The first time you see the Lost Boys take out the Surf Nazis, revealing to Michael they are vampires and the hardcore murderous destruction of said Surf Nazis, you’re totally shocked. It’s very visceral, no holds barred, a blood bath that is intend to shock the audiences. Especially back when the film was released and no one knew that they were vampires; I’m sure it had more impact then.

But after that initial viewing, and many subsequent viewings, and a lot of thought (because, hey, what else do I have to do?) I realized what it really was:

The Lost Boys were “shock and awe”ing Michael.

They were being reckless on purpose. They were flaunting their power. They were showboating.

They were being sloppy.

Why? Because plan A had failed. Failed in a major crash and burn. David’s subplot plan to get Star to make Michael her first kill (and take him out of the equation in the process) (god that’s a whole other post about the power struggle that would have ensued, HAD Michael turned fully) was wrecked when instead of biting him, she slept with him. I can only imagine David’s reaction when he learned this:

Star: I didn’t kill Michael. I slept with him instead.
David: YOU DID WHAT?
David: Great, now I’ve gotta go to plan B.
David: You’re grounded, you big haired twit.

Still, up until this point in the film, Michael doesn’t seem to know what the fuck is going on, even after Sam informs him that he’s a “creature of the night”. The flying, the floating, aversion to sunlight, the almost biting Sam, Nanook attacking him, the ghost-like reflection in the mirror, the mysteriously healed wound, salt on the bottoms of his feet (oh wait, that was deleted scene/novelization only) — all these things adding up. It doesn’t take a genius.

I mean, dude didn’t listen to Star whens he flat out told him he was drinking blood. I dunno, if someone tells you ‘hey that’s blood you’re about to drink’, YOU MIGHT STOP AND RECONSIDER.

Oh, 1980s peer-pressure, how simple you were!

Back to plan B. Michael makes a fatal mistake of inviting Max in the house (snort) and skips off to the Boardwalk to throw his weight around and threaten David because… well, there’s kind of a plot hole there.

He saw Star the night before, woke up the next morning, went home, some how got pissed about it (???) and the next thing he’s throwing Marko out of the way and getting up in David’s face about the big-haired twit?

What?

The novelization fills in the gap. Star wasn’t asked to join the Boys on their nightly sojourn to the Boardwalk. She and Laddie are left back at the Cave. Meanwhile, Michael is frantically running up and down the Boardwalk, ever returning to the bandstand where he first laid eyes on Star, but not finding her anywhere. Until he finally sees David & co., which is where the film picks up.

You don’t care about any of this. You just want to know why I called the Boys sloppy.

Think about it: first kill we witness in the movie is the security dude. In the film he disappears, ripped away into the air. In the novel, his drained, dying body is dropped along the beach to be washed out on the tide. He’s a desiccated husk compared to the big, overweight dude he’d been hours before, practically unidentifiable. I think that they were going to show that in the film but budget constraints and/or editing took it out.

Second kill is Shelly and Greg, aka those crazy kids who love stealing comics and picking fights on the carousel. Again, we don’t see them die, just get picked off. (That’s why I love this movie; you never see the horrible murders until the big reveal. It’s just like Jaws; the psychological stuff is far scarier then the in-your-face-gore!)

The movie purports, or asks us to believe, that Santa Carla has a big problem with missing people. Constant “MISSING” signs tacked to poles and bulletin boards, layers upon layers. Why aren’t bodies turning up?

Because the Boys aren’t sloppy. They know enough to hide the evidence, in whatever form or fashion, and to not take too many victims in one kill.

There’s four Boys and they take one fat security guard. And the next kill is two twenty-somethings. That’s not a hell of a lot of blood to split between four vampires. So that means they’re either doing kills off-screen or don’t need a hell of a lot of blood to function.

Now the Surf Nazis.

There’s roughly 5-6 (?) of them in the wide shot before the carnage starts. That’s nearly equal numbers to the Boys, including Michael. A large kill compared to what we’ve already “witnessed”.

Then things get weird and overtly over-the-top.

Why would a vampire bite a skull? Head wounds spray all over the fucking place and waste blood! I mean they clearly show blood spouting all over when David bites the top of that dude’s head.

Why snap a neck before biting? I don’t know? Marko just does.

Paul savagely rips a throat out with his fangs. Again, overkill. Anybody who knows shit about movie vampires knows all they have to do is puncture the skin with fangs and easy blood flow.

And then Marko is ripping a scalp off with his bare hands. Again, what the fuck, why? That’s just brutalizing a corpse at that point.

We never really see what Dwayne does, beyond tackling his victim and eventually throwing the body onto the bonfire. That’s it. I have no other evidence and believe me, I’ve looked.

On to the bonfire the bodies go. Firstly, WHAT THE FUCK and secondly, that fire isn’t hot enough to consumed human remains, even if they were drunk. Alcohol isn’t going to help that much, is it? Sure, flesh is going to char and burn, but the MASSIVE AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE that’s gonna be left before is astronomical! This plot point has bothered me since I was twelve, people. And it only got worse when I started to read up on and learn about forensics.

By this point, Michael’s cowering and David’s giving his infamous dramatic monologue about being a vampire and somewhere behind the Boys the bonfire is burning the corpses and I am left wondering WHY WOULD YOU LEAVE SO MUCH EVIDENCE BEHIND.

Well, as I often have to remind myself, it’s a fucking movie.

In the novel, the scene is more detailed but not. Of course it is, it’s a book, words get far more descriptive. There is more urgency then just a big twist reveal. David is compelling Michael, threatening that if Michael is not “one of them” then he cannot see Star again.

Their transformation is not as visually graphic as the film; they just fly off and attack the Surf Nazis, actually yelling at them and having a bit of dialogue, as opposed to the direct, wordless attack of the film.

In the novelization, the Boys toy more with the Surf Nazis. But there is less depiction of what they do to the Surf Nazis; clearly the movie was always going to be more visual in the big twist reveal. The novelization is sort of a let down in that respect. It’s a lot more of Michael’s internal dialogue and struggle with the realization of what the Boys are versus Michael’s inner vampire being revealed while the destruction and chaos surround him.

I theorize that the Boys were putting on a show, purposely intended to scare Michael, to reveal their level of power along with their true nature. It was all over the top theatrics because Star didn’t do the one thing David asked of her. They were sloppy on purpose.

Since we learn that Star is a half vampire in the next scene, when she flies in and out of Sam’s window, which is another twist, I can’t say that the film makers did anything wrong.

Do I think it would have been more effective for David & co. to have dragged Star along or had her tied up and waiting for them to arrive, then reveal to Michael that the girl he loves is also a vampire? Sure. It would have amused me more, because damn, seeing Star shift into game face would have been a HUGE blow to Michael. (I’m pretty sure they made contacts for Jami Gertz but she never got to use/wear them. Bummer.)

It’s still a blow when she confirms Michael’s theory that she was supposed to kill him, adding that it was what David wanted for extra salt in the wound, and it works just fine for plot purposes.

If everything hadn’t immediately gone south the next day, would the cops have eventually discovered the evidence? Would Max have pull or influence over the cops to cover it all up? These are the questions I can’t answer, because there’s nothing in the movie or novelization to give clues.

The lesson here is: don’t fucking showboat. It just ends badly.

Well.

I heard back from Mr Seeley.

*long pause*

There isn’t much, if anything, to sum up. He said he was familiar with the fan base but did not elaborate. Anything in his story line that feels familiar or coincidental is just that, coincidence.

At this point, because the film is just shy of 30 years old, there are so many ideas, plot lines, and tropes that have been used over and over, it’s totally possible for someone not that enmeshed in the fandom to think things as ‘new’. I’m gonna let it go.

His intention with the comic is to make something “new, interesting, funny and scary while maintaining the feel of the classic movie.” Okay, more power to him. It’s basically what we do with fan fiction, only he’s been contracted to do it officially.

I know why David’s back. He answered that. There is no big reason, not even one that relates to the story being told. It was so simple, too simple really, for me to even think of. So that’s on me, being angry about that. I’m not gonna be fucking happy about it or anything, but I’m in for a penny in for a pound, so I’ll have to read the next four issues to see what happens.

In the end, Mr Seeley reminded me that regardless of how I feel, good or bad, about the comic book, no one can take the original film from me. This is the truth. I think sometimes I forget that no matter what Warner Bros does or the other people who get contracted to do something with the property that add to it or whatever, the original film will never be fucked with. It will remain unaltered and always a source of joy and happiness for me.

So, thank you for that, Mr Seeley.

In my life time I never imagined being able to instantly message a writer and ask “hey, can I ask you questions?”

But, here we are, 21st century, with a thing called Twitter, that makes people all the more easily accessible.

Nine @ replies to Tim Seeley later, he responded and the ball starting rolling.

What an age we live in.

With everything that happened with The Tribe, with the will-not-be-named-here insider reaching out to try and assure us, to help us understand and get through that horrible nightmare, and the price said insider paid to do a good deed, well… I would have completely understood if Mr Seeley didn’t answer or get back to me. The fragments of that one lay strewn about as wreckage on the Lost Cave forum. They’re there, if you choose to look for them.

Rabid fandom does do itself dis-service by being rabid. Honestly, what I write in here is my own opinion, albeit hotly emotional at times. Hey, I have a lot of thought, effort, and passion invested in this film. But I am more then willing to give him a chance to explain, listen to his ideas and thoughts, and possibly agree to disagree. I will be as polite as possible.

I’ve already admitted I am surprisingly not as angry at this series as I initially believed I would be. Face it, beyond the whole David sticky wicket, the story is a overall decent interpretation of the threads left undone by the film’s end.

Having now emailed Mr Seeley, I honestly tried very hard to keep it on track. It’s hard, being passionate and already burned by three horrible, disastrous entries into the canon, to not freak out. Fortunately, it is nearly impossible for me to be tactless, so I have that going for me.

Yes. I totally brought up David. That was the one thing I could not let go of. That’s on me.

Anyway, now we wait and see.

Clarification – it IS a 6 issue series. Which makes sense, because damn, it’s moving slowly.

So. Issue #2 of The Lost Boys. Well, it picks up right where we left off…

***

 

 

SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

 

 

***

Grandpa’s dead and for some reason they’re having Lucy identify him via photograph? Huh?

The three-score claw marks on his back are apparently a “gang tag”. Okay. And in Santa Carla this isn’t a supernatural problem but a “gang” problem, the “tag” being used to scare citizens. Okay.

Y’know, I copped out and used a nationally-known gang as a cover for vampires in my fan fic epic, so, yeah. I’m not even gonna nitpick on that, really. (Although I wish I had thought to combine them and call them “BLIPS” like in Keanu. Damn.)

Edgar and Alan decide that there’s no old guard anymore, they’re all dead, so they’re the last of the vampire hunters in town. It’s their shining moment, their call to arms, blah blah blah. I’m sorry, I’m still annoyed by Reign of Frogs. At least in Vertigo’s The Lost Boys they’re keeping it on the level and reality-based, as opposed to the ridiculousness in Reign of Frogs.

Everybody’s sad over the loss of Grandpa (hey, he got a MUCH BETTER end then the bullshit he got saddled with in Reign of Frogs. OKAY I’LL TRY TO STOP NOW.) and Lucy is bummed and Sam’s like “I’m the one that fucked up!” and Star runs out on everyone, saying it’s her fault (NO COMMENT *snort*) and she has to… well I’m not sure if she said she had to stop it or just leave before Michael & co get hurt, but that’s the justification she’s using.

Her hair is still huge, so there’s that.

And Laddie calls Lucy ‘Grandma’. What?

Sam, Edgar, and Alan review footage from the comic store, where of course the mystery girl from issue #1 doesn’t show up because she’s… you guessed it.

Here’s my problem with this: if the supernatural laws of this world mean vampires don’t have reflections in mirrors or show up in photographs, or on video footage, what if the video footage includes sound? Because it’s implied that you are hearing Sam speak to someone but this is like 1987 and surveillance footage (even NOW, in 2016) doesn’t usually include SOUND. At least not to my knowledge.

And the girl clearly asks him questions and answers him, so IF SHE DOESN’T SHOW UP PHYSICALLY, WOULDN’T HER VOICE STILL BE HEARD?

I’m callin’ fucking PLOT HOLE on that one.

Yadda yadda, the Frogs leave Sam at Grandpa’s because he’s got too much to lose and they don’t (???) so the Frogs take clues and head back to the Cave, where they find someone’s been up to something and it’s recent.

Yet again, I’m like “when does this take place?” because sure, it’s supernaturals at work, but still, stuff takes time. And because (as of issue #2) we don’t know how DAVID ISN’T DEAD (like, what, Grandpa the almighty vampire hunter wasn’t smart enough to throw his corpse out in the sun!???!) fuck I lost my train of thought. I’m still pissed about that!

Okay, so anyway, yet again I’m thinking Tim Seeley read some fan fic, because shit happens that I know I’ve written (although never publicly published, at least not to my knowledge) and I’m pretty sure has come up in OTHER PEOPLE’S FAN FIC and yeah. Ta-da, the Frogs discover the new… nest? coven? gang? WTF is the stupid label this comic is using? of vampires!

And immediately realize David’s there, too.

Then one of them asks ‘didn’t David explode?’ WHICH PISSES ME RIGHT THE FUCK OFF.

There’s a line where one of them says they’re going to pick off the vampires like they did with Marko. That I let slide; Paul named Marko, literally, when he yelled at them “YOU KILLED MARKO!” so they would likely remember that. But to not know that David wasn’t the one who exploded? No, they were upstairs crying while Paul melted in the tub, so they didn’t see Dwayne explode but still. This brings it back around to WHY DIDN’T THEY TAKE OUT DAVID WHEN HE WAS ALREADY SUPPOSEDLY MORTALLY WOUNDED??

There was something in issue #1 where, I believe Edgar said something about knowing he should have “put another stake” in David. WHY DIDN’T YOU????

So here we are, ANOTHER GIANT FUCKING PLOT HOLE THAT IS REQUIRED TO GIVE CREDENCE TO THE “REVENGE” PLOT.

Ugh.

I will, and this is huge for me, concede that the art for David is not horrendous. Not like whatever the fuck happened to him in Reign of Frogs. Apparently he got a stylist or something but the tennis shoes? Um, no? No. No.

Without going full on plot spoilers, something really fucking weird happens to the Frog Brothers (??? WTF??? I can’t wait for the explanation of THAT one but I’m sure it involves LADDIE! And probably Star, since there’s spoilers in the synopsis blurbs on the Vertigo website. Sigh.)  And Edgar tries to contact the Emersons to warn them, but David kind of, literally, crushes that. Heh.

Where was I. Right. So in the box of personal effects that the Santa Carla PD bring to the house, they make a big fuss over this “application” (which was thrown in the garbage in issue #1, so how did it escape the fire?) and the police “checked it out” and blah blah blah and Sam is like, “who is it???”

sergio

Well, minus the Jon Hamm part, and minus the name Sergio. But yes, it is the shirtless, muscle-bound saxophone player just the same. He’s the mysterious vampire hunter who kept getting denied admission into the SC…whatnot club.

And he’s like huge into spiritually, and “my body is a temple” and wish I had a photo of my face while reading all that because… well, here:

igi8g6

This meme is so useful for me.

Yeah. It ends with not Sergio (I would go get the comic and look up the name the writer gave the character but I am lazy and don’t want to get up; also, why is it oh-so-very-blatantly Greek? Is there gonna be some kind of “my forefathers fought vampires in Greece” kind of deal? If they go there, I called it first!) oiling up (yes, oiling up) and I dunno, man.

Oh. OH! And he calls himself “The Believer”.

100percentsoft_believer

(image from 100% Soft.)

Summation: I am actually not as angry over this as I thought I would be. As admitted in the previous post about issue #1, the story line isn’t so far-fetched and is reasonable enough that it’s believable. The art is decent. It’s not mind-blowing, they didn’t fuck up David as bad as I feared. The others are passable; I’m not real sure about the female vampires, since very little of them has been shown but I’m still worried about that being disappointing. They have a feel like they’re sort of the Spice Girls but “edgy” but also horrible archetypes and that worries me. (One is wearing a pearl necklace, another is tattooed with a mohawk; I’m not holding out hope here.)

I’ve proved over and over again that I’m OCD about details, particularly plot, so I’m wondering how the Emersons just magically took over Max’s video store, where the Frog parents are, why Star isn’t at all forthcoming about anything (clearly that’s going to be a MAJOR PLOT POINT but still), why is Laddie still around, and where’s Thorn? (Okay that last one is kind of a running joke between a friend and I, so I doubt it will get answered. Clearly the hound of hell returned to Hades on Max’s demise.)

Overall, considering I was angry at the announcement of this series, then entirely forgot about it, then randomly discovered it again, I’m kind of torn because it’s not that bad. It’s decent, which is me practically recommending it, which I kind of am? But I’m also still terrified, because there’s four issues to go and a lot could go VERY WRONG in those issues.

Cover of issue #3 clearly shows the Giant Dipper, with Sam fighting off one of the female vampires (who has pointed elf ears?? And giant, clawed feet? Oh boy…) and issue #4’s cover is Sam and Sax Dude, complete with sax!, crawling around in what I’m guessing to be the Cave.

If the Believer is some sort of Pied Piper who controls vampires with his sax, I’m done.

Well, until December, when issue #3 drops, we’ll just have to wait and see.

PS: I kind of want to email Vertigo and ask if I can interview Tim Seeley about this, where he was coming from, where he got the plot ideas. Because I want to know.

After yesterday’s post about death by horns, I may have become a teeny bit hyper focused on the whole thing (I’m blaming the meds I’m currently taking, although my brain can do that on its own just fine) and sort of ended up in a weird spiral-tangent-plot-hole.

Firstly!

There are at least two, possibly three, sets of horns used in the film.

Initially, when Michael is holding David back and there’s yammering about “blood in veins”, yadda yadda, there is a shot of a pair of horns on Grandpa’s work bench.

not-oryx-horns

Those are not the horns David is impaled on.

Firstly, they are more flat then ridged with prominent growth rings. They are much wider and bow out at a different angle. The shot isn’t the best — between the red lights and the angle — but I would hazard they are not oryx horns. They’re kind of like kudu but very short? All I can say for certain is those aren’t the horns that killed David.

body-double

Then you get the second pair, which are indeed based on oryx, specifically the East African or gemsbok kind (I know this because there is a pair of these specific horns hanging on my living room wall.) They are the ones you see “impale” the fake body standing in for David.

After looking at the screen caps, not only is it BLATANTLY OBVIOUS that the left horn pierced his heart (LOOK AT IT) but there is always a weird gap between the points of impalement. Does not fit with the horns shown pre-impalment.

dead-so-dead

Then we come to what I suspect to be the third pair, the pair Sutherland is gripping while his character meets his end. Again, gemsbok, probably the same mold used for the ones on the dummy, but somehow flexible? And some how the points or tips, the very tops of these horns, are too close together in the wide shot of David’s corpse. Like… huh?

bad-horns

There should be much more space between those points. The setting shot shows the not-oryx horns at a different angle, but even then, they’re still attached to the skull cap of the antelope. He was rammed onto them, which would cause a shift in their direction, David falling back onto the work bench, but still they would not “close up” or fall together in such a fashion.

But here’s where we get into the MASSIVE PLOT HOLE  I fell into while documenting my findings.

AKA: Secondly!

David makes a very pointed statement that HIS blood is in Michael’s veins.

This has always struck me, since Max is the one that wanted Michael to join the Lost Boys, for purposes of “getting” Lucy. Yet, David asks for “his wine”, says “my blood”. So this got me thinking.

And then there’s the point where the Boys start dying. First Marko perishes, sending the other three into a frenzy, David chasing Sam and the Frogs into the tunnel. Granted, it is day light hours, but there’s nothing from Max. Sure, it would be weird, since he was ruled out as a vampire just hours before, but still.

Then Paul is melted in a bath tub and Dwayne is “death by stereo”‘d. (That’s an actual technical term I just totally made up.) Still, zip. Where’s Max? Having dinner with Lucy. Okay he’s distracted by his prey but when the Boys fly over the house and Thorn barks at the noise, nothing. Is this just controlled deception?

OR IS IT THE FACT THAT THE BOYS ARE NOT OF HIS BLOOD?

Max always speaks of “can’t control my Boys” or “boys need a mother” or what have you. He even says “David and my Boys misbehaved.” near the end of the film. So there is SOME KIND OF TIE there.

But there’s also this weird… can’t quite put my finger on it… not exactly-a-bond involved. We don’t know who turned David; we assume it was Max. Many have theorized that they were already vampires who turned up in Santa Carla but I never bought that. I just don’t.

We know Max was “the secret that David was protecting”, thanks to Star. We know Max ordered David to bring Michael into the Boys. But then there’s something else…

Star tells Michael that “it was what David wanted”, for her to make Michael her first kill and become a full vampire. We know she’s half; blood was drunk, and very likely it was David’s. But Max wanted Michael to be a vampire to entrap Lucy. NOT Star.

So here we have what’s a classic power play (HA HA HA) and a possible double cross!

It has always struck me that when Lucy and Max arrive at Grandpa’s, while Sam and the Frogs are trying to explain slash distract Lucy from the carnage and dead bodies in the house, Max willfully strides into the work room and has to look at David to identify him.

DUDE. DID YOU FORGET WHAT THE FUCK HE LOOKS LIKE? HOW?

I dunno, did he not recognize it was David because he suddenly looked so young after his supernatural tether snapped? I never understood that. I mean, in all honesty, David’s the only remaining…corpse?… left of the Boys. We don’t know what happened to Marko’s body, Paul became a corrosive soup, and Dwayne is in exploded pieces. (Again, this probably ties into those “David Lives!” fans, because his body was not desiccated or destroyed. Please, spare me. He’s a corpse.)

Okay, I get that it’s a PLOT TWIST, because Max has clearly been deceptive and able to fake out the humans under the “you gave me permission” rule, but still, after repeat viewings and knowing this, IT STILL BUGS ME THAT MAX SEEMINGLY DIDN’T KNOW WHO DAVID WAS.

And still, his alleged Boys are dropping like flies and no reaction! I know Max was supposed to be ridiculously old for a vampire, which would mean control over stuff and reactions and whatnot, but I don’t know how he wouldn’t be alarmed when his Boys are dying. They were his action plan into getting Lucy! And that plan is FAILING ALL OVER THE PLACE!

As a friend said, she thinks maybe he was just happy to be rid of the Boys.

(Or, snort, never send a Boy to do a woman’s job? I swear, things would have ended very differently, had I been in charge.)

This is theoretical. They were “wild kids” and clearly he was unable to control them. I think that’s partly how there were three Boys and David was leader. David wanted pals and just started turning dudes and was going to stage a coup down the road and take out Max. Maybe. Probably. Okay, it’s what I may have done.

But now you’re gonna say, “But Michael and Star explicitly noted that neither ‘felt different’ after David’s death!”

Okay, well, that may lend credence to my theory that Max begat David, and David technically begat Michael and Star. There is still a blood tie and clearly one strong enough to overrule David’s death as being the “end” of the humans’ nightmare.

I still don’t think Max begat Marko, Dwayne, or Paul into vampiredom. (I will stop using the word begat now.)

In conclusion, which I’m not sure really is a conclusion but more of an end point, this all just may be a giant plot hole with no answer. The movie novelization is no help what so ever, so I won’t even go get it to check. I guess I just wanted to postulate a theory to David’s motives and blood ties. That’s all.

News flash: David the vampire is dead.

Eternally kicked the bucket, permanent dirt nap, not coming back, dead.

DEAD.

But, you know, one wouldn’t think so if you read Lost Boys fan fiction or the officially licensed comic book series.

Look, fan fic is one thing. I have written too much goddamn fan fic involving The Lost Boys. I, technically, am still writing it. (If I ever finish, then you’ll know I’m dead.) So that’s one thing. If you’re #TeamVampires you basically keep them “alive” through stories. We’ve been doing it since 1987, we’re not going to stop.

Officially licensed stories are another thing. Yes, if you’ve been anything more than a casual “I like that movie!” person, then you damn well know that Warner Bros. really wanted to make a sequel. But nothing really worked and various (dubious) scripts floated around Hollywood long before the internet became a real series of tubes. Hell, I’ve read a lot of those “scripts” and most of them are awful but that’s my opinion.

Then, nearly 20 years later we get handed a bullshit “sequel” that’s more a BULLSHIT REMAKE then sequel and I’ve already written a lot of words and wasted a lot of breath on Lost Boys: The Tribe so I’m not going there again. And because it was “popular” (read: people watched it because we tend to do that when given something set in a world we love – eg: Jurassic Park: The Lost World – didn’t mean we actually liked it!) Warner Bros saw $$$$! and okay’d a second “sequel”, which was better than The Tribe but genuinely awful in its own right. Like, please stop trying to let Corey Feldman act. It’s just sort of super sad now and I’m saying that as a fan of most of his early films.

And then there was the comic book, Reign of Frogs, that was supposed to “bridge the gap” between the original film and The Tribe. Which I have also wasted a lot of energy, time, and words on. Apparently not on this blog but I know it’s somewhere online.

Here’s the thing: the film is not outlandish in any shape or form. It asks you to suspend reality only a little, because its premise — a family moves to a new town and the eldest son falls in with a “strange” crowd, who just HAPPEN TO BE VAMPIRES — is very simple. It’s set in the real world, with very real ordinary people fighting against very supernatural things.

Reign of Frogs went way out in left field. And asked too much of its readers, crammed too many things, in that broke the reader’s ability to buy any of the story line. Not to mention it was just horrible. Sorry, it just was. I paid money for all four issues, I am allowed my opinion.

Now, just shy of the original film’s 30th anniversary, we’ve got ANOTHER comic series.

Vertigo’s The Lost Boys is (so far) a four-part series. I think it’s just four; it might be six? I don’t know, we’ll find out.

Issue #1 seems to pick up shortly (say, 6-months, tops?) after the film. The art is decent; nothing impressive but better than the art in Reign of Frogs. That’s a miracle.

***

 

 

OKAY HERE’S WHERE WE ENTER SPOILER TERRITORY. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

 

 

***

Sam’s working at the comic shop. Lucy has taken over Max’s video rental store. Star and Laddie are living with the Emersons at Grandpa’s house.

Sounds entirely plausible.

Michael has a job working at a nursing home / care facility as a care giver.

…okay. Again, plausible. Why not.

Grandpa’s infamous line “The one thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach: all the damn vampires.” again is in play, just as it was in Reign of Frogs, although in a different way.

Grandpa is a vampire slash supernatural creature hunter. There is a whole chapter of said hunters in Santa Carla, which he is leader (?) of. He is attempting to train the Frog Brothers to be hunters, because (as evidenced later on in the story) the chapter members are old and dying out, reluctant to bring in new members.

Yet again, plausible in a way that fits with the surprise twist at the end of the film. I’m okay with this.

Everybody is in the first issue. Sam, Michael, Star and Laddie, the Frog Brothers, Grandpa, I guess Lucy isn’t there but she’s name-checked by Sam. Hell, even Nanook makes the issue, in a hilarious scene.

So far so good, right? Right.

Well, so much for everything turning out okay. Something goes terribly wrong and tragic (sigh) and uh oh vampires are to blame once more because VAMPIRES and REVENGE and oh shit did I just say REVENGE?

Because only one person would want revenge in this game.

And, you see, he’s GODDAMN FUCKING DEAD AS A DOOR NAIL SO WHY IS HE DRAWN ON THE LAST PAGE??!

Yes. David is back. And apparently has decided turning dudes into vampires didn’t work, so lets go with all girls this time! Girl power, yo!

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Before I continue, an aside.

Long long ago, before some of you were even born, a script (or a fan-written script passed off to be an “official” script) was floating around the interwebs, entitled “The Lost Girls”. Now, there was probably a few versions of this, but I specifically remember reading one where there was four female vampires who were targeting Michael and Sam was trying to fight them off. And there was a scene involving the Giant Dipper roller coaster that always stuck in my head because it was a pretty intense scene, vampires flying in and out of the coaster’s cars while it’s careening around the track, and yeah.

THIS COMIC BOOK FEELS LIKE IT IS VERY MUCH PULLED FROM THAT “SCRIPT”.

If I could find the goddamn thing I would check it against this but fan sites die and stuff goes missing and I probably had it on a 3.5 floppy disc (which wasn’t even”floppy”, such a misnomer!) and hell if I know where that could be. Plus, computers these days don’t come with disk readers (although I have a USB one, natch; god I am so old.) so yeah.

As I was saying. David is dead. I have no problem writing those words because he fucking is. Dude died on Grandpa’s work bench, horns rammed through his chest, screaming like a little bitch till the end.

“But the horns missed his heart!” you say?

The fuck they did. I have looked at screen caps, I have looked at stills, I have slow-mo’d the death scene a ridiculous amount of times. I know that Sutherland has admitted in press interviews that the intention (or one of the intentions) was to bring David back in a sequel. I realize there is a huge argument that the oryx horns are not wooden stakes so they wouldn’t have the same power on a vampire that a wooden stake would have.

HE’S. STILL. FUCKING. DEAD.

You know why? Here:

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(images borrowed from The Lost Cave)

Up to and including his death scene, David is scruffy as hell. Dude’s been physically changed by becoming a vampire. I’m not talking just the crazy eyes and fangs while in game face. This is evidenced in the two photos above.

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(images borrowed from The Lost Cave)

Then we come to post… uh… horning? No, wait, death by horns? Maximum hornage? Whatever. Max comes in, immediately turns David’s face towards him… HEY LOOK, DAVID SOMEHOW SHAVED IN THE TEN MINUTES SINCE HE DIED??

No. He didn’t really have time or a razor. HE REVERTED IN DEATH TO HIS HUMAN STATE. As evidenced in the two photos above, totally smooth face. (Another aside: OH MY GOD, SO YOUNG. I can’t believe Sutherland is turning 50 in December.)

In conclusion: the supernatural tether that made David a vampire was severed by those oryx horns and he died. And further more, Max was also killed, doubly destroying the supernatural means through which David became a vampire. Ain’t no coming back from that, it’s over, people. Nothing to see. Move along.

Prosecution rests.

So, yes, I have a big fucking problem with the writers of the Vertigo comic series deciding to bring David back. I know I am a singular voice of dissension in the wilderness about this plot point. I fully realize that the casual fan or die-hard David fan is going to be all “fuck yeah!” over this turn of events.

No.

Is it that hard to come up with a new character? A new leader? (Okay, that could be true; look what we got in The Tribe, Shane the utter fuck up.) I get that a REVENGE plot line needs a catalyst and I suppose David is the most blatantly obvious choice (sigh) but… ugh…

And fuck, I just totally flipped my own argument because the REVENGE plot line wouldn’t work if David  didn’t come back. Which, in my opinion, is lame story telling. But there you have it. That’s EXACTLY WHY this film does not need sequels, comic books, or plot continuances. Besides, it’s all been done in fan fic a thousand and one times over by now.

Another small nit pick: STAR WAS NOT DAVID’S GIRLFRIEND. SHE WAS FUCKING BAIT TO PICK UP VICTIMS. SHE WAS A LURE TO GET MICHAEL INTO THE GANG.

Okay, so that’s Issue #1. Issue #2 is in the mail, and #3 & #4 will be released in Dec/Jan, respectively. Yes, I do fully intend to read this series. I already said I was a masochist. I realize this blog is pretty much not on any radar, since I never update it and seem to only use it to yell in capslock about things related to The Lost Boys. I would find it interesting if Tim Seeley (the writer) or anyone at Vertigo ever found this post, because I would love to know Mr Seeley’s reason for going with this story line.

I guess that’s it until next issue, which I should have in about a week or so…

 

For those of you who haven’t remained hidden in a cave somewhere with your fingers jammed in your ears, singing “LA-LA-LA-LA!” at the top of your lungs trying to drown out any knowledge of the Lost Boys: The Tribe, please keep up the good work because I’m about to rain on your parade. Again.

Yes, Warner Bros, in their infinite wisdom, thought it would be a fantastic idea to make a third film in the Lost Boys franchise. Whether this was because they thought, “hey, The Tribe did awesome even though it was direct to DVD! We can cash in again!” or “We’ll try to appease the fans of the original this time by actually using BOTH Frog Brothers!” is anybody’s guess.

(My money would be on milking this supposed cash cow.)

Yup. A second train wreck whose only ties to the original film are: it’s about vampires and the Frog Brothers are in it.

Sure, The Tribe probably had more ties to the original film (um, those were Star and Michael’s offspring apparently, even though it was completely glossed over) and did feature 50% of the Frog Brothers and why the hell am I trying to defend that piece of crap… Moving on.

For the millions of you who didn’t read the 4-part comic series Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs, apparently you are going to be COMPLETELY CONFUSED by the beginning of The Thirst. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) I did and oh goodie. A comic series that made NO GODDAMN SENSE and tried to peg Shane as basically David’s half brother (no, not really, more like David BIT HIM WHILE THEY ATTACKED THE SURF NAZIS and didn’t finish the job so Shane FED ON A SHARK and SURVIVED, TURNING INTO A VAMPIRE HIMSELF. Oh wait, did I just spoil that for everyone?) Oh, and apparently Grandpa was a vampire. Yeah, that part really pissed me off.

Where am I going with this… Oh, here, this is the synopsis of The Thirst:

“The thankless life of a vampire hunter has taken its toll on Edgar Frog. After losing best friend and fellow vamp fighter, Sam, he has started to let himself slide. He’s down to selling his prized comic book collection just to pay rent on a decrepit trailer when stunning vampire novelist Gwen approaches with an offer. She needs him to find her brother who has gone missing after getting sucked into a series of underground raves, called ‘The Gathering,’ held by an enigmatic spinner named DJ Dusk.

In a last, frantic message he mentioned being given a new party drug known as The Thirst, which turned out to be a mixture of ecstasy and vampire blood. Gwen shows Edgar a vile of the The Thirst, explaining DJ Dusk must be a head vampire and he’s using his parties to raise an undead army. With the last rave, ‘The Final Gathering,’ only days away Edgar must assemble a vamp-hunting team worthy of crashing the party, and hopes to include his reclusive brother who’s dealing with his own dark past. Before the battle is over Edgar will discover there is a greater evil at work and must face his most haunting fear.”

Watch the trailer:

Where do I begin to tear this apart? There’s so many options…

FIRSTLY: Does a pack of vampire ravers sucking on pacifiers really sound scary? What, they’re going to twirl glowsticks at me? C’mon.

To be perfectly honest, does Warner Bros bother to look into the online fandom based around The Lost Boys? Surely they haven’t, because they would find that it’s PRETTY MUCH BASED ON THE VAMPIRES! Not the Frog Brothers. (Okay, before people I know kick me, I know there are Frog Brother fans out there, I’m generalizing here.) So really, since you guys killed off the four sexy badasses in the original, why are you pissing all over the cult classic by trying to create a story out of nothing?

Oh yeah, because Corey Feldman is trying to keep his career alive. Right.

(An aside, just to say I happen to enjoy several of Feldman’s movies; like Stand By Me and The ‘burbs and The Goonies. But Hollywood doesn’t make original well-written films anymore.)

So, since you screwed up shit by making The Tribe in 2008, you think you can “fix” things by actually bringing back Jamison Newlander (aka Alan Frog) and making it about the Frog Brothers reuniting under an American flag and killing vampires again? (Um, did anyone else watch the excised footage showing Alan as a vampire? I guess not!) And because you chose to tack on the Sam Emerson is a VAMPIRE clip during the credits of The Tribe, you have conveniently given yourself an out to make Edgar depressed over the loss of his friend (um, I guess that means he staked Sam?) and therefore opens the door to this steaming pile of crap you call a “plot”?

And let’s see, I see references to the Blade franchise, The Matrix (which everything steals from since its release), and there’s something else but I can’t quite put my finger on it. It also looks like you got every ironic hipster you could find and shoved them in the film. And what the hell is with the vampire eyes/fangs? The ones used in The Tribe were pretty bad but do these ones even have fangs? Because they look like you just made EVERY tooth in their mouths into fangs. VAMPIRES AREN’T SHARKS!

There’s a point in every horror franchise where the film “jumps the shark”. But I guess that’s not enough, because now they’re beating it with a dead horse and filming sequels in South Africa of all freaking places! (Hell, The Tribe was filmed in Canada, so I guess North America is just too expensive to use at this point.)

You know what, Warner Bros? Fine. Continue to “cash in” on this cult classic. Nothing the fans say or do will stop you at this point. And unfortunately, in the midst of this Twilight-induced haze, vampires are hot property right now and I’m sure some twits will rent The Thirst. And maybe even like it.

But the fans of the original will never forget this. I will continue to write posts as I have done to warn people about these pathetic excuses for “sequels”. Until you stop bothering or no longer find the franchise to be quite a money maker.

PS: What happened to Edgar’s “badass” neck tattoo? Did someone forget their continuity? Because I doubt he could afford to have laser removal.

PSx2: If you would like to read my previous posts about The Tribe, please click here and here.

Dearest 24,

We’re four hours in and I’ve yet to have an anxiety attack.

Let me state for the record that it took me a while to join the 24 Boat. I was skeptical of the first season, after reading the plot line of the show and not exactly sure how it would work in a post-9/11 world. It wasn’t until I managed to get S1 on DVD and watch it uninterrupted (in less than a week’s time) that I got hooked. By then, S3 was about to premiere and I skipped S2 in favor of just moving forward. (I hear I didn’t miss much, other then a cougar trap.)

Between S3 and S5, I was having multiple anxiety attacks during episodes, riding the edge of my chair and screaming at the television screen. I suppose watching such intense drama is probably not good for a person with panic/anxiety disorder but I had to know what was going to happen. If Jack Bauer would once again save the world (well, the US of A) and set everything to rights again, usually at his personal expense.

I still remember moments from S4 and S5, where I was when they took place and how they affected me. Which is a huge compliment for the cast and crew. When your show can reach beyond a screen and cause a deep reaction in someone, that’s special. You’ve broken ground, continually, and achieved a permanent place in history.

Then you gave us S6.

I admit, around the last three or four episodes I was reading the Wikipedia entries on the episodes, so I didn’t have to watch them. The excitement was waning; it got too “personal” and your attempt to give Jack a life beyond being the American Hero really took away from the purpose of the show. I’m sorry, Jack can’t have a personal life anymore. It costs too much.

(I would like to state that I pretty much hated S6. You let me down, guys. Just being honest.)

Then you had a year off.

Last night, S7 premiered.

The end of S4 saw you kill Jack before our eyes, only to have him resurrected by his only “family” then smuggled out to try and put together a new life. The opening shot of S5, literally, was the assassination of ex-prez Palmer. I honestly fell out of my chair when that happened. S6? Jack ripped out a guy’s throat with his teeth and a nuclear bomb exploded in the vicinity of Los Angeles! Not to mention you made the bad guy Jack’s own father!

S7 didn’t even come close to any of this.

I’m sure the biggest surprise… oh look! Tony Almedia isn’t dead, even if the how/why was explained away so very vaguely I laughed. Dead for ‘ten minutes’? No way…. wasn’t much of a surprise in the end. Unfortunately, and I don’t know if this is because it was talked about too much in the press, shown in the season’s trailers, or if it was crammed too heavily into the first four hours, but the “surprise” part of said surprise was sucked right out.

Then the whole twist of CTU becoming a “shadow” group consisting solely of Bill and Chloe working under-cover and Tony actually working with them, yadda yadda yadda? I had that figured out the minute he wouldn’t speak to Jack at the end of Hour 2. And then Jack busting him out of FBI Headquarters and joining forces to get himself into the terrorist cell with Tony? Also figured that out. Does this mean I can get a job writing episodes since I seem to guess your next move before it happens?

It seems to be a problem with television these days. All the good ideas have been used up. Or beaten to pulp with a dead horse. I mean, even you guys know you used the nuclear bomb threat one time too many. Thank you for deleting that plot device. Now it seems everything is about OMG GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION (which, actually, is probably way true…if you read any of the news these days) not to mention people hacking into databases and through firewalls and controlling systems. Yawn.

And then, as it’s become standard, Jack trying to redeem himself in some fashion, repent if you will, by doing “good deeds”.

Is the saying not “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”?

I waited to write this post until I viewed the four-hour premiere, in the hopes that in the last two hours you might finally grab me back.

I’m really torn.

When Jack and Tony were busting out and kicking ass like the old days, a thrill went through me. Nothing like a little good ol’ fashioned violence in the name of justice. Jack driving a hot-wired car through a concrete wall? Loved it. Jack putting his fist into the face of Larry Moss? I prayed for that! Believe me, I cheered loudly when he did.

But the rest? Felt almost half-hearted. Like, “here we go again Jack, but not as exciting this time. Sorry!”

I don’t know what it is that’s causing this feeling of being let down. I don’t think it was the delay in seasons; if anything, that should have given you plenty of time to get really freaking creative. But instead, we get whiny and/or sarcastic FBI agents who I feel no empathy towards. A female president with a really stupid husband who is going to completely ruin her administration because he’s “obsessed” with “uncovering the truth”. A female FBI agent who suddenly starts resorting to Jack Bauer-esque methods of getting results after expressly forbidding him to do the same thing yet asking him how far he would go. So many “bad guys” in one story line that even I, being incredibly detail-oriented, am getting confused. Some plot about the president’s son “committing suicide”, that wasn’t addressed in any way, shape, or form between the movie 24: Redemption and S7, suddenly dropped in our laps as some OMG HUGE CONSPIRACY!11! yet we can barely remember the whole plot about the kid who was friends with him coming into a fraud cover-up and sending said files to said president’s son on the day of his mother’s inauguration. (Oh wait, there’s my penchant for details coming out.)

(An aside: I swear to god right now in this post that if you make Renee Walker A) Jack’s “love interest” or B) a female version of Jack I WILL QUIT WATCHING! Knock that shit off already! We already had Nina, people! And Audrey Raines! You can’t save the world and date at the same time. And NO ONE can be Jack Bauer but Jack Bauer.)

Honestly, I’m trying desperately to cling to perspective and say “but we’re only 4 hours in!” and tell myself S7 might live up to the whole “Redemption” bit. So far, not really. There have been glimmers of hope between 8am and 12pm, but they were fleeting.

Please don’t let me down, Jack. I’m counting on you.

Sincerely,
a 24 Fan

This review will come in two parts.

Lost Boys: The Tribe as a stand-alone movie.
When viewed as your average “new millennium” horror film, it certainly fits the mold of the straight-to-DVD horror flicks that are being churned out of Hollywood, especially ever since Saw came out. Cookie-cutter plots, gore, sex, the basic package.

We have two young-adult-aged siblings forced to move to a new town, looking for friends. The friends they happen to find are the un-dead monsters who are terrorizing the local population. Sister falls for leader, brother marches in with backup to save her, slayings ensue. Happy ending!

Nothing exciting, nothing terribly creative.

One problem was the location used for Luna Bay. I know there’s mountains in California. But in the area that the movie is supposedly set in, you certainly wouldn’t look up and see a HUGE SNOW-COVERED MOUNTAIN RANGE in the background. Um, what the hell?! There’s a big mistake caught right on camera! The shots of Luna Bay itself were okay, although they looked more like a mix between Vancouver and the Oregon coast then the fake “California” town.

Another problem was acting. Very few of the performers made you like their characters or acted in believable ways. I’m not sure if this is because most of them are relative newcomers or what. (I’ll get into the script in the next section.) It was inconsistent at best. I do have to say that the boys playing the Tribe vampires did make me hate them and if that was their goal to be total assholes, then you guys accomplished that!

Overall, this is a movie I’d never watch more than once in my life. It’s not memorable in horror movie history at all. The only thing that will ever bring this any attention is the fact it is tied to The Lost Boys.

Which brings me to the second half of my review.

Lost Boys: The Tribe and The Lost Boys
Here’s where it gets interesting.

With so many ideas floating around as to how to make a sequel to the 1987 classic, with so many options, the filmmakers decided to make a near-carbon-copy movie. I can hear people arguing with me already but hear me out.

The original’s story: Two brothers and their mom move to a coastal town. The kids have been uprooted and immediately seek out new friends. Older brother falls for a girl. Girl leads him to a pack of vampires who bring him into their gang. Older brother realizes his mistake. Younger brother befriends another pair of brothers who help him and older brother take on the pack of vampires, as well as the head vampire, a climactic fight follows, humans come out champions. Happy ending!

The sequel’s story: Two siblings move to a coastal town. They immediately seek out new friends. Younger female sibling falls for guy who just happens to be the head vampire in a vampire gang. Siblings realize mistake. Brother seeks out help from vampire hunter guy and together all three battle the vampires, with the humans coming out winners. Happy ending!

See? What’s the damn difference?!

I’ll tell you. When Lost Boys: The Tribe tries to link itself to the original film, it becomes a seething mass of confusion. There is no perfect balance of new story with ties to the old. To even fully understand the movie you needed to buy the comic book series Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs to find out what happened in the 20-year gap between The Lost Boys and Lost Boys: The Tribe.

If you didn’t, I’ll fill you in now.

The comics begin roughly two years after The Lost Boys. It is revealed that the Frog Brothers, Edgar and Alan, have gone on to become successful vampire hunters. Or so we are lead to believe, as Edgar is our narrator. Returning from a hunt in the nation’s capital, they are greeted by a familiar, un-dead face. David, lead vampire of the Lost Boys, is in fact NOT dead. He demands to know the whereabouts of Star and Michael. With some help from Sam Emerson, the Frogs defeat David and his fellow vamps, but not before their comic shop burns down. David disappears into the night and the Frogs begin to put pieces of the puzzle together.

It is then revealed that Sam’s Grandpa is in fact a half-vampire. He has sustained himself for years on the blood of the animals he makes into his taxidermy business. He also reveals the name of the head vampire: the Widow Johnson. Or, as all the vampires call her, the Black Widow. The Black Widow, a very successful Dominatrix, has masterminded a huge plot to trap and kill the Frog Brothers and Sam. Grandpa leads them right to her brothel (located somewhere far out of Santa Carla to avoid drawing suspicion) and lets them in. A fight between the Frogs and Sam and the female vampire nest results in Alan being made into a half-vampire.

The comics were scheduled for release to coincide with the film. But in a stunning error of stupidity, the final issue isn’t set to be released until a full month AFTER the film. Issue four holds the keys to everything: what happens to Alan, why Edgar is living in Luna Bay, how Shane (the leader of the Tribe) is created, and the basic set up for how everyone’s come to be in Lost Boys: The Tribe.

WAY TO GO, PEOPLE! HIGH-FIVE!

The only original character kept over into the sequel is Edgar Frog. For those who haven’t read the comics, it is impossible to understand what has changed him. Although, honestly, he hasn’t changed a dime since the original. He’s still a Rambo-wannabe, with the usual assorted weaponry he’s created to fight vampires when he’s not shaping surfboards.

So, let’s explain the new characters:

Chris and Nicole Emerson are never directly revealed to be the children of Star and Michael. In fact, you never hear Star and Michael mentioned by name in the film; all you hear about is how they died several years previous in a car accident. Money has run low for the siblings (explained in a minute) and they are forced to move to Luna Bay to live with their aunt Jillian.

Along the way we learn Chris was a competitive surfer who was kicked off the circuit and dropped by his sponsors after an altercation with another surfer. Chris shattered the other guy’s knee, ruining his career as well. Nicole confides that she believes Chris’ anger over losing their parents has made his temper run hot. He is extremely protective of Nicole through-out the film. We are led to believe that he misses surfing something awful.

Nicole is 17 and supposed to be a head-strong girl who doesn’t always listen to her brother. There’s not really much else to say about her, at least not yet.

After moving to town, Chris bumps into Shane Powers. Shane was also a competitive surfer who seemingly up and disappeared several years ago. Nicole mentions that Chris had a poster of Shane on his bedroom wall during high school. I have no idea what the time line on this is, so that could be anywhere from two to four years ago. Shane invites Chris to come to a party he’s throwing.

The Emerson children go to the party and we are introduced to Jon, who just happens to be the guy whose knee Chris shattered. There are also Erik and Kyle, who are your basic jock-type jackasses who have pretty rudimentary vocabularies laced with f-bombs. Nice.

Chris hooks up with Lisa, who’s character belongs in a cheesy porno then in the film. She’s a throw-away, a lure to distract Chris while Shane takes up with Nicole. A romantic relationship blossoms between the two and Chris tries to put a stop to it.

Post-party, Nicole is already a half-vampire and Edgar Frog shows up just in time to save Chris from his sister. Chris doesn’t believe Edgar when informed of what his sister has become and sends him away. Lisa returns, nearly naked, at the front door, and when she gets too aggressive, ends up impaled on a rack of antlers. Suddenly Chris is a believer and seeks out Edgar.

Do I really have to keep going?

If you were going to do a sequel, nay a continuation of the story from the original, this was not how to go about it. You can’t NOT mention characters, then have one sole survivor of the original reprise his role. The basic links to the original only exist in the last name of the two main characters and Edgar Frog. That’s IT. How the hell can you expect something to make sense on two very tiny ties?!

Adding insult to injury, you over-hype the return of not just Edgar Frog but his brother Alan and Sam Emerson. Everyone gets excited. Then they see the film. Alan is COMPLETELY missing, relegated to “deleted/alternative endings” on the bonus disc. Sam? Well, he fares a little better but not by much. The credits begin to roll then STOP mid-way, to reveal a very disturbing exchange between Sam and Edgar. Why is a Sam a vampire!? What has happened?! Why are they attacking each other?!

It’s like a one-two punch while getting stabbed in the back. Thank you so very much, P.J. Pesce.

There is really not a single character anyone can identify with, let alone feel for in Lost Boys: The Tribe. Part of this is acting but you also need characters with really strong backgrounds, ones the viewers don’t necessarily know. What made The Lost Boys work was the presence of Kiefer Sutherland’s David and the whole mystery surrounding four teenage vampires living in a cave, living the ultimate life of freedom and just happening to be cold-blooded killers. The true Lost Boys, if you will.

The vampires of the Tribe are not like that in the least. They are ham-fisted jocks and sports nuts, with too many toys and too much freedom. We are given Shane, their leader, to be the anchor. He is supposedly in control of the other three with mental telepathy and on a few occasions it is said that they do what Shane wants. That’s all well and good but it doesn’t make the leap from the screen to the viewer.

Where as Paul, Dwayne, and Marko were ultra cool, witty, and shrouded in mystery… the members of the Tribe are explained by Shane. There’s no mystery left about why he picked them. Where as the Lost Boys were very much adolescent in some ways (never-ending party attitude) the Tribe are just a bunch of Jackass wannabes who go round gutting each other for fun before turning on a video camera to record the “hilarity”.

The only vampire with any personality is Jon. And boy, I have a really hard time saying that, mainly because I don’t want to. But I am. Jon is the only vampire we really get a back story on. We know he got into a fight with Chris that resulted in his knee being shattered and his surfing career ended. We are given glimpses of the animosity he feels towards Chris and in the crude remarks he makes to Nicole. In a lot of ways he is the deputy of the Tribe; he carries out Shane’s orders. He whistles Die Fledermaus in several scenes, quotes movie lines, then goes on to mention the Rene Quinton’s experiments involving blood and seawater. He is the strongest vampire in the film, if not one of the strongest characters period. Seriously, Kyle Cassie gets a gold star in my book because really I want to hate Jon so much, and I do, but that’s the mark of great acting.

As for Kyle (Shaun Sipos) and Erik (Merwin Mondesir), their stories are simple and not worth expounding upon. Kyle is meant to be the ultimate prankster while Erik is the cold-blooded murder. They’re cardboard compared to Jon.

This leads me to Shane. Being that no one knows what happens in #4 of Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs, we are left in the dark as to what exactly are his motives for bring Chris and Nicole into the Tribe. Part of it is similar to The Lost Boys: a family one cannot lose because it is immortal. (I’ll expound on this later.) Clearly Shane knows who Chris is, in terms of their surfing careers. But why is Shane doing what he’s doing? Why is he protecting Chris from Jon and seducing Nicole to get Chris to join them? A hint comes at the end during the final battle when Shane says he’s waited for someone like Chris to come along and challenge him. Challenge him over what!?

Because I haven’t any of the answers I need, I have to write this based on what I see. And Shane is one very stupid vampire.

Unfortunately you cannot separate the character from the actor. I don’t care what is said; in some fashion Angus Sutherland got this based on his surname. What a huge boon to the film to sign the half-brother of the actor who is the immortal face of The Lost Boys! Show anyone a picture of Kiefer Sutherland as David and they instantly know what movie you’re talking about.

Sadly, Angus is not Kiefer. He shouldn’t have to be, either. He hasn’t had the same experience Kiefer has; Kiefer had eight films on his resume by the time he made The Lost Boys, let alone other acting experience. To date, Angus has had an extremely bit (less then twenty seconds on screen) part in Harold & Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay and a cameo roll playing a younger version of his father’s character on Commander In Chief clear back in 2005. There is so little information about Angus that I don’t know if he’s done anything else. (He does have another film coming out direct-to-DVD this year called Familiar Strangers.)

The first knock is lack of experience. Undoubtedly he has the Sutherland charm. It’s there and you do see it, but Angus isn’t yet able to wield it like Donald and Kiefer do. With time and more experience, sure. He’s like the ultimate conglomerate of Donald and Kiefer with his own quirks thrown in and I wanted very badly for him to be able to pull this off. In a few places he certainly did but in others… no. I would hate for Lost Boys: The Tribe to be a career killer for him. How unfair to someone with so much potential to be done in so early.

The second knock is the character. Sure, Shane is clearly in charge of the Tribe but why? What does he want? I mean I know he wants Nicole but why? And what’s with the dragon imagery? And the skull ring? Am I supposed to be focusing in on these images or what?

As a lead vampire (I won’t call him a head vampire) Shane lacks the presence and will David has. David just looked at you, with the ice blue eyes, and you fell in his thrall. Shane is teetering on the edge of that power, with his bad boy looks, but it falls flat. Where as at the end of The Lost Boys, David made a huge mistake and reacted in anger at the death of Marko by attempting to put Michael and Star in their place, Shane has a similar moment when Nicole refuses to take the final step to being a vampire. He lashes out at Chris and just when he’s about to succeed, Nicole stakes him. The ONLY moment I feel that even remotely came close to a David moment was when Shane tries to stake Nicole back with the piece protruding from his chest. That was it.

I must say the only other character with an actual background, although not really, is Chris Emerson. I have to say Tad Hilgenbrink was utterly believable as Michael’s son. Someone did his homework! Now I utterly dislike Michael and really wish David had killed him but that’s my problem. Anyway, the back story about Chris being a surfer with a hot temper and a dire need to protect his sister so he doesn’t lose her is actually convincing. Not perfect but quite convincing. A few times I actually saw Jason Patric’s Michael there on screen, or at least a character that was really his son. This is not saying everything worked overall, but still, the only character with any flesh on his bones.

Nicole is made of fail. Sorry. I was lead to believe we’re going to have a strong female protagonist who does what she wants and doesn’t take guff from anyone… no. Didn’t happen. What we really have is a typical 17 year old female who is being raised by her brother. One line that stuck out is when Nicole screams at Chris “you’re not my dad!” If you were going to make her believable, not to mention tie in the original characters, why didn’t she scream “You’re not DAD!” instead? Why does she not have the same depth of background that Chris has? When I’m looking at her overall, she’s much like her mother, Star. We don’t know who Star was before the Lost Boys swept her up yet she somehow uses Michael to regain her freedom. Nicole, unlike her mother and in the only strong moment she’s got, doesn’t rely on the menfolk to save her. We never actually see her tell Shane no; it apparently happens off screen, but the affect is enough to royally piss off Shane to the point he attacks Chris. And just when her brother is about to bite it, Nicole stakes her former lover.

Another thing. I know the whole Lilith myth. But come on. If Nicole writhing unconvincingly on top of Shane is supposed to make her strong, then I’m giving you a big fat F.

Shifting gears, from what I’m gathering from the steaming mess is that there are a few themes that are trying to be explored in the movie. The major one is family. It echos the sentiments of the first, of Sam helping Michael defeat the vampires and win the girl. In Lost Boys: The Tribe we have Chris taking one for the team, joining the bad guys and getting in on their (theoretical) good side then destroying them from within. We have Shane using Chris’ love for Nicole, his baby sister and the only family he’s got, to make him give in. Hell, we have Nicole handing Chris the flask of blood that turns him into a half-vampire.

That scene right there is what brings the Adam and Eve metaphor to light. Nicole is the sinner, bringing her brother into sin. Just like Eve gave Adam the apple and opened his eyes to the nature of sin. At the end of the battle, we see Chris and Nicole standing in a position that mimics the Adam and Eve characters on the pinball machine in the background. Truly, this metaphor is the only one that really worked.

Back to family. This theme is also explored by Edgar Frog. For the casual viewer, you know he has lost a sibling. It is implied to be at the hands of vampires but really never addressed at all. While fighting the vampires, Kyle taunts Edgar by saying “your brother is here!” Somehow that became an utter loose end left un-addressed. Since Alan’s scenes were relegated to the bonus disc, why didn’t the editor remove that line altogether? It just throws a lot of gas on the fire when it comes to the unhappiness felt by fans for being told Alan was going to BE IN THE FILM.

One of the stupidest, but semi-memorable, lines in the film is used first by Chris then Nicole: they’re “family, asshole”. Honestly, that’s the real tag line of Lost Boys: The Tribe. The fact it only half works doesn’t help much.

The string of secondary characters is short, but equally bad.

First up is Aunt Jillian. A familiar sentiment shared so far is the fact that everyone seems to think she’s the answer to Grandpa’s character in The Lost Boys. In fact she’s an anti-Grandpa. You are lead to believe she knows what Chris and Nicole are up against but in the ending (itself a shocking BAD rip off of the end of The Lost Boys!) she says she knows they’re doing drugs and won’t tolerate it. WHAT THE HELL!? In fact, every minute she’s on screen (except when she’s watching out the curtains) is like a thousand nails being driven under my fingernails! She’s horrible in terms of actual character and the actress playing her. The fact she whips out a copy of The Goonies really made it all the worse for me. And yet, we never know exactly how she’s related to Chris and Nicole. We’re told she’s their aunt and a mention of Nicole looking like her mother and that’s it.

So why now is Aunt Jillian taking pity on them? At first I was utterly confused by the location of their house in proximity to hers. It wasn’t until half way through the film I realized she was just across the yard. Way to fail on that! And another nitpick is the stupid Bluetooth headset. Why does Jillian need that?

Lisa, the female vampire that hangs with the Tribe…well… let’s just say she belongs in a bad porno then this movie. There’s absolutely no reason why this character should exist. Poorly acted. Utterly stupid lines. The only redeeming piece of this portion is her death, even if it’s an utter rip off of the original film. Honestly, if you’re looking for links to the original, the antlers are about the biggest piece you’re going to get. Wow, that’s just sad. Someone please tell Moneca Delain to get a new career path.

Evan: Yeah, creepy stalker emo boy indeed. I had hopes for this character. I really did. But it all blew up in my face at the end when he pops over the side of the bed of Edgar’s truck and asks Nicole if he can call her sometime. WHAT THE HELL?! You just spent all that time bound and gagged in a coffin, captured by vampires, nearly killed by the girl you’re pursuing, and all you want is permission to call?! BAH!!?! If this is some kind of “how the male mind works” joke, it sucked. It sucked as much as the “I didn’t know you were born-again Christians!” line.

The bum guy and the little kid in the yard: WHO THE HELL ARE THEY?! WHAT WAS THEIR PURPOSE!?

Overall, even the lines in this movie were unmemorable. Okay, I’m actually recounting them from memory but that’s because they were so unbelievably cheesy and stupid that they got stuck in there only to get made fun of. The Lost Boys was full of memorable and classic one-liners. Lost Boys: The Tribe basically stole those lines, modified them in really unoriginal ways OR stole things and directly pasted them into the script. Edgar’s speech about how vampires die? Lifted nearly word for word from the original. Hell, 3/4ths of what spews from Edgar’s mouth IS from the original.

Now I know why Edgar does that, and I understand the character, but when you look at it from a casual stance, it’s utterly dumb. It worked in the original because he was a 14 year old boy facing un-dead murders who would bite his face off as soon as look at him. It was convincing because Edgar and Alan had moments of sheer terror (the bathroom scene where they cling to one another comes to mind) yet in Lost Boys: The Tribe, we have no moment where Edgar is really made to back down. There’s one that comes close, after Chris kills Jon and Edgar arrives, wanting to know if Chris is “cool”. To which Chris grabs Edgar by the throat and makes it clear he is indeed cool.

As for the little blip that includes Sam Emerson… my god. What a waste of a fantastic scene! Although I am not, by far, a fan of either Corey there was indeed magic on the set that night. For a fifteen second scene there is so much power, so many questions, none of which will ever be answered! What a shame! I even have to say Corey Haim totally pulled that off and I felt like I was really watching Edgar and Sam, all grown up and ready to kill each other over whatever happened between them. WHY?! WHY DID YOU PEOPLE RUIN THAT FOR US!?

After writing all this, the point blank summation of my review is: As a sequel to the classic vampire film The Lost Boys, Lost Boys: The Tribe failed. It completely sucks.

I know it’s been a really really long time since I’ve bothered to update. Sorry. It’s life. You’ll all be happy to know I’ve parlayed my love of strange medical things into a useful career and gone back to learn insurance coding and billing in college. So far it’s paying off.

Anyway, I’m taking a detour from the usual medical craziness I normally (or would) post about to complain about something I feel I need to complain about.

See, one of my all-time favorite movies ever is The Lost Boys, a little vampire film from 1987 that sort of revolutionized vampires as we know them. Granted I was six when it was released and it wasn’t until I was eleven that I properly saw the film but as any of my friends know it’s the movie that cemented me as a vampire lover.

Over the years I’ve made friends who share my love of this movie and its characters, and we all certainly did our share of speculation on a sequel and why it could/couldn’t be made. Some of us even explored things in fanfiction. But as the years went by and Warner Bros remained silent, even with a copy of a “script” floating around the internet, hope kind of died and we just enjoyed our cult-classic film.

Until last year when the rumblings and whispers grew into a roar and the announcement was made that there was indeed a sequel and oh, it’s called Lost Boys: The Tribe.

Huh? Wait a minute…

For those of you under a rock, a brief explanation. See, Corey Feldman apparently really needs money and/or a career boost and somehow he signed on to make this atrocity. Not only Feldman but Corey Haim and Jamison Newlander as well. For those who don’t know the original film, these are Edgar and Alan Frog and Sam Emerson, respectively. Haim played Sam, brother to Jason Patric’s Michael, the “main” character of the film. He happened to be friends with the wannabe vampire slayers the Frog Brothers and now you can see where this is going.

You will note that NONE of the other main characters have signed on to reprise their roles. So no, you will not be seeing Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Jami Gertz, Alex Winter, Billy Wirth, Brooke McCarter, Chance Michael Corbitt, Edward Herrmann, or Dianne Wiest in this movie. Honestly, it would be kinda cool if Barnard “Grandpa” Hughes (RIP) showed up as a zombie.

The excuse for a story is basically set in real time — meaning 21 years have passed since the events of The Lost Boys — and as an added twist, picks up after the events of the comic book prequel Lost Boys: Reign Of Frogs which are supposed to fill in the blanks of what happened post The Lost Boys. If that made any sense.

Lost Boys: The Tribe is set in Santa Carla’s sister city of Luna Bay. Newly orphaned Chris and Nicole Emerson arrive post their parents’ deaths from a car accident to move in with their aunt Jillian. Now, it is implied that these are the children of Michael and Star from the original film. Anyway, in a parallel to their parents’ story, Nicole completely falls head over heels for local vampire Shane, who just happens to run around with three other vamps in a gang called The Tribe. (Oh, that’s original.) Chris, watching his sister turn into a “goddamn shit sucking vampire”, takes action to destroy the vampire menace with help from none other then good old Edgar Frog. Edgar, who has spent time in the trenches fighting the undead, has his own demons to battle (in the form of two people once very close to him *cough cough*) and makes surfboards to keep the cash rolling in. Got all that?

That’s about as spoiler free as I can be with that synopsis.

Oh, and the vampires this time around a “adrenaline junkies”. WTF? Bloody killing sprees ain’t enough? According the interviews, they like to surf and base jump and ride dirt bikes recklessly through coastal towns. Unlike their predecessors who just rode fancy bikes and terrorized the Boardwalk. Yeah… you got me on that one.

So. Back in March, MTV got an exclusive and released the trailer for Lost Boys: The Tribe on their website. You can find both here, plus more about the casting and other spoilers.

Another reason I’m questioning the intent of the filmmakers… see, Kiefer Sutherland played the vampire leader David in the original. Now, it just so happens he’s got a half-brother by the name of Angus Sutherland who just happens to be in his mid-twenties and, oh gee, look slightly similar to his half-brother! And guess what! He got cast as Shane, the leader of The Tribe vampires in Lost Boys: The Tribe! What a coincidence!

Granted, the guy has had all of three acting roles so far (most recently a gay model in Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay) and that’s really no way to judge what he can do so I’m having to hold my tongue on this one. But really, come on! Like we wouldn’t notice he has the same last name, the same vocal tone, and similar looks? And you just wouldn’t stoop to capitalizing on all that, right?

Moving on, it’s been quite quiet on the press front for the last few months. Everyone knows it’s going to be one of the first direct-to-DVD-releases for Warner Bros Premiere. Nope, no theatrical release, despite the pathetically valiant efforts of some weirdos online. I honestly doubt this could ever make enough to warrant a theatrical release. The Two Coreys are just not the box office draw they once were.

Instead, Warner Bros has opted to follow a viral online campaign. Oh joy. I already exhausted myself playing Trent Reznor’s ARG for Nine Inch Nails’ Year Zero. Do I really need to play another for a stupid sequel for a movie I love? I guess so.

Let us explore. (Or more, let me do it for you.)

The City of Luna Bay
Fictional website for the city of Luna Bay, California (the setting of the film.) With listings of events, links to local shops and lodging, most of which are set in real-time (ie: 2008.) Of note are:

The Garlic Press Kitchen Gallery (Look for the director of this stupid film making a cameo as a “Garlic Salesman”. Yes, I’m serious.)

The Big Wave Hair Salon (“Vampy. Voguish. Vixenly.”)

Dragonlady’s Lair (“a movie store for those who only come out at night” with the note: “For the soulless, step into our Room of Blood–hidden behind the black-beaded curtain–where we keep the most horrific, the most vile, the most gory movies ever made.”)

Bayside Antiques (“Stop in. Stay while. We promise not to bite.”)

Rage Motorsports (The Tribe are featured heavily on motorcycles and their mechanic Marcus Sato took off for Santa Cruz and “hasn’t been seen since”.)

Handy Hardware (“For the yard, we have a perpetually changing array of stakes. Wood, metal, plastic. We’re not sure why they fly off our shelves. Perhaps there’s a ghost in our midst.”)

Liquid Crimson (“Drinks flow like liquid crimson–you’ll be dying for a taste. Call us what you want: Goth, dark, alternative, punk, undead–we’re here to stay. If you want to move to our rhythm, you’ll find us when the sun goes down. Don’t make us come find you.”)

Juan Tons (“For the less daring, we offer traditional Chinese food favorites such as white rice and chow mein. Take out is available.”)

Sweet Bites (“Follow your sweet tooth to Sweet Bites…and keep biting!”)

Pie in the Sky Pizzeria (“So what else comes out at night? Just check the names of our pizzas. Like our Vampire pizza–don’t ask what’s in the sauce. And our Slayer’s pizza–covered in steak (not stakes!) and garlic. Eat one of these and the vampires will stay far, far away. Then our Creature from the Ocean Deep pizza, covered in anchovies, scallops, shrimp, and crab. Our Werewolf pizza will make you howl with delight, 8 different cheeses piled so thick you’ll need a mouth the size of a werewolf’s to take a bite.”)

The Sanctuary Inn (“Opened in 1987, The Sanctuary Inn is a Bed & Breakfast at its finest, a haven for travelers seeking shelter and tranquility in the gorgeous seaside city of Luna Bay. Delve into local history by staying in this converted church–the very first church in Luna Bay! Although the church has been remodeled, guests will experience the same peace and ambiance during their stay as the earliest citizens of the city who found sanctuary here.”)

Half Moon Hotel (“and plenty of room for a surfboard or two.”)

Luna Bay Paranormal Investigations link. On the page is (surprise!) a biography for Edgar Frog.

Edgar Frog
Associate Member, Demonologist

“Born in Santa Carla and relocating to the outskirts of Luna Bay, Edgar Frog is our most vigilant member. He does not usually investigate cases with us unless there is suspected demon activity. He is properly equipped to deal with undead, neverdead as well as human threats. He has been in this field since his early teens and understands what is required in the face of danger. This is a calling, not a profession.

When he isn’t assisting those in need, he shapes some of the best surfboards ever to be ridden. His brand of skill is very hard to come by. He also develops technology to assist in investigations and his other work.”

It is also noted that night time tours have been canceled and several investigators are missing… plus, the links to the other organizations and museums are all 404 errors.

Clearly, Luna Bay was founded by vampires. And not only that, but also in 1987! Come on people, you think we won’t notice these not-subtle vampiric word plays?! (And the fact your websites are all coded the same way? Gee, you couldn’t shell out for just a bit of difference between the three sites?) The innuendo is so thick you have to scrape it off your shoes. I think I want to puke.

Oh, and how many more werewolf references do you need? I have this feeling they’re going to be exploring the immortal words of the Frog Bros involving “ghouls and werewolves” and city council positions. Ha! You thought I wouldn’t notice that, did you!

Or, as I give it thought, they’re going with the whole “vampires are allergic to silver” myth. Ah geez, couldn’t you invent something NEW!? (I was hoping for werewolves.)

California Coastal Missing Persons Foundation
A site that lists ads for missing persons. It also has a map that shows the relation of Luna Bay to Santa Carla. Geez, they list Santa Cruz on there…

You’re greeted with “Warning! Our web site has been breached. A number of missing persons have mysteriously been deleted from our database. We apologize for any inconvenience or distress this may cause. We are looking into the problem.” Huh, I wonder why? (Lord, one of the Tribe boys is a techno geek? HAHAHAHAHA!)

Clearly, after an exhausted bit of work on my part, the majority of the missing went missing in Luna Bay. (Note to whomever made this: you flubbed up on the Boardwalk’s location a time or two. Is is Santa Carla or Santa Cruz?) You can sort of trace the movements of the Tribe (*snort*) if you really look at it.

Among the missing, of note:
Trista Benjamin (“May have recently been seen at night with a group of rowdy people in Luna Bay, but this sighting has not been confirmed.”)

Kyle Bloch (One of the vampires is named Kyle)

Lisa Emerson (Went missing at the Boardwalk in Santa Carla on 12/20/1989 and if I have to point out the name…also born in 1974)

Adam Lennard (clearly the Tribe took his bike.)

Steve Whipple (“Leaving home to go surfing with friends in Luna Bay, CA.”)

There are some recent ones (as in the last three months) from Luna Bay, further setting up that the vampires are hunting there. Ooo, spooky. There’s a phone number listed (831) 425-3445 but I haven’t called it. It is also the only website of the three to offer an email address. (Note: I did Google the number and it is indeed a Santa Cruz number. Anyone who calls it, drop me a note and tell me what you get? Thanks!)

Frog Brothers Surf Company
The website for Edgar Frog’s surfboard company. Four types of surfboard models are shown: The Beast, The Hunter, The Predator, The Vamp.

The links page all work, except http://www.surfthewaves.org/ and http://www.surfrider.org/ Whether these are legit or not remains to be seen.

How come Edgar gets the shaft on this? If he’s got such a central role in the film, why such a undeveloped website? Or is it because he’s too busy staking nightstalker ass to hire a webmonkey?

In reality, I posted this here because I know it’s more like to get a lot of traffic (and attention) then anywhere else. Someone has to do the dirty work and I guess that’s me.

For those who are curious, yes I intend to see the film. Some small part inside me did get excited when the trailers were released. I attribute it to the magic and experience of the ORIGINAL film and not the sequel. I’m a sucker (pun intended) for all things Lost Boys and clearly have no qualms of shelling out (within reason) for things related to it. In the future, expect reviews to be posted not only of Lost Boys: The Tribe but as well as the four-part comic book prequel Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs.

I’ve been reading Coal: A Human History by Barbara Freese. It’s a fascinating history of how humans have come to use and rely on the power generated by burning coal. It’s got a bit of an environmentalist bent to it, but I’d highly recommend it!

In my reading, Ms. Freese mentioned something about a ‘killer fog’ event in London during December of 1873. While trying to find information on this event, which is hard, I found something else:

The Killer Fog of ’52

No, I’m not talking about The Fog or its crappy remake!

Between Dec. 5-9th 1952, London was trapped in a fog (or smog, if you will) of epic proportions. Trapped by the inversion layer formed by the dense mass of cold air, the already horrible air pollution became toxic and killed as many as 12,000 people in London.

“The lips of the dying were blue. Heavy smoking and chronic exposure to pollution had already weakened the lungs of those who fell ill during the smog. Particulates and acids in the killer brew finished the job by triggering massive inflammations. In essence, the dead had suffocated.” — NPR: The Great Fog of ’52

Accounts of survivors in a BBC article

A bit more reading from the Met Office file on the Fog of ’52

Fifty years later, people don’t talk much about this event. It’s become a blot in the pages of history. But its impact changed the way people saw the environment and how mankind has polluted it.

Although steps were taken to clean the air in London (and the Earth as a whole, with the Kyoto Protocol) some 20,000 in England alone suffer shortened lives each year do to air pollution.

Just imagine if this happened in Los Angeles. Or New York City. Or Chicago.

As I mentioned in my previous post Solidarity or Statement?, Trent Reznor was shown in the latest video for Nine Inch Nails’ newest single Survivialism wearing what is traditionally called a keffiyeh.

Due to the nature of the video being shot in black and white, you can’t honestly tell if the scarf is really black and white, or what.

Trent in Europe Of course, give it time and a picture will show up.

There you have it. It’s actually a khaki-brown colour with the black design.

Trent’s a sneaky devil.

Since the release of Nine Inch Nails’ Survivalism video, everyone’s probably noticed the scarf Trent’s wearing.

It is a Keffiyeh.

For those not familar, it is a traditional headdress worn by Arab men.

Due to the nature of the video, I can’t tell if there are colours to it, but it seems to be a black and white keffiyeh, which is common to the Levant, aka Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories.

In other ways, the colours mean something else. The black-and-white is often associated with Fatah. The red-and-white keffiyeh is often associated with Hamas. Did Trent know that?

The thing about this, and we all know Trent Reznor is quite big on political statements lately, especially anti-Bush/anti-war as of late, is the use of this keffiyeh. See, the Urban Outfitters chain was selling keffiyeh scarves, labeling them “anti-war woven scarves”. This blog entry at KABOBfest documented the “craze”, showing American teens and trendsetters wearing the “anti-war scarves”, showing “support and solidarity to Palestine”.

Honestly, I don’t really think any single person who purchased one had any damn idea what it was/represents.

Eventually, the outcry grew loud and Urban Outfitters stopped selling them, saying (quote) “Due to the sensitive nature of this item, we will no longer offer it for sale. We apologize if we offended anyone, this was by no means our intention.”

Morons. This isn’t the first time Urban Outfitters done something idiotic.

This store sells keffiyeh with the statment: “Now, however, it has come to symbolize the Palestinian (and Iraqi) resistance to occupation and injustice, and is worn by men and women worldwide as an expression of solidarity.”

This particular article tells of a student who was dared to wear a keffiyeh through US Customs on his return from Israel.

If we take all this into context, obviously Trent was making a statement. At the end of the Survivalism video, a body with a keffiyeh is dragged around a corner, leaving a trail of blood on the floor.

Whether that was just part of his Year Zero alternative-reality game, or a statement of his views on the War On Terror/Middle East conflict remains to be seen.

Past, Present, & Future

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