So how’s Lost Boys : The Tribe?

Captain Cumquat on deck,

A preview tape crossed my desk this week – courtesy a pal at Blockbuster (man, these guys get all the previews early). I scratched, raised an eyebrow, and popped it into my Toshiba.

“Lost Boys 2″ – thought it’d hurt about as foreplay with a toothy granny. Thankfully, it wasn’t half as painful – and it’s largely due to (shock friggin horror!) FELDMAN!

Here’s the rundown :

Chris and Nicole (Tad Hilgenbrink and Autumn Reeser) have come to Luna Bay to, well, party and surf. Unfortunately, she starts dating a vampire (Angus Sutherland) and pretty soon is one herself.

The only way to “rescue” his sister from the clutches of the surfing neck-sucker – and to obliterate the curse she’s been inflicted with – is for Chris to go “undercover” in the beau’s gang (yep, he has to vamp up too). Once he knows who the head vampire is – he can stake him, and everyone can go home happy (albeit, a bit bloody).

It looks like a direct-to-video. Smells like a direct-to-video sequel. Plays like a direct-to-video sequel. There’s just one difference….

“The Lost Boys: The Tribe” features one heck of an entertaining – and welcome!; let’s be honest here, we always loved the guy! – comeback from the one-and-only Corey Feldman!

When the Felddog enters the picture, about quarter-way through, the straight-to-blockbuster sequel to everyone’s favourite 80s vampire movie suddenly shifts into overdrive. It really does. The gears are crunched so fast, you’d think this puppy might stall – but it doesn’t. It simply speeds up.

Having spent the last decade or so in obscurity, or staring at the bottom of an empty bag of reefer, or both, Feldman has ostensibly worked his ass off to make sure he gives fans the ‘Edgar Frog’ – the character he played in Joel Schumacher’s gothic original – they want to, and deserve to see having waited this long for the character’s big screen reprise.

It truly is one of heck of a comeback turn from Feldman – he’s funny, feisty, and totally on-the-ball. He also gets to deliver some terrifically fun lines (thanks to scribe Hans Rodionoff) and – power to the man – knows how to deliver them deliciously well!

The film doesn’t dip whenever Feldman isn’t on screen, not all, it’s just that he’s so darn good in the part that the kids he’s acting alongside – relative newcomers Hilgenbrink and Autumn Reeser (Tvs “The OC”) are the stars (supposedly) of the show – have no chance in hell when he’s sharing a frame with them. He eats them alive. It’s probably good that Corey Haim and Jamison Newlander were cut from the film (Haim has an over-the-end-credits-cameo, but it adds nothing to the film), because they would’ve had to have split up their scenes with Feldman – and nobody should be denied maximum Edgar.

I’m not a big fan of direct-to-video sequels – they’re usually cheap, tacky, in-name only follow-ups that don’t so much think of the audience as they do the marketing department of a label. “Lost Boys : The Tribe”, you’ll notice from the opening moments, does have its problems – it’s clearly low-budget, does lack the production values of the original, and the music doesn’t leave as much of an impression as the tunes in Schumacher’s film did – but by-and-large, it’s one of the better DVD debuts you’ll see. Clearly – and I’m not just referring to Feldman – there’s been some love put into the film. Writer Rodionoff seems to know the original film quite well, it shows in the amount of fan-friendly nods to the original that he’s smartly placed within this one, but also, his willingness not to pen something too distant to that first film. His film is clearly set in the same world as the original (though I’m not quite sure where it’s set to be honest? Is this a town in the same vicinity as Santa Carla, from the first film?) and his characters are clearly extensions of the original gang (I believe there’s even a hint here that the villain might be related to the character Kiefer Sutherland played in the first).

On that topic though, the scribe probably could’ve explained who Chris and Nicole Emerson actually are though. We know they’re Emerson’s – Jason Patric and Corey Haim’s characters from the original film had the same surname – but it’s never stated that they’re Michael and Star’s kids. That needed to be spelt out I think. It might’ve helped us invest in the characters a little more from the outset. And fuck, I wish they’d had a tad more money…. it really lacked the atmosphere and dazzling design of the origninal.

And any further problems the film has – like the underwhelming finale (it all happens rather quickly – lacks punch) – is no fault of the script, or director, but also Warner – who could’ve afforded to have doubled the budget on the film. Oh well… a spec of bronze on something that’s mostly gold.. or maybe silver.. ain’t bad.

The fact of the matter is there’s a lot more here to like than there is to dislike. It’s such a fun film – as ridiculous as it is. There’s some great performances (Angus Sutherland – - makes a bravura debut as the big bad, Shaun Sipos is equally wicked, and Hilgenbrink – who you’ll remember as ‘Stifler’ in “American Pie : Band Camp” – gives a likeable, strong turn as the hero), some crafty production design, some “bloody” good horror (this might even be scarier than the first film) and some deliciously fun moments that’ll have fans smiling from ear to ear.

But back to Feldman, he really does make the movie. Maybe Warner will greenlight the long-gestating “Goonies” sequel now, even direct-to-video with Feldman back as ‘Mouth’? (Clint’s going to flame me for even suggesting that isn’t he!? I’m ready for attack Morris!)

“Lost Boys : The Tribe” is ‘bloody’ good fun – with a razor-sharp performance by Feldman!

Don’t expect too much – - – You’ll like it, too.

See you at Comic Con for the premiere!