The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lost Boys: The Thirst (2010)

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I went back to the archive, to over two years ago, to read my review of Lost Boys: The Tribe. I liked it, but not too much, and I was stuck with a feeling of "why was this made?", similar to the feeling I had after seeing Star Wars Episode I. Anyway, I had forgotten all about that review when I saw Lost Boys: The Thirst pop up on my Netflix queue, and was just excited to see what Feldman had in store for us this time.

Lost boys: The Thirst had Corey Feldman as Edgar Frog, living in a trailer that's being foreclosed on, and he needs some cash. When a hot stranger with a British accent comes to him hoping she can save her brother from vampires, at first he declines, but then he thinks about it, and decides it might be worth a go. Word on the street is, he can get a shot at the head vampire, the Alpha, the oldest of all time. He wants his brother Alan's help, but Alan's a vampire, so he can't count on that. He turns to a coquettish comic book store owner who has a thing for him instead. Can they take down this ultimate baddie?

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Wow, this was the bomb. Totally got it right. As good as we can expect. Tongue-in-cheek in the right parts, bloody in the right parts, and awesomely Feldman in the right parts. This just got it, and because it got it, I loved it. There were great jokes about the Twilight series, reality TV, bloggers, and comic book buyers. The story and acting did a great service to the original, and I think fans of the original will like this one much more than Lost Boys: The Tribe. It also hits a perfect 81 minutes long. This was just a lot of fun, what you're looking for from a DTV Lost Boys movie.

This is one of those hybrid action/horror/comedy films, so I'm not sure I can classify it as strictly horror for the sake of this paragraph, but I'll try anyway. When I first started this site, I was drawing from a much larger scope of films than simply 1980s-90s bad action. My friends and I growing up loved all genres of low-budget DTV movies, from Sci-Fi like Cyberjack, to action like Showdown in Little Tokyo, to comedy like Ski School, to horror like Bad Taste and Street Trash. In fact, the horror was perhaps a bigger part of the picture than action films were. What happened along the way, though, as the blog grew in popularity, a lot of the energy in the comment threads came for the action films, and it was on the basis of that momentum that I started picking movies. Particularly big are those comments I get where someone comes in and is like "I loved this or that part, this is one of my all time faves, I love this or that actor", which is great, and I just don't get those in the horror films. I do know that I have a lot of horror followers, only they're not as vocal, and that's fine; it's just hard to ignore that energy, and because it mostly comes from the action films, that's why a huge percentage of my reviews are of action movies.

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Corey Feldman really brings it here. He doesn't take himself too seriously, but he knows when to be funny, and when to play it straight and let the atmosphere do the humor for him. This is a huge change from his early days in comedic films like Busted and National Lampoon's Last Resort. There's still a lot he did in the 90s that I could go to for future posts, but I'm not sure how much I should, considering the odds are good it won't be as good as this. I think we're all rooting for Feldman and dig that he's made good now, and I can't wait to see what's next.

This film introduces an interesting dichotomy between two types of woman: the absolute hottie that's probably unattainable, and when she comes calling, a guy like Edgar Frog should be suspicious; and the cute comic book chick, who may not be as gorgeous as the hottie, but doesn't do so bad in the looks department herself, and also happens to know tons about comic books and other nerdy stuff. The idea, of course, is that the hottie is dangerous, while the cute comic book chick is innocuous, and the safer bet. This film follows that logic up until the end, when they show that even the comic book chick has an edge-- that she may not be that innocuous after all. I like that, when DTV movies do a decent job depicting their female characters in more rounded ways. It's an easy way to add depth that takes very little time, yet is seldom done.

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Finally, we all watch this film with a heavy heart, knowing Corey Haim no longer with us. He actually turned down a role in this with a plan to appear in a fourth installment. We see him in flashback shots from the very first film, and it's eerie to think Feldman as Edgar Frog is mourning the loss of his friend, when soon after the real Feldman would be mourning the loss of his real friend. This film, for as much fun as it is, does bring home the fact that Haim didn't make it with us, and didn't get to enjoy this too.

This is an excellent movie. I'm upset that I had to wait over a month for Netflix to get it, but they have it now, so if you have Netflix, have at it. It's been since Titanic II that I've seen a new movie that got it as much as this one did, and I'm glad I had an opportunity to review it and tell everyone about it.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1400526/

22 comments:

  1. I've never seen the first movie. It was something that was popular with all the girls when I was at school so I had always assumed it was not for me.

    This looks interesting though, and I love me DTV. Do I need any backstory or can I jump right in at number 3?

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  2. It would help to watch the original Lost Boys, because they allude to that quite a bit. The Tribe (part 2), not so much. It was probably popular with the girls in school because Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland were pretty dreamy in it. It's definitely more than just a Tiger Beat flick though.

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  3. I'll check this out now based on your recommendation. The first one was awesome, the second one was pretty lame and this one I avoided it. Also this is Corey Feldman's first big movie since Well Lost Boys 2, before that the last big Corey Feldman movie was uh, well there was Blown Away, which was big because it came out the same time as the other Blown Away.

    I gotta say the Corey Haim thing is such a shame. Where as I feel Corey Feldman fell into such because of the fact he really wasn't that good of an actor. I mean I hate to be an ass, but I just don't think Feldman is that good of an actor. Corey Haim though really was a good actor.

    Seriously you have to watch Lucas. He was also good in Crank 2, Lost Boys 1, Silver Bullet and had good comic timing in License To Drive. The problem was is that his roles just got worse and worse because of his drug problem. Trust me, watch Lucas. The man had range. Indeed if there ever was a career that totally misrepresents an actor's talents, it would be Corey Haim.

    As for Feldman, I honestly just can't keep silent. He really isn't that good of an actor. I mean he was merely adequate in his best stuff, you can bring me Lost Boys, but Haim, Sutherland, Patric and Herrmann were far more polished in their performances. He was way better than Jami Gertz.

    All of a sudden i'm controversial.

    I did like Edge Of Honor with Corey Feldman so there is that.

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  4. Actually, Feldman was regarded as a solid actor, as solid as Haim, so I don't think it's right to say he became a drug addict because he couldn't act.

    We could go all night on a Haim/Feldman Tastes Great/Less Filling debate, but I figured it was necessary to at least pop in and defend Feldman. You might not think he's a great actor, but plenty did. I have seen Lucas, and Haim was great, but have you seen Stand By Me? It's okay to be a Haim guy, just like I'm a both guy, but you have to keep in mind that you're a Haim guy, and it's obviously clouding your objectivity. Some people just rub others the wrong way, and Feldman must do that to you, and that's fine, but that doesn't mean he wasn't a great young talent like Haim was too.

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  5. Well I didn't mean Feldman became a drug addict because he was a bad actor. I mean more around the effect that he didn't have as much potential to escape B.movie hell as say Haim. That if Haim could've stayed clean. Corey Haim on all levels singlehandedly destroyed his career, he was his own worst enemy.

    I meant more in terms of range and stuff. Corey Haim got clean at the end and had stuff lined up as well as a theatrical appearance. Feldman was clean for a long time and he really hasn't done much. That said I saw Meatballs 4, Voodoo and Lost Boys 2. Truthfully I just don't think Feldman had as much range.

    Like when you look at child actors, you can sort of wonder whether they have the chops to make it as an adult (River Phoenix, Jodie Foster and Christian Slater), Haim was one of the few I could've seen do more had it not been for his drug addiction. With Feldman such career in STV movies was going to happen one way or another.

    I don't mind Feldman, like I said he was adequate in Stand By Me (River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton were what focused that movie) and Lost Boys. But you can see Feldman's range is more limited. Or you can just compare them both in the film noir attempt Blown Away, Haim clearly fit better than Feldman.

    That said Feldman actually worked better than Haim at comedy. I became struck with Haim and a defender when I saw Lucas which was only 4 monthes ago.

    I honestly couldn't believe this was the same guy from Dream a Little Dream Part 2.

    Also I do not hate Feldman, nor am I saying this to generate controversy. It's just that I've seen Feldman in roles in action flicks like Red Line, A Dangerous Place and Voodoo. Maybe what I mean is versatile.

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  6. The two had the exact same potential. This is a common theme among Haim or Feldman people. The Haim people swear Feldman had less range, and the Feldman people swear Haim had less range, and neither are right. If you watch Feldman's True Hollywood Story, people like Richard Donner say about Feldman all the things you're saying about Haim. In fact, Feldman won more young actor awards than Haim did-- they both split for License to Drive, the one you're adamant Haim out-acted Feldman so much in.

    There's just no empirical evidence to back up your assertions that Haim had more potential or was more highly regarded in the industry or that Feldman was more destined to a world of DTV and drugs. Simply put, you're a Haim guy, which as I said above, is absolutely fine, but there's no legitimate way to validate or quantify any opinions based on that foundation.

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  7. Another kid actor that could've made the big time and who had a knack for comedy was Gary Coleman. He unfortunately was confined by his dwarf status, but he had excellent comic timing, way more than any kid I've ever seen.

    I knew Macauly Culkin, Haley Joel Osment,The kid from Star Wars Episode 1 would fade. Jaden Smith will fade too (Although his father's name might keep him in.)

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  8. I can't help it, I was blown away by Haim's performance in Lucas.

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  9. I'm with team Feldman when it comes to the Coreys debate. As far as this movie was concerned- absolutely agree- I thought this succeeded where movies like 'Roadhouse 2' failed; invoking the original film in a cool, clever, and respectful way that felt fun and wasn't forced. Whereas Lost Boys 2 felt like Point Break with vampires thrown in and me going "what the fuck am I watching this for?", I loved every second here.

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  10. By all means, be blown away (no pun intended), but plenty of people were equally blown away (pun intended now) by Feldman when he was coming up too.

    I had the same feeling about Lost Boys:The Tribe, "why am I watching this?" or better "why was this made?", and like you said, it was great that for this third go around they made a real legitimate sequel, which was really enjoyable. Kenner, even if you're on Team Haim, I think you'll still like it.

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  11. Culkin's fall from grace had more to do with his father then anything else, simply put, Hollywood execs were turning down Culkin down for roles specifically because they didn't want to deal with his father, that's how bad he was, so if it wasn't for his dad, Culkin might've still managed to do OK. As for Haim and Feldman, I can't say I really prefer one over the other, they're both good in their own ways, they were both able to entertian in even they're lesser films like Fever Lake, Last Resort, Blown Away, Demolition High and Demolition University. Which reminds, Matt, did you get that P.O. box yet? Cause i've been itching to send you some VHS tapes.

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  12. The last good thing I remember McCauly Caulkin doing was 'Saved'- I think there he showed what he's capable of as an adult actor (even though he was technically playing a teenager). I wonder why he couldn't follow up that killer performance with something of equal quality. The same thing with his brother in 'Scott Pilgrim v. the World'- he stole the show there, and I never thought much of Keiran either. But both of those performances proved to me they aren't just flash in the pan actors, regardless of their child star past.

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  13. This is the second time i've hijacked the conversation and turned it into a debate. I have no idea why I am so argumentative lately. Maybe it's all those monthes of no movie discussion. I actually sort of liked Demolition University in a absurd type of way.

    As for Corey Feldman,I've thought about it and I think I should be fair in not make judgments based on his performances because the material never gives him much to work with. I mean De Niro would have trouble looking credible in Puppet Master Vs Demonic Toys.

    Comeback wise It's really bizarre because unlike Dolph Lundgren, Van Damme, Seagal etc such actors are actual icons in the genre. Teen stars though almost never resurface. I mean look at Andrew McCarthy, Ralph Macchio, Alicia Silverstone, Molly Ringwald and such. It is very hard to ever reclaim such popularity again.

    So, honestly the two Coreys were fighting a losing battle. I mean you don't see the guy from Dawson's Creek showing up very often in movies. Wow...that was on when I was in high school. Holy crap i'm old.

    Actually Corey Haim's career kind of reminds me of Jan-Michael Vincent, Lindsay Lohan and Brad Davis (Midnight Express) in terms of career. Few things wreck a career quicker than drugs.

    Although you so have to review Lucas.

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  14. Another factor I didn't consider, was that Feldman in his heyday never got a chance to carry a film as well done as Lucas. Feldman always did supporting roles so you know what, I'll admit that my assertions were ill informed.

    I gotta say though Lucas is a gem. It's rare you find a truly emotional and moving movie that feels so realistic. You can watch it on Hulu for free, you should.

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  15. I had two good Kieran Kulkin films from the early 2000s, Igby Goes Down, and . I don't know if you liked those or not.

    I think the crux of the issue we're looking at with child stars is two-fold. First, as child actors, they bring a certain set of skills, and later, when they're grown, as adults whatever it is they brought might be totally different. Their voice, height, looks-- it's kind of a crap shoot. Some people look really good as kids and not-so-much as adults, and some are the total opposite, the ugly duckling effect, so-to-speak.

    The other issue is an anthropological one, the fact that children aren't meant to be the main bread winners in a household. Humans are, by nature, supposed to be nurtured for long periods of time, not like cats which you can give away after 4 or 5 months or so. Look at Macaulay Culkin and his dad, or Feldman divorcing his parents, or Lohan partying with her mom. It's an environment that confuses development. We probably shouldn't be surprised that so few child stars grow up to become adult stars.

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  16. Okay, I have to get in on the Corey debate. I'm all about the Fel-Dog. From Goonies to Friday the 13th Part 4 to Blown Away, I've always been Team Fel-Dog. From an "acting" standpoint, perhaps Haimster had the edge (particularly early on in their career), but I think Feldog definitely had more presence. Curiously though, the movies they star in together where Haim is the main character seem to work better. Like Lost Boys, License to Drive, and Blown Away. The ones where Feldman is featured more (like Lost Boys 2, Dream a Little Dream and Last Resort) are usually worse.

    As The Thirst is concerned, I thought it was pretty awful. I didn't mind The Tribe because it followed the original Lost Boys mold of focusing on the vampires trying to convert a wayward teen and having Edgar Frog be a supporting character. The Thirst is pretty much the Edgar Frog Show and he wears out his welcome fast. I guess the problem is that seeing a teenage Corey Feldman fighting vampires is fun, but watching him do it when he's pushing forty is kinda pathetic. And this is coming from the Pro-Feldman camp. For a much better latter day Feldman horror flick check out Terror Inside instead. It's kinda like Ghosts of Mars, except on Earth... and with like a $100 budget.

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  17. Thanks for stopping by, I'll have to check out your blog after the Bruins complete this awesome comeback against the Lightning (yeah right-- I mean about the B's, not me checking out your blog). I must say, you're the first person I've heard that likes The Tribe more than The Thirst, so I don't know what to tell you there. I loved Feldman as Edgar Frog, and not only did he not wear out his welcome, I was plenty fine with him staying and indulging in my best cognac and Cuban cigars, that's how welcomed he still was, even after the movie was over.

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  18. All the reasons you liked 'The Tribe' are the ones for which I can't stand it- it suffered from the same problem as a 'Roadhouse 2'- trying to invoke the spirit of the original in a very forced, haphazard way. Even though 'the Tribe' tried to recall the original, it failed, and came off to me like a 'Point Break' sequel with fangs.

    I thought number three did just fine with Feldy. In fact, like Matt, not only is he welcome to all my cognac, doritos, and mac n cheese, but he's even welcome to sleep on my couch for the next day (or week probably), bum 20 dollars here and there, raid my mini fridge, afterwards before he records his next spectacular album with Truth Movement or wows the world with his next Touralogy Analogy.

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  19. That has to be one of the best comments ever at the DTVC. Totally hit that one out of the park, couldn't have said it better myself.

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  20. Hey... I liked Road House 2! (Except for the fact that Jake Busey supposedly "Killed" Dalton that is.)

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  21. Dude, no one kills Dalton- esp. not Jake Busey. That's the movie's #1 failing- the cosmic improbability of even contemplating Dalton being threatened by anyone (let alone being threatened by death) sunk it from the start. You either had Dalton and Wade Garret (who should've just magically raised from the dead because of his sheer awesemosity) in a sequel or you didn't.

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  22. Well i'm glad to see i'm not the only perosn who likes Road House 2, though I wans't too happy about how Dalton's character was mentioned as bieng killed off-screen either, I know Swayze was orignally supposed to be in the film but wasn't due to disagreemnets and whatnot, but they still didn't have to kill Dalton offscreen, they could've just said he was retired or something. Aside from that I had a pretty good time with RH2, I espeically loved the fight with the two women near the end.

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