Friday, November 7, 2008

Ballads available for pre-order and reflections on Lost Boys 2

So my second novel, BALLADS OF SUBURBIA, is available for pre-order on Amazon already! If you're really excited about it (and I hope you are), you can go ahead and pre-order it here. Apparently the release date is July 21, 2009. No one told me this yet, just that it is coming out in July, so don't consider that confirmed until it gets a little closer. You never know what to expect with the book industry. I also think it's funny that they have already decided it is 304 pages. Interesting considering I haven't even done revisions on it yet. But regardless, I am mega-excited it that it is listed now because that makes it feel more real. Hopefully it does the same for you, too, and of course if you want a sneak peek of what the book is all about, visit the backstage pass area of my website!

Last night, Scott and I finally got around to watching Lost Boys: The Tribe last night. The original Lost Boys movie is one of my all-time favorites. Yeah, it's 80s, yeah it's cheesy, but I freakin' love it. (And I know I'm not alone, Melissa Walker listed it among her favorite 80s movies in her blog today, too. It must be that YA author psychic connection thing...)

My freshman year in college at Antioch, I was particularly obsessed. We watched it many times that year, in my dorm room and I hazily recall breaking into the "Wellness Center" (aka the counseling/health center on the first floor of our building), getting drunk, watching Lost Boys, and playing this "Road to Recovery" board game as drinking game (so wrong and inappropriate, I know). In fact, my dear friend Lindsay and I took the Lost Boys obsession and turned it into a full-on Corey Feldman/Corey Haim movie obsession. We went to every video store in a 30 mile radius searching for lesser known (read: B or C) Feldman/Haim movies. (Hey, don't judge. We were bored to death in the cornfields of Ohio!) The highlights from our quest included Dream a Little Dream 2, which for some reason we watched multiple times, horrified by CF's Michael Jackson wardrobe; Voodoo, a truly bad and cheesy horror movie, and Blown Away, which is basically softcore porn and personally I was traumatized by seeing CH's butt (wrong, wrong, wrong!! especially if you best remember CH from his high pitched prepubescent singing in the bathtub in Lost Boys).

Because of this obsession, you'd think I would have been one of the very first to see the new Lost Boys movie, but I was afraid. I have had bad experiences with sequels of movies I love (outside of Harry Potter and Pirates and LOTR and movies with planned sequels). I was so horrified by the Crow 2 and my friends and I so vocal about our outrage we actually got thrown out of the theater. And Lost Boys: The Tribe was a straight to DVD release. Not a good sign. So I decided to go into it with a different mindset than I did with Crow 2. I expected this to be totally cheesy and not nearly as good as the original. All I hoped was that Corey Feldman (he's my favorite, CH is just not nearly as cool) would entertain me. And I got exactly what I expected.

Surfer vampires? Cheesy. Funny. I mean I guess mulletted vampires are too, but Kiefer Sutherland is definitely the better actor than his half-brother, who I honestly thought was trying to cover up some sort of accent by the way he delivered his lines, but I checked and he's Canadian. The special effects? Awful. In the original Lost Boys, they seemed to know that the special effect technology they had was lacking so they just used certain camera techniques to imply action and violence and it was way way WAY better. I'm not a huge special effects fan period, but when you have a low budget like this straight to dvd release clearly did, um, just don't use them! Corey Feldman's performance? Awesome! He had the hair, the voice, the look and even used some of the same lines as he did in the first film. In fact I think the best thing about the movie was the small tributes to the first film. Like remember that saxophone player with a Michael Bolton mullet wearing what basically amounts to a codpiece who performs an atrocious song on the Boardwalk in the first movie? They show that guy fat and playing music for spare change in this movie. Scott and I laughed hysterically. Oh and there was a new version of my favorite song from the movie, "Cry Little Sister" and it was done by Aiden, who I am not familiar with but I am seeing them play with Civet next month and I really really hope they play that cover! Here's the video of it, so you can enjoy it with me!

Okay but here are my three gripes about the film.

1. The writing sucked, which I knew it would but I couldn't help being a bit critical as a writer of why they didn't do some simple things to give us some backstory. Like I only knew from reading the DVD sleeve that Nicole and Chris's parents were dead, the vague conversations with their aunt didn't really do it for me and I only know now from reading an interview with Corey Feldman, that Nicole and Chris were supposed to be niece and nephew of Sam and Michael from the first film.

2. How come when dudes get turned into vampires they can control their urges and actions, but when chicks get turned into vampires they turn into raging bloodsucking whores? When Nicole is turned into a vampire, she immediately vamps out, tries to kill her brother and then the next night when she is left alone, she calls this poor emo kid who had a crush on her and attempts to seduce him in order to suck his blood. However when Chris is made into a vampire and put into a situation by the other vampires where he is supposed to hook up with a chick and kill her, there are no raging hormones and bloodlust. He has enough self control to try to help the chick escape. Not to get on my feminist soapbox here, but I can help but think this is a statement, perhaps a subconscious one, that perpetuates the idea that women are "hysterical" and unable to control their emotions in times of crisis. Either that or they just wanted to get as many scenes with women taking their clothes off as possible... I guess that is the cheesy horror movie way. But I read that Joel Schumacher who made the first Lost Boys wanted to make a Lost Girls film and I hope it was about a gang of bad ass girl vampires. I'd want to see that film. I have to say that it has always bugged me that women are just damsels in distress in most vampire tales (or raging sluts). The only one I've seen/read with an empowered female lead is Jeri Smith Ready's book, Wicked Game which is why I adore that book so much.

3. Speaking of wishing it was a different kind of film and also the writing... It drives me nuts that they keep alluding to Corey Feldman's brother being turned into a vampire, but we don't get to learn anything about that at all. We don't even see him except for in the alternate endings and we don't see Corey Haim until the credits. I guess this is to set up a possible third movie, which CH said (along with saying that he didn't like LB2) is gonna happen in a recent interview. But I just don't understand, why not make that movie in the first place? Clearly, it's the more interesting story, vampire hunter turned vampire, and it involves more of the original cast, and from all the hints it seemed to be what the writers wanted to do. So why not just do it?

Like I said, I took this movie for what it was, a straight to DVD cheesy horror movie, and I was fine with that for the most part, but the hints that it could have been something way better made me wish for something more. And now I'm pulling for a LB3 with more Corey & Corey screen time and more of the original storyline.

Wow, you guys probably think I am a complete and total dork now, dontcha? Hey, we've all gotta be fan-girls (or guys) of something. Sometimes my things are cool, sometimes they are cheesy!

What about you? Any obsessions you want to share?


Anonymous said...

I think your obsession is adorable. Um, I mean fierce! It is totally fierce.

If you have the Lost Boys SE DVD watch the Vampires of the World feature on disc 2. Our friend Alan did the art and Will did the narration.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

I don't have the SE DVD. I'm still watching my videotape from the Antioch days! But this gives me an excuse to buy it promptly!!!