Long before the conception of the “Twilight” films, there was another movie based on teenage vampires living in a small town. Unlike the “Twilight” films, this movie delivered real vampires and a good deal of laughs.That production was the 1987 film “The Lost Boys.”
The film begins with the Emerson family moving to the town of Santa Carla after Lucy (Dianne Wiest) splits up with her husband. Michael (Jason Patric) decides to head into town to see what’s going on.
He soon meets a girl named Star (Jami Gertz) with whom he is instantly smitten. However, after his first encounter with her friend David (Kiefer Sutherland) and his gang, Michael’s world is turned upside down as he becomes cursed by the vampires.
Michael’s decent into vampirism only makes things worse for those around him.
His younger brother Sam (Corey Haim) is a dorky, comic book reader who discovers that his brother is becoming a vampire. Freaked out by this, he desperately tries to find a cure with the help of “vampire experts” Edgar and Alan Frog (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander, respectively).
Both Patric and Haim’s performances create a believable brotherly bond as they deal with the supernatural.
One interesting bit of movie trivia is this film was the first time both Corey Haim and Corey Feldman worked on set together; forming a friendship and acting career so strong that it would label them in Hollywood as “The Two Corey’s.”
Director Joel Schumacher’s vision of the film showcases the dark, gritty, and bizarre mid- 80s teen culture. His visual style shows everything from the fashion trends of the Lost Boys leather jackets and hideout to the comic book shop that Sam visits on his first outing.
The town of Santa Carla itself takes a life of its own with a population of bizarre characters. From teens with Mohawks, Goths, and misfits walking the streets, the real vampires almost seem normal in comparison.
The film’s plot is split up among its three main protagonists: Michael’s encounters with David’s gang, Sam consulting with the Frog Brothers and Lucy dating the local video store owner Max (Edward Hermann).
The film’s pacing is rather quick, especially for an 80s teen film, so don’t expect the plot to slow down anytime soon.
The film’s soundtrack reflects the teen influence of the movie nicely as Michael and Sam encounter with the occult. From a cover version of The Doors’ song “People are Strange” by Echo & the Bunnymen, to the song “Good Times,” a duet between INXS and former Cold Chisel lead singer Jimmy Barnes; the soundtrack keeps the film pumped and lively.
One song in particular that really sticks out is the main theme song, “Cry Little Sister,” originally performed by Gerard McMahon.
Its haunting melody and lyrics capture the feel of the film. From Michael’s battle with his inner demons to the budding romance between him and Star, the mood is beautifully set.
Each actor gives a solid performance, giving real life to their characters and having fun with their parts. This is especially true with Sutherland’s performance as the bold, suave, and ruthless David.
The scenes with Haim, Feldman and Newlander checking for vampires alone are funny.
“The Lost Boys” tries its best to look menacing as Michael, Sam, and the Frog Brothers must face off against David and his vampire gang. However, any attempt to make the film seem scary either comes off as silly, ridiculous, or way too over-thetop. But that same token is what gives the film its B-Movie charm.
This is the kind of teen vampire film that does not try to take itself seriously, as it is more akin to more of a horror comedy. As long as you’re able to go along with it, you will have a fun time.
At least these vampires don’t sparkle in sunlight!
Patrick Viesti is a fourth year student at West Chester University, majoring in communications studies. He can be reached at PV682167@wcupa.edu