Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008)
Reviewed by Johnny Butane
Starring Tad Hilgenbrink, Angus Sutherland, Autumn Resser, Corey Feldman
Directed by P.J. Pesce
I have to admit; over the last few months, doing nearly daily updates on this film (all right, not that many, but way more than most direct-to-DVD flicks), I was actually starting to look forward to Lost Boys: The Tribe. I mean, really, the original Lost Boys is considered a classic today by some, but it’s still inherently goofy, so perhaps a somewhat goofy sequel wouldn’t be so bad.
Oh how wrong I was.
First of all, part of the reason the first movie worked so well is that it was fresh for its time. It took all that romanticism that’s surrounded vampires for years, meshed it with some bad boy biker gang, and told it all from the perspective of a kid who was, essentially, the film’s target demographic. To sequelize that now and try to use the same tricks is just not going to work; you’ve got to use what you can that worked in the first movie and try to actually expand the mythology. Apparently that was not what the studio had in mind.
But I jump ahead, let me tell you what Lost Boys: The Tribe is actually about, shall I?
A brother and sister who’ve recently lost their parents pull into a small seaside town in California to start a new life. Their aunt just so happens to be a real estate agent, and hooks them up with an absolute dump in the middle of nowhere. Good strong family. Anyway, we soon find out that the brother, Chris (Hilgenbrink) is a former professional surfer who had some tragic accident that made him quit. His sister Nicole (Resser) isn’t really anyone, but she’s easy on the eyes and apparently a very easy target for slouching vampires.
Long story short, they eventually find themselves at a part hosted by Shane (Sutherland), who in case you’re paying no attention whatsoever you know is a vampire from the moment he struts on screen. Sis drinks some “wine”, which of course is Shane’s blood, and after feeling pretty good for a while soon realizes she’s dying.
Brother finds her, doesn’t know what’s going on, but sees her acting stranger and stranger. He eventually calls on the help of Edgar Frog (Feldman), the only remaining Frog Brother (it’s never said what happened to the other one) and you can figure out where it goes from there.
First of all, the acting. Feldman is absolutely terrible in this role, but I seriously doubt it was his fault. Remember how the young Feldman spoke purposefully with a deeper voice to sound more mature in Shumacher’s original, and it was funny because he was just a kid? Well, he’s still doing it as an adult, but now he just sounds ridiculous. It doesn’t help that most of his lines are word-for-word what he said in the first film, either. Seriously, whole chunks of dialogue are lifted from The Lost Boys. Lazy? You bet. They had every chance to expand this character and make him more interesting having, we assume, lived a life hunting vampires. Instead they choose to make him a taller version of his 1987 incarnation.
Then there’s Angus Sutherland, half-brother of Kiefer. Yes, he’s got those Sutherland looks, but unfortunately someone during rehearsals told him he needed to talk and act almost exactly like street magician David Blaine. We were watching it and once that was pointed out, I couldn’t un-see it. Not to mention he’s just a strange looking guy, the long hair actually making him seem younger than he’s supposed to be. There is literally nothing menacing about him at all.
About the only thing The Tribe has going for it is the gore, which is the one aspect drastically changed from the first film. The first had some moments but was really more about the menace of the bloodsuckers. In this one the titular tribe, all surfers of course, enjoy impaling each other with things and stabbing themselves at parties because they know they can heal. It’s actually about the only thing that approaches believability, because in an era that grew up on ”Jackass”, that’s exactly what vampires would be doing nowadays.
Don’t bother with The Tribe, even out of morbid curiosity. It’s not necessarily that it’s a bad movie, it’s shot well and the story moves along nicely, there’s just nothing interesting about it. No one tried to expand this mythology of California vampires, but instead just tried to make the same movie from 1987 with today’s technology and attitude, and it just doesn’t work.
And in case you’re wondering; yes, there is a “sax man” scene, but it’s pretty revolting and yes, Corey Haim is in it, but only in a small cameo. Sorry!
1 out of 5
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