Suck has the potential to become a cult classic like The Rocky Horror Picture Show with one-liners that beg communal recitation. But Canadian director/writer Rob Stefaniuk told Rolling Stone the campy comedy — which stars Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Moby, Alex Lifeson, Henry Rollins and Burning Brides’ Dimitri Coats — wasn’t exactly an easy sell. “It took me five years to make this movie because it’s kind of weird — a Canadian vampire movie with rock & roll. Most people don’t just jump up and go, ‘Yeah!’ ” he said before the worldwide premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he hoped to land a U.S. distributor.
Jessica Paré (The Trotsky, Wicker Park) stars as the bassist of indie band the Winners, who returns from a wild night out as a sexy vampire — the perfect gimmick to help the band blow up. Malcolm McDowell (Heroes, A Clockwork Orange) plays Van Helsing while Dave Foley (Kids In The Hall) is the band’s manager.
As a music producer with a well-developed radar for blood suckers, Pop gets to deliver the line “Wear a condom and never trust a vampire.” “Yeah, that was a wonderful. I really related to that,” Pop told Rolling Stone, laughing. “I was reading it in the script and I thought, ‘This is great. I felt that before.’ ‘Please pass the groupie’ is probably the best line.” Pop was the first musician Stefaniuk lured to the project with a letter offering him a choice of roles. “I went for the least flamboyant, most human one because that was more the area I’d like to experiment, especially on film,” Pop says. “I thought Moby [as a meat-eating metal singer] and Alice [as a mysterious bartender] were wonderful, by the way. Alice scared me [laughs] and Moby, who knew, who knew?”
Rollins, who is up for anything, welcomed the opportunity to play obnoxious DJ Rockin’ Roger complete with garish blazer and a wig. “It seemed kind of cool and the fact that Iggy was in it, well, of course, I’m in,” says Rollins, who has his own weekly radio show on KCRW and has met his fair share of assaultive, ego-driven DJs as a singer, author and actor. “Rockin’ Roger’s personality, this absolutely annoying person, I brought all that with me. I just made the guy a real jerk.”
Stefaniuk, who appears in the film as the Winners’ frontman, packed the soundtrack with original material co-written by himself and ex-Doughboys/Asexuals frontman John Kastner, and filled the film with pop cultural references, like recreations of the Abbey Road, Born In The U.S.A. and The Kids Are Alright album covers.
“It’s sort of like an exaggerated rock & roll world,” says Stefaniuk. “I’ve seen a lot of rock & roll movies, but what I wanted to do differently is make it less of a cinéma vé’rité — this is what it feels like to be in a real band, and yet I didn’t want to do a parody of a bunch of guys that go ‘Yeah dude’ and a big roadie. I wanted it to feel real, so you’re not in a band with a bunch of druggie people; you’re in a band with a bunch of vampires.”
• Moby Sucks It Up Alongside Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper in Vampire Flick