A Look Back at…’The Lost Boys’!

by Larry Dwyer

In the sweltering heat of summer, on July 31st of 1987, the eightiest of eighties vampire films was unleashed upon the world. Directed by Joel Schumacher, who was fresh off of the “Brat Pack” coming-of-age film St. Elmo’s Fire, The Lost Boys made 32.2 million dollars on a budget of 8.5 and also made scores of girls love vampires long before Edward Cullen hit the scene.

The Beginning…

Recently divorced Lucy is moving her and her children Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) to the coastal California town Santa Carla to stay with her father for a while. Only referred to as Grandpa (and Dad) throughout the film, folks may recognize veteran actor Barnard Hughes from 1982’s Tron. The film opens with a pan-in shot of a boardwalk full of games and rides and a group of rock-star dressed youths fucking around on a carousel. Then a quick cut to Lucy, Michael, Sam and Nanook (the pup) driving to Grandpas. The group passes the “Welcome to Santa Carla” sign and Michael notices that someone has spray-painted Murder Capital of the World” on the back of it – that’s not creepy at all. Cue Echo & the Bunnymen’s ‘People are Strange’ cover.

Exploring the scene…

Later on Michael, Sam and Lucy head in to town; Lucy to look for a job and Sam and Michael to check out the Boardwalk. Lucy stumbles into a video store (god, I miss video stores) and meets with the owner Max (Ed Herrmann) who throws some punks out of the store before offering her a job. Sam hits a comic shop and meets the wonderful Frog Brothers (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) for the first time who try to warn him about the blood-sucking nature of Santa Carla. Michael leaves Sam to check out the rest of the scene and this is where he sees two beautiful sights for the first time: the first being Tim Cappello and his shirtless, oily, gyrating, saxy rendition of The Call’s ‘I Still Believe’. The second is the lovely Star (Jami Gertz) who Michael falls hard for and follows around like a puppy as she leads him directly to David (Kiefer Sutherland) and his group of friends – who we’ve already seen at the carousel and in the video store.

You big dummy…

So while Michael doesn’t seem to particularly like David or his friends, he still can’t resist their efforts to get him to “join them”. After a few times messing with him, they bring him to their home/cave which, of course, includes a 10 foot tall Jim Morrison poster. They also have worms, maggots and blood….umm..or noodles, rice and wine? David messes with Michael some more until he gets him to drink the blood which turns him into one of the undead.

What happens next?

Sam finds out that Michael is a bloodsucker so he does the only thing he can think of, he enlists the help of the Frog Brothers. The brothers Frog immediately want to dispatch of Michael but Sam convinces them otherwise and they realize that if they kill the head vampire, Michael will be freed of the curse. The boys deduce that Lucy’s new boss, and potential lover, is probably the head vampire so they cook up a plan to test him at dinner. They bust out the holy water, chopped garlic, mirrors, etc. but…does it work?

Watch the movie!

Final Thoughts…

In a decade full of awesome vampire films like Fright Night, Near Dark and Lifeforce (shut up, I like Lifeforce), The Lost Boys has retained its stature as one of the best…or at least one of it’s most famous. Aside from the glorious vampires played by Bill & Teds Alex Winter and American Gladiator’s Billy Wirth, the image of Keifer Sutherland’s David character has become among horror’s most iconic images and the film also has the distinction of being the first collaboration between “The Two Coreys”: Feldman and Haim.


Stay gory my friends,

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