by Mel Valentin
"Lost Boys: The Tribe," the sequel to the mid-1980s cult classic, "The Lost Boys," is, as expected for direct-to-DVD efforts aimed at the nostalgia market, wholly superfluous, adding zero to the "Lost Boys" universe. Worse, "Lost Boys: The Tribe" has almost none of the campy charm, let alone the goofy, cheeseball humor of its predecessor. In its place, the producers of "Lost Boys: The Tribe" have substituted gratuitous violence, gore, and nudity, all of it as dull, unengaging, and unimaginative as screenwriter Hans Rodionoff’s flaccid, derivative screenplay and a generic rock soundtrack. Not even Corey Feldman, back as comic relief/vampire hunter Edgar Frog, or Corey Haim, in a meaningless cameo tacked on to the end credits, can save "Lost Boys: The Tribe" from abject mediocrity.Lost Boys: The Tribe follows Chris (Tad Hilgenbrink), a twenty-something surfer, and his teenage sister, Nicole (Autumn Reeser), as they move into Luna Bay, California (actually Vancouver) after the death of their parents in a car accident and after Chris, presumably hot-tempered, lost a major sponsor. The only connection Chris and Nicole have to Luna Bay is their aunt, Jillian (Gabrielle Rose), a real estate broker who lets them live in one of her rundown houses for a modest monthly sum. Chris, eager to get a job and bring some cash in, hears Edgar Frog, surfboard shaper, is in need of help. Not finding Frog at his camper, Chris and Nicole leave. Invited to a late-night party by former surfing champ Shane (Angus “brother of Keifer” Sutherland), and Shane’s cronies, Jon (Kyle Cassie), Kyle (Shaun Sipos), and Erik (Merwin Mondesir).
"Not even Corey Feldman can save this unnecessary sequel."
At the party, Shane puts the moves on Nicole. A bikini-clad guest at the party, Lisa (Moneca Delain), comes on to Chris. Of course, what Chris doesn’t know will kill him (or at least turn him into a creature of the night). While Chris manages to escape Lisa’s clutches, Nicole succumbs to Shane’s charms. Drinking from a tainted flask containing wine and Shane’s blood, Nicole is just one step away from becoming a full-on, blood-sucking vampire. All she needs to do is kill her first victim and eternal life is hers. Eager to stop his sister from becoming a full-on vampire, Chris rushes to Frog’s camper for help against Shane and his vampire gang. The only chance Chris has is to kill the “head vampire” before Nicole kills her first victim. If he doesn’t succeed, Nicole is lost forever.
More of a remake than an actual sequel, Lost Boys: The Tribe simply takes Lost Boys, ages the central characters, switches genders, and otherwise follows the formula laid out in Lost Boys, except with more gratuitous violence, gore, and nudity (it definitely earns its “R” rating) and far less of the campy humor and pseudo-intellectual naval-gazing that made Lost Boys a favorite among genre fans. If you look up director P.J. Pesce’s credits, you won’t anything noteworthy. He knows his way around direct-to-DVD mediocrities (e.g., Sniper 3, From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter) and uses what he learned in those earlier, forgettable efforts to equally forgettable results here, down to the obligatory, splatter-filled Tom Savini cameo in the opening scene and up through the aforementioned end credits scene featuring Corey Haim in an unnecessary cameo.
If, on the other hand, you’re a Corey Feldman fan (and really, who isn’t these days?), then maybe Lost Boys: The Tribe is exactly what you need to cure you of that particularly morbid affliction. Never the most subtle or talented of actors, Feldman growls his way through generic, unfunny one-liners. While the one-liners aren’t his fault (most of the blame for the insipid dialogues belongs to Rodionoff), his flat, unenergetic performance is. But hey, it’s not like Feldman is busy these days. Outside of his reality show with Corey Haim (two bizarrely fascinating seasons and counting), Feldman has free time to burn, at least when it comes to his moribund acting career and his periodic attempts to resurrect said career with negligible results.Unfortunately, the co-leads, Tad Hilgenbrink, Autumn Reeser, and Angus Sutherland, don’t do Feldman (or their careers) any favors. Hilgenbrink is no Jason Patric, Reeser is no Jami Gertz, and Angus is no Keifer. Angus has ½ of Keifer’s talent and, given that Keifer has all of ½ of their father Donald’s acting talent that leaves Angus with a ¼ of their father’s talent. The less said about Corey Haim’s mid-credits cameo, the better. You can catch his on-set meltdown on YouTube, though. Although "Lost Boys: The Tribe" sets up a sequel or even a prequel filling in the Frog Brothers and Sam Emerson’s (Haim’s character from "The Lost Boys") missing years, it’s better for everyone concerned if we simply pretended "Lost Boys: The Tribe" never happened.
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originally posted: 07/29/08 17:10:16