The Lost Boys 1987 & The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe (Review)

(The Lost Boys was initially suggested some time ago by a mate obviously suffering with reminiscence issues. Thanks Mastah.)

The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys really could have used an A Team type voiceover in the film’s opening;

(gruff voice) “If you don’t fit in, maybe you belong in Santa Clara, home to the hopeless, jobless and worthless. But it ain’t all bad, it’s also the murder capital of the world. Then again, if no-one cares about you in the first place, whose to know you’re missing?”

So when single mum Lucy (Dianne Wiest) shuttles her Tiger Beat cover boys Sammy (Corey Feldman) and Mike (Jason Patric) into town to start their lives afresh should it be any surprise that their new digs prove a little… different?

It only takes one visit into the seaside town at night to suggest that the entire family need not fly solo for long. Lucy makes goo-goo eyes with a local store proprietor, Sammy awkwardly ‘pals up’ with the over-serious Frog Brothers, a pair of local comic book store clerks. And vampire specialists.

But what seems like a niche hobby almost immediately bears fruit when Mike spends some time with local girl Star.

‘It’s a nice day for a, white wedding…’

You see Star runs with a bunch of Billy Idol wannabes that ride motorbikes real fast, sport wacky hair and wear dangly earrings that even Billy Ray Cyrus would steer clear of.

After that first night one of the boys starts sleeping all day and heads out all night. He makes decisions that Lucy doesn’t like and at times is surly and full of attitude.

But enough about Sam, Mike’s a fucking vampire, just wait until Mum finds out!

The teenage years can be awkward and confusing, what with peer pressure, a love of bad music, bad haircuts and bad ideas. It’s even harder when you’re unwittingly transformed into the blood-hungry undead – especially when it makes Keifer Sutherland your boss.

It’s at times like this that it helps to have buddies that read comic books.

The Lost Boys has aged very well in its quarter century of existence – aside from one shirtless saxophone playing guy – it cleverly uses minimal effects until near the very end and by that time it has earned them. It also has the common sense to tilt the bias toward the comedy in comedy-horror, even though it is not especially funny but for the final line in the film.

It isn’t too scary or too safe, but The Lost Boys deserves its place among those 80s flicks that still endure today.

Final Rating – 7.5 / 10. I discovered The Lost Boys after my teens had already evaporated, so I don’t look on it as favourably as I do my Die Hards, Predators and Beverly Hills Cops, but this film sits nicely among the original Fright Night, The Gate and Monster Squad as decent horror gateway drugs.

The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe

The sequel however is a crock-pot full of vomit. Where the original kept matters light and injected some humour into proceedings, The Lost Boys 2 blatantly ignores all things that made it such a lasting piece of work in favour of nudity, violence and many utterances of the word ‘fuck’.

I’m all for violence, profanity and nudity in the proper proportions, but the hands that made this crud are very clumsy indeed.

Chris and Nicole move to another nameless dangerous town filled with ferals and low lives. They rent a ramshackle abode and without even unpacking head off to a party. At the party they run into a bunch of creepy douche surfers. Given that Chris is apparently a renowned ex-surfer himself they recognise him and try to at once eviscerate him and take him under their wing. You see these douchey surfers are kind of a tribe, if you follow…

After a night where Chris showers with a nubile young hottie and Nicole takes a motorcycle ride with the head douche who looks and sounds like a retarded Keanu Reeves (I know how it sounds) named Shane, the pair head home to argue and lament the fact that one has picked up a nasty case of vampirism.

Luckily a local surfboard shaper and vampire killer is on hand, one Eddie Frog (Corey Feldman) to provide some sage advice and try to prevent the infected from developing full blown suck-monkey-itis.

While the infected must resist the urge to chow down on the blood of the living, I had the more challenging task of not turning off the TV…

The vampires spend most of the film looking alternately disillusioned and broody, or manic and frankly aggravating. The ‘adrenaline junkie’ thing might appeal to the ‘Red Bull chugging and backwards baseball caps covered in sponsor’s logos’ crowd, but to me this was a cut price Point Break clone for people who only just graduated from Twilight.

The creativity was capped in a scene near the finale when the douches sat around a beachside campfire with nubile young women, one tells a story about a saltwater-filled dog and when one woman asks (correctly I might add) ‘What was the point of your boring story’ the reply is ‘we’re vampires’.

Then the vampires kill the women.

Final Rating – 4.5 / 10. If any of the above sounds even mildly interesting then I haven’t done what I set out to do. The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe sure sucks something, but it isn’t blood.

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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