Review: ‘Lost Boys: The Tribe’

Had there never been a first Lost Boys movie, this one wouldn’t have seemed so derivative. Sadly, the movie we really wanted to see is only hinted at… about thirty seconds into the credits.

Luna Bay, California, inherits two new citizens when siblings Chris (Tad Hilgenbrink) and Nicole (Autumn Reeser) find themselves staying with their Aunt Jillian (Gabrielle Rose) after losing their parents in car accident. Attending a party full of locals, Nicole becomes infatuated with Shane (Angus Sutherland), who offers Nicole a friendly drink. Faster than you can say “cry little sister,” Nicole is fast becoming one of the undead and Chris must kills the lead vampire to save her before she turns completely, but he’s going to need help: Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman), board shaper and vampire hunter.

There’s nothing worse than watching a movie you really wanted to like only to see it fall short and know exactly why it did. While the direct-to-DVD route afforded the production plenty more skin than would have been appropriate for a PG-13 wide release, the story underwhelms while at the same time constantly reminding us that the original was better. Surfboard and skateboard skills have been added to the mandatory dirt bike street cred, but the real crime here is that the lead vampire is no Kiefer Sutherland and the hero falls terribly short of Jason Patric. To the film’s credit, the makeup and practical horror effects were much improved from the original, but that’s just not enough to give this overdue sequel a pass.

Imported from the original film, Corey Feldman’s Edgar Frog is about where we thought he’d be by now, but whether it’s bad editing or Feldman himself, it seems he trying so hard to do the voice that he’s forgotten to react to everything else. Other things missing from the original film was the flying wire-work and aerial assaults, replaced instead with less-expensive practical effects and sped-up film sequences. It should be no surprise that the police in this film are inept, but no less so than the hero himself who can’t seem to stop brooding long enough to do anything.

The ending more or less succumbs to the tried-and-true “Hey, we villains outnumber you good guys two to one, so we’ll attack one at a time, okay?” How these sequel vampires survived this long is something of a mystery, but it was kind of fun watching two of the henchmen taking turns disemboweling each other in a vampiric game of oneupmanship. Hit and miss, even the gratuitous nudity of Moneca Delain nor the cameo by Tom Savini is enough to seriously recommend this film, but someone needs to seriously consider the hinted possibilities of thirty second into the credits.

(a one skull recommendation out of four)

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