Coming to DVD, Blu-Ray October 12
Time hasn’t been kind to The Lost Boys, but things are looking mildly hopeful for the series. The Thirst, the third chapter and the second direct-to-DVD sequel eases some of the pain inflicted on the fans by the likes of the utterly inept The Tribe, the awaited follow-up to Joel Schumacher’s ’87 film. With a new director at the helm, Dario Piana, who delivered the slick but sluggish The Deaths of Ian Stone, The Thirst isn’t amazing, it isn’t great, but it is watchable and amusing.
Evan Charnov and Hans Rodionoff pen a script this time that can, at times, be clever, sentimental and reverent to the first film. It also broadens the scope of the Lost Boys world, which is beneficial as more money was sunk into this sequel’s budget. And it shows. Fifteen minutes or so into The Thirst, a gang of vampires hurl themselves out of a plane thousands of feet in the air and soar through cloudy skies while a new rendition of the Lost Boys anthem, âCry Little Sister,â blares on the soundtrack. A convincing effect that assures viewers they’re in more confident hands than they were in The Tribe.
What The Thirst has against it is the countless other vampire hunter films and television shows that have preceded it. The story hardly mines any new territory and introduces nothing – in the vein of vampire-killing – we haven’t already seen before. Instead, it takes a few cues from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade and even True Blood and heavily relies on the LB formula – if you can call it that at this point – in which vampires kidnap someone and it’s up to our heroes to get that person back before something bad happens. It also not only puts a lot of responsibility on Corey Feldman’s shoulders to carry the entire picture as Edgar Frog – The Thirst is really his story – but it also puts trust in the viewer that they want to see him carry a movie.
Once you get past that gruff Frog-meets-Christian Bale’s Batman vocal work that Feldman channels, he does just fine as a vampire hunting relic on the verge of eviction and in need of a new gig. With his friend Sam (the late Corey Haim, who does not appear in the film) dead and his brother, Alan (returning Jamison Newlander), now a bloodsucker living underground, Edgar is not only in dire need of cash, but a new gig. The latter opportunity comes along when a stunning novelist Gwen Lieber (Tanit Phoenix), riding the success of her series of vampire books, tells Frog that her brother has been kidnapped by vampires and they intend to use him as a sacrifice for a ceremony that will spell doom for mankind if it is pulled off successfully. Frog seizes the opportunity knowing if he dispenses with the head bloodsucker, he may be able to save Alan’s soul and return him to his mortal self.
The Thirst throws a few knowing jabs at the Twilight saga and generally recognizes that it is treading familiar territory, yet it has fun doing so. A love interest for Frog has been introduced in the form of a comic book store employee and the story sends up reality television by adding a fictional macho small screen icon and his camera crew to the vampire killing equation (this, naturally, lays the groundwork for Feldman to throw a knock at his own show The Two Coreys). The blood flows freely, director Piana enjoys the excess of exposed breasts and there’s much more action. Nods to the original film with full-on flashbacks make The Thirst feel more like an organic extension of that first story, unlike The Tribe‘s attempt to latch on and serve as an unwanted child. The key vampires themselves – the leader is a well-known DJ (douche) – are nothing more than set dressing with hot bods.
I thought I’d be harder on The Thirst because I went in carrying that grudge that stemmed from The Tribe. Clearly, it’s no way comparable to what Schumacher did in â87, but Thirst was better than it had any right to be. It is still pretty hammy, though.