After moving to a new town, two brothers are convinced that the area is frequented by vampires.
We’re dedicated to a higher purpose. We’re fighters for truth, justice and the American way.
Joel Schumacher’s 1987 horror comedy vampire flick ‘The Lost Boys‘ expertly tapped into the eighties teen heartthrob market of the time casting a range of pin-ups from Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Patric to the younger Coreys Haim and Feldman. Several decades later it stands the test of time, the humour works and the horror elements are strong enough to deliver some pretty effective scares.
The story begins with the Emerson family arriving in Santa Carla (filmed in Santa Cruz) having left Phoenix, Arizona following Mom Lucy’s divorce. These establishing shots are hugely reminiscent of Amity Island from Spielberg’s ‘Jaws‘ complete with billboard welcoming visitors – although Michael (Jason Patric) notes graffiti daubed on the rear of the welcoming sign saying “murder capital of the world”. The family move in with Lucy Emerson’s (Diane Wiest) cantankerous elderly father with his penchant for taxidermy and loathing for modern technology; “if you read the tv guide you don’t need a tv!”. Shortly after their arrival the brothers come into contact with the locals, Sam running into the Frog brothers (appropriately named Edgar and Alan) in their stoner parents comic book shop and Michael meeting a girl called Star who hangs out with a biker gang led by the rebellious David, a bleached blond Kiefer Sutherland (who a year earlier had played another teen villain in ‘Stand By Me‘ – coincidentally also starring Corey Feldman).
Sam instantly rubs the Poe’s up the wrong way by correcting the way they’ve displayed some of their comic books but the brothers are keen to impress on Sam that the town has a vampire problem, giving him a copy of the comic book ‘Vampires Everywhere!’ and warning him about the dangers he’ll encounter, much to his amusement. The stars of the show are undoubtedly the vampire hunting Frog brothers, from their attempts to expose the lead vampire to their preparations for the attack of the Lost Boys, water pistols and all. The roles are played straight by Feldman and Newlander, hilariously building themselves up as mean vampire killers who won’t be messed with, but when they come face to face with actual vampires become almost hysterically slapstick in response.
The soundtrack makes good use of the likes of Echo and the Bunnymen with their cover of The Doors ‘People Are Strange’ (indeed the Lizard King, Jim Morrison, appears on a large portrait in the lair of the Lost Boys), although the score isn’t perhaps as memorable as the songs but it’s one of Thomas Newman’s early efforts, now responsible for the latest Bond film, ‘Spectre‘.
It’s undoubtedly a horror comedy and to the hardened audiences of today it seems a bit strange that ‘The Lost Boys‘ would warrant a BBFC 15 rating, but there are some gruesome moments particularly when vampires stat to attack the locals and also when new and inventive ways of killing the vampires are put into practice. We’re never far away from moments of comedy and invariably they involve the Frog brothers. This is one of those films that can be watched time and time again, it’s an enjoyable experience spending time with the characters and the relationship between Sam and David is particularly touching.
Review by Mark Thatcher
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Starring: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Jamison Newlander, Jami Gertz, Edward Herrmann, Barnard Hughes and Dianne Wiest