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LOST BOYS: THE THIRST (now on DVD and Blu-ray from Warner) begins five years after Alan Frog (Jamison Newlander) was bitten during an assault on a Washington, D.C. vampire coven. Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman) once again takes center stage in this latest franchise entry, which hews closer to the original’s spirit than the abysmal LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE…but that’s not saying much.
Gwen Lieber (Tanit Phoenix), a self-styled Stephenie Meyer type, seeks Edgar’s aid when her brother falls prey to the mysterious DJ X (Seb Castang), who’s raising an army of vamps by supplying a new designer drug called The Thirst at his rave parties. The drug turns out to be vampire blood (cough cough…TRUE BLOOD…cough…). Since Alan and Edgar have all but parted ways since the former was bitten, Edgar teams up with his comic-shop co-worker Zoe (Casey B. Dolan), and also gets stuck working with another gun for hire, reality-show host Lars Von Goetz (Stephen Van Niekerk). Along the way, the late Corey Haim is paid tribute in a series of flashbacks from the first LOST BOYS, and other nods are made to the ’87 film’s cast as well.
The script by Evan Charnov and Hans Rodionoff tries to be clever with its obvious jabs at TWILIGHT tweeners and reality shows like THE TWO COREYS, but it’s just not funny. Feldman has developed a grunting demeanor for his role that’s frequently employed as a comedic punchline, and that doesn’t work either; it’s grating to the ear. Feldman served as an executive producer on THE THIRST, and to his credit, you can sense his influence in the new movie’s attempts to stay true to the original. But this series remains on as much a downward spiral as his career has become.
LOST BOYS: THE THIRST shifts locales from the previous films’ Santa Carla to San Cazador, with the climax taking place on an island that’s home to an abandoned slaughterhouse. The opening title sequence is decent and a plot twist at the end holds promise—until the conflict is resolved in a manner that didn’t make much sense to this reviewer until the scene was elaborated on in one of the Blu-ray extras. The meat between these bookends, as directed by Dario Piana, isn’t much more than filler. The new additions to “team Frog” add nothing to the story, since we never get to know any of these characters, and the same can be said of THE THIRST’s villains. I found myself not rooting for either side or caring about who lived or died. In fact, it took me a second viewing to get through the whole movie, since the first time put me to sleep.
The Blu-ray (as well as the DVD) presents the movie in 16x9-enhanced 2.4:1 widescreen, with the former offering DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround sound. Horror movies need strong audioscapes and this one at least has that, with the famed LOST BOYS track “Cry Little Sister” used to good effect during the finale.
The bonus features (most exclusive to the Blu-ray) clock in at just under 30 minutes. Feldman stays in character for “How to Kill a Vampire” and “THE LOST BOYS: Return of the Frog Brothers,” both of which seem ad-libbed. In the former, Feldman showcases the latest vampire-killing technology, such as the double-barrel air-grenade holy-water-balloon launcher and the fully automatic water-cannon stake-blaster. In the latter, the Frog Brothers are interviewed by Feldman himself. This is easily the better of the two featurettes, with Newlander’s Alan Frog taking a shot at Feldman at one point by questioning his résumé: “LICENSE TO DRIVE, more like license to be an idiot.”
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and ANGEL veteran Charisma Carpenter hosts “The Art of Seduction: Vampire Lore,” the sole extra also available on the DVD. Authors such as V IS FOR VAMPIRE’s David J. Skal, filmmaker Mick Garris and the cast share their thoughts about how evil is seductive and how a vampire’s hunt for its victims is a metaphor for sexuality. The featurette also touches on the impact the first LOST BOYS had on the genre. The disc is rounded out with a five-part featurette called “What is the Thirst?” in which each segment is a mishmash of characters web-blogging and what seems like unpolished commercials for the Thirst drug.
Even as it’s clear why LOST BOYS: THE THIRST went direct to disc, the movie leaves things open for yet another sequel, with the possibility of expanding into werewolf territory. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to reinvent this franchise should it continue, because it has grown more than a bit long in the tooth.
DVD/ Blu-ray Reviews
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