Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Lost Boys

I had mixed feelings about the The Lost Boys. I was expecting something darker and edgier. It was very much a comedy featuring 80s music with a bit of teen horror thrown in. The movie is thoroughly situated in the 1980s and the worst aspects of that decade's fashions are played up to such an extreme that it is hard to see past the big hair and awful clothes. The usual vampire aesthetic of dark, underground gothic, is replaced with a crumbling resort hotel, however, the hotel set brings little to the meaning of the movie.
There is nothing sensual about the vampires of The Lost Boys, no point where the viewer might feel some sense of identification with or longing for these vampires. In comparison with last month's Movie The Hunger 1983, The Lost Boys seems dated. The acting of Bernard Hughes as grandpa and Dianne Weist as Mum was excellent they were convincing and their comic moments truly funny, but the rest of the acting left me cold. Not on my list of favourite Vampire movies.


  1. I really enjoyed The Lost Boys and it was nothing like a remember it to be so I am wondering if I was actually thinking of another movie. I love a good comedy and I always find that the laughs make the scary stuff easier to handle, not that I found The Lost Boys to be scary at all. One of the things that I really loved was the sound track I remember listening to all of those songs growing up.
    You are right Raven the movie has dated but that doesn’t bother me so much, some of my all time favorite movies are from the 80’s and earlier The Breakfast Club, Some kind of Wonderful just to name two.
    I thought at the time we were watching it that he hotel that the boys were living in that sank in the earthquake was meant to represent Neverland a place that only the chosen few can get to or see. I particularly liked the way that the vampires were represented as bats while they slept and the look of their feet was something else.
    I would have to give this movie three bites out of five.

  2. The Lost Boys ranks amongst my favourite vampire films purely due to its cheesy sense of humour and homage to all things pop and kitch. It represents the extravagence and innocence of the 1980's while also acknowledging the darker underbelly of society through its themes of loss, separation and the search for identity.
    The hotel setting to me represented a past era of decadence, and also the degeneration or crumbling of societies values and ideals.
    I think the sensuality of the vampire was portrayed in a different way through the seduction of Michael by Star, and then more subtly by David in the battle of male egos at the hotel.
    Ultimately, I think The Lost Boys is a film that needs to be enjoyed simply for what it is, rather than what it is not, although it certainly provides enough references for the viewer to unravel multiple layers of meaning and make their own interpretations within each subsequent screening.


    Part 1

    Sure, he sparkles and can run fast, but Edward Cullen of 'Twilight' would be mincemeat if he ever met the bad-boy bloodsuckers of 'Lost Boys' on a dark boardwalk. This glam, hard-partying tribe led by the charismatic David (Kiefer Sutherland) reigned over fictional Santa Carla, California, and the movie has earned an immortal status in pop culture since its release in 1987. Sutherland has since shed his vampire fangs to save the world as Lt. Jack Bauer on '24.'

    Don't vamp out on us - keep reading and see what the rest of the cast is up to.

    Jason Patric plays hunky new kid in town Michael Emerson, who's a little too naive when it comes to making friends in Santa Carla. Yes, we know that girl on the boardwalk is cute, but if her weird motorcycle-riding pals jumped off the train tracks, would you do it, too? (Yes, he would.) Patrick's handful of film credits post-'Lost Boys' include 'Sleepers' and 'Speed 2: Cruise Control.' After starring in 2007's acclaimed Iraq war drama 'In the Valley of Elah,' Patric seems poised for a comeback. This year he appeared as the father of a cancer-stricken girl in 'My Sister's Keeper.'

    Corey Haim starred as Michael's younger brother Sam, who realizes with horror that his older sibling has fallen prey to the local bloodsuckers. Jason Patric may be the eye candy of the movie, but it's Haim who gives us the catchphrases 'Death by stereo!' and 'Burn rubber does not mean warp speed!' 'Lost Boys' propelled Haim to teen idol status, and he spent the next decade living it up. After a rehab stint in the early 2000s, the actor seems committed to staying sober, focusing on career renewal efforts like his reality show 'The Two Coreys.' He makes a brief appearance as Sam Emerson in 'Lost Boys: The Tribe,' a direct-to-DVD sequel released in 2008.

  4. Michael and Sam's mom, Lucy Emerson, played by Dianne Wiest, moves her boys into her father's place in Santa Carla - having no idea of the blood-drinking hijinx that would result from that decision. Two years after 'Lost Boys,' Wiest played another struggling single mom in 'Parenthood.' She is also known for her roles in Woody Allen movies such as 'Hannah and Her Sisters' and 'Bullets over Broadway,' for which she won Academy Awards. Wiest currently plays psychotherapist Gina on HBO's 'In Treatment.'

    Jami Gertz broke vampire hearts as the lovely half-vamp, half-mortal Star, who falls hard for Michael - and he was supposed to be her first kill!

    Before joining the Santa Carla gang, Gertz starred in '80s gems like 'Sixteen Candles' and the TV series 'Square Pegs' (alongside Sarah Jessica Parker). She's now gone back to TV, recently starring in the family-friendly sitcom 'Still Standing,' and currently plays Marlo Klein on HBO's 'Entourage.'

    Corey Feldman played Edgar Frog, one-half of the strange young vampire-hunting duo the Frog brothers. 'Lost Boys' was the first movie in which Feldman and Haim starred together, but it wouldn't be the last: the Coreys teamed up on 'License to Drive,' 'Dream a Little Dream' and of course on their reality series 'The Two Coreys.' Feldman was most recently seen at Michael Jackson's memorial, dressed in homage to the King of Pop, an old pal.

    Jamison Newlander played the other half of the Frog brothers, Alan Frog. He returned to the role in the 2008 straight-to-DVD sequel, 'Lost Boys: The Tribe', in which an older Alan has become a vampire himself - however, Newlander's scenes were cut and he appears only in the DVD's bonus features. Nevertheless, he's reportedly back for the upcoming 'Lost Boys 3'.

    As the vampire Marko, Alex Winter has the distinction of being the first of the gang to get staked by the Frog brothers. But the blond, curly-haired actor will forever be known as time traveling dude Bill S. Preston, Esq., in 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure' and 'Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.'

  5. Winter has rarely been seen on screen since his 'Bill and Ted' days, though 'Bones' fans may have caught his single-episode appearance in 2007. He won critical raves as a director in 1999 for the psychological drama 'Fever,' which he also wrote.

    Billy Wirth played Dwayne (there are vampires named Dwayne?), who meets a bitter end as the vampires lay siege to Michael and Sam's home. Wirth's had many small roles since his vampire days, among them the abusive boyfriend of Mary-Louise Parker's character in 'Boys on the Side' (1995), and a doctor who pops Viagra recreationally on 'Sex and the City' (2000).

    Vampires really are afraid of garlic and water, as Brooke McCarter's character Paul demonstrated. McCarter's acting career also died after 'Lost Boys,' but he did write and co-direct buddy Corey Haim's 1989 self-promotional documentary 'Me, Myself and I.'

    Young actor Chance Michael Corbitt played Star's demonic-looking little brother, Laddie, who's a half-vampire like his big sis. Corbitt's acting career never really took off following 'Lost Boys' - which was his first role - though he did get to play Kyle Buchannon, son of David Hasselhoff's Mitch Buchannon, on 'Baywatch.'

    The boys were suspicious of Max, their mom's new boyfriend, played by Edward Herrmann - and he revealed his true colors eventually, as the real leader of the vampire tribe. Herrmann, who's a 1976 Tony Award winner for 'Mrs. Warren's Profession', may be best known these days for his role as reserved grandfather Richard Gilmore on 'The Gilmore Girls.'

    Most of Kelly Jo Minter's scenes were cut from the film, but you can still see her sneaking around the video store where Lucy Emerson works. Minter went on to appear in films like 'A Nightmare on Elm Street 5,' 'House Party' and 'Doc Hollywood.'

    As Michael and Sam's wily, taxidermy-obsessed grandpa, Barnard Hughes closes out the movie with some observant words: "One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach: all the damn vampires." Touche, gramps. Hughes was already an accomplished actor on both stage and screen by the time 'Lost Boys' was made. He played Towny in the 1969 Academy Award-winning 'Midnight Cowboy,' and won a Tony award in 1978 for playing the elder patriarch in the Broadway play 'Da' (which was later made into a movie starring Hughes and Martin Sheen). Younger audiences might recognize him as Blossom Russo's jazz musician grandpa, Buzz, on 'Blossom.' Hughes passed away in 2006.

    Part 2

    Joel Schumacher directed 'Lost Boys' - though not its second nor planned third sequel. Some of his other notable films include the Brat Pack classic 'St. Elmo's Fire' (1985), John Grisham adaptations 'The Client' (1994) and 'A Time to Kill' (1996), 'Batman Forever' starring Val Kilmer (1995), and the Academy Award-nominated 'Phantom of the Opera' (2004).