Generally speaking, most movies do not require a sequel. The Blair Witch Project, for example, could have lived happily ever after without its successor, the undeniably horrible and completely extraneous Book of Shadows. Don’t even get me started on An American Werewolf in Paris. Unless you’re bringing something entirely new to characters and/or scenario(s) crafted in the first outing, follow-ups are just another way for Hollywood to sneak a few more dollars out of your moth-eaten back pocket. There are exceptions, mind you, but not many. And as much as I love Gremlins 2 and Troll 2, the world would have been a-okay without them, thank you very much.
Dodgy director P.J. Pesce — who also helmed the ultra-boring Tom Berenger actioner Sniper 3 — has added yet another title to this never-ending list of cinematic mistakes. Lost Boys: The Tribe, developed by Warner Home Video’s questionable direct-to-video label Warner Premiere, is every bit the stank bastard you’d expected it to be. It’s the very definition of “knock-off,” a cheap imitation of an interesting concept that made a few dollars for the studio several years back. Strip away the title and the presence of professional has-been Corey Feldman and you’ve got nothing more than a cheap erotic vampire flick that will probably appeal to fat chicks eagerly awaiting the arrival of Twilight. Insert heavy sigh here.
As with most sequels, Lost Boys: The Tribe borrows heavily from the first installment of the franchise, changing just enough of the original elements to qualify as an honest to God motion picture. The story follows the adventures of two moronic siblings (Tad Hilgenbrink and Autumn Reeser) as they attempt to rebuild their lives after the unexpected demise of their parental units. Their version of therapy: drink, fight, and screw anyone with functional genitalia. This exercise in risky behavior soon thrusts them into the collective grasp of several suave and sexy vampires who spend most of their free time playing video games and surfing in the moonlight. If you’ve seen The Lost Boys, chances are you know exactly where this train is headed.
Veteran screenwriter Hans Rodionoff is no stranger to garbage. Anyone who has had the unfortunate pleasure of experiencing National Lampoon’s Bag Boy is already painfully familiar with this guy’s ability to sell vomit to bulimics. His script for The Tribe is a hodge-podge of tricks and gimmicks gleaned from other films; there’s not a shred of originality or an inspired idea anywhere in the entire picture. His characters, meanwhile, are paper-thin and obnoxious, giving you the distinct impression that poor Rodionoff has spent too much time reading Seventeen magazine than studying his craft. Needless to say, the whole bloated affair is as original as a pimple on prom night. This is Hack Writing 101.
The cast, meanwhile, does little to help ease the pain associated with the material. Hilgenbrink and Reeser have all the spark and charisma of Disney Channel has-beens, leaving their vampiric co-stars to chew scenery in-between failed attempts at macho posturing. Corey Feldman, on the other hand, appears more than a little eager to repise his role as Edgar Frog, one of the handful of characters which made him famous back in the 80’s. He is, without a doubt, the best part of the whole picture. Unfortunately, that’s really not saying too much. Oh, and just for the record, there’s a very good reason why Angus Sutherland isn’t as famous as his older brother. I won’t ruin the surprise for you.
P.J. Pesce should be ashamed. Not only has he contributed yet another redundant sequel to this stagnant cinematic wasteland we call Hollywood, he has also spit a warm, wet loogie in the proverbial face of the Joel Schumacher’s influential 1987 classic. Despite the moderately humorous one-liners and the ocassional spray of blood, Lost Boys: The Tribe is a just another product Warner Premiere wants you to buy simply because you recognize the title. It’s lacking in every possible department, right down to the incompetence of its pretty young cast. I’d be wallowing in distilled disappointment right now had I not expected as much from the get-go. Unless you’re just cursed with a curious nature, you’re better off pretending this one doesn’t exist.
After all, ignorance is cinematic bliss.