Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008)

P.J. Pesce

Tad Hilgenbrink - Chris Emerson
Autumn Reeser - Nicole Emerson
Angus Sutherland - Shane
Kyle Cassie - Jon
Greyston Holt - Evan
Corey Feldman - Edgar Frog
Gabrielle Rose - Aunt Jillian

Genre - Horror/Teen/Vampire

Running Time - 92 Minutes

Score - 1.5 Howls Outta 4

In 1987, audiences were treated to a youth-centric and silly vampire film called THE LOST BOYS. It made some bank at the box office, eclipsing the superior vampire flick NEAR DARK [which came out around the same time], and introduced the world to Keifer Sutherland, Jason Patric, and the phenomenon that was the Two Coreys [Feldman & Haim]. Beloved by many and seen as a cool piece of 80s nostalgia, THE LOST BOYS has been called "the greatest vampire flick of all time." Do I agree with that statement? Absolutely not. It's one of the best but it's not the best. This debate could probably go on forever.

I do believe that the one thing everyone can agree on is that THE LOST BOYS doesn't need a sequel. It's great as a stand-alone tale, so the thought of a sequel seemed unnecessary to many.

But like I always say, "When money talks, bullshit walks."

Here I am, 21 years after the original was released, and I'm writing about LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE - the official direct-to-DVD sequel of THE LOST BOYS. With a different director, writer, actors and characters [except for Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, and Jamison Newlander - who return briefly to reprise their roles from the original film], the teen vamp story that appealled to many of us 80s kids continues. Unfortunately, this film should have never been made because it really isn't all that great and just a major disappointment after all these years. Let's sink our fangs into this unnecessary and pointless sequel.

Moving to some surf California town named Luna Bay, siblings Chris (Tad Hilgenbrink) and Nicole (Autumn Reeser) Emerson [they're apparently the children of Michael Emerson and Star from the original THE LOST BOYS] hope to rebuild their lives after the deaths of their parents in a car accident by moving in with their Aunt Jillian (Gabrielle Rose). Chris used to have money from sponsors when he was a professional surfer, but his parents' death has hit him hard. Nicole, on the other hand, seems to be dealing with it by acting like a slut and being that difficult 17-year-old sister we all dread of having.

Chris and Nicole are invited to a party by some sleepy blonde dude named Shane (Angus Sutherland), who used to be a surfer himself until he disappeared for mysterious reasons. Well, it's not so mysterious - he's the head of his own vampire clan and these parties he does are to initiate more to his tribe [hence, the title of the movie]. Nicole falls for Shane and eventually drinks a vile of his blood, becoming a half-vampire and under Shane's vampiric spell. Chris, seeing the symptoms, decides to team up with Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman), who knows all too well about vampires [especially since he lost Alan to them years before]. The two decide to infiltrate the tribe, hopefully saving Nicole and ending the vampire threat.

Hmmm...haven't I seen this film before?

I saw LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE before its DVD release date from a bootleg actually copied straight from the DVD itself [it has all the special features and everything]. I even told several people who read these reviews that I thought the film was actually pretty decent. However, as I sat down and started to look at my notes and write this review, I realized how lame this movie really was. I'm not saying it's completely terrible, because THE TRIBE is not that at all. But it's pretty forgettable and very pointless.

I think the worst thing about THE TRIBE is that it's nothing but a rehash of the original THE LOST BOYS, but with worse characters, worse acting, a worse soundtrack [the version of "Cry Little Sister" here is terrible], and worse direction. It's pretty disappointing because I was expecting something more than I saw. I mean, it's been over 20 years. You'd think a lot of planning would have gone into this film. Nope, just a retelling of the original story but done for modern audiences. So instead of comic book stores, we get scenes of vampires surfing and motorcycling around town fucking with cops just because they're jerks. It's like the vampire version of The O.C., with an actual star from that very television show as the female lead character. We get a fat saxophonist instead of a muscular one. There's a mention of THE GOONIES [hardy har har!] and a line taking right from the original about THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. Instead of an eccentric grandfather, we have an eccentric aunt. We even have Keifer Sutherland's younger brother as the lead vampire in this film [Keifer was the lead in the original]. It tries to be witty but falls flat on his face most of the time because we've already seen this film before. The only difference is that it was a lot better 21 years ago. This isn't a sequel. This is the epitome of lazyness and greed.

The characters in this film are pretty blah and/or annoying. Chris, our "hero", is a bit overprotective of his younger sister. To the point where he has shoving matches with her and drags her away from situations where boys even glance at her. And the weird part is that there was actually sexual tension between Chris and Nicole! Ew much? I get you don't want your sister to spread her legs open to every dude she sees, but Chris acted more like a jealous and abusive husband than a worried brother. Nicole was a bit better and more grounded as a character, but she's pretty much playing the Jason Patric/Michael role from the original except that she goes all the way with it while Michael fought the urges to give in into being a vampire. And the eccentric aunt, Jillian, was just annoying. She actually reminded me of Megan Mullany as Karen on Will & Grace, but 100 times worse. Everytime she was on screen, I groaned. Mute button!

The vampires are no better. It's like watching the cast of JACKASS but with fangs. They stabbed each other and videotaped it like it was all one big joke. They were all devoid of personality but one: asshole. Except for Shane, who wasn't a total asshole but definitely needed a cup of coffee or something. I was afraid he was gonna fall asleep on screen with his sloth-like mannerisms. And he's the main villain? Wow...

The best character was the one from the original: Edgar Frog. All grown up and now making surfboards while still a comic book lover, Frog is still the same guy you love from THE LOST BOYS. Still sarcastic, still sounding like a poor man's Clint Eastwood, and still kicking ass - Edgar Frog is the ultimate highlight of the sequel. And I have a feeling he'll be the highlight for the next installment of this "franchise".

The SFX was actually decent. There's a lot more gore and blood than in the original THE LOST BOYS. And it all looks pretty good. The vampires are pretty mean in this film, so it works on a more mature level. I will say the transformation scenes aren't all that new. If you've seen Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Angel, then you know what the vampires look like. It didn't bug me all that much.

The direction by P.J. Pesce wasn't Schumacher quality but it wasn't half bad. For a direct-to-DVD feature [and yes, it looks direct-to-DVD], I still thought it had some style and interesting edits. The action scenes were directed well and the cinematography looked good. There were things that sometimes looked a bit fake and low budgeted, plus any nudity was topped by flesh colored material that was visible if you looked at it enough. But I've seen worse. The pacing was good and I was never bored the entire 92 minutes. I have to give Pesce credit for that.

The acting was pretty bad though. It made me laugh a lot at how these actors delivered their lines. Especially bad was Tad Hilgenbrink with his goofy face and his forcefulness to act innocent. Angus Sutherland was worse than Hilgenbrink. He looks like a Sutherland. He has the presence of a Sutherland. But he can't act out of a paper bag. He mumbled his lines and seemed to not give a fuck. Even his sex scene with Reeser seemed ho-hum. Someone give the dude some vitamins or a Red Bull! And Gabrielle Rose just annoyed me with her performance. Too bad none of the vampires ate her. I would have praised the film more if they did.

Autumn Reeser was okay as Nicole. I really don't blame her as much as I blame the script. Her dialogue isn't all that great and she's pretty much non-existent during much of the last half of the film. But she's great to look at, so that's a plus. And Greyston Holt as Evan was the goofball of the film and he was okay too. He had some funny stuff in there and was pretty likable.

The best actor of the film, and I can't believe I'm saying this, was without a doubt Corey Feldman. It was like he never stopped playing Edgar Frog. He had the best lines [his speech about becoming a ordained minister online with a push of a button made me laugh] and seemed to be the only one really enjoying himself here. He's obviously gonna be the subject of the next LOST BOYS sequel, which the end credits and the two alternative endings set up. Let's just say that Sam Emerson [a much older Corey Haim - what happened to him?] and Alan Frog (Jamison Newlander) are gonna be back but not in a way that you'd expect them to. Haim's and Newlander's appearances are pretty much glorified cameos, but it was the most interesting and exciting parts of the movie. I think this should have been the sequel, not the movie I'm reviewing now.


- One of the vampires was able to tackle his victim and kill him, yet unable to kick his decapitated head without injuring himself. Aren't vampires supposed to have superhuman strength? Either this film is stupid or I'm just smart.

- Edgar Frog lives in a trailer in the middle of nowhere. I can't really see Corey Feldman living there. Haim? Yeah totally.

- "Death can be a positive thing." I'm sure O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake agree. ALLEGEDLY.

- When a beautiful female takes off her clothes and enters a shower that she's inviting you to, you better take it. Filthy boys like you and me deserve to get cleaned up in the dirtiest way possible. Oops, she dropped the bar of soap and she's picking it up. Whatever will I do...?

- "A lot of valuable information can be found by reading comic books." Yeah, like how Superman has to wear Kryptonite condoms to fuck Lois Lane so her head wouldn't explode when he ejaculates. Or how clones will not only ruin your life, but destroy the sales of your very popular comic book. I don't think Spider-Man has ever recovered from that one.

- Hot girls dressed in black and are really sexually forward are probably bloodsucking vampires. Or have a large amount of crabs. Neither one is good.

- Nicole is a vegetarian and finds blood disgusting. She could have fooled me. She seems to be really into meat whenever she sees a guy.

- "Vampires always look for a place with a history of human suffering - deep, dark, dank places - places that never see the light of day - places with lots of vermin - places that smell of rot, earth, and decay." - Edgar Frog

Are we really talking about a vamp hideout or the Neverland Ranch?

21 years in the making, LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE is a disappointment. If you've seen THE LOST BOYS, you've seen the sequel but better. It's not the worst film I've ever seen but it's far from being good as well. If you're interested in what THE LOST BOYS sequel looks like, then by all means rent this. But don't expect a film that breaks any new ground or even advances the original story in any way. Apparently they're saving that for part 3, making LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE nothing more than a set-up and transitional movie for something bigger. For Corey Feldman fans only.



  2. The phrase "direct to video" does not inspire a lot of confidence. You'd figure that they would do a bit more than just rehash the original. Are people that desperate for a buck? I guess so. Thanks for the in depth review Wolf!

  3. Nice review. Since I have not seen the original movie so can't comment about how it was. After reading your review I was disappointed to know that the sequel is not good one. But the original was very good as what I heard about it from my friends.

  4. THE LOST BOYS is an excellent vampire film. This sequel is not. The third part, THE THIRST, is definitely worth watching though.

  5. i like this review. i have seen the original movie and i have to agree with you on this one.


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