I grabbed this DVD this week against what I thought was my better judgment.
After all, I watched The Tribe twice: Once because it was the long awaited sequel,
again because I was hoping that my first impressions would give way to something
more favorable (they didn't). Despite disliking The Tribe however, I
thought, 'oh what the heck', threw 'The Thirst' in my computer, minimized the
window and proceeded to net surf because, frankly, my intentions were just to
see what was done this time for the sake of morbid curiosity and then leave it
to collect dust. Needless to say I had to max the screen and put everything
else on hold for a time.
I was really, really surprised to come out of this with a good impression.
First, to get something important out of the way:
This IS a low budget direct to DVD release. Keep expectations realistic in that
I'm not writing this in an attempt to convince both myself and others that it's
better than it was. Yes, the dialogue is cheesy and the situations are campy
(but they are supposed to be!). But yes, there are parts that are borderline bad
(which I'm pretty sure were not supposed to be). Overall however, this is a fun
movie that has the heart of the original in it. Feldman of course is the one who
pulls most of this off, his performance as a vampire hunting wouldbe Rambo is flawless
and genuinely entertaining to watch. I'm writing this because I think this
movie deserves a shot (at the very least a rental), and I know there are likely
MANY people who may not otherwise give this title a second glance because of how
The Tribe turned out - and imo, that would be a shame! (but I digress).
My biggest criticism of the film (and yes it's a big one) has to do with
the vampires. Considering that the original vampires had a unique design, I'm
not sure why they would want to take them away from, well, a traditional 'Lost
Boys' look. It's not that the effects looked any more (or less) fake than the
original, but that they were actually distracting at times. It would have been
a challenge for any of the actors to have been on the same level as Kiefer
Sutherland, but it is virtually impossible when I can't get past their upper
jaw. I felt taken right out of the movie at times because I started
thinking 'what did they do with the teeth?' rather than about what was actually
going on in the scene.
The vampires also could have used more backstory to make them more interesting.
One of the reasons the original Lost Boys was good was because the
audience could identify, at least on some level, with both the heroes and
villains. The vampires were 'cool', but they were also motivated by emotions
that were easy to relate to - like jealously, or the desire for some kind of
family (albeit an extremely dysfunctional one). To put it another way, I could
believe in David and Max, I couldn't really believe in DJX (and I think this
has to do as much with the movie as it does with not being 9 years old
anymore). I was never told why he wanted to do what he did, and didn't
particularly care to any significant degree either.
The above said, it's pretty much unfathomable to me as to why the writers did
not invest more time into developing Alan's character. During this movie I had
at least a dozen questions about his character leap into my brain, and with very
little difficulty could probably come up with over 100. Yet they tell us
virtually nothing WTF? It's very hard to imagine that the writers somehow
overlooked that *there is a good 5 year stretch of time of probable interest to
the movie's fanbase. Regardless of being deprived of answers to 99% of these
questions, I'd say it's a positive thing to leave the movie asking 'why didn't
they do this?' rather than (as I did with The Tribe) 'Why did they do this at
all?". If there HAD been a character on the 'opposing' team even half as
interesting and with half as much heart as Feldman's Frog, then this movie would
easily have gotten 4 stars from me