After Lost Boys: The Tribe (my blog here), it’s safe to assume that most fans of the 1987 original wouldn’t expect much from Lost Boys: The Thirst. Which you shouldn’t. That way you can actually just enjoy this sequel for what it is, especially if you’re into “The Coreys” nostalgia and not looking to identify with another band of sexy bohemian vamps.
Vampires are one of two forms of the undead that are a mainstream obsessions these days (who couldn’t relate to the benefits of the undead lifestyle when the only other option is this miserable world we live in?). So if you have sat through a myriad of cash-in zombie flix, vampire shows, and Twilight, then The Thirst should be just another great time killer to suck the life out of you.
Naturally, the movie is completely derivative: the vampires look like something out of 30 Days of Night and can even be killed by UV lamps; the setting of a vampire hosted rave is straight out of Blade; vampire blood is on the market like in True Blood; and Corey Feldman, who is an executive producer on the film, seems to be attempting to make the character of Edgar Frog a monster slaying cult favorite. Even so, it’s a rather endearing goal, even if his constant furrowed brow, forced guttural frog voice, and random grunts get annoying fast. Still, I hope this series fairs well for him and I will continue to support future sequels if they retain the silly fun of this one. I just wish that Corey Haim were around to enjoy this resurgence in interest of the series, which I truly believe could have really brought it to new levels of charm.
I’m sure most fans and Corey Feldman feel the same. Corey and the filmmakers do a wonderful job of paying homage to Haim, including several flashback clips from the original movie and Feldman visiting the grave of Haim’s character. Those moments alone made this Gen-Xer sad, and really, this is what was missing from the first sequel. I can’t help but wonder, if they had taken a chance on Haim and included him fully in the first sequel, would it have steered him back on course and given him a second chance at life? Instead, we were given just that cameo in the epilogue after the credits. They make sure to tie up that loose end here, having Feldman mention doing the unthinkable to his old best friend-turned-vampire.
It was also a smart move to introduce another original character into the mix—Edgar Frog’s brother Alan, with the original actor reprising his role (apparently, he had scenes in The Tribe that were cut out). Although I barely remembered him from the first film since it was all about the Coreys and hot Jason Patric back then, his reemergence into the series will make for an enjoyable viewing of all the films in a marathon.
Changing the focus of the series to the vampire slaying Frog Brothers duo could work from a cult perspective, if not leveling them to Ash status, at least putting them on par with the Reggie/Mike duo from the Phantasm series.
But enough with the nostalgia. What about the movie? It’s campy, it’s cheesy, it should be on SyFy any day now, it has some good one-liners and over-the-top characters. Most notable are Frog’s new female pal Zoe, who works at the local comic book store near the trailer home in which Frog is living; some chick who authors a popular series of vampire books and comes to ask Frog to help find her brother, who she believes was taken by vampire DJ X and his migrating rave party; and a goofy reality show host who thinks he’s the shit (and actually is in a hot mess kinda way).
Also added to the mix is a new drug on the market called “The Thirst,” which is actually vampire blood. None of this is really expanded in detail, which keeps the movie short, sweet, and simple. Essentially, vampire slayers come together, make a plan, head to a rave to do some defanging, and face some obstacles along the way.
The vamps definitely look cool and modern, the now classic “Cry Little Sister” Lost Boys theme is still being used (not the original version, which is still the best), and the film actually has a couple of enjoyable twists. The only thing that might turn off fans of the original is the complete change in perspective of the series. The original film was about the mystique of the skanky motorcycle riding vampire clan that lived in a cave. Now, the vampires have become like the disposable enemies in an episode of Buffy, and the Frog Brothers are well on their way to creating their own little Scooby gang. I just hope they convert Frog’s trailer home into a magic shop in the next sequel.