Suck brings nothing new to the vampire comedy

suck-strawMuch as it wants to be cool, the vampire rock ‘n’ roll horror comedy Suck fails to engage the viewer enough to be anything other than perfunctory. The flick, in a nutshell: Jennifer, bassist for the Winners, gets bitten by a vampire, and then proceeds to live an existence that’s meant to be an allegory for musician drug addiction.

The film’s just…blah. Suck isn’t scary and / or gory enough to be a good horror movie, nor is it funny enough to be a comedy. Hell, it’s not even bad enough to be a cult sensation. It’s got potential, but My Best Friend Is A Vampire did the “awkward vampire hiding it from everyone” so much better.

There are highlights, however, which makes the movie all the more frustrating. The fact that the best acting is done by rock musicians boggles the mind. Alice Cooper, Moby, Henry Rollins, and Iggy Pop all imbue their characters with the right amount of tongue-in-cheek “we’re just joshing” eyebrow-wagging to make it clear that they know that this is all just a joke. Just by having Moby – a noted vegetarian – play the frontman of a metal band whose fans throw meat at them is enough to get a chuckle.

Not so funny? The way certain characters pose at times, meant to evoke an album cover. It’s awkward, and not nearly as clever as writer / director Rob Stefaniuk wants it to be when the band’s drummer poses in front of an American flag with a bandanna in the back pocket of his jeans.

The one scene in the movie that works out perfectly, and shows what the movie could have been is when the band stops for snacks at a gas station. Jennifer flirts with the attendant, only to stab him in the neck with the straw to his Slushie. Blood spurts everywhere, and the band’s roadie comes in to find her gulping blood from the straw in his neck. It’s hilarious, gross, and owes more than a little to Troma. Had the film showed a little more blood, and focused less on the highly boring character played by the director, and more on the vampirism, Suck could have succeeded, rather than simply…well, you know.

The film’s got a firm grasp on irony, however. The lead character is obviously meant to be Stefaniuk’s guitarist and lead singer Joey Winner, but Jessica ParĂ©’s bassist Jennifer is far more entertaining, much like in the film, where Jennifer is drawing more ink than Joey. The Winners’ songs are also bland numbers, which works out well, as the band is supposed to be a fairly workmanlike bar band that nobody really cares about.

All in all, this is a film that simply doesn’t have what it needs to be anything other than a late-night “eh, why not?” viewing when it inevitably gets picked up by a third-tier cable channel.