The fourth of my Halloween-themed retro horror reviews has arrived! A re-review of The Lost Boys, another 80s classic, filled with big-time 80s stars, big-time 80s hair, and some great big-time 80s music.
Lucy Emerson, recently divorced, moves her two sons with her to the small California town of Santa Carla to live with her father, who seems to be a bit off. Michael and Sam begin to explore the town, hanging out at the boardwalk, which has a suspicious number of missing-persons fliers. While Lucy gets a job at a local video store run by the kindly Max, Michael meets and becomes infatuated with Star, a young woman who seems to be dating the rebellious David. David is the leader of a young gang of hoodlums who ride motorcycles around and basically do teenage-punk stuff. Sam meets Edgar and Alan, the Frog brothers, who are a pair of young vampire hunters. They give Sam some horror comics to educate him on the threats of the supernatural.
When Michael attempts to talk with Star, David steps in and bullies Michael a bit – what with some dangerous cliff-side motorcycling, and bizarre food options back at their lair. Yes, they have a lair. Come on Michael, how many red flags do you need? They end the night with some railroad bridge jumping, and Michael suddenly wakes up at home the next day, a little foggy on the previous evening’s events, but with a beginning thirst for blood – which of course, thanks to his new comic-based knowledge, Sam recognizes. Sam assists Michael in figuring out he is starting to turn, and since he has not yet killed anyone, he’s only a half-vampire – like Star – and he can be cured if they can just kill the head vampire.
Well, the Frog brothers are all about this plan, and think perhaps that Max is the head vampire. They run tests on him when he comes over to the house for dinner with Lucy, but he passes all of them – the mirror, the garlic, the holy water and the crucifx – they run all the classics. Since he passes the tests, they naturally assume that David is the head vampire, and set their sights on eliminating him. Meanwhile, David attempts to push Michael along the transformation, and Michael learns that Star is in the same situation as he is. Michael, getting weaker – helps Sam and the Frogs stage a final attack on the lair and the vampires to save both Michael and Star from turning completely.
Now, you’ll note I’m stopping there, and I’m not going to tell you who the head vampire is, just in case you haven’t seen this movie. You should – it’s unintentionally (I think) hilarious, a little scary here and there, and really fun. It’s directed by Joel Schumacher (yes, the man who put nipples on the Batsuit), who also was the director of other 80s “brat-pack” movies: St. Elmo’s Fire, and the original Flatliners. The action is great, the comedy is great, and the music is great – but even better is the cast:
- Jason Patric (no K) plays Michael, the hapless kid who just wants to fit in a new town, but definitely falls into the wrong crowd. In case you missed it, re-watch The Losers, and watch him terrorize Negan, Heimdahl, and Captain America.
- Corey Haim plays Sam, and is really entertaining here as a kid determined to prevent his older brother from turning full vampire. I can only hope my brother would do the same for me.
- Dianne Wiest plays Lucy, and is trying her best to keep some sense of normalcy for her kids after moving them cross country.
- Barnard Hughes plays the kids eccentric Grandpa, and thank goodness he is so eccentric.
- Edward Herrmann (extra R and N) plays Max, and is so completely kind and wonderful as the suitor that Lucy gets taken with after the move.
- Keifer Sutherland continues his string of sleezy 80s creeps in this movie after already nailing it in Stand By Me. I can’t help it though, I did find him sexy in this role.
- Jami Gertz plays Star, after playing opposite Jason Patric in Solarbabies (you should see that too), he recommended her for this role.
- Corey Feldman plays Edgar Frog – and this is the first ‘Two Corey’s’ movie, so you can either credit it or blame it for that. Hey, Dream a Little Dream was great! Jamison Newlander plays Alan Frog.
- Billy Wirth plays Dwayne, one of the other vampire punks.
- Alex Winter (yes, Bill) plays Marko, another vampire punk.
Overall, if you’ve never seen this, then chances are you’re younger than me. It’s fun, it’s a classic – and that saxophone solo from the guy who was Tina Turner’s saxophone player! Watch it again this Halloween.
9 out of 10 – gained bonus points for the hair. And for Grandpa’s last line.