On this day:At 31st July of 1987, the movie "The Lost Boys" debuted in theaters. "The Lost Boys" is an American horror comedy film starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, and Barnard Hughes. The film is about two Arizona brothers who move to California and end up fighting a gang of young vampires. The title is a reference to the Lost Boys in J. M. Barrie's stories about Peter Pan and Neverland, who, like the vampires, never grow up. The film was followed by two direct to video sequels, "Lost Boys: The Tribe" and "Lost Boys: The Thirst".
Back in the 1980s, vampires weren’t cool. They didn’t go around pretending to be 17-year-old twinks. They didn’t have funky cool hair. And they certainly didn’t become all glittery and gorgeous when they wandered into the sunlight. Yes, the pre -Twilight days of movie vamps were a simpler time. Buffy was but a twinkle in Joss Whedon’s eye, Blade was only in his early embryonic form, and a certain Swede wasn’t getting down and dirty in something called "True Blood".
In 1986 - the year before "The Lost Boys" slipped quietly onto the big screen and kick-started a vampire revolution that is still going strong almost 30 years later - there were a handful of fang flicks. There was Grace Jones getting bitey with it in "Vamp", space expeditions getting sexy with it in "Lifeforce", and Hong Kong getting flippy with it in "Mr Vampire". Only one neck-chewing nasty tapped the teen horror vein successfully, and that was "Fright Night" in 1985. But even "Fright Night" wasn’t quite slick and hip enough to pull off a vampolution.
Enter Richard Donner. Having soared to the top of everybody’s must-have directors list in 1978 with "Superman", the New York native was enjoying mean success with "The Goonies". Fresh from that Spielberg-produced wonder, Donner came across an original screenplay written by first-timers Janice Fischer and James Jeremias, which had been dumped by original director Richard Franklin. It was called "The Lost Boys". So Donner called up Joel Schumacher and asked him to give the script a glance...
Schumacher loved the title, a darkly comic riff on Peter Pan’s gang of rebellious young vagabonds, who refuse to grow up, instead embracing their eternal youth. Having just directed teen Brat Pack pic "St Elmo’s Fire", Schumacher spied potential in Boys as something more suited to an adolescent audience. Turfing out the vampire kids storyline, and going for a sexier, racier approach, Schumacher set about doing something that many thought couldn’t be done, merging comedy and horror into a hybrid entity that somehow came out smelling like roses.
The story centres on Michael Emerson. He, his mother and brother have recently moved to Santa Carla after his mother's divorce. With nothing to do until school starts, he spends his evenings mooching around the beachfront's boardwalk and eventually falls in with a motorcycle gang. Who just so happen to be vampires. Nothing unusual there, then. Egged on by the gang, Michael unwittingly drinks blood, which gradually transforms him into a vampire. Michael's brother enlists help from a pair of vampire hunting brothers to save Michael (and the rest of the town).
The cast are superb – they're all pretty 80's youngsters, obviously employed because of their market value at the time, but decent actors nonetheless. Jason Patric is perfect as Michael, the handsome but gullible new kid in town, who falls for the beautiful Star and unknowingly, descends into vampirism to get closer to her. Kiefer Sutherland does a great turn as the ultra-cool, menacing (but seductively persuasive) leader-of-the-pack-vampire, David. The vampire gang are impossibly cool, the epitome of 80's fashion and teen attitude. Not to mention having cast Alex Winter as Marco - Bill S. Preston Esquire with fangs!
Jami Gertz's Star is fittingly mysterious and evasive, but the real stars of the show are the Frog brothers - teenage vampire hunters/comic bookstore owners, fighting the good fight for Justice, Truth, and The American Way. Michael's brother Sam enlists their help to put a stop to vampirism taking over his family (and, eventually, the town). With lines like "Kill your brother. You'll feel better" they're the best bit of comic relief in this movie. Corey Haim manages a good performance as Sam, Michael's younger brother and Diane Wiest is fab as their unsuspecting mother.
Set in Santa Carla's beachfront (so named to avoid associations between Santa Cruz and the film's gang-related themes.) it's full of carnival music, twinkling lights and sparkling nighttime beaches, which give it a slightly surreal atmosphere. Of course there's always the token struggle between good and evil, from Michael's Mother nearly sucumbing to the charms of the head vampire, and Michael almost being shoved across the line into fully fledged vampirism, but it's all still very entertaining.
It's comically gory, lots of body parts exploding, stakings and burnings. And it contains some of the more 'realistic' vampire-esquire makeup effects – the vampires look like they really would like to tear your face off. Although the movie is nearly 30 years old, apart from certain elements of hairstyles and clothing, (like David's choice mullet and Star's exploding-poodle-style perm) it doesn't look that dated at all, and has a cracking 80's power ballad soundtrack. Slightly darker than a teen movie, but just as fun, this will remain a firmly beloved classic for many years to come.#TheLostBoys #LostBoys #80sMovies #Movies #JasonPatric #KieferSutherland #CoreyHaim #CoreyFeldman #DianneWiest #HorrorFilm #Horror #FantasyFilm #Fantasy #ComedyDrama #Onthisday #MovieReview