Vampires are as mainstream as zombies in this day and age. You can’t throw a stick without hitting something making fun of or homage to Dracula or Nosferatu. More times than not, the character would be comical and have an over the top ‘Transylvanian’ accent or be wholesome. I’m looking at you Count von Count. Vampires have been deeply rooted in our myths and legends, many coming from immigrants fleeing the old world to America for better opportunities. With them came stories and myths passed down from the ages and imbedded in their culture. Soon they became part of our own culture, interwoven in complex stories and legends with multiple books and movies made about them.
Before Interview with the Vampire was released into theaters to fans all over the world, there was The Lost Boys. I never saw The Lost Boys when I was younger. It looked to me honestly really uninteresting and I was way more interested in Interview with the Vampire (Tom Cruise played a damn good Lestat, okay?) Loads of people were surprised by the fact that I had never watched the movie. I simply told them I just wasn’t interested in it. Well my resolve finally broke down and I decided to sit down and watch it and the whole 80s madness that it is.
The Lost Boys stars Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Jamison Newlander and Jami Gertz to name a few. I actually found the cast to be really hilarious with some of the people in it. As I sat watching it I would constantly have to stop the movie and turn to my boyfriend with the age-old question of “Isn’t that such and such from this movie?” This time being “Isn’t that the guy from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey?” and indeed it was. That little fact kinda distracted me quite a bit with the movie cause I’m gonna be honest I was really waiting for him to shout “Be Excellent!”
The film takes place in the fictional town of Santa Carla, I got confused on if this was supposed to be in New Jersey or California until I looked it up because the boardwalk looked like the one in New Jersey so I started calling the place JerCali. The story revolves mostly around brothers Michael and Sam and recently divorced, super optimistic mom Lucy as they move in with Lucy’s father, only referred to as Grandpa.
I have to give points to this movie that the only real part that scared me was the fact that Grandpa was really good at taxidermy, which freaked me out no matter what. Vampires are one thing but taxidermy scars you forever and haunts your nightmares while its still in the room.
We meet the Lost Boys a little later on as they terrorize the boardwalk, getting kicked from stores and yelled at by store owners while Michael stares longingly at Star, who appears to be in a relationship with David, the leader of the biker gang. I had an amusing thought about the design of Kiefer Sutherland’s character and randomly thought how much of the budget went into the Aquanet needed for his hair. This movie dragged on for quite some time until we really saw that there were indeed vampires in it. I mean yeah, the gorge scene where they hang off the train tresses and then fall into the fog could be a big sign of them being vampires but that could also be the sign of many other things, like ghouls or what have you.
This movie didn’t play like a horror movie it played more like one part at attempted horror, with the vampires dragging people out of their car up into the air without you seeing them to add to the growing unknown of “well are David and them really vampires?!”, one part The Monster Squad with the self-proclaimed vampire hunters the Frog brothers played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander who advises Sam on vampires by giving him horror comics (thought I found it really hilarious watching Edgar try to act like Rambo and be all tough until shit hit the fan.) The rest was like watching an art film playing over Cry Little Sister with plenty of scenery shots.
At this point everyone has seen The Lost Boys so I won’t talk much about plot or what the movie is about. I will speak about how good I thought it was and some of the bad parts. One of the good parts was the plot twist at the end with Max being the head vampire. An even better part was Grandpa being an utter accidental badass and running his car through the wall and destroying Max. I had an issue with the way they turned Michael into a half vampire but it was a unique way they did it with the wine. I enjoy that they took the normal bite and blood transfer and threw it out the window. The way that Michael became a full vampire was also really great because while he needed blood to become a full vampire they never said it couldn’t be his own.
There were plenty of cheese parts to it like watching Edgar smash garlic then dump it in the bathtub full of holy water, despite them being young these kids really came up with some clever ideas like the garlic holy water in the squirt guns. I enjoy that the bathtub holy water comes into play later with the Frog Brothers using it to kill one of the vampires, after cowering and running from said vampire. Exploding vampire was an amazing sight even if it was overly dramatic with him destroying all of the plumbing in the entire house.
I was glad to see Star and Laddie never gave into their half vampire side and didn’t help David, we do see Laddie struggling to control his vampire side and try to attack the brothers but Star keeps him back. This does give us hope for Michael as he faces David, Michael embraces his vampire side long enough to take out David to save everyone and try to take out Max.
The Lost Boys is somewhat a slow burn but I thoroughly enjoyed it because we get a chance to see Michael struggle to understand what’s happening to him and then struggle with what he should do about it. At no point does he toys with the idea of joining David, only going along with him until he sees what they truly are. He proves he’s a hero, albeit an unwilling one. If you haven’t seen The Lost Boys yet I do suggest seeing it and seeing the film that helped influence Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Interview with the Vampire and certain scenes in What We Do in the Shadows. I give it four out of five creepy taxidermy owls for effort and a badass Grandpa.