It’s time to take a journey back to the hilarious year of 1987 to have a look at what happens when you combine Joel Schumacher (the worst Batman movies), Kiefer Sutherland, vampires, and weird messages about sexuality. We get The Lost Boys. What’s the lost boys? Well, the lords of IMDB say :
After moving to a new town, two brothers are convinced that the area is frequented by vampires.
Those guys just know how to boil a movie down to nothing don’t they?
So, really that is the basic story. Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move to their grandfather’s house after their mother (Dianne Wiest) goes through a divorce that leaves them all financially in trouble. Michael pretty quickly falls in with David (Kiefer Sutherland) and his band of hilariously coiffed band of rebels, while Sam falls in with a pair of comic nerd/vampire hunters, Edgar and Allen Frog (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander). Anyways, David and his crew turn out to be vampires and turn Michael into one of them. Wanting to save a girl from their clutches, and not wanting to be a killer, Michael teams up with his brother, and the Frog Brothers to stop David and hunt down the head vampire.
The movie is insanely charming and fun, and is a real 1980’s time capsule. No, I wasn’t around for the looks that we see in this movie, and to be totally honest, I’m sort of glad. Based on this, the 80’s were a pretty ridiculous time… full of ridiculously handsome Kiefer Sutherland vampires. All of the actors are likable, and do a pretty great job. It’s certainly over the top, and showcases some of that great Schumacher directing we see in his terrible Batman movies, however being the late 80s, these performances make sense. Besides the very enjoyable performances from the cast that I’ve mentioned so far, we also have a great bunch of smaller characters as well, Barnard Hughes as the grandfather is great, and Edward Herrmann as Max is another really fun performance.
While the movie is, on the surface, a vampire movie, it does feel a lot like it’s making some strange statements about sex and discovering your sexuality. I might be reading into this too much, but given that it was the 80’s and people were talking more and more about homosexuality and AIDS, it’s not that far of a reach to pull the message of discovering yourself from this movie. Though, if we go down that road, then you could also say that Michael fighting against being ‘one of the gang’ with David is his fighting against his own sexuality, so the message could get a bit negative if we go that way.
Subtext aside, this movie is a bunch of fun. It’s campy, silly, and has some pretty over-the-top gory moments. This is one of those movies that people seem to see quite early, and it really sticks with them. Most poeple I know, myself included, would have this movie on their all-time-favorite lists, and it does belong there. It’s got a real charm that you only really find in movies from this time. We see attempts to recreate the charm and camp these days, but there’s just something about how these movies were made that really makes it impossible to recreate.
I worried that watching this again, it would have lost some of its luster, or shown its age, and it really didn’t. I had just as much fun with it on this viewing as I did when I saw it as a teenager. If you want a vampire movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and doesn’t have any sparkling nonsense, then this is the one for you. You’ll have a blast. I’m sure of it.
I won’t keep going on about this, there isn’t much else to say. It’s fun, it’s a classic, and you should watch this movie.
FINAL GRADE : B