Film and Documentary

The Lost Boys: A Retro Review

As The Lost Boys begins, the Emerson family has just moved to fictional Santa Carla, California (really Santa Cruz, CA), the self-titled “murder capital of the world” after a bitter divorce. Mom Lucy, and sons Michael and Sam move in with Grandpa, hoping for a new start, and it doesn’t take long to see just how bizarre it’s going to get.

Oldest son Michael (Jason Patric) immediately falls in with the wrong crowd. His first night out at the Boardwalk, he meets Star (Jami Gertz), and is immediately smitten. What he doesn’t know is Star is a part of a vampire cult, although not a full-fledged vampire. She leads him to the rest of the “lost boys,” David (Kiefer Sutherland), Marco (Alex Winter), Dwayne (Billy Wirth), and Paul (Brooke McCarter).

Meanwhile, younger Sam (Corey Haim) meets up with the Frog Brothers, Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander), who proceed to inform him that he lives in a vampire-infested town. They even give him a comic book they wrote about Vampire Hunters, which the brothers have claimed as their name.

While the boys are otherwise occupied, Mom Lucy (Dianne Wiest) is strolling down the boardwalk in search of a job. She goes into a video store, run by Max (Edward Herrmann) and he hires her on the spot.

That’s when all hell breaks loose. As Michael falls deeper into the dark world of the Lost Boys, even going so far as to drink David’s blood, Sam is trying to figure out a way to rid Santa Carla of their vampire bat infestation, with the help of the Frog brothers. Total chaos ensues. Vampires (and houses) are destroyed, and Max is revealed to be the head Vampire. Grandpa saves the day in the 11th hour, riding in driving his old jalopy, and crashing through the wall of his own house, and straight into Max, killing him!

Some of the lines are just hilarious, like when Sam says “My own brother a Goddamn shit sucking vampire! You wait till mom finds out buddy.” Edgar Frog’s take on things, “I think I should warn you all, when a vampire bites it, it’s never a pretty sight. No two bloodsuckers go the same way. Some yell and scream, some go quietly, some explode, some implode, but all will try to take you with them.” Or Grandpa’s final, classic line in the film, “The one thing about living in Santa Clara I could never stomach … all the damn vampires!” Hilarious stuff, slightly campy without overdoing it. Very subtle.

The Lost Boys is a really fun film to watch and is certainly one of the better vampire films to come out in the 1980s. Kiefer Sutherland as David unwittingly steals the show. He vamps it up quite well and is really enjoyable to watch. And his “lost boys” are all very easy on the eyes. However, the film works a lot better as camp than as a serious vampire film, and the elements of humor and sarcasm are duly noted. Joel Schumacher’s follow-up to St. Elmo’s Fire scores on all fronts. A true must see.

Tami Danielson is the main in-house blogger and Director of Operations for Pop-Daze. She was raised in California and Florida and currently resides in Oregon. Tami has written for a variety of periodicals and has provided digital marketing services for a number of artists. She can be reached at [email protected]