Truth be told, I haven’t watched the original The Lost Boys in a number of years. I remember loving it as a kid, but, like a lot of stuff that I overdosed on in the 80’s (ahem), I’ve just not had the urge to revisit it. Watching Lost Boys: The Thirst, however, has changed all of that.
I skipped the second film in the series – Lost Boys: The Tribe, as it looked like a cheap cash-grab and a sequel in name only, despite a cameo by Corey Feldman as Edgar Frog. When I’d heard that Feldman’s Edgar Frog (the Frog Brothers being my favorite part about the original film) would be the focus of this, the third film in the series, I had to at least give The Thirst a look if only to see if Feldman still had it in him. I mean, this is the same Corey Feldman who’d spent the better part of the last decade drifting from reality show to reality show, in and out of rehab clincis, and, most recently, burying his lifelong pal (and fellow Lost Boys star) Corey Haim. I No longer considered Feldman so much an actor as a sort of freakish tabloid “personality” on par with, say, Gary Coleman, as well as a fixture on my celebrity dead pool list. So surprises abound when Feldman not only proves he still has some viable chops (at least of the comedic, self-parodying variety), but , through his mere presence alone, manages to elevate what is an otherwise largely unremarkable direct-to-DVD vampire flick into a highly enjoyable and giddily nostalgic experience.
The Thirst opens in Washington D.C., where a congressmen is about to serve as a buffet for a bunch of suckheads, including the senator/familiar whose ties to the vampire covens the congressmen threatened to expose. Enter the Frog Brothers – Edgar (Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander) – who rescue the congressmen in the nick of time, but not before Alan is forced to consume vampire blood, thus turning him and effectively ending the Frog Brothers’ partnership.
Fast forward five years. Edgar now lives in squalor in a dilapidated trailer on the outskirts of San Cazador, California, where he finds himself facing foreclosure and, even worse, irrelevance, as his vampire hunting days seem to be behind him. Salvation comes in the guise of the gorgeous Gwen Lieber (Tanit Phoenix), a famous author responsible for a series of romantic vampire novels, whose brother, Peter (Felix Mosse), has been kidnapped by DJ X (Seb Castang), a vampire who has been distributing a new designer drug fashioned out of vampire blood at raves throughout the world in hopes of assembling a vampire army. According to Gwen, DJ X is the alpha vampire – the head honcho, whose destruction could wipe out the vampires once and for all, and cure all those who suffer from their “disease”, including Alan. Oh, and as luck would have it, it just so happens that X’s next big rave is scheduled to happen right here in San Cazador!
Lost Boys: The Thirst is a surprisingly polished DTV flick, with loads of laughs, lots of blood and guts, and better-than-average production values. The acting, at times, is borderline atrocious, but these other characters are merely set dressing against which Feldman can strut his stuff. He slips into the familiar perpetual scowl and gruff cadence of Edgar Frog and the character fits him like a pair of well-worn slippers, making it easy to forget (forgive?) the wooden performances of Phoenix and Casey B. Dolan (who plays gal-pal/vampire hunter Zoe). Newlander, whose role is little more than an extended cameo, offers some of the film’s biggest surprises, including a really cool denouement that had me grinning like a madman, while several flashbacks and nods to the original film (as well as to the departed Haim) are surprisingly touching and wistful. I did find that the villains, here, were a bit underdeveloped, but, like I said, this is Edgar Frog’s show, so, while more nuanced antagonist would have certainly lent the film a bit more in terms of resonance, the bottom line here is that the vampires need only look pretty and die as gruesomely as possible.
Warner Brothers releases The Thirst on DVD in an impressive 2.40:1 transfer that, upscaled by my Blu-ray player, boasted solid detail, rich and vibrant colors, and bold, true blacks. The 5.1 Dolby DTS soundtrack is especially good, with thumping base, crystalline highs, and a nicely balanced surround mix that works all corners of the viewing area.
Bonus features include a funny, in-character short called How to Kill a Vampire in which Edgar Frog explains the ins and outs of his profession; an entertaining featurette entitled Charisma Carpenter Hosts The Art of Seduction: Vampire Lore, which focuses on the popularity of vampire mythology in entertainment; another in-character piece in which Feldman interviews ‘the Frog Brothers”, and more.
Lost Boys: The Thirst is a very funny, energetic, and surprisingly entertaining film that fans of the original Lost Boys will enjoy so long as they keep their expectations in check. This isn’t nearly as well-crafted a film as Schumacher’s original, but, given the budget, it’s a heck of a lot better than I expected it to be, and seeing Feldman and Newlander back in action as the Frog Brothers, well, it’s worth the price of admission, alone. Definitely recommended for fans!