The Lost Boys

Oh, The Lost Boys, how do I love you? Let me count the ways. You have Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Jason Patrick, and Kiefer Sutherland. You have awesome music and a crazy grandpa. The Lost Boys is a movie where this happened.
I love you, The Lost Boys! Seriously, The Lost Boys was a legit modernization of old vampire mythos. There were still the old vampire rules, like staying out of the sun and death by a stake in the heart, but these vampires were young and mostly wanted to have fun. They lived in an abandoned hotel and spent most of their time on the boardwalk.
Sam (Corey Haim), Mike (Jason Patrick, and their mom, (Dianne Weist) are moving to Santa Carla from Phoenix.
They’re moving in with their awesome, curmudgeonly and eccentric grandfather (Barnard Hughes.) Grandpa understands the importance of root beer, double-stuffed Oreos, and taxidermy.
Santa Carla is a weird little boardwalk town. According to grandpa, if the corpses buried in Santa Carla all stood up at once there’d be one hell of a population problem. There are missing person posters plastered everywhere.
Mom gets a job at a video store, Sam befriends the Frog brothers Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander), while Mike falls in with a group of punks lead by David (Kiefer Sutherland.)

Alan and Edgar Frog.

Alan and Edgar Frog.

Mike starts acting weird pretty quickly. He starts staying out all night, is sensitive to the sun, and Nanook, the family dog, catches him trying to attack Sam. According to the Frog brothers, who work at their family’s comic book shop, Mike has been vamped. The only way to save him is to kill the head vampire.
They think that David is the head vampire after Max, mom’s new boyfriend, fails the vampire tests (Aversion to garlic, burning with holy water, and appearing in a mirror.) After all, he’s the one leading a gang and he’s the one with a fruit-bat face.
Wrong! Turns out it was Max all along. The problem is that they invited Max into their house, making him immune to those tests. Or something. Anyway, there’s a big battle between Mike, Sam, Star and Laddie (Two other half vampires), and the Frog brothers fighting the vampire gang. Grandpa finally drives his truck through the wall of the house, allowing Mike to stake Max. He gets out and says what’s probably the most famous line in The Lost Boys, “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach, all the damn vampires.”
So the movie is about half teenage comedy and half horror, but it somehow works. I think a lot of it works based on the acting ability of Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Jason Patrick, and Kiefer Sutherland. A lesser cast would have reduced the movie to silliness. Plus, there are some realistic moments. When you find out your older brother’s a vampire what do you do? Threaten to tell mom, duh.
The movie isn’t really scary, it’s more tense, even though I’ve watched it a gazillion times. It’s still interesting watching Mike change. The effects are mostly understated and you don’t see any real blood until the ending battle. What I like about these vampires is that they’re not as gross as the Near Dark vampires but not as decadent as the Interview with the Vampire vampires.
What I particularly like about the movie is the care taken with shot composition. The movie could probably have gotten away with being sloppy since it’s “just” a horror movie but it’s actually beautifully filmed. The boardwalk is filled with awesome freaks and is practically a character in the movie. I especially love the flying shots they used to signify the vampire gang flying.
I also love the music. The soundtrack is a mixture of orchestral music with eighties rock done by bands that I actually like. These are bands and artists that a geezer like me grew up with, such as INXS, Roger Daltrey, and Echo and the Bunnymen.
So, this movie is basically a fun eighties horror comedy. It’s not necessarily scary but it definitely pays honor to its source material.


About scarina

I like scary movies a little too much. I thought I'd share my obsession with you.
This entry was posted in 1980's, comedy, supernatural, vampires and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Lost Boys

  1. This is another one of my faves, where I know some of the dialogue by heart. And oh, the eighties fashions!

  2. Crypticpsych says:

    This October at some point, as part of a plan to FINALLY come up with a top 10 or 20 horror movies for myself…I’m planning to make a list of the most shameful horror movies I’ve not yet seen (so that people can’t ask why certain movies aren’t on the list). Sadly, this’ll be on the list alongside Texas Chainsaw (Got bored by it in college, shut it off five minutes in, never have fully finished it), Phenomena, The Beyond, Candyman, and others.
    It’s always weird with the movies I KNOW I’ll like once I actually sit down to watch them. I just need more hours in the day is all.
    Oh, and be careful with those direct-to-dvd sequels they did…I’ve heard they hurt like a vampire at the Equator.

    • scarina says:

      Do it! It kind of makes me feel better that you haven’t seen it, though, since you’ve seen so many more than movies than I have. Maybe it kind of balances out.
      The sequels just make me sad, they seem so desperate.

  3. The first screenplay written by Janice Fischer and James Jeremias, was about “a bunch of Goonies -type 5th-6th grade kid vampires”, with the Frog Brothers as “chubby 8-year-old Cub Scouts”, and Star appearing as a boy instead of a love interest. The original inspiration came from James Jeremias, who caught upon the notion that Peter Pan could fly, visited Wendy and her brothers at night, and never grew old. The simple notion that Peter Pan was a vampire was the genesis for the story. In the first draft of the script, the character of David, later played by Kiefer Sutherland, was originally named Peter, other characters also had names from the Peter Pan story. In the final draft, many name changes were made, but originally – the two brothers were Michael and John (which was later changed to Sam) and the mother’s name was Wendy. The most quintessential nod to the Pan story is the dog, Nanook – inspired by the character Nana the dog. The Grandfather character was never a part of the original story – but later created in the draft by Jeffrey Boam, who was hired to do the final rewrite of The Lost Boys. The Frog Brothers Edgar and Alan are named after the Gothic author, Edgar Allan Poe.

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