Monday, August 4, 2008

Cry, Little Sister

"A lot of valuable information can be gained by reading comic books." -- Edgar Frog, played by Corey Feldman in Lost Boys: The Tribe

I'll admit, I didn't have high hopes for the long-brewing sequel to 1987's The Lost Boys (and wow! 1987?), but I was pleasantly surprised to find it a decent little B movie. Less ambitious, sure, but fairly true to the spirit of the original, and while nobody in the cast has the acting ability that the smoldering young Jason Patric did, nobody's as annoying as Jami Gertz, either, so it all evens out.

The new movie focuses on orphaned siblings Chris and Nicole (they have the same last name as the original's Michael and Sam, but their relationship is never explained outright). Fallen on hard times, they move to a small California town which seems to be overrun with well-known former professional surfers, like Chris is. Before long, jailbait Nicole has hooked up with her brother's former idol, and eventually, the same theme develops as in the original: it's all fun and games until you have to eat somebody.

In this case, the gang practices a brand of vampirism for the Jackass generation: they can indulge in extreme sports and interpersonal violence without inflicting permanent damage.

Kiefer's little brother Angus Sutherland plays the main vampire in a seductive, Byronic mode: he's soft-spoken and romantic, and honestly seems to believe he's doing people a favor by giving them eternal life. Until, of course, the chips are really down. Then, just as Luke Perry said in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, he proves that "This is not a caring nurturer here, this guy is a blood-sucking fiend from beyond the grave."

Speaking of casting: it might sound kind of sad to say that Edgar Frog, "surfboard shaper and vampire hunter," is the perfect role for Corey Feldman, like this is the best he can hope for? Nonetheless, it's a part that makes the most of his abilities, even if they're mainly expressed in gruff one-liners (along with the chance to reprise his famous "It's never pretty" speech). At this point, I'd totally watch further Edgar Frog, Vampire Hunter sequels if they came along.

You'll want to watch into the credits for a coda, and also the two alternate endings, which steer the film in a specific sequel direction it might not want to go in, which I assume is the reason they remain "alternate." Admitedly, I'll be bummed if that's the end of the crazy-looking heavy-metal cowboy (maybe a little Near Dark inspired?) in the vampire cameo by Jamison Newlander, the real lost boy of the Lost Boys. His Alan Frog, as important a character as Edgar, tended to be completely overlooked in the bygone days of Corey-mania. You've gotta wonder, though, if maybe life's been a little easier for him because of it.

This'll never replace the original movie in anybody's hearts, or be remembered so fondly in twenty years (okay, I don't know that for a fact, but I'd bet money). Still, for a sequel to a popular horror film, especially a direct-to-DVD one, it's pretty good. Pretty much every classic horror film ever made has suffered much worse indignities.

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