The Lost Boys (1987)
Director: Joel Schumacher
Screenwriters: Jan Fischer, James Jeremias, Jeffrey Boam
Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Jami Gertz, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander
The Lost Boys brought vampire narratives back into focus for the MTV-era with a peroxide mullet-sporting villain at the helm.
Panned by critics but coveted by cult audiences, The Lost Boys (1987) stamps out any trace of Stoker resurgence by tapping into the veins of teen viewers, sucking the life-blood out of what it means to be young.
Divorcee Lucy (Wiest) moves her two sons Sam (Haim) and Michael (Patric) to Santa Carla to live with her elderly taxidermy-loving father. Sam learns that the town is crawling with vampires, and that his brother Michael is destined for an undead future.
In a race against time, Sam and his new vampire-hunter friends the Frog Brothers (Feldman and Newlander) must find the head vampire and kill him before Michael gets a taste for blood.
Patric’s portrayal of moody Michael is the only vampiric performance of the film. As he broods and pouts in the shadows, David’s (Sutherland) merry gang of blood-suckers seem to be having the time of their life… or is that death?
With Michael torn between adolescence and adulthood, plus, appearances from Feldman and Sutherland; this movie could pass for the horror version of Stand By Me.
The typically male ‘coming-of-age’ experience is put under the spotlight by director Joel Schumacher, who adds little dabs of comedy within his hyper-violent account of what becoming a vampire – or should I say “adult male”? – is really all about.
There is undoubtedly an addiction sub-text, as Michael sleeps all day and “parties” all night, growing ever distant from his family and wearing sunglasses 70% of the time.
Luckily, the Corey duo are there to give this movie an entertainment injection with their epic adventure (yes, they ride places on their bikes to non-diegetic music) to save Santa Carla from David’s vamps.
Featuring my favourite oil-covered, leather trousers wearing saxophone players and one of the best soundtracks to ever come out of a horror, The Lost Boys is undeniably 80’s (it is so undeniable that it made it onto my list of “The 8 most 80’s movies of the 1980s”).
Ignore the critics, unless that critic is me, because The Lost Boys is like Fright Night’s older and scarier brother.
It has violence, vampire happenings and laughs throughout. It constantly pokes fun at itself and horror in general, while making targeted and intentional jabs at its target audience. It may not have wowed audiences back in ’87, but it’s a real contender in the vampire genre.
Give it a try and see if you like it. After all, “they’re only noodles Michael”.
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