The 80s were a weird time for movies. Technology was being utilized for the first time that changed how movies looked and felt forever. Films were getting dark and edgy and the special effects of the time reflected that. Speaking of reflective surfaces, look at this:
This is about as dark and edgy as I can handle.
Sorry about that. Well, no I’m not.
I’ve already talked about how 80s movies taught us how a teenager can kill a vampire. But if you’ve ever found yourself asking “What happens when a teenager becomes a vampire?”, then rest easy, because you’ll find your answer in tonight’s 80s horror movie classic, The Lost Boys.
Year Released: 1987
Written By: Janice Fischer, James Jeremias, Jeffery Boam
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Starring: Jason Pattric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland
Divorce can be a rough thing, especially on children. But one of the best ways a single parent can help their child cope with the change is approaching it like a fresh start, a clean slate with which the parent and their children can start a new life. That’s what Michael and Sam’s mother thought when she packed up her boys and moved them to beautiful Santa Carla, California. After all, what could be better than a fresh start in a community right on the beach? Surf, sand, sun. Everyone loves the sun. Well, almost everyone.
As the boys explore their new hometown, they both make very different discoveries. Older brother Michael discovers Star, a pretty girl who leads him to a concert on the beach late at night. However little brother Sam, after venturing into a local comic book store run by the notorious Frog Brothers, learns about a string of grisly murders that have taken place around town.
As Sam digs a little deeper into the bloody secret of Santa Carla, Michael meets a new group of friends. Friends who offer him fun, excitement, and even immortality.
Can Sam, along with the help of the Frog Brothers, save his brother from his new blood sucking pals?
First off, let me start by saying this: There is no such place as Santa Carla, California. Santa Clara, yes. Santa Cruz, yes. Santa Carla, no. It’s fictional.
That said, much of The Lost Boys was filmed in and around Santa Cruz, California where I once lived. The ocean, the seaside amusement park (The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk), the colorful cast of characters. I was once immersed in all of it in real life. One of the very first scenes in the film involves a security guard being chased across a parking lot and eventually being grabbed by an unknown assailant from above. I have been to that parking lot.
Even before I moved to Santa Cruz, The Lost Boys was an important movie in our household. My family quotes this film all the time (“One thing I never could stand about living in Santa Carla. All the god damn vampires.” among others).
But my obvious bias toward the movie aside, it’s a solid 80s vampire movie. Even with this guy in it:
I mean especially with this guy in it.
Now you don’t have to scroll back up to see sweaty sax man. You’re welcome.
The writing is pretty standard for an 80s teen vampire movie, as is the acting. Though I will say one thing about the acting, you believe everyone is who they say they are. Dianne Wiest as the doting single mother, Corey Haim as the rambunctious tween who is obsessed with comic books and horror movies, Jason Patric as the brooding teenager. And of course Kiefer Sutherland as the leader of a vampire motorcycle gang. Each of the actors in this film do a fine job of portraying who or what ever it is they are supposed to portray.
The direction is also fairly typical for this sort of movie released in this sort of era.
Overall, as a film, there is very little that is remarkable about The Lost Boys. But there is something about the combination of all the above mentioned aspects that makes it a fun roller coaster ride of a movie.
Should You See It
It’s great to see a young Kiefer Sutherland vamp out halfway through this movie. It’s also great to see Corey Haim and Corey Feldman fighting vampires together. There is also a great and under appreciated performance by Edward Herrmann that is worth checking out.
Yet another 80s horror movie to spawn two truly awful sequels, both of which I’ve already reviewed. Guess where?