I’m briefly coming out the ocean to talk about this one.
I believe I first saw this around a decade ago. I think it came on AMC’s Story Notes. I saw it and liked it, but it didn’t really stand out back then. I recently rewatched it and decided to talk about it.
The Lost Boys is a 1987 horror film directed by Joel Schumacher. The film went through a slight retool, raising the characters’ ages and making it darker and edgier than originally planned.
The plot revolves around a teen who, after an initiation, becomes a vampire and joins a covenant. His younger brother must work with a vampire hunting sibling duo to free the teen and stop the lead vampire.
Apparently, the name came from the characters in Peter Pan, as like the kids from that story, the vampires in this film never grow and stay the same.
The film begins with a group of teen punks disrupting a carnival. After a security officer kicks them out, he is later taken by an unseen force.
A family is shown moving from Phoenix, Arizona to Santa Carla, California. They’re Lucy (Dianne Wiest), who’s recently divorced, and her two sons: Michael “Mike” (Jason Patric), and his younger brother, Sam (Corey Haim).
They go stay with Lucy’s father, Grandpa (Barnard Hughes), which is apparently his name. He’s really into taxidermy, not only making them, but he also has mounted animals throughout his place.
Also, instead of having a tv, Grandpa simply reads a tv guide as it’s apparently just as good as watching tv.
That night, Mike and Sam go to a concert near a beach. Mike briefly spots a very beautiful woman with a small child.
Lucy’s on the boardwalk and sees a ton of fliers for missing people, including the security officer. After helping a small child, Lucy meets a tape store owner, Max (Edward Herrmann) and briefly sees the punks from earlier.
Mike follows the girl while Sam ends up in a comic shop. There, he meets a pair of brothers, Alan (Jamison Newlander) and Edgar (Corey Feldman). Edgar gives Sam a vampire comic and says that it could save his life.
Mike learns that the girl and child are in league with the punks and watches them go off on motorbikes. Shortly after, a young couple are taken by an unseen force.
The next day, Sam returns to the comic store and encounters the brothers again. They tell Sam that the vampire comics are basically a survivor’s guide and show him a number on the back to call them.
That night on the boardwalk, Mike meets with the girl, Star (Jami Gertz), the child, Laddie (Chance Michael Corbitt), and the punks. The punk’s leader, David (Kiefer Sutherland), has Mike follow the gang.
Also, the other members of the gang are Paul (Brooke McCarter), Dwayne (Billy Wirth), and Marko (Alex Winter).
The gang lead Mike back to their hideout. After trolling Mike with Chinese food, they offer him wine. Despite Star’s warning that it’s actually blood, Mike drinks it.
Sometime later, Mike returns home and begins exhibiting strange behavior. He wears sunglasses throughout the day and starts acting douchey to his family. If that’s not strange enough, his reflection is now transparent, and he starts flying around.
Sam quickly deduces that Mike is now a vampire and calls the Frog brothers for help. While they tell Sam how to kill Mike, Sam rejects since, well, it’s his brother.
Mike sneaks off to the punk’s hideout and asks Star of what’s happening to him. After Star says she can’t tell him, she and Mike make out and sleep together.
When Mike returns home, both Lucy and Grandpa deduce that Mike was with a girl. Lucy attempts to bond with Mike, but he rejects her.
Sam goes to the comic store to see the Frog brothers. The trio deduce that Mike is only a half-vampire since he hasn’t killed anyone yet. They figure that if they kill the head vampire, it will change Mike back to normal.
The first suspect for the head vampire is Max since everything started when Lucy first saw him at the video store. Not to mention, Max only comes out at night and his dog, Thorn, attacked Lucy, causing Sam to believe that Thorn is a hellhound.
Lucy invites Max over for dinner, where they are joined by Sam and the Frog brothers. The trio do various things to check to see if Max is a vampire, which does nothing but shoo Max off.
After meeting up with David’s group, Mike watches in horror as they all transform into vampiric forms and slaughter a group of people around a campfire. David tells Mike that he’s now one of them, but he must feed.
Mike returns home and he and Sam are greeted by Star. Star reveals to Mike that he, she and Laddie are only half-vampires, just as Sam and the Frogs figured. Star also reveals that David wanted Mike to be Star’s first kill, but she resisted.
As it gets harder for Star to control the urges, she came so Mike could help her and Laddie.
From Star’s information, Sam makes David a suspect for the head vampire. He gets the Frogs to come over and Mike takes them and Sam to David’s lair.
Inside, Mike rescues Star and Laddie while Sam and the Frogs look for the vampires. They end up staking Marko, but they’re forced to flee when David awakes.
Back at the house, David passes out with Star and Laddie. Sam and the Frogs have only two hours before the sun goes down, and David’s gang come looking for them. The trio prepare to face the vampires which leads into the film’s climax.
There are two songs in the film that stand out. One is a cover version of “People Are Strange” written by The Doors and performed by Echo & the Bunnymen. The other is the film’s theme song, “Cry Little Sister” which was written by Michael Mainieri and co-written and performed by Gerard McMahon.
The film has a number of characters.
Mike is one of the protagonists and minor antagonist. His attempts to get with the hot chick and fit in with the cool crowd is what mixes him in the film’s conflict. Despite this, he resists the urges to become a vampire and helps deal with the real antagonists.
Sam is the other protagonist. While Mike gets mixed with the conflict, Sam is the one actively seeking to resolve it. He’s naturally skeptical at first until he realizes that Mike is turning into a vampire.
Star is pretty much the motherly voice of reason. She defends Mike several times when David’s group troll him when they first bring him to their lair. She also warns Mike about drinking the blood disguised as wine.
Star and Laddie are half-vampires, like Mike. Star does say that it gets harder to fight the vampiric urges, so she asks Mike for help. Also, Laddie is portrayed as an innocent victim of the vampire events, though it’s implied that he’s a runaway.
Come to think of it, Star’s origins are never revealed either. It’s somewhat implied that, like Laddie, she’s also a runaway who may have changed her name to hide her identity.
Also, Star is very protective of Laddie. All of Laddie’s scenes have Star looking out for him. She protects him from Sam and the Frogs and asks Mike to save him first when he arrives to rescue her at the lair.
It’s presumed that Star and Laddie aren’t related, though Star does share a combination of protective sibling and motherly figure to Laddie.
The Frog brothers, Edgar and Allan, are the deuteragonists. They’re also the exposition characters who know what’s going on with the conflict. Of the two, Edgar seems to be the dominant one as he’s the one who makes the most decisions and is the most active.
The two help their parents run a comic book shop, and it’s implied that they’ve been dealing with vampires for quite a while, even killing them before the film’s events. They waste no time in wanting to help Sam, though at one point they joke about charging him for their services.
The Frogs don’t like vampires at all. After rescuing Star and Laddie, they initially refuse to ride in the car with vampires, and Edgar at one point suggests that they kill both Star and Laddie. In fact, they do suggest that Sam kill Mike after Mike’s pseudo transformation.
Lucy is the clueless parent who doesn’t know what’s going on and is the stereotypical, skeptic adult when weird things happen. She is motherly and wants what’s best for her sons. She even rushes home from a date with Max after thinking there’s trouble with Sam.
Grandpa is the cooky, lovable old person. He does have a woman he sees sometimes, a widower he visits. While he seems like a minor background character, a huge spoiler warning, he knows what’s up.
Max is another minor character who serves as Lucy’s love interest. He has a dog name Thorn and is very nice and likable. Just don’t let him in your home…or your son may throw water on him.
David is very charismatic and is kind of nice despite being a villain. He still likes trolling people as the intro shows, and with Mike’s first visit to his lair. He was believed to have a relationship with Star, though he apparently has no problem letting her go with Mike.
Honestly, David’s lackies aren’t worth mentioning. They’re just plot devices to add to the conflict and give the Frogs something to kill.
The vampires here work the same as typical vampires. They have superstrength, speed, and endurance. They have accelerated healing, can fly, and have thin reflections in mirrors. Apparently, while they have to follow that invited rule, half-vampires can come in whenever they want, such as Star coming into Sam’s room.
They’re also weak to sunlight, holy water, and maybe garlic. They can also be staked. But if you invite one in, they apparently lose their weaknesses.
Then there’s the head vampire. I won’t reveal who they are but it’s easy to tell who they are. Naturally, they’re the strongest vampire in the film. They also act similar to a hive mind, when the leader falls, the others do as well.
The Lost Boys was a pretty successful film when it first came out and gained somewhat of a cult following. Despite this, it took over two decades for a sequel to come out. There was also a comic book series and plans for a tv series that never went into development.
While The Lost Boys is a horror film, there are many comedic moments, such as with most of Grandpa’s scenes. Also, the film isn’t super gory. It’s a starter vampire film with a little bit of romance and comedy despite having an R-rating.
Overall, I recommend The Lost Boys. Honestly, vampire films aren’t really my thing, but this one kept me entertained. The main characters are interesting, the story’s intriguing, and the climax keeps your attention. The ending is funny if a bit silly. Check out The Lost Boys if you want a classic vampire flick from the 80s.
Now if you excuse me, I have to climb back into the ocean. Maybe I’ll end up near Sea World.