Lost Boys: The Thirst is the third film in the Lost Boys franchise. It opens on a dream sequence which gives us a glimpse of what happened to Alan Frog – an information that the previous film, The Tribe, had been withholding. Apparently, the Frog brothers had been in Washington (around 2005-ish?), and saved a member of the House from being sucked dry by an ageing Senator. It seems this Senator had allowed himself to be turned into a vampire in order to regain some health and vigour. Scuppering these plans, Edgar and Alan attacked the Senator and his two henchmen, but one of them overpowered Alan…
The opening titles are partially done in a comic book style. This is vaguely fitting for 2010, and at the same time is an homage to the comic book store roots of the Frog brothers. Apart from a weird inclusion of rave culture, which feels rather Nineties, it has to be said that this film’s overall style fits 2010 much better than The Tribe’s style fitted 2008. Which is odd as The Thirst is paying at least as much homage to the first film as The Tribe did; but somehow the filmmakers did not allow themselves to be shackled by that like it had happened with The Tribe.
The story takes place in the Californian seaside town of San Cazador. The locale is therefore similar to the two towns of the previous two films, complete with a number of missing person posters. In another call-back to the first film, The Thirst also features some taxidermy. The biggest connection to the first film is the fact that Edgar visits a comic-book store where his friend Zoe works. The Batman issue #14 mentioned in the first film also has several cameos.
The film offers us – in passing – a brief but forced explanation of what has happened to several characters last seen in the first film. That painful piece of backwards exposition is quite unnecessary. The second film did not bother to justify what happened to several of the characters from the first film, and there is no reason why The Thirst should feel the need to do so.
Edgar Frog is contacted by best-selling author Gwen Lieber, who seeks his help to free her brother, who she says has been kidnapped by vampires. Since Gwen is the author behind a series of cheesy vampire romance novels (a clear dig at Twilight), Edgar at first refuses to work for her. By the time he reconsiders, she has already employed the reality-TV-star and self-proclaimed tough guy Lars Van Goetz, who comes with his own camera-man (Claus). Edgar has no choice but to include these two in his team. The team’s foray into the vampires’ lair is as haphazard and shambolic as the respective attempts in the previous two films.
The character of Edgar Frog – with his voice, his mannerisms, and his clothes – does not pose as much of a problem as he did in The Tribe, because in this film the franchise is more prepared, it seems, to make fun of itself. The filmmakers seem to have understood that you cannot revive or rehash a cheesy 1980s franchise (as was attempted in The Tribe), but you can have a little fun with it. And they manage to do that without robbing the story of its serious side or the franchise of its dignity.
In fact, the film features a photo and at least three flashbacks showing scenes of the three kids from the first film. These, as well as other elements, are another homage to the first film. Shooting must have been all but wrapped up by the time they learned of Corey Haim’s death, but it might be possible that one or two elements had been added after that specifically to make the homage to the first film feel more like a tribute to Haim.
The acting is solid throughout. Corey Feldman (Edgar) and Jamison Newlander (Alan) are not the world’s greatest actors, but what they do does work in this film. I guess having Alan merely in a minor supporting capacity helped, as seeing those two characters on screen together all the time would have been odd. The two interesting female characters are also played very nicely by Casey B. Dolan (Zoe) and Tanit Phoenix. (Gwen). As with the previous films, the henchman vampires in The Thirst are neither here nor there, with the difference being that The Thirst not even has a vampire leader with enough screen-time to leave any lasting impression. I found Stephen Van Nieker and Joe Vaz particularly enjoyable as Lars and Claus, providing some additional comic relief as well as serving as a satire of reality-TV.
Maybe my perception is coloured by my enjoyment of this reality-TV element, but it seems to me that the humour works better than in The Tribe, and that the dialogue is better as well.
So, as you can see, I found The Thirst more enjoyable all-round than The Tribe, despite the fact that the story makes even less sense and that there are a number of plot-holes; and despite the fact that the film strays from the “Lost Boys” theme of the franchise by changing its core element from a small, disorganised group of anarcho-vampire-punks towards an organised vampire conspiracy.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10 – but not if you look at it in isolation; this rating only makes sense when looking at the film in relation to the franchise as a whole.