Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lost Boys: the Tribe

There was talk of doing a sequel to The Lost Boys even while making the original movie. The director, Joel Schumacher, went to great pains to give Kiefer Sutherland a “death” that would allow him to return (the antlers missed his heart, although why he became so still afterward is a mystery) in a sequel. When a sequel with Sutherland’s character didn’t pan out, talk turned to a distaff sequel, The Lost Girls, but that never came to pass either. It would take 21 years for the second Lost Boys film to appear.

In 2008, filming was completed on Lost Boys: The Tribe. Even if Kiefer Sutherland was available, he wouldn’t have worked in the role. Vampires don’t age, but actors do, and while Sutherland remains in good shape, he no longer has the boyish look of 1988. To replicate the feel of the original, Kiefer’s much younger half-brother Angus was cast as the new leader of the vampires. Sadly, this is where the movie goes off the rails. Angus lacks Kiefer’s charisma, which allowed him to play a vampire who could either become your friend or rip your throat out.

The movie starts with a vignette showing an older vampire (makeup great Tom Savini, always a welcome sight) confronting a group of younger vampires, with unfortunate results. This establishes the “tribal” theme of the picture, and the idea of vampires forming opposing tribes is an interesting one, but there is no follow through on this idea.

Meanwhile, Chris and Nicole Emmerson, the children of Jason Patrick and Jami Gertz from the first movie (you have to pay attention to get this) arrive in California. Chris was a champion surfer, but has been banned after an incident, apparently involving knee-capping another surfer. Hey, all the vampires are surfers, too! They even include the surfer Chris maimed! Welcome to Coincidenceville, California. Soon Chris and Nicole are recruited to join the vampires, Corey Feldman shows up as Edgar Frog from the first movie, and the head vampire has to die to save Chris and Nicole. Sound familiar?

Other than Angus Sutherland’s sub-par performance, the biggest thing dragging the movie down is an over-reliance on replicating the first movie, a common problem with sequels. The first movie had a nutty grandpa, this one has a nutty aunt. The motorcycle chase scene is repeated, this time including skateboards. It isn’t a terrible movie, but I would say its appeal would be to hard-core fans of the first one.

If you would like to see the late Corey Haim’s final appearance, be sure to watch the credits. Another sequel, Lost Boys: The Thirst, is due on video later this year.

Note: I just realized I don’t have the original Lost Boys on this site. I’ll have to rectify that.

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