The Lost Boys (1987)

JUNE 24, 2008


NOTE – As you read this review, please have the following Youtube clip running (on a loop if necessary). It’s part of the Lost Boys experience.

Even as a kid I don’t think I ever actually watched all of The Lost Boys in a single viewing. My horror movie memory is pretty good but I honestly do not recall ever sitting down and watching it, instead just sort of catching parts of it on cable and eventually realizing I had seen it all. My last experience with it was about 7 years ago when I went over a friend’s to watch it and promptly slept thru the entire movie (I never even saw the Frog Brothers, and I think I might have caught a glimpse of Kiefer in between snoozes). And true to form, I even dozed off again tonight, but I borrowed a friend’s DVD for the extras and thanks to Joel Schumacher’s commentary, I was quickly able to re-view what I had missed.

Also, let the record show that this is the only time I would like to say “Thanks to Joel Schumacher” without being sarcastic.

I’m not sure why I didn’t spend more time watching the film as a kid. It’s got everything I liked then – “cool” monsters, a rock soundtrack, kid characters who were badasses (between this, Goonies, Stand By Me, and Gremlins, I realize now that Corey Feldman had pretty much the best fictional life a bored dude like me would ever want to have), etc. And I certainly liked it, but not enough to warrant a start to finish viewing for some reason. Christ, I even gave that much respect to Look Who’s Talking Too (twice!) when I was 11.

And now I like it just as much, albeit mainly for different reasons. Since I had no real nostalgia to draw my enjoyment from, instead I had a blast with the movie due to the things I love now, 20 years later. These things include unabashed homoeroticism (Corey Haim’s bizarre bathtub scene and poster of Rob Lowe are mighty suspect), comic book nerd dialogue, and ridiculous 80s fashion:

Also, still, the soundtrack. Shit is awesome. I never realized that Thomas Newman was the composer of the film. Newman is best known today for his sweeping, schmaltzy scores for movies like The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, and my personal favorite, Meet Joe Black (the 10 minute opus “That Next Place” from the soundtrack will accompany my funeral, in fact!). Plus the rock songs aren’t too dated, then again half of them are covers anyway. Still, it’s not like we have to deal with Wham or A-Ha like several other films of the era. Echo and the Bunnymen are timeless, dammit!

If there’s anything about the movie that doesn’t hold up, it’s the relative simplicity to the whole thing. It’s essentially a two act film stretched out to cover the lack of a third. They go to the town, meet the vampires, almost immediately turn on them, there’s a fight, and the movie’s over. A little more plot complication would have been nice (not to mention at least ONE other possibility as to who the lead vampire was). Also, the final line of the film, while hilarious, suggests something I actually would be interested in seeing explored – the idea that folks know that the town is overrun with vampires and look at it as a sort of nuisance.

Still, minor quibbles for what is otherwise a solid horror movie, and one of the very few purely FUN vampire films of the past 20 years or so. From Dusk Til Dawn is about the only other one I can think of, since all others tend to be moody and serious (Near Dark), or just plain shitty (Forsaken). There isn’t much in the way of gore (or even violence – it’s almost PG-13 in fact), but the cast and pace is hard to argue with, and the only thing that dates it is the style (both of the characters and the filmmaking itself), which is always preferable to a film that is no longer relevant due to its themes and plot. A solid effort all around.

The DVD is pretty packed. Schumacher’s commentary is OK, there isn’t much to it other than him praising the cast and offering the occasional anecdote (“the Coreys were mad that they didn’t get to drive the car here”). The deleted scenes collection is pretty extensive (20+ minutes!) but you cannot select individual scenes or even skip from one to the other, which is a bit odd.

There is also select “visual commentary” by the two Coreys. Haim just narrates everything and says how great it was to shoot the particular scene, and Feldman just sort of rambles like a drunk about Haim’s wardrobe and his acting choices. He also points out that Alex Winter was once in the movie a lot more but it was all cut, but Winter doesn’t appear at all in the deleted scenes, so who knows if this is just delirium or a half-assed deleted scenes selection. The pair also reminisces about how they met and why they ‘broke up’ after Dream A Little Dream 2, which I had forgotten existed. Another interactive piece is about all of the real vampires in the world who are apparently walking around waiting to kill us all. Cool. It’s worth noting that North America apparently has no vampires (though there are some in the British Isles – look out, Canada!).

Then there’s the usual recollections by the creative team and whatever cast they could assemble (why is Kiefer – the only one with a career – the only vampire to show up for this stuff?). Like most movies that were produced pre-DVD, the behind the scenes stuff is rather slim, and with everyone having perfect memories of the shoot, there isn’t really much to excite here. Come on, surely Jason Patric and Keifer came to blows over who was more of a badass, right?

I should note that Feldman introduced the film, and afterwards he brought out PJ Pesce, who is directing the upcoming DTV sequel Lost Boys: The Tribe. They showed us a clip, and quite frankly it seemed kind of weak – the vampire run like The Flash and it seems like they have replaced fun with gore, but without context I shouldn’t judge. Hopefully it will at least be a moderately entertaining vampire movie on its own terms, because there’s no way it can live up to the spirit of the original (or expectations of fans who have waited 21 years for it).

What say you?


  1. i loved the movie as a kid and i always thought that the ending, with granpa with his sunglasses, personal stash of (what was it? rootbeer? i forget)drink and the whole taxidermy thing and knowing about the vampires, hinted that perhaps granpa was a part vampire like michael.
    probably just an over active imagination.

    i love the soundtrack as well. i got into both the doors and echo and the bunnymen from it.

    the movie's been on my schumacher boycott since the batman movies but no boycott should last forever...maybe a double featre with st. elmo's fire this weekend.

  2. i love this film, i remember rushing out immediately to buy the "record", what a soundtrack, "Cry little sister" still moves me too this day, esp combined with the sweeping opening shot over the ocean. I actually watched the movie again recently and was surpised like you were that it held up so well.

  3. You didn't think the vamps in Near Dark were fun? Come on! Henriksen? Paxton? Sure the movie was serious (the love story, the family drama), but the vamps were a blast.

  4. Homoeroticism in a Joel Schumacher film?! Say it ain't so!

  5. if only we had stayed longer... Feldman came out and took pics with people. my friend got one :(

    But The Lost Boys rule so much... Kiefer with a platinum mullet, the Coreys, Haim's onesie at the breakfast table, sweaty oiled up muscle guy playing sax at concert... its amazing.

  6. Deepfix - don't forget what may be Schumacher's crown achievement - FALLING DOWN.

  7. I'm amazed you just recently watched this one, but better late than never. This is certainly in the top 10 of all time great vamp flicks. It's great like Fright Night, in that is has just enough, scares, gore, humor and great characters to fill out the story very nicely.

    I agree the soundtrack is still pretty good and the score is pretty cool as well. I had at one point both for download on my blog, I believe the links are dead now.

  8. Not one single mention of the Rob Lowe heartthrob poster in Haim's bedroom!

  9. Whatchoo talkin bout Willis? I mentioned the poster when I discuss how delightfully homoerotic the movie is!

  10. Speaking of the odd homoeroticism, like Shannon mentioned earlier, that greased-up, ponytailed, bodybuilder chode playing the sax confounds me to this very day. The kids are all cheering him..huh!?

  11. Crap! You're right. I somehow missed that entire paragraph.

    I remember greasy, oily sax player and his nasty gyrations.

  12. Remember, Schumacher + homoerotisism = BATNIPPLES!

  13. last fire will rise behind those eyes
    black house will rock
    blind boys dont liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie

    i dont know whats better, that or timmy capello's "I STILL BELIEVE". why vampires would rock out to a greased up sax playing muscle dude is beyond me.

    this remains one of my top 5 favorites. also, this brought me and jeff together, so we love it for cute reasons too. awwww.

    cryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy little sisterrrrrrrr!

  14. Part 2 straight to dvd at the end of July (29th).

    The main character (other than feldman) is the actor that played Stiflers brother in Band Camp. I like him and i REALLY think part 2 is going to be good. I was ADDICTED and still have a strong love for the 1st Lost Boys.

  15. The Lost Boys has to be one of my favorite movies to watch, there was a time I'd watch it once a day. Nice review, it's a bummer you never fully enjoyed it as a kid!

    As far as the deleted scenes go, I'm fairly sure the deleted scenes on the SE DVD are not the only scenes that were cut from the movie. If you watch Lou Gramm's "Lost in the Shadows" music video, you can clearly see a deleted scene half way through no featured on the DVD. I believe it's one featured in the actual script by Jeffrey Boam where Star actually pierces Michael's ear and the boys return to the cave while this happens.

    I do believe there are other scenes missing that are featured on here but it's likely they were lost or someone idiot is hiding them. The Alex Winter mention from one of the Coreys seemed like a fluke thought to me. When I watched that commentary the scene they were watching, it didn't make any sense as to why Winter would be in it. Since the guys always travel together, it just doesn't fit...

    Anyone interested in reading the script can check it out here:

    Have a good one.



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