Monday, November 8

Some quick thoughts on Lost Boys: The Thirst (2009)

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After the death of their fellow vampire hunter, Sam, Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan Frog (Jamison Newlander) go into a reclusive quasi-retirement in San Cazador, California. That is until the author of a series of extremely popular teen-orientated vampire novels seeks help in finding her abducted brother. She suspects the fanged plan to make her sibling the grand main course at a huge underground rave possibly spearheaded by the alpha vampire. The suckers also have a new drug, dubbed "Thirst", that's actually infected blood aimed at creating an army of the undead.

Alan is reluctant, believing it'll be another runaround, but Edgar suits up in honor of his slain friend. The only problem is the writer recruits a muscleheaded reality star, who thinks the whole thing is a scam, and his clumsy camera guy to join the rescue team prior to Edgar's consent. So Edgar, accompanied with a smitten friend from a local comic shop, begin preparations for the group's heavily holy water-armed party crashing.

Those damn impulse buys at Wal Mart. Instead of making a proper beeline to the TP and barbecue sauce, without fail I'm always shuffling my feet over to the Entertainment section. After coyly calling my name from the shelf for a few weeks, the temptation of this most recent Lost Boys sequel became too much. I'm still totally avoiding The Tribe after its cavalcade of poor reception, but I'll be damned if this third franchise milking wasn't surprisingly enjoyable.

You can either thank or curse Twilight for the extremely belated rebirth of this series. Tribe and Thirst exist solely on the reemergence of the vampire in pop culture. The two also fall into the relatively recent spat of DTV horror that tangentially latch onto a more successful or merely well-known title to move copies quickly before being thrown in the discount bin. Seeing Thirst in that light, this Corey Feldman-centric exercise in fan service is one of the better examples of these piggyback budgeters.

Yes, Feldman is the star, and your enjoyment level might be predicated on your fondness of the once-hottest-thing-on-the-planet teen actor. I've never understood the disdain despite his checkered history of media oversaturation, drug use, Michael Jackson, and having his physical appearance frozen in his 20s. Feldman appears at peace with his past and there's something pleasantly meta in how his Edgar Frog handles the death of Sam, played by the now deceased Corey Haim in the first and second, in Thirst. It genuinely pains Edgar that he couldn't save his friend and before embarking on his mission visits Sam's grave to pay respects (and lay his copy of Batman #14 at the headstone). The actor nails the terse mannerisms of the admittedly goofy character with a plucky Casey Dolan and knockout Tanit Phoenix providing well-acted eye candy.

Italian director Dario Piana pulls his own weight with a decidedly keen eye for scope composition. Upon first seeing the 2:40.1 widescreen framing, I figured it was merely used as another reference to the original. How wrong was I because Piana makes the best of the situation and consistently offers exciting use of the extra wide aspect ratio. It's not flashy and adds so much to something other directors might have lazily waded through. After seeing this, I want to check out Piana's prior The Deaths of Ian Stone and look forward to his future work. At a slim 80 minutes, Thirst also doesn't drag and the levity injected into the screenplay provides enough dumb chuckles to sheen over the nothingness the whole thing rests on.

Lost Boys: The Thirst is unusually great for what it is, it won't please diehard fans of Joel Schumacher's cool classic, but that train seemed long departed years before these sequels were first conceived. If anything, Piana provides a nice comic book nightcap that hits more than misses and proves fan service can be done without alienating newcomers or causal fans. If you're still leery, either rent or wait until this disc drops to the five or six buck level that Tribe sits at. Or if you haven't bought Tribe, consider putting that saved cost towards Thirst now. Warner Premiere's DVD looks very good with plenty of fine detail and virtually no edge enhancement. Odd considering this type of fare usually receives mediocre standard def picture quality nowadays. The only extra is a short featurette involving the romanticism in vampire lore hosted by Charisma Carpenter that has nothing to do with the film. The Blu-ray, which I wish I would have grabbed instead, has several exclusive featurettes that actually deal with Thirst.
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4 comments:

The Film Connoisseur said...

Cool to see I wasnt alone in liking this one! Too bad a lot of people will probably pass on this one because the second one was so bad.

This movie really amps up the nostalgia factor for fans of the original film.

That bit about the vampire eating the blogger, hilarious!

Sutekh said...

The Deaths of Ian Stone is fantastic, if Piana was responsible for this than I better check it out.

Buscemi said...

I saw The Deaths of Ian Stone in the theatre. I found it rather boring and Mike Vogel (who usually seems to be a kiss of death for a film's chances) is badly miscast as the lead (you think the filmmakers would have had someone who blended into the London setting, instead they got a talentless American actor who looks more like a surf bum than a successful businessman).

elgartcalago said...

I never seen this yet! I'll try to find a copy on this amazing horror film.

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