The Suckling DVD Review
Written by Daniel Benson
DVD released by Elite Entertainment
Directed by Francis Teri
Written by .... I think they made it up as they went.
1990, Region 1 (NTSC), 90 Minutes, Unrated
DVD released on May 10th, 2005
Another group of people you'll never hear of again.
When a young couple unexpectedly find out they're going to be parents, the boyfriend takes charge of things and they visit a backstreet abortion clinic/brothel to have their situation resolved.
Once the fetus is aborted, it is flushed down the toilet and ends up in the sewer outside the house, where a barrel of movie-grade toxic waste is leaking into the drains. Within a few hours, the fetus has evolved into a slavering mutant which is hell-bent on returning to find its mother.
The house becomes cocooned in an impenatrable membrane, sealing the occupants inside. The young couple, along with several hookers, a couple of clients, two heavies, and the unimaginatively named 'Big Momma', are now trapped and have to avoid death at the hands, or tentacles, of the monster that now inhabits the pipework.
I was looking forward to seeing this after reading the blurb on the Elite Entertainment website, especially as it claims "THE SUCKLING has been compared to ALIEN for its claustrophobic intensity and DIE HARD for its non-stop action and heightened drama". It could be argued that the concept of a group of people trapped, and fighting a monster which can disappear into the building's infrastructure at will, bears a similar resemblance to Ridley Scott's classic but there the similarity ends. Alien had real actors. And a script. And a budget. And...oh you get the idea.
The film starts off looking like it will be reasonably promising; the abortion scene is suitably distasteful and the 'birth' of the creature is accomplished using nicely effective foam latex and animatronics special effects. After that though, it goes downhill fast.
A low budget movie can entertain the viewer if the actors aren't up to much, as long as the script is well written. Conversely, charismatic and engaging actors could carry a weaker script. Unfortunately, The Suckling has neither, and the whole exercise merely becomes filler in between a few, similarly played out, monster attacks. Certainly no "claustrophobic intensity" and definitely no "non-stop action and heightened drama".
It is such a shame, when there are a wealth of low budget filmmakers making much more imaginative and entertaining movies, that a prestigious label like Elite should choose to put out such a poor feature. For future releases, they could do much better by checking out some of the unreleased movies reviewed here at HorrorTalk.
Video and Audio:
A fairly washed out and grainy print with a very muted colour pallette. Pretty much as one would expect from a low budget film of this age. Presented in 1.85:1 (16:9) aspect ratio.
A DD 2.0 Soundtrack which is nothing other than ordinary. At certain points during the movie the sound seems to go badly out of synch, but it seems to be from the original print rather than any disc fault.
- Theatrical Trailer