“One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach, all the damn vampires.”
Remember when vampires were cool? Not these love stricken, glittery, beautiful, girly bitches or so called vampires, but the bad ass motorcycle driving, almost 80’s hair band, wanna eat you kind? With the influx of vampire media flooding the mainstream with things like, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the new Dracula series, Twilight, invading our psyches, it’s possible to forget. Or maybe it isn’t. You ask someone what their favorite vampire movie is and there’s a good chance they will answer with The Lost Boys. There was something about this film that really stood out not only among the 80’s movies in general, but also the continually growing long list of vampire movies and TV shows as a whole. It spawned two direct to video sequels, Lost Boys: The Tribe and Lost Boys: The Thirst. Let’s take a look at why this film has withstood as one of America’s favorite vampire films.
“Maggots Michael. You’re eating maggots.”
One of the first things to come to mind is the blend of comedy and horror elements throughout the film. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. The film does this in such a way that it does not hinder or hold back the horrific scenes in any way. It made vampires fun while still making them terrifying. All throughout are unforgettable one-liners. One of my favorites was when Sam shoots an arrow through the chest of Dwayne, sending the vamp flying back into the stereo, making it and him explode, and Sam saying “Death by stereo!” Yes, that is where my pseudonym comes from. And now you know.
“My own brother, a goddamn shit sucking vampire! You wait ‘till mom finds out buddy!”
The screenplay went through several changes before transforming into what we saw in the theatres and on video. The original screenplay was written by Janice Fischer and James Jeremias and was about 6th grade vampire kids, the frog brothers were chubby cub scouts, and star was originally a boy instead of the love interest she ultimately turned out to be. James Jeremias’ inspiration came from the Peter Pan story. Peter could fly, visited Wendy and her brothers at night, and never grew old. So he asked himself, what if Peter Pan was a vampire? Hence the title, The Lost Boys. Keifer Sutherland’s character, David, was originally named Peter. And there were other nods to Peter Pan in the shape of naming the characters after the children in the story. Many changes took place over a period of time including the names of the people in the script. The Frog brothers, Edgar and Alan, were name after the notorious author of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. Executive producer Richard Donner intended to direct the film himself, but as production became sluggish, he moved on to direct Lethal Weapon instead and hired Joel Schumacher to replace him. Joel Schumacher hated the original material and said the only way he would sign on would be if he could change the main characters to teenagers, believing this would be more sexier and interesting overall. The changes were obviously made and what we have left is the final film. The film grossed over $32 million.
“Great! The bloodsucking Brady Bunch!”
There was also a novel written and released to accompany the film by Craig Shaw Gardner, who received a copy of the script to adapt from. It was released in paper back and is 220 pages long. Though a short read, it contains several scenes later dropped from the film such as Michael working as a trash collector to make money to buy his leather jacket. It also expands the roles of the opposing gang, the Surf Nazi’s, who were seen as just nameless victims in the film. It includes several tidbits of vampire lore, such as not being able to cross running water and salt sticking to their forms. It has since become a collector’s item among fans, with a price range of anywhere to $20 for a well read and battered copy, to $150 for copies in good condition.
“Now you know what we are, now you know what you are. You’ll never grow old Michael, and you’ll never die. But you must feed!”
While he may not be the main character, the star of the film has got to be Keifer Sutherland as David. His charismatic character is fun to watch, being a terrifying vampire one minute and sinisterly messing with Michael’s head in the next. Corey Haim’s character, Sam, also brought some comedic relief at times and his interactions with his brother, Jason Patric’s character Michael, in most scenes, were downright funny.
“Bad breath, long fingernails? Yeah his fingernails are a little bit longer, um, he always had bad breath though.”
Now time for the Did You Know part of the article. Kiefer Sutherland was only supposed to wear the black gloves he sports as David when riding his motorcycle. However, while messing around on the bike behind the scenes, he fell off, breaking his arm so he had to wear the gloves throughout the entire movie to cover his cast.
The movie was filmed in Santa Cruz, CA. Santa Cruz in Spanish means “Holy Cross,” which is an interesting connection given the vampire subject matter and their vulnerability to crucifixes.
The Lost Boys was Corey Haim and Corey Feldman’s first film together, which marked the start of a popular 80’s trend “The Two Corey’s” in which they both starred together in a number of teenage films.
The merry-go-round sequence foreshadows the order in which the Lost Boys will die. Marko dies first, Paul second, Dwayne third, and David last.
Edgar Frog predicts how each of the vampires will die saying, “No two vamps die the same way, some yell and scream, some go quietly, some explode, and some implode.
In the vampires cave you can clearly see a poster of Jim Morrison. He recorded the original version of “People are strange” with The Doors. And later when Star and Laddie are being carried into Sam’s room, you can see a poster of Echo & The Bunnymen who recorded the version of the song used in the film.
David is impaled on a pair of antlers and doesn’t disintegrate like the other vampires. Despite what Max says later, David is not really dead. This was intended to be picked up in the sequel “Lost Girls,” which was scripted, but never made. The Wildstorm comic’s mini-series “The Lost Boys: Reign of the Frogs,” helps bridge the 20 year gap between films. It’s implied that David not only survived the impaling, but went on to create Shane, the head vampire in Lost Boys: The Tribe.
“Holy shit! It’s the attack of Eddie Munster!”
So all in all what do we have? A delightful and memorable vampire romp right out of the 80’s.
“You’re chasing that girl aren’t you? Come on admit it. I’m at the mercy of your sex glands, bud.”
Let me take a brief moment to apologize. I had a short interview with Corey Feldman scheduled for this feature about his experiences on the film and his most memorable moments during filming. But due to his new book releasing and him touring to promote it, the chat got pushed back to some time in November. But don’t worry, it is coming and will be added to the article as soon as it happens.
“Death by stereo!”
The Lost Boys (1987) stars: Jason Patric (Michael Emerson), Kiefer Sutherland (David), Corey Haim (Sam Emerson), Jami Gertz (Star), Corey Feldman (Edgar Frog), Dianne Wiest (Lucy Emerson), Edward Herrmann (Max), Alex Winter (Marko), Billy Wirth (Dwayne), Jamison Newlander (Alan Frog), and Barnard Hughes (Grandpa).