Thursday, August 27, 2009

Suck - a movie review (TIFF preview)

Written & Directed by Rob Stefaniuk
World Premiere at TIFF
Starring: Rob Stefaniuk, Jessica Paré, Dave Foley, Malcolm McDowell, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Moby, Dimitri Coats, Alex Lifeson, Carole Pope

Jennifer, (Paré looking just as lovely as she can,) the bassist in a travelling bar band, comes back from a one night stand after a gig different.. she's pale and magnetically beautiful, an instant crowd sensation. It's not long, of course, before the rest of the band succumbs to the vampire allure, along with the crowds that finally begin to appreciate their ethereal pop (much of it also penned by Stefaniuk). It's just that being a vampire, as we all know these days, comes with a few inconvenient truths of its own.

Reading the title and the credits for this film pretty much tells you the whole story, but that's not necessarily a bad thing with a cast like this. The story of the guy who's put his heart and soul into a mediocre rock band that's doomed to roadtrips on a shoestring budget and dreams of his one last chance at making it has familiar outlines, and so does the idea of selling your soul for fame and fortune. The appeal lies in its rock n' roll cast, and here it mostly succeeds. Alice Cooper plays a great creepy guy (who knew?) and Iggy Pop has a strong, watchable screen presence no matter what he does. Dave Foley makes a convincingly soulless slimy agent type, and Henry Rollins does what he can with a weak part and dialogue, but one area where the film really excells lies in depicting the hypnotic, sexual allure of the vampire. Along with Paré, it's Dimitri Coats, as the evil vampire who starts the chain of events, who embodies that dangerous eroticism to perfection.

The verdict is: it's fun, the soundtrack's pretty cool, and you'll enjoy the cast. It's getting a World Premiere at TIFF as part of the Contemporary World Cinema programme - check the listings for times and dates - the Showcase happens 6:30pm Friday, September 11 at Yonge-Dundas Square.

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