I consider ‘The Lost Boys (1987)’ to be one of my all-time favourite movies with its ability to perfectly blend horror, comedy, style and atmosphere, not to mention just how well it all holds up today. If you’re anything like me then once the credits role you’ll feel satisfied with the story and the way in which it’s concluded, let’s just say there probably won’t be a point in which you say “there needs to be a sequel”. I understand that there is a small amount of potential for a sequel but it’s very small at best and would certainly take a lot away from the original. Never say never though because like many popular 80s movies it did eventually receive two sequels and the first was ‘Lost Boys: The Tribe’ a low budget movie that went straight to DVD with little to nothing to do with the original but is it all bad?
The movie opens with a bunch of surfer guys jumping a fence into some rich guys’ front garden to use his exclusive part of the beach. It turns out that the “some rich guy” I was referring to is played by Tom Savini which is really confusing when you find out that his character’s name is “David Van Etten” according to the credits… Anyway, he tells them to leave and they refuse like the young rascals that they are but do they know who they’re messing with, it’s Tom Savini and he does what he does best. He transforms into a vampire and basically says that he’s going to be killing them all now but it turns out that the group of surfers are themselves creatures of the night so they decapitate poor Tom in what I have to say is some very decent effects for a straight to DVD film.
Before continuing I have to mention a huge error that happens in the very scene that I just described. When we first see Tom Savini he is wearing mirrored sunglasses that clearly show the reflections of the boys surfing in them and the camera purposely focuses on this up close but I guess someone forgot to mention that they’re meant to be vampires, oh whatever.
Chris Emerson (Tad Hilgenbrink), a young disgraced former surfing pro, and his younger sister Nicole (Autumn Reeser) move to Luna Bay to live in a house owned by their Aunt Jillian (Gabrielle Rose) following the death of their parents. Chris leaves his address at the home of Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman), the town’s surfboard shaper, in hopes of getting a job. Chris is approached at their new home by former pro surfer Shane Powers (Angus Sutherland), who invites him to a party that night. I’m not sure why this movie focuses on surfing so much but I guess it’s because in the original David and his group were a biker gang so they basically just swap bikes for surfboards here.
Chris and Nicole go to the party, where Shane and his friends are entertaining themselves with the human guests. Chris showers with a girl named Lisa and Shane gets Nicole alone, he chats with her for a bit, and then tricks her into drinking his blood much like in the Original when David tricks Michael. When Chris learns that Nicole has been with Shane, he angrily, and protectively, takes her home, where she begins to manifest vampiric strength and rage. But before she hurts Chris, she is knocked out by Edgar, who reveals that he is a vampire hunter, and Nicole has been infected with vampirism. Chris throws Edgar out of the house. Then, Lisa shows up and pretends to chat with Chris for a bit before she finally tries to seduce and feed on him. In fending her off, he accidentally impales her on a mounted rack of antlers, killing her explosively when she turns into stone and explodes in some more very decent effects.
Finally convinced of the situation and remembering what Edgar had said Chris now believes him and attempts to seek out his help. Edgar explains that Nicole is only half-vampire, and will remain that way unless she feeds, and she can be turned human again if they kill the head vampire before that. Chris interrupts her just before she can feed on Evan; a nice guy who has been courting her, and he explains what is happening to her. Eventually, Shane uses his vampiric powers of seduction to lure Nicole to his lair, which is actually a pretty awesome lair to be fair. There are a few scenes in which we learn a small amount of information on what Edgar has been up to since the original movie but it’s never fully explained, all he says is that he lost somebody close to him to vampires and considering Alan Frog is nowhere to be seen throughout you would assume he means him but it’s never confirmed. He also makes no mention of Michael, Star or Sam but its theorized that considering Chis and Nicole have the last name of Emerson which was the last name of Michael and Sam and considering the fact that it’s mentioned more than once that Chris and Nicole’s parents had died in a car crash, some believe that they are the children of Michael and Star and that they were the ones who died in the crash which is seriously lame if true.
Anyway, the plan is for Chris to join Shane’s group of vampires and get him to trust Chris so he will reveal the location of his lair and then Edgar can come in and clean house. This is where the movie really goes downhill and you see just how paper thin the script must have been. There are some seriously pointless scenes of Chris hanging out with the group, doing this and that like getting themselves purposely chased by police for no apparent reason at all other than to fill up time. Things continue to not really go to plan as Chris basically ends up having no real plan at all and fails to kill and feed on someone when commanded to do so but he manages to survive two of the less important vampire villains.
It’s only now that Edgar appears again and they decide the time is right to begin their attack on the lair of the vampires even though they could have done so days ago when Chris learned of its location but I guess he was too busy having fun or something. The infiltration on the vampire’s hideout is seriously disappointing, there are one or two good kills but it all just feels as if you’ve seen it before and done much better. Oh and the ease in which Shane is defeated is simply laughable, almost as laughable as Angus Sutherlands acting, only almost.
The final scene is equally as bad as Chris and Nicole arrive back and their apartment completely covered in blood and sit down and attempt to comprehend what had just happened only to be interrupted by their Aunt who demands rent money and asks them if they’re doing drugs, all the while blood drips from their faces; it’s just stupid. There is in fact one final scene during the credits in which Edgar is confronted by a figure who turns out to be Sam who is apparently a vampire now? I honestly don’t even know where they were going with this and we probably never will as Corey Haim died soon after.
Lost Boys: The Tribe attempts to repeat much of what the original did by reversing a few elements here and there like bikes for surf boards and a sister needing to be saved rather than a brother and so on. It’s not the worst movie ever made and there are some entertaining scenes as well as some very nice use of practical effects but it’s mostly short lived. One of the best things about the movie is seeing Edgar Frog getting up to his old tricks but you never really learn enough about what he’s been up to or what happened to the characters that we know and love. I feel as if a movie that had surrounded his character might have been better instead of the rehash that we got. Some of the acting is downright awful and that’s mainly down to Angus Sutherland as Shane who speaks with an infuriating monotone voice throughout and just doesn’t come across threatening in the slightest. This is the main villain of the movie and you just get the feeling as if he never really cares what’s happening, he certainly doesn’t compare to the charismatic David from the original. All in all I would highly recommend the original if you have not seen it but skip this one unless you want to watch a below average vampire flick that has a few fun moments with a few decent effects here and there but not much else going for it.
Lost Boys: The Tribe