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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Film Review - SUCK

This movie hasn't had its theatrical release as of yet (in fact, I'm not even sure a date has been set), but my fellow movie-watching-blogger friend, The Mad Hatter, will likely be seeing it when it screens at NXNE this year, so I thought I would post my original review here, in honour of its playing to more audiences soon!

I saw SUCK at TIFF last year, and it was a late addition to my schedule, as I'd never heard of it. But in the end, I just couldn't resist the idea of a Canadian rock 'n' roll vampire comedy on a movie screen, let alone one which could boast the likes of Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop...could you?


Rob Stefaniuk's SUCK was one of those movies that just kept catching my eye until I'd decided that I needed to see it. It wasn't the impressive star power in particular that grabbed my attention, nor the plotline, nor even the fact that it's Canadian. I think it was the combination of all of it put together: a Canadian rock 'n' roll vampire comedy...called "SUCK". Really?! How could I stay away? ;)

I'd seen Jennifer's Body the night before ("That's what she said!" But seriously, this year's TIFF picks made for GREAT Facebook status updates and conversation starters, for sure), and had worked all day, so I was grumpy and tired as I headed to Yonge Dundas Square for the showcase concert. And by the time we got into the theatre and found seats, I was fairly certain that I would be unconscious by the time the lights went down and the opening credits began to roll.

How wrong I was.

SUCK sets the mood almost immediately, pulling you into its characters' wild journey, and not letting go until the very last shot. It's clever and witty (the way a good Canadian rock 'n' roll vampire comedy should be), it features a ton of great original music, including several numbers written and performed by members of the cast, and it really is a who's who of rock legends, who all give very memorable cameos and appearances throughout, including Alice Cooper, Calico Cooper, Moby, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Carole Pope, Dave Foley and Malcolm McDowell.

The plot centres around Joey (Rob Stefaniuk), the lead singer of a band, not-so-aptly named "The Winners". Their manager, played with unscrupulous levity by Dave Foley, has so little faith in them that he can't even manage to just quit outright. And the fact that Joey's ex-girlfriend, Jennifer (Jessica Pare) is still in the band causes him no end of grief with his current girlfriend. But when Jennifer disappears one night with the vampire, Queeny (Dmitri Coats of the band "Burning Brides"), and returns the next day looking decidedly...different...the band's fortunes suddenly start to change, and one by one they consider embracing the popular new 'vampire chic' with more and more fervor.

Filled with fantastic music, hilarious lines, clever visuals that encompass everything from mood-setting camera work to applause-garnering tributes to famous classic album covers, and amazing performances throughout, including Malcolm McDowell as Eddie Van Helsing and the likely fan-favourite Chris Katz as Hugo, SUCK has something for everyone, and is certain to entertain.

In fact, Stefaniuk's latest did more than just keep me awake. It made me forget I was even tired to begin with. Which means one thing for certain: This SUCK has bite.

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