What’s It About: Struggling Canadian band, aptly named, The Winners, want to go out on a small Canadian/U.S. tour to expand on their new success after their bassist, Jennifer (Jessica Paré) is turned into a vampire.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- I hope this film is a pseudo spoof of vampires and rock music because that was one horrible CGI bat.
- Alice Cooper! Dave Foley! Megan from Mad Men!
- A few lines of funny dialogue from Alice Cooper and this is infinitely better than Monster Dog. And hey at least it’s Cooper’s actual voice.
- This already has more vampires than Rockula and even better make up and creepy imagery. Better music too.
- The head vampire named Queeny looks great. He’s played by hard rocker Dimitri Coats of the band Burning Brides.
- Lame “Abbey Road” sight gag.
- Malcolm McDowell plays a vampire hunter named Eddie Van Helsing. That’s actually quite amusing.
- Less lame “Electric Warrior” sight gag.
- Having Alice Cooper play the devil at the crossroads is awesome. It was a role he was born to play. It’s even better that he’s older and wrinkly, makes him even more sinister.
- They use old stock footage of McDowell from O Lucky Man to fit into the narrative flashback to the film. Kudos!
- Funny Coppola Dracula homage with the eyes in the sky when the band’s car is racing around the Niagara/Buffalo area.
- Kinda funny “Born in the USA” sight gag.
- Alex Lifeson from Rush! Playing a very funny border officer. If only this film had Geddy Lee and Lifeson play “good-cop-bad-cop” border officers than this film would be a 10 for sure.
- Also funny that the customs area was literally empty on the Canadian/American border.
- Moby! Playing a rocker named Beef. Now that’s funny! And he has a USDA Prime inspected meat tattoo on his neck.
- Lame “The Kids Are Alright” sight gag. It doesn’t even make sense for them to be in a Union Jack flag. They should be under a Canadian Maple Leaf flag.
- If Jessica Paré was floating above me while I was in bed, it would be a dream come true. I don’t even care that she’s pale as a ghost and trying to kill me.
- Iggy Pop!
- Does Iggy Pop even make music anymore? I feel like I see him in nothing but movie cameos.
- This movie is a fun watch. Although the original mediocre rock music the band plays is a bit of a drag. Not great tunes. Just alright.
- Henry Rollins! As an obnoxious radio DJ. Never really cared for Rollins as a musician but his acting was always entertaining enough.
- Like I said the music isn’t horrible but every song basically sounds like late 90s alternative metal.
- So the rest of the film is the band succumbs to their manager’s plea to all become vampires and they become a very successful band as a result. Then Malcolm McDowell uses them to track down the head vampire Queeny so he can kill him and they return to normal. Really nothing plus or minus about the rest of the movie. Kinda bland really.
- “You killed our drummer.” “Drummers die.” Poor rock drummers 😦
- Nice impaling by electric Flying V Gibson.
- “What’s happening [to us]?” “You’re turning into what you were before. Out-of-work musicians. You better hold still. It’s gonna hurt.”
- So that’s it basically it. Alice Cooper is the real head vampire and wants them to reform the band. They reluctantly agree and then credits role. Seemed like a weak way to end.
Scare Volume: Again, another horror-comedy (what is this, like, my third—sheesh.) so it’s more played for laughs than spooks but the visuals are top-notch and they didn’t skimp on the blood.
Gore Volume: Quite a lot actually for a Canadian horror comedy, eh?
Nudity Volume: None. Dammit. Would’ve loved to see more of Jessica Paré but she’s so gorgeous in this it kinda makes up for the lack of bare skin.
Best Scene: This movie lacks any real umph in every scene. But Looking back at some of it, I kinda like the seduction scene with Queeny and Jessica Paré in the beginning of the film. It was very well done and is the most menacing scene in this horror flick.
Worst Scene: Again, I must stress that this movie is not bad and it’s not great. Very middle of the road. If I had to pick a scene I didn’t like it would be the ending because it was very blah with Alice Cooper saying one minute that he’s going to kill them and the next to reform the band and that’s basically it. It left me wanting more to be honest. But for a movie that was well done as this, it’s really a minor nitpick.
How ’bout the Tunes: I mentioned earlier how the music isn’t horrible and it really isn’t. It’s standard and mediocre late 90s alternative hard rock/heavy metal, like 3 Doors Down, Puddle of Mudd and Chevelle. Which is fine but not worth too much to want to listen to over and over again. If they were more like The Darkness and Wolfmother then I’d probably dig it even more.
Band Rating: I would love to give The Winners a high rating. On the one hand they look good. They look like a real band and looks like they have the chops to actually play their music. However, their music is just OK and not really memorable so I’d have to give them Lick My Love Pump.
Overall: A really good movie. A decent horror-comedy to boot. It relied on a great deal of music celebrity cameos but they were all used well. Alice Cooper playing a devil/vampire at the crossroads is a great idea. Alex Lifeson (known for being the clown in the Canadian power trio, Rush) as a goofy border patrol guard works surprisingly well. Malcolm McDowell, though, steals the show as eyepatch-wearing vampire hunter Eddie Van Helsing. It’s always great seeing McDowell in a flick, especially a comedy where he doesn’t have to take himself too seriously. And that’s the one great thing about Suck—it doesn’t take itself seriously yet it’s not stupid or silly too much. It plays homage to hard rock music and horror films and also spoofs them as well. If it only had a killer soundtrack with some memorable singles then this flick would be up there with other horror-comedies like Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland or Cabin in the Woods. It has great style and a ton of potential and I would still highly recommend it.
Score: 8 Has-been Rock Musician Cameos (out of 10)