Writer, director and lead actor Rob Stefaniuk’s 2009 Suck seems, appropriately vampire-like, caught between contrasting states of existence. Its just bloody and swear-filled enough to warrant a 15 certificate, yet its snarky-lite humour and style-over-substance characters seem pitched at an audience just breaking away from a crippling Twilight addiction.
It also positions itself as a rock n’ roll musical, but the musical numbers themselves don’t seem to be particularly focused upon. Let’s have a full on rock song to get into, or a snapshot, shall we? Not a minute which is too short to invest in but long enough to test one’s patience.
Suck also isn’t really sure what kind of rock lover it’s appealing to, or at least somewhat oblivious as to where the rockstars it’s appropriated will carry cache or even recognition. The music is decidedly pop-rock/metal, with the film’s band bashing out songs that would be at home on a My Chemical Romance setlist. And yet here Suck is, trotting out roles filled by Alice Cooper, Moby, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Carole Pope and with a lead character’s name being a reference to an 80s axeman (“Eddie Van Helsing” if you’re wondering). How much crossover is there really going to be between people who enjoy Good Charlotte-esque music and people who recognise Henry Rollins in what I hope is a wig? Or Carole Pope? Carole Pope for heaven’s sake!
Still, out of this confusion Jessica Paré is a very watchable as Jennifer; bassist, vampire and lead. She’s funny and not afraid to come off goofy, be it sucking blood from via straw or chowing on a severed limb. The rest of the cast are left in the dust, being annoyingly dull and unskilled, much like the film itself.
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