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“Unchain me, Sister… Please!” By Alan Passman

NOTE: Alan’s tangents are the stuff dreams( bad dreams) are made of. To make a long story short, here’s Alan’s EPICALLY diagnostic review of Lost Boys: The Tribe

There is something about going over the same familiar territory that can be comforting -like visiting a hometown after being abroad for several years or having sex with your ex. Then there is what happens when a needless sequel is made (e.g. American Psycho 2, Be Cool, or Balto 2: Wolf Quest). The only thing these films succeeded in doing was aggravating the original core audience that was stoked on whatever made the real McCoy stand out. With that said, sometimes films also get made because of how great their predecessor was. If you were like me and you remember how it felt when you finished watching Superman Returns, then you have an inkling of how much love there is between me and Lost Boys: The Tribe. Chances are you don’t though, so let us do some backtracking then.

The Supes reboot bothered me because it was Bryan Singer making a fanboy mash note to the Donner films. It wasn’t a complete retread, but it was such an artfully done mockup that the creative recreations just became annoying after awhile. This was especially true when Smallville never actually fought or did anything interesting throughout the whole film. This addition to the mythos – this specific 80s cult classic – wasn’t done on the same scale as Superman and feels like an overly ambitious Youtube tribute film.

You should know before we go any further that the original film, Lost Boys, is one of my all-time favorite screen gems. Since it was Joel Schumacher-directed then that is saying a plethora about how good the flick has to be. I remember my parents renting it for my aunt and her husband when they were staying with us. It had just been released on video and I knew nothing about it. I wasn’t that big of a fan of “scary movies” being a little kid, but the movie allows you to soldier on because of how strong it is as a comedic adventure. It is a great bookend between Monster Squad and Goonies. Richard Donner actually produced/directed Goonies and was originally set to do both again for Lost Boys, but ended up just staying on in a producing capacity.

Moving on, what also made that film work so well was the following: on-screen chemistry, script originality, totally quotable dialogue, charisma, character development and most importantly a sense of humor. What you get when watch the sequel is sort of a WB/CW-ified retelling of the first movie. It is as if someone watched two episodes from the first season of Buffy for creature design, the OC in its entirety, then Lost Boys and then said, “Hey, wait a minute… What if we put these together into a blender?” This icy concoction is anything but a dark gift. Side note though, Autumn Reeser, who is basically like the Michael Emerson of the film, also happened to play Taylor Townsend during the third season of said-Josh Schwartz-created-Fox-teen drama.

Fans of the original will smirk at all the nods to the primary source material but eventually that gets tiring as you realize how this is a loose remake of the original film. Dig it: Siblings trying to start over and escape their past life move to a part of Nor Cal that happens to also be vampire central and overseen by a bleached blonde Sutherland. Sound familiar to anyone yet? There is even a reference to Tim Capello, the sax wielding bodybuilder from the first film. The Coreys are in the film but mostly Feldman as Edgar Frog since Haim is so ate up. His cameo isn’t even worthwhile because it doesn’t make any sense – there is no context for it. There are two alternate endings that feature both of them as well as Jamison Newlander as a vamped out Allan Frog. That film in itself would have been way more interesting. Whole parts of dialogue are lifted and they even get a horrid pop-metal band called Aiden to cover the film’s theme, “Cry Little Sister,” during the sex scene. The song might have been the impetus for writing this script since the focus is on Reeser’s character, the little sister. Yes, the film is that lame. That being said, some references here or there are fine, but if you want to make a remake then do it or do us a favor and just don’t commit anything to film.

The first film had Alex Winters AKA Bill Preston Esquire and the model dude responsible for coining “death by stereo” on-screen as some of the vamp lackeys; whereas this time around we are given douchey, surfer, frat boy bullies instead. For some reason they also happen to be pop culture nerds as they spew Big Lebowski references and play Gears of War in their lair. I’m sorry but that usually doesn’t happen that way in real life. David (Kiefer Sutherland) and his family were a lot more of a likeable villainous than his deadpan/boringly delivered counterpart, Shane (Angus Sutherland) and his tribe. Yes, they’re related. Horror enthusiasts might delight in a cameo by Tom Savini in the first several minutes of the picture and on a related note, you might also enjoy the gore but it won’t be enough to tide you over.

I watched this out of morbid curiosity, because I tend to shy away from straight-to-rental sequels. This film is the stake in the heart though as I doubt I’ll ever do that again, unless it happens to be something more unbelievably insane like Citizen Kane II: Rosebud’s Revenge.

Tag-line: It’s Going to be One Hell of a Slay Ride. Would it be a CGI sleigh wreaking havoc on the descendants of those who had wronged Charles Foster Kane? Let’s hope so.

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