Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008)

Author: Brett H.
Submitted by: Brett H.   Date : 2008-07-30 09:37

Directed by: P.J. Pesce
Written by: Hans Rodionoff
Starring: Feldog & Haimster, Tad Hilgenbrinck, Angus Sutherland, Autumn Reeser and Tom Savini

Reviewed by: Brett H.

ďLetís get something straight. I let you get away with that shit the first time because I understand what itís like to lose a family member to the other side. If that happens again, youíre gonna end up on the wrong side of the stake. Are we clear?Ē

The eighties were a helluva ride for horror fans, the most memorable decade engraved in the minds of many horror fans, especially from the perspective of charm and entertainment. The Lost Boys was a rocking product of the eighties like no other, combining wonderful and charming teen comedy with striking vampire lore culminating into one of the best horror comedies of all time. As monumental as the film would be for so many people to this day, it also paired for the first time child acting legends known only as the Two Coreys, Haimster and Feldog. Simply and truly, a match made in heaven from the moment Haimsterís wacky and out-there character, Sam meets up with Feldogís Stallone-ish vampire slayer, Edgar Frog. They indeed did Dream a Little Dream until their Last Resort before they were Busted and Haimster faded away further into obscurity and toxic substances. Two decades later, the world has changed. The heart-warming teen comedies of the eighties have long since passed, being replaced by mean spirited American Pie clones that are entertaining, but just donít have that feeling. Horror has changed a lot in these years as well, the slasher craze still comes and goes and Hollywood has now chosen to buy up former horror classics (and not-so classics) and remake them in a style more fit for the audience of today. But, 21 years after the release of The Lost Boys dawns a new eraÖ on home video. Pleasantly, rather than outright remaking the film, Warner has shot adrenaline into the heart of the original and brought it back from the dead with a sequel. Not only this, but Feldog is back on the vampire scene, armed with headbands, stakes, crosses, garlic and holy water bomb launchers, reprising his role as the legendary Edgar Frog while good pal Haimster makes an all too brief appearance as well. Combining elements of the old with the new, Lost Boys: The Tribeís fangs arenít incredibly sharp, but they have some bite, baby.

Luna Bay is home to some weirdos, and Chris Emerson (Tad Hilgenbrinck) and his cute sis, Nicole (Autumn Reeser) are about to find out firsthand. Tragically, their parents have died and they are now heading out to live with their odd aunt in a ram-sacked guesthouse with a pretty gnarly view of homeless people chilling in their back lawn. Chris was a pro surfer but lost his footing when his parents were killed and now he spends his time paranoid, looking after Nicole. Luna Bay is a surfer town, and Chris is recognized often. He wants a job at a surf shop, but the local oneís not looking, so heís directed to an out of the way shop run by a guy named Edgar Frog (Feldog). When he makes his way out to the shop (which is a trailer amidst some junk, basically), no one is home. But, someone is indeed home, and watching. After they take off, Chris is sittiní on the dock Otis Redding style before he is met by a fellow surfer named Shane (Angus Sutherland), who was once one of the best surfers on the scene.

Shane invites Chris to a party and he and his sis head on over to have a good time later on that night. Immediately, Shane takes interest in Nicole while Chris has a vixen in red after him as well. The ever-slick Shane takes Nicole on a tour of the house before getting her up to his room where he offers her a drink from a flask. After an altercation with Shane to protect young Nicoleís best interests, Chris takes off from the party and drives home with the inebriated Nicole. She insists sheís not drunk and Chris is about to get quite the shock. Inside their busted up old house, Nicole loses it on Chris and grabs him by his neck, lifting him up into the air. The flask she drank from contained the blood of Shane, the master vampire in a tribe of fiends. A tragic fate is imminent until a surfboard busts over Nicoleís head rendering her unconscious. As Chris looks up, in shock, heís met by a man sporting a red headband and camouflage attire. In the trademark action-movie inspired voice, our hero lays it on the line. ďChris Emerson, Iím Edgar Frog. Surfboard shaper and vampire hunter.Ē

Lost Boys: The Tribe is actually a worthy follow up to the original, if you go in with an open mind and use your common sense. Itís logical to expect that the tone of this movie is going to be significantly different than that of the original and being a direct to video affair, it probably isnít going to be as invigorating as it could have been. To get it right out of the way, a few things have changed, but many things have stayed the same, thanks especially to Feldog, who absolutely steals the show. The character of Edgar Frog has only gotten better as Feldog has gotten older, and itís cool to see that after all these years, heís a Lost Boy in his own right. He has never grown up, heís still reading comics and heís still out hunting suckmonkeys. Much has been said about Haimsterís involvement in the movie, and however anything went down, heís definitely in the movie, but the scene heís in lurks around in the credits. The credits actually stop to go to what is the best scene in the movie, and then they resume. I have never witnessed that before, but taking it for what it is, it is mega cool and along with alternate endings (which are actually much better than what they used in the film), it shows that if there is a third instalment in the series, it will give fans everything they ever dreamed of.

The tone of the film is different, they try to make the vampires out to be mythic and romantic and show eternal life to be magical, but they fail in comparison to the first. Thatís not so surprising because that made the original what it is and components like that are nearly impossible to duplicate. The original vampires rocked Motley Crue style. They were awesome because thatís who they were. The new nest isnít as exciting; sure they wreak a lot of havoc but itís mostly for a reaction. They lack that laid-back-super-cool-not-giving-a-fuck attitude while not coming across as overly mean. As a viewer, itís hard to see why anyone but outlaws (which to be fair, some are) would want to join the tribe. On the flipside, with them being mean it means you also cheer on the other side just that much more and you love seeing those vampires roast. And explode. And spew gutsÖ this movie has a decent amount of action and is downright drenched with soppy, vicious gore. Much like Edgar Frogís comic books, the blood sprays in sickening fashion; bring your raincoat because youíre going to get soaked when watching this one. Just ask Tom Savini, who gets it especially grisly during his cameo appearance.

Unlike the new vampires (who stab each other for fun and videotape it, not to mention enjoy a little Gears of War chainsaw action!), the new protagonists of Nicole and Chris are a joy and very likable. Tad Hilgenbrinck won me over and Autumn Reeser is just too cute to hate and to be honest, Iím reminded a bit of Haimsterís character of Sam in the original in Chris. And, the fact that heís looking out for his 17 year-old sister is another element all together. Itís one thing for your brother to become a vampire and do very naughty things with a hot vampiress, but when your underage sister is being seduced by the head vampire, itís all out war! Itís also interesting to see Angus Sutherland basically play the same role that his half-brother Kiefer did in the original as the lead vampire. Sutherlandís performance is all right and heís the most appealing vampire of the bunch to say the least, but he doesnít have the mystique or edge to bring the film to the next level. Itís nice to see Cry Little Sister featured in the movie, covered by the band Aiden, as well as some music inspired from older rock tunes that is pleasing on the ears compared to crap like Drowning Pool. And, never fear, the buff and oily character that played the sax in the original is back, but this time heís got a gut and plays terribly on the street. Itís a true reference to the rock scene of the eighties fizzling out and leaving a lot of people in terrible shape without a pot to piss in.

Warner releases this sequel direct to DVD uncut with nice 2.35:1 widescreen transfer and effective but not necessarily explosive 5.1 track, a stunt choreography featurette and the more appealing Edgar Frogís Guide to Coming Back Alive featurette dealing with vampire hunting starring Feldog himself having even more fun in more Edgar Frog goodness and some music videos. Things get tricky with the last supplements; three alternate endings (by that I mean, Haimster sequences), all of which are more vague and interesting than the one weíre shown. Fans should be upset because Jamison Newlander (Edgarís brother, Alan in the original, looking more like a full on Nikki Sixx badass here) has a cameo in these alternate takes. Alanís character is referenced multiple times in the movie, and itís all in regards to these alternate endings, so itís pretty disheartening to see them changed for a more jumpy denouement.

No matter which ending you view or enjoy, it all boils down to one thing; the third Lost Boys movie has the potential to knock our socks off, but one must question why thatís not what we got in the first place. At the end of the day, youíre going to have to throw nostalgia and legacy aside to truly enjoy Lost Boys: The Tribe, the same way you would have to do to fully appreciate a sequel like Creepshow II. The romantic effect of eternal life isnít cemented in the viewer, although it tries, but what we are left with is an incredibly violent vampire soiree that should please those going in with an open mind or if you're like me, can easily leave the past in the past. One must realize that what happened in the eighties happened in the eighties, this is The Lost Boys featuring the elements of modern horror that newer fans crave while still being able to please the old crowd. Everything that comes out of Feldogís mouth terrific is with a purely golden delivery, Haimsterís along for the ride and does well for his short amount of time and because of this, it definitely still has a distinct feeling of a Lost Boys movie. That in itself is the filmís greatest accomplishment. Buy it!

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