Rumoured for years, 1987’s cult classic The Lost Boys finally gets a belated sequel courtesy of Warner Premiere and director PJ Pesce. So after twenty years do we get a sequel worthy of Joel Schumacher’s camp original or do we get a film worthy of a late night viewing on some obscure satellite channel. Read on….
Ex champion surfer Chris (Tad Hilgenbrinck) who played Stifler’s younger brother from American Pie: Band Camp and his sister Nicole (Autumn Reeser) have moved to the quiet coastal town of Luna Bay after the loss of their parents in a car crash. Living in a rundown outhouse of their Aunt’s they try to settle in with the locals and get jobs to support themselves. Chris goes to the local surf shop and is recommended to try and get a job with surfboard shaper Edgar Frog. Yes, it’s that same Edgar Frog from the original and once again played by Corey Feldman.
Whilst gazing out into the sea that evening Chris is approached by Shane (Angus Sutherland) who was Chris’ surfing idol and had disappeared off the circuit some years previously. Shane invites Chris to a party at his house with a difference….
Tagging along with her brother, Nicole is seduced by Shane into drinking his blood and she becomes enslaved to him as partly undead. She will only become a fully fledged vampire when she makes her first kill. At this point Chris takes her home from the party thinking she is drunk and when he gets home she attacks him but is saved by Edgar Frog who informs Chris of his sister’s fate.
Shane is the head vampire of a nest known as ‘The Tribe’ and has been picking off individuals in Luna Bay for quite a time. Edgar is aware of their existence but is unsure of where they hide during the day. Chris begs him for help and they team up to destroy Shane and his vampire surfer cronies. Armed with a selection of vampire fighting tools, Edgar and Chris know they have one hell of a battle on their hands as Shane has a nice fresh human awaiting Nicole for her first feed conveniently stored in a coffin.
Lost Boys: The Tribe when compared to the original is a steaming pile of vampire goo, sadly. The original film is virtually completely remade, but given a 21st century makeover. The first film although now dated with its frightening haircuts is fun and most importantly entertaining with characters you could root for. Hilgenbrinck’s character is bland and I really couldn’t care less if he died or not. Sutherland is a pale imitation of his brother but does look pretty cool with his long hair. Autumn Reeser in the underwritten role of a Nicole looks embarrassed as she has to pout and overact when told she is a blood sucker. Corey Feldman however is a revelation and steals the entire movie from everyone. Throwing out one liners and handy advice in equal measures, he is clearing enjoying returning to a role after twenty odd years.
The thing that annoyed me the most about the movie is that it is extremely violent, and features too much swearing and nudity. Now I have no problem with any of the above, it’s a horror film for goodness sake and horror films are my favourite genre. But The Lost Boys was a horror film for everyone to enjoy as it featured cool tunes, likeable actors, flamboyant production design and although a vampire film it wasn’t that gory hence the ’15’ certificate. However The Tribe has someone’s guts ripped out in the few couple of minutes, copious nudity of both sexes and swearing for swearing’s sake….why? Maybe that’s what Warner’s marketing department wanted for their sequel. If it wasn’t for Feldman, you could argue that this is isn’t even a sequel.
On the plus side, Feldman is terrific (rumour has it part three has been green-lit due to the success of the American release) if that is the case, then build it around Edgar Frog. The effects as I mentioned are gory and are well done (the vampire deaths are great). It’s got some nice little cameos from genre favourites and although I have criticised it above, take it on face value as a straight to DVD horror movie and its better than most. Although it does somewhat spoil the legacy of the original.Extras
We have featurettes on the stunt choreography, four music videos, a piece on Feldman coming back to the role as Edgar Frog and some very good deleted/alternate scenes, but watch them after the film.
Footnote:Lost Boys: The Tribe can only be purchased on DVD in the UK in a double pack with the original. This is entirely pointless as most people who want to own this film will have part one (unless of course they have it on VHS). The original isn’t even the two disc special edition just a repackage of the ten-year old DVD, which I own in the dreadful ‘snapper’ case so at least I have an excuse to trade in my old copy now.
The end credits and deleted scenes are in a 2:35 ratio whist the film is presented in a 1:78 ratio so we have been apparently short changed on the visual presentation, so one star is knocked off for this, as this is not acceptable.
Film:Extras: Starring Corey Feldman, Autumn Reeser, Tad Hilgenbrinck, Angus SutherlandDirected by PJ PesceDistributor: Warner Home Video