This post is the ninth in my 31 Days of Vampires! series for October 2014.
1987 brought us two Western-ethos vampire films tapping into a darker, contemporary treatment of the fanged undead: Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark and Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys. In my opinion, both have stood the test of time – especially if you consider The Lost Boys to be more of a comedy horror than a serious vignette.
The film opens (more or less) on divorcee (Dianne Wiest) and her two teen sons (Jason Patric and Corey Haim), relocating to “Santa Carla” (Santa Cruz), California from Phoenix, Arizona. The small family is trying to make a new start in this countercultural mecca, and no sooner do they get moved into their curmudgeony grandpa’s house before the eldest son Michael gets into trouble. Wandering on the boardwalk, bored and restless, he finds himself (and therefore, his kid brother) involved with a group of teenage biker no-goodniks – no-goodniks who also happen to be nosferatu. The biker gang is helmed by David (Kiefer Sutherland) and his kinda-sorta girlfriend Star (Jami Gertz) along with a handful of sinister, mullet-and-leather-jacket-sporting hooligans.
I tried to (re-)watch this film as objectively as I could, given at age twelve this was my favorite film – and much-watched. I tried – and failed. Because for twenty-five years now I’ve known every bit of dialogue, every bit of nuance (and… non-nuance, because there’s a lot of that too), every song and every sound effect. It was impossible for me to review it with a fresh eye. The film is probably more impressive to those of us who saw it as youngsters; like crowd favorites Goonies or Top Gun, it probably is a lot less appealing to those watching it who didn’t grow up in the nineties.
The film is still a lot of fun, even if it shies completely away from the pathos inherant in child and teen vampires, and parks its arse in boilerplate action shoot-out. When watching The Lost Boys remember – like Cole Stratton and Janet Varney’s great riff of the work does – the film boasted some of the most memorable horror-comic one-liners, helmed a killer soundtrack, gave us both Coreys, and spawned or at least heavily influenced a couple sexy sax man memes (yes… there’s more than one – the actual saxophone artist in the film is Tim Capello and he really is just like his potrayal in the film).
Oh, and? Dwayne was by far the hottest vampire. Just sayin’.