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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lost Boys: The Thirst

Title: Lost Boys: The Thirst

Year of Release: 2010

Date Viewed: November 3rd, 2010

MPAA Rating: R

You know those low budget made-for-television movies that air on basic cable and end up becoming far better than anticipated? Well, this isn't one of those movies but it very well could have been one. Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander reprise their roles as the vampire hunting team known as The Frog Brothers in this third installment of the Lost Boys franchise.

Edgar Frog (Feldman) is going through some very tough times. His lifelong mission to destroy the undead has taken a harsh emotional and financial toll. No matter how much success he has in neutralizing vampire threats, evil always finds a way to return. He's falling behind on rent for his trailer park home and faces an eviction if the money is not paid in a week. Convinced that it may be time to retire from this unrewarding lifestyle, Edgar resorts to selling his beloved comic book collection to help keep the landlord off his back.

Days later, he receives an unexpected visit from famed author Gwen Lieber (Tanit Phoenix), who has a proposition for a new assignment. Her brother Peter (Felix Mosse) had been kidnapped by a cult of vampires at an underground rave. He was drugged with an ecstasy mix containing vampire blood known as The Thirst. If enough humans fall under control of the thirst, a new undead army will be under the command of a head vampire, perhaps the ultimate one that Edgar had been searching for all his life. Edgar accepts the mission when he realizes that this may be his only chance to save his brother Alan, who had succumbed to the darkness during a recent expedition in Washington D.C.

Edgar was too late to save his friend Sam Emerson (played by Corey Haim in the original Lost Boys and seen here in flashbacks), who suffered the same fate as Alan. Edgar's visit to Sam's grave operates as a way to swing his character's decision in avenging Sam's death and to bid a tribute farewell to Corey Haim, who passed away earlier this year. Edgar's sleep is haunted by nostalgic dreams of Alan and Sam. His Batman #14 comic book that Sam had a fondness for remains in his possession for its sentimental value. Edgar's life is actually very closely related to Batman's. He works nights, keeps to himself most of the time and speaks in a comically raspy voice.

The Thirst is a return to form for how the masses prefer vampire flicks to be presented. The supernatural elements tie to various legends, most of which Edgar has encyclopedias for. The vampires are bloodthirsty savages without any concern for the survival of the human race. They could be anywhere disguised as anybody. That's the spirit that drives the franchise.

The movie dishes out a few jabs toward the Twilight book series, no doubt pleasing the crowd that prefers their beloved demons to drool blood instead of sparkle. The character of Gwen has made a fortune from writing romantic vampire novels aimed for teens. You can see the disgust in Edgar's eyes as he wonders how someone could have the audacity to portray his enemies as sexy.

The Thirst's main weakness is that the direct-to-video smudges are clearly visible. The acting is not bad but nobody climbs above the call of duty for a B-flick. The direction has enough inspiration but not enough flare. It's sorely missing the experience of a seasoned director that can better establish the atmosphere that a vampire tale demands. And while it's nice to hear the new cover of "Cry Little Sister" used once again for dramatic effect, the rest of the music seemed like it was lazily composed in someone's basement with a modern synthesizer.

What The Thirst can be proud to show for is the script. It's mostly smart and extremely fun. The earlier films had a larger main character cast, thereby suffering from shadowy glimpses of promising stories. This movie is all about Edgar. Corey Feldman's performance is like a melodramatic version of John Rambo. The first meeting between him and Gwen is nearly a line by line reenactment of Rambo reluctantly returning to war after vowing to never go back to that world again. Not original, but amusing to see here.

There is a lot to like in this film. It kept me smiling even through its not-so-bright moments. Most of that credit can probably go to Corey Feldman who took on a producer job and vowed to listen to the feedback for the previous movie and make this one for the fans. The ending leaves a door wide open. So if enough reviews turn up positive, a fourth film is very likely to be made. The Thirst is entertaining enough to be considered for a weekend rental and I think most longtime fans will appreciate it enough to add it to their home collection.

Rating: 6

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