Lost Boys - The Tribe

The 1987 Joel Schumacher film The Lost Boys is great. It sports an excellent cast, stunning cinematography (by Scorsese mainstay Michael Chapman) and an excellent if cheesy 80's soundtrack. When a belated sequel dubbed The Tribe was announced to be released in 2008, I couldn't help but wonder if it made any sense at all. Rumours of a purported follow-up called The Lost Girls were floating around ever since the original turned out to be a decent cinematic succes.

Play.com, my favourite English site for all things entertainment, offered a "double feature pack" consisting of The Lost Boys and Lost Boys - The Tribe for the low low price of 6.49/$9. I already own the original movie, but the copy makes for an excellent birthday present for a friend of mine. After all, 6.49 would have been cheap for just the sequel.

The sequel got horrible reviews from dedicated, professional movie websites, so I can't say I hadn't been warned. But it's not as bad as you would think! It's a lot worse! [I stole this joke from Variety's review of Transformers 2]. No, to be honest : it's not as bad as every website makes it out to be. It won't win any awards (it wasn't even nominated for a Golden Raspberry!), but it's a fun hour and a half. The movie clearly falls in the "so bad it's good category".

The cinematography is butt ugly (everything looks like it was shot against the sun), the acting is horrible (Angus Sutherland is no Kiefer, sadly), the music is atrocious (why did they massacre the classic Cry Little Sister? Why even try to top perfection?), the nudity is gratuitous (and not rousing at all) and the directing is nothing to write home about. Lest I forget : the script is depressingly dull.

The original 1987 movie had a lot of classic lines, ready to be quoted : "All the damn, vampires", "Talk about the Texas Chain Saw Massacre", "My own brother, a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire", "You wait 'till mom finds out, buddy", "Totally annihilated his night-stalking ass!", "Ruuuules! We have ruuuules!", "Read the TV Guide, you don't need a TV", "He always had bad breath, though", "Kill your brother, you'll feel better" etc etc. You see, an endless list. I didn't consult Imdb.com, these are just the ones that spring to mind while writing this review. The Tribe has no quotable lines. None whatsoever. Pity.

The movie is saved by Corey Feldman, who resumes his role as Edgar Frog. Feldman, washed up since the early 90's, will always be one of my favourite actors for he is a Goonie. He's really good in this one, just because he actually believes in his own performance. His lines ("I smell ugly", "Pop goes the weasel") aren't memorable, but passable.

The movie desperately tries to connect to the first one, by inserting ridiculous references (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is mentioned again, but it doesn't result in laughs) and even past characters. But you'll have to watch the alternate endings on the DVD to get the good stuff.

By all means, Lost Boys - The Tribe (why isn't it called THE Lost Boys - The Tribe?) is a terrible movie. But it sure is a lot of fun because of its pure, unadulterated camp factor.

Julian De Backer, 13 October 2010

P.S. I'm pretty sure the pun has been made before, but a good alternate title would be Lost Boys - The Trite.