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The Lost Boys (1987)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
Movie Connections:
The Lost Boys
> The Lost Boys (1987)
> Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008)
Genres:
Horror, Horror Comedy, Teen Horror, Vampire Film
Director:
Joel Schumacher Joel Schumacher
Starring:
Jason Patric Jason Patric
Corey Haim Corey Haim
Dianne Wiest Dianne Wiest
Barnard Hughes Barnard Hughes
Edward Herrmann Edward Herrmann

7.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 08, 2008
Some movies stand the test of time better than others. By this, I mean that there are films from the fifties that you could watch today and you'd never be able to guess as to when that film was shot (technical merits notwithstanding), and at the same time, there are films from just last year that seem dated due to their pop culture references, choice of clothing styles, and the overusage of "hip" lingo. Films from the eighties are particularly bad about feeling dated when viewed by today's audiences, as the world was a radically different place back then; however, being a fan of eighties horror flicks, I've come to accept and even embrace these little nuggets of cheese. With that said, there are certain films that absolutely drip with eighties cheese, and really, it's almost embarrassing to watch them. The Lost Boys is one of them, and even though it's considered a "classic" by some viewers, I really didn't get what all of the fuss was about.

Our storyline finds a newly-divorced mother (Dianne Wiest) and her teenage sons Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) moving to California to live with the boy's grandfather (Barnard Hughes) until mom can get back on her feet again. That's a natural reaction during this difficult time, but what they don't plan on is moving to a city that is swarming with vampires who enjoy leather more than even Rob Halford. David (Kiefer Sutherland), the leader of these vampires, soon "introduces" himself to Michael, and thanks to the wonderful thing known as peer pressure, Michael is soon converted into a vampire... well, sort of.

You see, he won't become a full-fledged vampire until he makes his first kill, so it's up to Sam and the Frog Brothers (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) to kill the head vampire and break the curse before Michael fully converts to the dark side. Throw in not one but two romance angles (courtesy of Jami Gertz and Edward Herrmann), add in a splash of pre-Bill & Ted Alex Winter, sprinkle liberally with homosexual subtext, and you've got the film that consistently gets teenage girl's panties bundled up in a knot.

It may sound as though I totally hated the film, but that's not the case: I thought that it was entertaining and I don't particularly regret spending the five bucks on it, but I just don't see why it's regarded as a classic. For starters, the amount of eighties cheese is just disgusting. I realize that the film was released in 1987, and as such, one should expect some elements of the eighties to pop up from time to time, but this was just ridiculous. Not a single scene goes by in which we can forget which decade this was shot in due to the flashy clothes, the neon colors, the music, the slang, the hairstyles, and the countless other details, and as I mentioned up above, it's almost embarrassing to watch.

Then there's the homosexual subtext, which... wait, before I get into this one, let me point out that I have no problems with horror movies (or movies in general) that cater to the gay demographic; hell, I bought the "Homo Horror" favorite Curse of the Queerwolf not too long ago (look for the review soon!), so to say that I have an issue with this sort of thing would be ludicrous. With that said, this aspect of the film felt completely out of place and seemed inserted only because of the director's personal preferences. What purpose did the band consisting of oiled-up, shirtless muscle-men play in the grand scheme of things? Why would a teenage boy have a poster of an ab-bearing Rob Lowe on his bedroom wall, and why would the same boy wear a pink shirt that proclaims that the wearer was "born to shop"? Did we really need to see Kiefer Sutherland damned near ripping a hole through the crotch of his pants whenever he shared a scene with Jason Patric? Oh, and nice touch with the "beaver" and the "closet" - very subtle, Joel. These issues wouldn't even have bothered me if the characters were supposed to be gay, but no, they were just inserted because of the man behind the camera... the same guy who thought that Batman needed nipples.

Alright, so I just said that I thought that the film was entertaining, but I haven't really said a single positive thing about it thus far. So, let's remedy that: from the perspective of someone who doesn't particularly enjoy vampire films, The Lost Boys was a moderately entertaining film that mostly kept me interested until the very end. Sure, there were scenes where it started to drag a bit, and yes, I did have an issue with the pieces of the film mentioned above, but as a whole, it wasn't a bad ninety minutes in front of the tube. The writers provided a modern (for the time) take on the vampire legend, the storyline was acceptable, and there were a few moments of honest-to-goodness horror. There was nothing to bitch about on the acting side of things, and the overall storyline felt like it had potential. It's just a shame that someone like Joel Schumacher was handed the reins for this one, as his over-reliance on eighties fashion and lingo in addition to his constant barrage of homosexual subtext converted what could have been a true classic into something... well, something that you'd dig out of the five dollar bargain bin.

Overall, The Lost Boys isn't a bad film and I don't regret adding it to my collection, but an eighties classic that deserves the sequel treatment? Not in my eyes. 5/10, and let the flame wars begin.
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Nirrad #1: Nirrad - added 06/08/2008, 01:39 PM
5/10? No way! This movie gets an easy 9/10 from me. Probably Joel Schumacher only good movie. Oh man, wait until Tristan gets here, he's gonna eat you up!
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 06/09/2008, 10:00 AM
This was a staple of my childhood. One of Joel Schumacher's best films, without a doubt. Wonderful 80's horror. 8/10.
Lucid Dreams #3: Lucid Dreams - added 09/10/2010, 12:34 AM
I don't know why you're surprised by his five on here, he doesn't like vampire flicks that much. I thought that this was pretty good, not great, but good. 7/10
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