despite a fairly flimsy overall story with inconsistent, awkwardly discordant and often frustrating characters.
At the centre of things is Joey (played by writer/director Rob Stefaniuk), an aging, destitute musician described aptly by Alice Cooper's bartender character as "30 pounds of junk food and a retail job away from suicide." His band, the Winners, are close to calling it quits after their manager (Dave Foley) leaves them but find unlikely success when bassist Jennifer (Jessica Pare) shows up looking hotter than ever, with strangely pale skin.
People are attracted to her and in turn, the band, by contiguity, which works wonders until other members of the band develop a similar aversion to light and thirst for human blood.
A tendency to construct shots out of famous album covers keeps our pop culture lexicon buzzing, while a death scene involving a straw and a cameo by Moby as a meat-obsessed, leather-wearing lead singer named Beef keep camp value and irony at a high.
Despite these fun "in-house" jokes and the obvious parallel of compromised musician as creature of the night, Suck doesn't feel like a complete film, delivering only a decent irreverent message in between its repetitive whining and awkward subplot involving a vampire slayer (Malcolm McDowell).
Adding to these issues is a murky mythology within and an unfortunate lack of charisma from the lead actor/director, who should have cast someone other than himself. Consistent budget conscious art direction and a distinct visual sensibility help a bit, only to have lame edits and unnecessary stylization detract.
Essentially Suck is a film with an abundance of misguided and undeveloped potential that happens to have a handful of enjoyable moments. (Capri)