Friday, April 6, 2012

The Lost Boys

In a previous post I talked about the vampire film Near Dark that came out in 1987 it had some competition that pretty much became the vampire film champ of that year. This champion film was The Lost Boys directed by Joel Schumacher who has sort of a love/hate relationship with his films and the populace but it was a film that remains one of the great vampire films (in my opinion) that has stood the test of time...even if the fashion may be a little carbon dated.

What's The Plot?

The Emerson brothers, Michael and Sam, and their recently divorced mother, Lucy, move from Arizona to the town of Santa Carla, California. It has a sunny beach, a boardwalk of video stores and tattoo parlors and apparently a high mortality rating as people go missing all the time. They move in with Lucy's eccentric dad and the two brothers try to find something resembling normal teenage life on the boardwalk. Young Sam finds a comic book store owned by a family named Frog and is hassled by the two brothers who work there, Edgar and Alan. They tell Sam that if he wants to survive in Santa Carla he needs to learn one thing and its not understated fashion but how to recognize and kill vampires because they are crawling all over town!

Michael finds his own person of interest: a beautiful girl and tries to go and talk with her but she ends up riding away with a group of young leather clad teenage bikers. The Boardwalk soon ensnares the whole Emerson clan as Lucy ends up getting a job at the local video store, hired by its proprietor Max who witnesses her reuniting a lost child with his mother. A second night allows Michael to finally meet his mystery girl, Star, and brings him face to face with the motorcycle gang ring leader, David. After a quick race and an almost sparring match on the town bluffs, David invites Michael to the gang's lair for a night of partying, Chinese food and wine which lead to an almost initiation of hanging from the elevated train tracks...and letting go to fall into a foggy abyss below.

After his wild night, Michael starts going through some changes: sleeping all day, constantly wearing sunglasses, being extra snarky and developing a blood lust to attack his own brother! Same recognizes the signs because of the horror comics the Frog Brothers have been foisting upon him when his dog Nanook saves him from Michael by also adding Michael's now disappearing reflection and apparent levitation to the equation: his brother is now a vampire! Michael questions Star and learns she and a recent abducted boy named Laddie are like Michael: only half vampires that can keep from changing if they do not kill or they can return to being human if the head vampire is killed.

In order to save Michael, Sam turns to The Frog Brothers in locating the head vampire as it seems David is only a pawn for a more dangerous vampire. This group of teens are about to go head to toe with a new kind of the undead: younger, deadlier and dangerous...can Michael and Star and the town of Santa Carla be saved?

What Else Is There?

I can not remember when I first saw The Lost Boys but it was probably one of my earliest vampire flicks that I watched next to the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie. Being a child of the 80s and MTV, I like the style and cinematography of the film and the acting of then rarely unknown actors is funny, dramatic and sexy. The two Coreys of Feldman and Haim became blockbuster stars of the late 80s and early 90s where I crushed on Haim first and then on Feldman in my later years and after Corey Haim's death I see his icon role as Sam Emerson in a different light. He wasn't just cute but a talent that never got a chance to blossom smoothly.

On a more upbeat acting note, Kiefer Sutherland is amazing! I have always found Kiefer to be sexy with that voice and those good looks but his acting takes the cake. I have a small attraction to bad boys and his role as vampire David brought Kiefer to a tier of acting that just keeps getting higher. He can be dramatic, soulful, funny, compassionate and kick-ass all in one role if possible and holds a place in my heart always. The sexiness that Kiefer Sutherland has also rivals Jason Patric as Michael and Jami Gertz as Star. Acting wise I find Patric as the main character a little forgettable as Kiefer steals the show along with Haim and Feldman but I really like Jami Gertz. I always picture her from Still Standing or as Dr. Melissa Reeves in Twister when I watch this film and it proves she is great at drama and I have to admit I love "Star" and wish I could be her! Being between Patric and Sutherland, wearing 80s Madonna meets Stevie Nicks fashion and being a brunette vampire are some aspirations I would love to meet.

Besides the acting and being one of the best films Joel Schumacher ever directed, The Lost Boys has an equally appreciative soundtrack. Echo & The Bunnymen cover The Doors' "People Are Strange", Roger Daltrey of The Who cover Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Come Down On Me" and of course "Cry Little Sister" by Gerard McMann which is the theme to the movie. Another couple of stand out tracks are INXS with Jimmy Barnes "Good Times" (love INXS!) and "Lost In The Shadows (The Lost Boys)" by the phenomenal Lou Gramm of Foreigner. Lou's song is played early in the movie when David and Michael first meet and you might miss it but I have the soundtrack and I listen to this song constantly (I love Foreigner and Lou's voice is beautiful sexy)!

If you are one of those who has never seen The Lost Boys, you need to go out and buy this film! There are two sequel films Lost Boys: The Tribe and Lost Boys: The Thirst but neither one equals the greatness of the original.

 I won't spoil those for you...right now.

"Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It's fun to be a vampire."

Next Blog: An American Werewolf In London

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