Shiny Shelf


By Mags L Halliday on 20 October 2010

Somehow, a rock’n’roll movie about zombies, the new bête du jour, just wouldn’t work like a vampire one does.

There are a lot of vampires around these days. I blame ‘Twilight’ with its sparkly Volvo-driving emo vampires for making them so popular. Then there’s ‘True Blood’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’, ‘Being Human’ and ‘Let the Right One In’. And ‘Suck’.

‘Suck’ combines vampires with a rock’n’roll movie. The Winners, a struggling band who are dumped by their manager, find fame when their female bassist becomes a vampire. Which way will band leader Joey (Rob Stefaniuk) choose? He’s advised along the way by the Bartender/devil (Alice Cooper) and record producer Victor (Iggy Pop). And they are being tracked by vampire hunter Eddie van Helsig (Malcolm McDowell).

This movie does not pretend to be expensive or classy. It wears its cheapness on its leather sleeve. The model shots are deliberately bad, bringing to mind the dreadful work in Coppola’s ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’. But whereas with Coppola you hoped the effects were supposed to be bad, with ‘Suck’ you know they’re deliberately so.

Where the money has been spent is on the look of bassist Jennifer (Jessica Paré) and the rest of the band as they become vampires. It’s a good choice as the vampiric glamour needs to be plausible for the story to work. The discordant look of each band member gives way to a band uniform as well.

There are some plot questions that emerge, such as how are such indie types playing in a rather old school metal joint at the start? A lot turns on the killing of the queen vampire but that doesn’t hang together at the end.

The hunt for the queen is led by Eddie van Helsing, who has an eyepatch, sunglasses and a fear of the dark. A flashback reveals what started his quest, and this is done with clips of the young McDowell in ‘Oh Lucky Man’ and a body double. McDowell puts in his usual performance: part thuggish menace, part hissing camp.

‘Suck’ is not a serious, straight-faced vampire movie. It’s not a serious movie at all. It’s gloriously silly, and best consumed along with a beer. Oh, and it has Moby as a shock rock star.

Buy ‘Suck’ on DVD at Amazon.

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