Lost Boys: The Tribe
Directed by P.J. Pesce
Written by Hans Rodionoff
Starring Tad Hilgenbrink, Angus Sutherland, Autumn Reeser, Corey Feldman, Shaun Sipos, Moneca Delain
Release Date: July 29, 2008
After Chris is kicked off his surfing team and loses his endorsements, he and his sister head off to the sleepy town of Luna Bay to lay low and hopefully start anew. Within twenty-four hours of arriving in the town, he discovers that his one-time surfing idol Shane lives in the town, meets up with a delusional surfboard shaper who claims to be a vampire hunter named Edgar Frog, is invited to a party at Shane’s who picks up Chris’ sister Nicole, and has sex with a woman who turns out be a vampire.
Confused, bewildered, and none-to-happy that Nicole also seems to be displaying symptoms of vampirism, Chris turns to Edgar for some unbelievable advice. Edgar, who has been hunting vampires for more than twenty years, quickly catches Chris up to speed with a stack of comic books. He tells Chris that Nicole is only half-vampire — as long as they can kill the head vampire before she feeds, she will be saved. And with that, Chris makes the fateful decision to become half-vampire himself so he has the strength to fight, while Edgar loads up on stakes and holy water to dispatch this latest tribe of bloodsuckers who have invaded his town.
It has been more than two decades since Joel Schumacher introduced a band of beach bum vampires and a group of pre-teen vampire slayers to moviegoers who had been jacked up on John Hughes teen dramas and horror-comedy hybrids, and lovingly embraced the fun-filled characters. With the current trend that seems to have no end of producing sequel after sequel coupled with an everlasting love for all things eighties, it is a wonder it took this long to create a sequel to The Lost Boys. But does this Lost Boys: The Tribe hold up? Is it worthy of carrying such a moniker? The answer is a resounding and deafening “meh.”
Had this been a standalone film, direct-to-video hack writer Hans Rodionoff would have been accused of stealing core elements from The Lost Boys and mocked for making not one, but two forced references to The Big Lebowski. However, he would have at least been given credit for dishing out a script that allowed for plenty of teasing T&A and a few decently gory feeding sequences. As it stands though, this is a sequel to a beloved film, where the only thing it had to do right was please nostalgic fans of the original, since anyone without fond memories of Corey Feldman screaming “try the holy water, death breath!” will or won’t see this no matter what its called. And with that in mind, Rodionoff falls flat on his face.
Director P.J. Pesce puts together a somewhat competent, if wholly mediocre vampire film, where the emphasis is on how “extreme” the tribe of neck biters are rather than providing a good story, and more importantly, a good sequel. Plot holes are left wide open, and frustrating inferences are left unanswered so that we have room for a day-for-night surfing scene (which looks as bad as Point Break‘s sequence) and vampires playing video games. Several throwbacks and winks to the original film are sneaked in, not least of all is a randomly placed pair of antlers, which of course are used to impale one of the vampires.
Our only returning character is Edgar Frog, and Corey Feldman, who is sporting a gravely voice, seems eager to strap on some camouflage, sharpen some cross-shaped stakes, and fill balloons with holy water, and is criminally relegated to a minor character whose scenes are clearly the best in the movie. The rest of the cast pale in comparison, with only Angus Sutherland (younger half-brother to the original’s star Kiefer) pulling off something that resembles a descent villain in the role of Shane. The rest, including our protagonists and vampire underlings, you just want to see die.
Corey Haim, reprising his role as Sam Emerson, does make a very quick cameo during a cutaway in the middle of the end credits, and it is a shame that this is where it was decided to throw his character. But the real stinger comes in the Alternate Endings that are part of the extras found on newly released Warner Brothers DVD. These scenes, which reunite Edgar Frog and Sam Emerson, reveal that Edgar’s brother Alan has become a master vampire and is coming to settle a score with Edgar. This three-minute scene is better than the entire movie and it is a travesty that it has been reduced to an bonus feature. This scene hints at what should have been the basis for the entire sequel, and it is a slap in the face to the fans which have kept the original’s popularity going long after its expiration date.
Warner Brothers DVD release for Lost Boys: The Tribe features the uncut version of the film in both widescreen and full-screen options, and includes an Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack with English, Spanish, and French subtitles. Other features on the disc include a featurette entitled “Action Junkies” which takes a look at the totally intense and extreme stunt choreography of the motorcycle and skateboard chase sequences, and the fairly amusing “Edgar Frog’s Guide to Coming Back Alive” which features an in-character Corey Feldman giving a rundown of how to dispatch the nightwalkers. Rounding out the extras are three music videos from the band Yeah Whatever, who provide the prerequisite pseudo-moody romantic-gothic rock soundtrack, and remix of “Cry Little Sister” by 4 Tom Mac.