Corey Feldman - Edgar Frog
Tanit Phoenix - Gwen Lieber
Casey B. Dolan - Zoe
Jamison Newlander - Alan Frog
Seb Castang - DJ X
Felix Mosse - Peter
Steven van Niekerk - Lars
Joe Vas - Claus
Genre - Horror/Vampires/Sequel
Running Time - 81 Minutes
It's kind of funny that vampires seem to be the "it" monster at the moment [even though zombies are coming close]. Even though we've always had vampire stories, films, and even TV shows, watching vampires hasn't been as popular as it has today. It kind of sucks that it has to be because of TWILIGHT, but at least we True Blood, DAYBREAKERS, and 30 DAYS OF NIGHT because of it.
Fortunately, we'll also have 1987's THE LOST BOYS. Even though it took the spotlight away from the much better and grittier NEAR DARK [which came out around the same time], THE LOST BOYS is still a fan favorite amongst vampire fans for its humor, cooler-looking vampires, and of course the appeal of Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, who were the two biggest teen idols at the time. To this day, the film stands the test of time, entertaining modern audiences just as much as it did almost 24 years ago.
For some reason, it was decided that in 2008, a sequel was needed for THE LOST BOYS. LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE was released to great fanfare, but the response was negative as many [myself included] felt that it felt more like a rehash of the original instead of a sequel, just with a weaker script, characters, and actors. But the curiosity within the horror community made LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE into a successful direct-to-DVD feature, leaving no doubt that another sequel would be made.
So in 2010, we got LOST BOYS: THE THIRST, the third movie installment in this unnecessary franchise. With Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander returning for the third time as vampire hunters, The Frog Brothers, curiosity was still there but the anticipation [which was killed by THE TRIBE] was not. So is THE THIRST another nail in the LOST BOYS' coffin? Or is it actually a worthy installment to a franchise that should have never been? This review may surprise you...
Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander) Frog are in Washington D.C., stopping vampires from turning government officials. During the battle, however, Alan is bitten, turns into a vampire, and flees the scene. Edgar feels like a failure and decides to live mainly in isolation.
Five years pass and Edgar is about to become evicted. He sells $65 worth of comic books to Zoe (Casey B. Dolan), who has a thing for Edgar. Before he can decide his next move, a beautiful, famous vampire novelist named Gwen Lieber (Tanit Phoenix) seeks him out so he can rescue her brother Peter (Felix Mosse), who has been captured by rave-loving vampires led by DJ X (Seb Castang). X and his buddies just happen to be in town for a big rave - one where Peter will be sacrificed for the Alpha Vampire. The rave has attracted thousands of young people who want to party and drink vampire blood called The Thirst. Edgar, Zoe, Gwen, a reality show survivalist (Steven van Niekerk), and his cameraman (Joe Vas) must stop the sacrifice before these vampires quench their "Thirst".
I really was expecting to bash this sequel. After all, I didn't dig LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE all that much really. The only things I liked about it were the epilogue with Feldman, Newlander, and the late Corey Haim which seemed to be the next evolution of the franchise, as well as Autumn Reeser's hot ass in lingerie [growl...]. Color me surprised, however, as I kind of dug LOST BOYS: THE THIRST for the most part. This third installment should have been crap, if history was to say anything about it. But it's definitely an improvement over THE TRIBE and feels like the true sequel to 1987's THE LOST BOYS. How about that?
The narrative for THE THIRST, while not great per se, is still stronger than what THE TRIBE brought forth. The main thing I liked about the story was that it focused on The Frog Brothers, mainly Edgar Frog. I liked these characters from the beginning because they were the geeks - the ones who knew exactly what they were dealing with and had all the cool weapons to take the vampires out. They loved comic books and believed they were bad-asses. How can you not like that? To see Edgar Frog go from down and out to Vampire Hunter is an entertaining ride that makes you want to root for the character, especially if you're a sucker for comebacks [talking about both Frog and Feldman here]. And I actually found Edgar's arc to be believable in context with the story. His brother turned into a vampire, he's unable to help him, and that left him bitter and angry. When he asks for help, he refuses at first. But realizing that he could save someone else to make up for failing his brother, he agrees to the mission. I also dig the fact that the vampires already know all about this guy and see him as a huge threat. A character's arc doesn't have to be complicated. Edgar's story is simple and it works.
I'll also mention Alan's arc, even though he's hardly in the film. It's pretty predictable that Alan would refuse to let the vampire side take over because he hates them so much, plus he doesn't want to hurt his brother. But it makes sense and I enjoyed seeing Alan and Edgar do their thing one more time. I do believe he should have had more of a presence in the film to really push his story forward, but it wasn't all bad. It's sad that Sam Emerson (Corey Haim) will never complete The Lost Boys ever again [due to Haim's unfortunate death, which gives his character's death more resonance]. If it could have happened, that would have been awesome for me.
Speaking of Haim, I enjoyed the tributes in the film for him. From the "Batman #14" comic book being placed at Sam's grave by Edgar, to the cool flashbacks of the original film, I really thought it was a nice, mature touch. It's nice to see this sort of class in franchise movies.
I also dug how the sequel self-references vampire lore and other pop culture trivia. Having Gwen Lieber as a parody for Stephenie Meyer, both writing vampire novels that romances and sexualizes the idea of what vampires are supposed to be, was very funny. It's definitely a criticism about those TWILIGHT movies that I totally agree with. Vampires can be sexy, sure. But they should also be ruthless killers, not daytime sparklers. I'm just saying. I also liked the idea of the reality show survivalist, who is obviously a Bear Grylls parody. This is obviously a criticism on reality show culture, which shows us reality, but in fictional form. I also think it was Feldman's way of making fun of himself for doing those two seasons of The Two Coreys years ago, as well as that season of The Surreal Life. There are also other things to point out, but I'll let you guys do that. But the film obviously pokes fun at itself and the state of Vampirism in the media today.
Unfortunately, the character development stinks in this film. Besides Edgar and Alan, we don't know who these other people really are besides their names and their occupations. Gwen's character changes in every scene. First she's desperate to save her brother. Then she happens to be a vampire novelist. Then she's a sex kitten flirting with Edgar. Who is this woman and why should I care about these things? Real women are confusing enough. I don't need my fictional women hurting my brain too! And Zoe, who has more personality as someone who understands monster lore and legend, has a thing for Edgar that seems forced. Why is she so into this guy? When did she become friends with Edgar? Why does Edgar trust her so much when he distrusts everyone else? She needed to be fleshed out. Lars and Claus were just two very one-dimensional characters. And even the villains were pretty lame and uninteresting. I understood their motives, but I didn't really care for these vampires. All they did was fly out of airplanes, have lesbian sex, and make humans drink vampire blood at raves. Not really exciting stuff [besides the lesbian sex that is], even though it does beat surfing vampires from THE TRIBE.
And the dialogue is a mixed bag. The film tries to be campy and humorous, which only works for some of the time. When it works, it's funny. When it doesn't, I hear that *wonk wonk* sound in my head. At least the screenplay expands on the LOST BOYS lore instead of rehashing it. So it's not all bad, I guess.
THE THIRST has a decent amount of gore and sexuality going for it. Getting the sex part out of the way, we do get to see some nice boobs and a frequent amount of lesbianism between hot vampire ladies. *Schwing!* The gore is also quite good for a direct-to-DVD feature. We get some nice bloody moments, a heart punched out of an idiot's body, disintegrating vampires via Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the usual biting that vampires seem to do. All in all, I was quite impressed by how the film lived up to its R rating. All TWILIGHT fans need not to look here.
The direction by Dario Piana was quite good. The pacing was nicely done as those 81 minutes flew right by. The film looked nice, much better than THE TRIBE I thought.
The editing was tight. And the action sequences were film pretty well for the most part. I really liked the fight scenes in this film. There was one moment where it looked really fake [during the Lars vs. that big vampire scene], but other than that, the visuals were very serviceable. The production value for this sequel was reasonably high and it shows. I thought Piana did a nice job directing this film.
The acting isn't all that impressive, but it gets the job done. Corey Feldman chewed the scenery as Edgar Frog. He still uses that annoying Clint Eastwood [or is it Christian Bale as Batman] voice and hams up every bit of dialogue he has to say. He was, by default, the best actor here and I enjoyed watching him. Tanit Phoenix was very hot as Gwen. Her acting improved as the film rolled. She was decent. So was Casey B. Dolan as Zoe. She was consistent and I liked her. Jamison Newlander doesn't get all that much to do as Alan Frog, but it's nice seeing him anyway. And Seb Castang was okay as DJ X. He was a lot better than Angus Sutherland, but no where close to Keifer. Not the greatest cast of thespians I've seen in a film, but they performed to the best of their abilities.
THINGS I'VE LEARNED WHILE SACRIFICING SOME POOR SOUL DURING THE BLOOD MOON
- Vampires are feeding helpless human victims "The Thirst", which is vampire blood, at raves. The effects are like Ecstasy, except you'll end up shagging someone of the same sex without realizing it. Hmmm, maybe it is like Ecstasy. Ahhh, high school...
- Some blogger was being a prick to DJ X, threatening he wouldn't attend any one of his parties if he didn't get an interview. These bloggers...they're such dicks. All they do is bitch and moan and whine about every little thing, looking at the negatives rather than the positives. If they weren't so damn good looking, I'd tell them to "bite me" - which are the wrong two words for this type of review!
- Lars claimed to have the metabolism of a 12-year-old. So is his sex drive, from what I hear from some of his girlfriends. His behavior is not the only thing that's premature, if you know what I mean...
- Some chick freaked out when blood splattered all over her face. That's understandable. What splatters on her face is usually white!
- Don't have fisticuffs with a vampire. He'll just prove to you that when it comes to fighting, you have no heart. Literally.
- Don't ever try to win the love of a man who holds a lot of power. He'll stab you in the back - or bite your neck off. Whichever comes first, I guess.
THE FINAL HOWL
LOST BOYS: THE THIRST was a pleasant surprise. While it's not as good as the original THE LOST BOYS, it's light years better than THE TRIBE. And to be honest, that's more than enough for me. It's nowhere near perfect, but it's very watchable and slightly entertaining. THE THIRST is a cool homage to the original and the only true sequel to THE LOST BOYS as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't mind a fourth installment at this point [c'mon, it's gonna happen anyway]. For thirsty LOST BOYS fans only.
2.5 Howls Outta 4