Saturday, May 29, 2010

What Made THE LOST BOYS?

When in 2008 I learned that there was going to be a sequel to the 1987 cult hit, The Lost Boys, I remember experiencing a number of responses. I had been a big fan as a teenager, and I had even co-written a script for a sequel—call it fan fiction, if you will—and had sent a synopsis of The Lost Girls to Warner Brothers. I still remember the numerous letters a very cordial Scott Nimerfro sent back: No unsolicited manuscripts.

What did I know? I was just a kid back then, and my fan fiction was probably among trashcans filled with similar works. In hindsight, it definitely wasn’t the best script of my writing career....

One thing I did hope through the years was that, whoever eventually wrote the sequel’s script, the story paid homage to the feel, the charm, and mythos of the first. I hoped that more of the first cast might have been incorporated into the film. My expectations for the first sequel, The Tribe, might be significantly higher than most; with that in mind, I would like to share some of my critical thoughts on the movie.

1. The only things that I found this movie has in common with the original are the Lost Boys title, Corey Feldman (and a corny cameo by Corey Haim), and many, many inappropriately copied lines. Screenwriter Hans Rodionoff not only does not capture the feel or magic of its predecessor, but the storyline comes across as a cheap rip-off. New lead characters Nicole and Chris have the same last name as Sam and Michael Emerson, but without any clear ties.

2. The cover of Gerard McMann's and Michael Mainieri's "Cry Little Sister" doesn't even compare. Few singers have what it takes to pull off that song witht the same or better dynamics as the original. My first choices would have been David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, or Queensryche's Geoff Tate.

3. The sound editing, at least on the copy I watched, is terrible. I had to adjust the sound level about a dozen times throughout the film.

4. The storyline needs help. Rodionoff clearly has a couple of decent ideas, but he executes them poorly. Character motivations are confusing, character placement is contrived (how did Evan know Nicole was going to be at a party to which he was clearly not invited? how did Edgar Frog know to break in and wait at the house to stake newly turned Nicole?); the storyline revolving around Nicole’s brother, Chris, agreeing (way too easily) to join the coven in order to "infiltrate" for Edgar Frog is just ridiculous. Moreover, Vampires: Los Muertos covered that concept already (and with about as much functional purpose).



5. There is a difference between paying homage to a movie and repeating half of its best lines in contrived ways and with far too serious an execution. It needed to be campy to work, and it only came off as embarrassing.

6. The acting.

7. The ending(s).

Learning that there will now be a second sequel, The Thirst, I have to say that I think it’s a shame the original producers and director did not have their hands in either film. The Lost Boys was sexy, smart, and funny, and it deserved to have sequels of the same caliber. I will withhold my judgment until I see the second sequel.



I'm sure I've said enough for now.

Are there any other original Lost Boy fans out there? What are your thoughts on the sequels?

6 comments:

Kate said...

I agree with you on all counts. Something else I thought about, though, when you pointed out that the first one was sexy, was that the second movie had a bunch of sexual situations thrown in just for the sake of it (this was particularly true of Chris' encounter with the vampire in the shower), and there was, thus, no feel for the relationships between the characters. Maybe we'll have to arrange to watch the third one together when it comes out. It's going to be crap, but you know as well as I do that we're going to watch it...

MountainGirl said...

Aaaaahhhhhhh! (scream of frustration rather than terror. . .)

Lisa Lane said...

We're going to have to watch it, just because it's The Lost Boys. Die-hard geeks like us can't help it ... like when the three Star Wars prequels came out ... or *gasp* the Cube sequels. ;-)

rebecca said...

I agree with Lisa -- though the sequels always turn out to be a letdown. Man, the original Lost Boys was a big movie from my youth. And I must have read the book at least 20 times!! I love them!

Roxanne Rhoads said...

The only sequel I watched was The Tribe and it was disturbningly pathetic, hated it.

The orginal Lost Boys rocked. My husband and I recently watched it with our daughter (a new generation of vampire fan) and it was still as fab as I remembered it.

I think the Lost Boys was so amazing because it touched a generation that had nothing else to compare it to.

Back then The Lost Boys was unique and it all just fit. That feeling will never be duplicated no matter how hard they try.

And honestly I don't know if this generation can enjoy The Lost Boys as much as we did- with their sparkly vamps and better though sometimes more subtle special effects.

Lisa Lane said...

It's too bad that so many generations will miss out just how great THE LOST BOYS was (and still is). My only regret was that I waited for it to come out on video, when it first came out. I would love to have seen it on the big screen.

All of the bad sequels and remakes these days really is sad.