THE LOST BOYS (1987)
The Lost Boys is a bonafide classic that works as both a charming and fun bit of 80s nostalgia and a timeless horror favorite. Both quintessential 80s movie with all the delightfully nostalgic fashions and hairstyles and cool horror thriller with it’s portrayal of both the dangerous and alluring side of it’s vampire fiends. The title in itself is a reference to The Lost Boys of Peter Pan, youths who remain forever young and the lure of eternal youth, an everlasting party, is a theme a lot of us can identify with. When I saw this in a theater in 1987, I was still in the out-all-night bar hopping and concert going stage of my twenties and, hell yea, I could identify with that. I still miss those days. But I digress…
The Lost Boys tells of siblings Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (80s icon, the late Corey Haim) who, with their mom (Dianne Wiest) move to Santa Carla, CA. a beach-side town where their grandfather lives. Their parents are divorced and both brothers are coming to terms with that and their new surroundings, especially when eccentric Grandpa (Bernard Hughes) tells them that Santa Carla has an unusually high death rate. But, a night on the boardwalk changes things as Michael meets the beautiful and mysterious, Star (Jami Gertz) and the equally mysterious and volatile, David (Kiefer Sutherland in the role that made him a star) and his gang of young toughs. But, there is more to David and his boys then dressing like an 80s metal band and riding motorcycles. These Lost Boys are actually vampires who have been stalking and feeding on the inhabitants of this coastal community. And they are insistent Michael join them in their eternal party and start his transformation into one of the bloodsucking undead. But, all hope is not lost as Sam has befriended the weird Frog Brothers, Edgar and Alan (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) who fill him in on Santa Carla’s vampire problem and want him to join them in slaying the undead menace. Now Sam is faced with trying to save Michael from a fate worse then death before he fully turns, while fending off David and his gang and, their mother’s suspicious acting new boyfriend (Edward Herrmann). Can Sam save Michael’s soul or will he become another victim of David and his vampire posse? Lost Boys is simply a blast. Before being vilified for his treatment of the Batman series, director Joel Schumacher perfectly blended laughs and fun with thrills and chills. David and his band of living dead teens are portrayed with equal parts menace and cool. We have no doubt that they are the bad guys, they’re quite lethal, but, they are also really cool and we can understand Michael initially being drawn to them as his personal life situation makes him feel weak and alone. With David and company he can be strong and rebellious but, the price of being an undead fiend maybe be too much for him to pay… and David is not one to take ‘no’ for an answer. And let’s not forget that Star is among them and Michael has fallen for her. Sam is a loyal little brother who cares about Michael, who is all he has as the two are trying to get used to the new life mom seems quickly adjusted to, and we understand why he is willing to fight ‘tooth and nail’ to save his brother’s soul. Aside from a witty script and Schumacher getting the material perfectly, the cast is also strong and also get the tone of their characters. Patric is good as a rebellious youth who has the foresight to realize he has gotten into something a little too dark and dangerous and Corey Haim is equally good and a lot of fun as a loving little brother who is ready to battle unearthly forces to save his sibling though he has a hard time believing what is really happening at first. Sutherland is a top notch villain as the eternal teen, David who is both vicious monster and bad boy heartthrob. A rock star vampire. Dianne Wiest really captures the loving mom but, one who is determined to have a happy new life for herself and her kids despite their reluctance. I personally identified with this part of the film as years earlier my parents divorced and my mother quickly met a new guy and moved us away from our friends and home to live with him. This filmed nailed all that comes with that perfectly. Jami Gertz is beautiful and alluring as Star and not only do we believe Michael falling for her (what guy in the audience didn’t?) but, she adds a bit of sadness to the mysterious young woman and her reluctance to to see Michael become a monster like she’s becoming is heartfelt. And Corey Feldman creates a classic character to equal Sutherland’s David with the bizarre yet noble vampire killer, Edgar Frog. He is a treat to watch and gives the film a lot of it’s humor. There is a lot of action, a nice helping of teen romance, a lot of fun sequences especially with Sam and the Frogs and there is a genuine helping of horror when we see David and minions on the attack and in the final confrontation that comes in the last act and Schumacher smartly plays all the horror sequences straight to maximum effect. And speaking of effects, the FX here are all good and still hold up, done the old fashioned way with no CGI. The film’s visual style certainly evokes a music video vibe but, this was the 80s and MTV was still all the rage and this was back when they actually still showed music videos! Add to that one of the best movie soundtracks of all time and you have a great 80s flick that is a timeless classic and is every bit as entertaining as you’d want from a date night movie!
So, why is the Lost Boys a great date movie… why not? First off it has a sexy young cast and a hip cool soundtrack to surround the story in. We have a horror flick with fairy tale elements intertwined within, a great combination for a date flick. We have the love story between Michael and Star to set the mood, a fight between good and evil with heroes we can cheer and laugh with and, villains to boo and yet secretly wish we could be. And the only possible hinderance is if you or your date find the whole 80s thing a bit cheesy instead of delightfully nostalgic but, I personally think the film’s story elements are timeless enough to overcome how much the film embraces it’s time period. It’s a romantic, thrilling and fun movie and all those elements should give your movie date a nice start… the rest is up to you!
… that equals a very strong 4 on the Date-O-Meter!
MONSTERZERO NJ BONUS!: And as an extra treat… let’s take a look at one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time…
THE LOST BOYS SOUNDTRACK
In my humble opinion The Lost Boys soundtrack is one of the best movie soundtracks ever. Like the movie itself it is a quintessential 80s soundtrack yet, the songs are timeless enough to be enjoyed outright and not just as nostalgia. We get great tunes like INXS’ “Good Times” a rocker which matches with the film’s story elements of eternal youth and a life of partying and might be one of the most iconic tunes off this soundtrack as is Lou Gramm’s “Lost In The Shadows”. Close behind those two is the moody and atmospheric “Cry Little Sister” by Gerald McMann. We have some classic covers like Roger Daltrey doing Elton John’s “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” and Echo And The Bunnymen doing The Doors’ “People Are Strange”. And I would be remiss not to mention The Call’s “I Still lBelieve” which is performed in the film by Tim Cappello who you may remember as the saxophone player who is built and dressed like Conan The Barbarian and performed in Tina Turner’s band during her heyday in the 80s. A great album of tunes that perfectly complements a classic flick. A few songs might not be up to the rest but, that is a minor quibble with all the good stuff here.
1) Good Times performed by INXS and Jimmy Barnes
2) Lost In The Shadows (The Lost Boys) performed by Lou Gramm
3) Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me performed by Roger Daltrey
4) Laying Down The Law performed by INXS and Jimmy Barnes
5) People Are Strange performed by IEcho and the Bunnymen
6) Cry Little Sister (Theme From The Lost Boys) performed by Gerald McMann
7) Power Play performed by Eddie and the Tide
8) I Still Believe performed by Tim Cappello
9) Beauty Has Her Way performed by Mummy Calls
10) To The Shock Of Miss Louise performed by Thomas Newman
A classic 3 and 1/2 guitars!
If you or your date like vampire movies check out MonsterZero NJ’s Saturday Night Double Feature featuring 30 Days Of Night and John Carpenter’s Vampires…
or Jim Mickle’s novel and ferocious apocalyptic vampire flick Stake Land…
“They’re only noodles, Michael.”