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 â€œrescueâ€ his sister from the clutches of the surfing neck-sucker â€“ and to obliterate the curse sheâ€™s been inflicted with â€“ is for Chris to go â€œundercoverâ€ in the beauâ€™s gang (yep, he has to vamp up too). Once he knows who the head vampire is â€“ 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. Thereâ€™s just one differenceâ€¦.
â€œThe Lost Boys: The Tribeâ€ features one heck of an entertaining – and welcome!; letâ€™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 everyoneâ€™s favourite 80s vampire movie suddenly shifts into overdrive. It really does. The gears are crunched so fast, youâ€™d think this puppy might stall â€“ but it doesnâ€™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 â€˜Edgar Frogâ€™ â€“ the character he played in Joel Schumacherâ€™s gothic original â€“ they want to, and deserve to see having waited this long for the characterâ€™s big screen reprise.
It truly is one of heck of a comeback turn from Feldman â€“ heâ€™s funny, feisty, and totally on-the-ball. He also gets to deliver some terrifically fun lines (thanks to scribe Hans Rodionoff) and â€“ power to the man â€“ knows how to deliver them deliciously well!
The film doesnâ€™t dip whenever Feldman isnâ€™t on screen, not all, itâ€™s just that heâ€™s so darn good in the part that the kids heâ€™s acting alongside â€“ relative newcomers Hilgenbrink and Autumn Reeser (Tvs â€œThe OCâ€) are the stars (supposedly) of the show â€“ have no chance in hell when heâ€™s sharing a frame with them. He eats them alive. Itâ€™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 wouldâ€™ve had to have split up their scenes with Feldman â€“ and nobody should be denied maximum Edgar.
Iâ€™m not a big fan of direct-to-video sequels â€“ theyâ€™re usually cheap, tacky, in-name only follow-ups that donâ€™t so much think of the audience as they do the marketing department of a label. â€œLost Boys : The Tribeâ€, youâ€™ll notice from the opening moments, does have its problems â€“ itâ€™s clearly low-budget, does lack the production values of the original, and the music doesnâ€™t leave as much of an impression as the tunes in Schumacherâ€™s film did â€“ but by-and-large, itâ€™s one of the better DVD debuts youâ€™ll see. Clearly â€“ and Iâ€™m not just referring to Feldman â€“ thereâ€™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 heâ€™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 Iâ€™m not quite sure where itâ€™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 thereâ€™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 couldâ€™ve explained who Chris and Nicole Emerson actually are though. We know theyâ€™re Emersonâ€™s â€“ Jason Patric and Corey Haimâ€™s characters from the original film had the same surname â€“ but itâ€™s never stated that theyâ€™re Michael and Starâ€™s kids. That needed to be spelt out I think. It mightâ€™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 â€“ like the underwhelming finale (it all happens rather quickly â€“ lacks punch) â€“ is no fault of the script, or director, but also Warner â€“ who couldâ€™ve afforded to have doubled the budget on the film. Oh wellâ€¦ a spec of bronze on something that’s mostly gold.. or maybe silver.. ain’t bad.
The fact of the matter is thereâ€™s a lot more here to like than there is to dislike. Itâ€™s such a fun film – as ridiculous as it is. Thereâ€™s some great performances (Angus Sutherland – - makes a bravura debut as the big bad, Shaun Sipos is equally wicked, and Hilgenbrink â€“ who youâ€™ll remember as â€˜Stiflerâ€™ in â€œAmerican Pie : Band Campâ€ â€“ gives a likeable, strong turn as the hero), some crafty production design, some â€œbloodyâ€ good horror (this might even be scarier than the first film) and some deliciously fun moments thatâ€™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 â€œGooniesâ€ sequel now, even direct-to-video with Feldman back as â€˜Mouthâ€™? (Clint’s going to flame me for even suggesting that isn’t he!? I’m ready for attack Morris!)
â€œLost Boys : The Tribeâ€ is â€˜bloodyâ€™ 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!