Midnight Movie Massacre: Appreciating THE SUCKLING
Welcome to Midnight Movie Massacre!
In my 20’s, a Friday night usually consisted of heading out on the town for a night of nefarious partying… filled with late nights (and even later mornings), black eyeliner, way too many drinks, a pit stop at a sleazy diner, and a spellbinding headache of epic proportions. Now, halfway into my 32nd year, that doesn’t happen quite as much, instead, I’ve resorted back to an old habit started with friends way back in the day. We’d get together and watch a bunch of movies, saving the crazy stuff and DIY low budget sleaze for midnight. After the long work week and trying to squeeze in as many new releases/new reissues as possible, I look forward to Friday nights, no obligations, no bar fights or long lines at a club, just relaxation time with a glass of J&B and some of the finest ridiculous trash ever put on film!
I first came across 1990’s The Suckling via a VHS tape my cousin had recorded off cable, where it was sandwiched between two better known low budget classics, The Evil Dead and Basket Case. Now that’s a triple bill! There isn’t much info out there on director Frances Teri, this is his only directing credit and the same goes for the majority of the cast, but I get the impression that he gathered a bunch of friends together in a house and wrote it as they went along.
Imagine if Alien took place at a shitty brothel that moonlights as a bootleg abortion house in Brooklyn, but with zero budget, tons of ambition, way less talent, and dildos!
I give you, The Suckling!
After a couple gets the news that they are expecting, the toxic boyfriend decides to take charge and brings his girlfriend to a sleazy Brooklyn brothel for a back alley abortion. What we see is pretty gross, as the bloodied fetus is flushed down the pooper and into the sewer. Once in Ninja Turtle land, it meets up with some toxic waste and transforms into a mutant beast—complete with hooked talons for hands and a predatory umbilical cord for strangling. Stalking the customers and employees of the brothel abortion house, the mutant death baby envelops the house in placenta, trapping everyone inside, relations escalate big time as people struggle for control and try to figure out a means of escape as the Suckling slaughters the inhabitants one by one.
I live for this shit.
The Suckling is low budget scuzz and manages to accomplish a lot with very little, a trait which I admire greatly. This film won’t win any awards, it’s scuzzy, claustrophobic, and a stringy mess of repulsiveness that’s poorly filmed but features some neat low budget effects and bonkers craziness. I’m probably overselling this, but in s day and age where I can pick between 46 different DTV Krampus films or a movie about an aborted toxic waste mutated baby… I’m pretty sure I know what my decision will be. The ‘trapped in a single location’ siege narrative that worked so well in Night of the Living Dead, Die Hard, and Alien is a fun setup for this bonkers madness because quite frankly I love when shitty people get trapped and have to figure out how to survive, especially when the house becomes a womb and the people become increasingly volatile towards each other.
I doubt this would make many all time favorite movies lists - in fact I wonder if there's pro life Crazy Ralph’s out there who've used this as propaganda along with the “YOU’RE ALL DOOMED” line to shy people away from abortions? I suppose anything’s possible, but I can tell you one thing… The Suckling is a fascinating midnight movie, and as a purveyor of trash, one that I’m happy to endorse!
Pair it up with Basket Case for a ‘WTF?’double feature and let the good times roll!