The Lost Boys
|The Lost Boys|
Theatrical release poster by John Alvin.
|Directed by||Joel Schumacher|
|Produced by||Harvey Bernhard|
|Music by||Thomas Newman|
|Edited by||Robert Brown|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Box office||$32.2 million|
The Lost Boys is a 1987 American horror film starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, and Barnard Hughes.
The film is about two Arizona brothers who move to California and end up fighting a gang of young vampires. The title is a reference to the Lost Boys in J. M. Barrie's stories about Peter Pan and Neverland, who, like the vampires, never grow up.
Brothers Michael and Sam and their recently divorced mother, Lucy, move-in with her father on the outskirts of the beach community of Santa Carla, California. Michael and Sam begin hanging-out at the boardwalk, which is plastered with flyers of missing people, while Lucy gets a job at a video store run by Max. Michael becomes fascinated by Star, a young woman he spots on the beach, though she seems to be in a relationship with gang-leader David. In the local comic book store, Sam meets brothers Edgar and Alan Frog, a pair of self-proclaimed vampire hunters, who give him horror comics to teach him about the threat they claim has infiltrated the town.
Michael finally talks to Star and is approached by David, who goads him into following them by motorcycle along the beach until they reach a dangerous cliff, which Michael almost goes over. At the gang's hangout, a sunken luxury hotel beneath the cliff, David initiates Michael into the group. Star warns Michael not to drink from an offered bottle, telling him it's blood, but Michael ignores her advice. Later on, David and the others, including Michael, head to a railroad bridge where they hang off the edge over a foggy gorge; one by one they fall, Michael falling after them.
The next day, Michael develops a thirst for blood and impulsively tries to attack Sam. Sam's dog, Nanook, retaliates, and Sam realizes that Michael is turning into a vampire by his brother's semi-transparent reflection. A terrified Sam flees to his room. Michael begins to develop supernatural powers and asks Star for help, but has sex with her shortly afterwards. Sam deduces that, since Michael has not killed anyone, he is a half-vampire and his condition can be reversed upon the death of the head vampire. Sam and the Frog brothers test whether Max is the head vampire during a date with Lucy, but Max passes every test and appears to be human.
To provoke him into killing, David takes Michael to stalk a group of beach goers, and instigates a feeding frenzy. Horrified, Michael escapes and returns home to Sam. Star arrives, and reveals herself as a half-vampire who is looking to be cured. It emerges that David had intended for Michael to be Star's first kill, sealing her fate as a vampire. The next day, a weakening Michael leads Sam and the Frog brothers to the gang's lair. They impale one of the vampires, Marko, with a stake, awakening David and the two others, but the boys escape, rescuing Star and Laddie, a half-vampire child and Star's companion.
That evening while Lucy is on a date with Max and the grandfather is out of the house, the teens arm themselves with holy-water-filled water guns, a longbow, and stakes, and barricade the house. When night falls, David's gang attack the house. The Frog brothers and Nanook manage to kill one of the vampires by pushing him in a bathtub filled with garlic and holy water, dissolving him to the bone. Sam is attacked by Dwayne, another vampire, and shoots an arrow through his heart and into the stereo behind him, electrocuting him and causing parts of his body to explode. Michael is then attacked by David, forcing him to use his vampire powers. He manages to overpower David and impales him on a set of antlers. However, Michael, Star and Laddie do not transform back to normal as they had hoped. Lucy then returns home with Max, who is revealed to be the head vampire. He informs the boys that to invite a vampire into one's house renders one powerless, explaining why their earlier assumption had been incorrect. Max's objective had been to get Lucy to be a mother for his lost boys. As Max pulls Lucy to him, preparing to transform her, he is killed when Grandpa crashes his jeep through the wall of the house and impales Max on a wooden fence post, causing him to explode. Michael, Star and Laddie then return to normal.
Amongst this carnage and debris, Grandpa casually retrieves a drink from the refrigerator, and declares: "One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach: all the damn vampires."
- Jason Patric as Michael Emerson
- Corey Haim as Sam Emerson
- Kiefer Sutherland as David
- Corey Feldman as Edgar Frog
- Jamison Newlander as Alan Frog
- Jami Gertz as Star
- Edward Herrmann as Max
- Barnard Hughes as Grandpa
- Dianne Wiest as Lucy Emerson
- Brooke McCarter as Paul
- Geoffrey Hendrix as Motorcycle Gang #1
- Billy Wirth as Dwayne
- Alex Winter as Marko (credited as Alexander Winter)
- Chance Michael Corbitt as Laddie
- Alexander Bacon Chapman as Greg
- Brett Clark as Teen on Boardwalk
- Tyler Branstool as Carnival Ride Operator
- Nori Morgan as Shelly
- Kelly Jo Minter as Maria
- Christian Osbsorne as Drummer
- Tim Cappello as Saxophone Player
- Andrew Verity as Comic Store Kid
The majority of the film was shot in Santa Cruz, California, including the surrounding Santa Cruz Mountains and Pogonip open space preserve. Originally, the script called for Santa Cruz to be the name of the fictional town where the "lost boys" hunted their prey. But the Santa Cruz city council strongly objected to the town being portrayed as the "murder capital of the world" and refused to grant filming permits unless the production company changed the scripted city name. It was Santa Cruz's true crime history which attracted the producers to the beach town in the first place. In the late 1970s, Santa Cruz gained an unpopular reputation as "Murdersville, USA" and as being "the Murder Capital of the World" after three infamous serial killers (Kemper, Mullin, and Carpenter, a.k.a. the Trailside Killer) were found to have hunted victims in the area. The producers, however, relented and the fictional town of "Santa Carla" replaced "Santa Cruz" in the film.
During production, the director filmed the amusement park scenes at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the concert scenes on the main stretch of beach running parallel with the Boardwalk. But, this wasn't the first film to have done so. The Beach Boardwalk was, for a time in the late 1970s and 1980s, a coveted filming location for many movies including "Tilt" with Brooke Shields, the third Dirty Harry sequel Sudden Impact with Clint Eastwood, Sweet Liberty with Alan Alda, Dangerous Minds with Michelle Pfeifer and the B-movie cult classic, Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Even Huey Lewis and the News got into the act filming the boardwalk and beach for their music video, "If This Is It", at the dawn of MTV videos.
The first screenplay written by Janice Fischer and James Jeremias, was about "a bunch of Goonies-type 5th–6th grade kid vampires", with the Frog Brothers as "chubby 8-year-old Cub Scouts", and Star appearing as a boy instead of a love interest. The original inspiration came from James Jeremias, who caught upon the notion that Peter Pan could fly, visited Wendy and her brothers at night, and never grew old. The simple notion that Peter Pan was a vampire was the genesis for the story. In the first draft of the script, the character of David—later played by Kiefer Sutherland—was originally named Peter, and other characters also had names from the Peter Pan story. In the final draft, many name changes were made, but originally the two brothers were Michael and John (which was later changed to Sam) and the mother's name was Wendy. The most obvious nod to the Pan story is the dog, Nanook, inspired by the character Nana the dog. The Grandfather character was never a part of the original story but later created in the draft by Jeffrey Boam, who was hired to do the final rewrite. The Frog Brothers, Edgar and Alan, are named after the Gothic author, Edgar Allan Poe.
Executive producer Richard Donner originally intended to direct the movie himself, but as production languished, he moved on to Lethal Weapon (1987). Richard Franklin was going to direct but fell out with Donner who eventually hired Joel Schumacher, crediting his wife, producer Lauren Shuler Donner for the idea. Joel Schumacher hated the material and averred that he would only sign on if he could change the characters to teenagers, believing this would be sexier and more interesting.
Schumacher later remembered his experience making the film:
We really didn't know what we were doing then! (laughs) We made it up as we went along. The studio was incredibly patient and supportive considering they'd never heard of Kiefer Sutherland, or Jason Patric, or Jamie Gertz, or Corey Haim... it was another big chance taken by a studio. We were very lucky. A lot of people at the studio didn't think you could mix horror and humor.
Critical reception was generally positive. Roger Ebert gave the movie two-and-a-half out of four stars, praising the cinematography and "a cast that's good right down the line," but ultimately describing Lost Boys as a triumph of style over substance and "an ambitious entertainment that starts out well but ends up selling its soul." Caryn James of The New York Times called Dianne Wiest's character a "dopey mom" and Barnard Hughes's character "a caricature of a feisty old Grandpa." She found the film more of a comedy than a horror and the finale "funny". Elaine Showalter comments that "the film brilliantly portrays vampirism as a metaphor for the kind of mythic male bonding that resists growing up, commitment, especially marriage."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film maintains a rating of 72%. with the critical consensus "Flawed but eminently watchable, Joel Schumacher's teen vampire thriller blends horror, humor, and plenty of visual style with standout performances from a cast full of young 1980s stars." On Metacritic it has a rating of 63/100. It won a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film in 1987. The film has since developed a cult following.
The mythographer A. Asbjørn Jøn has commented on the way that the influence of The Lost Boys has helped shift popular culture depictions of vampires since its release.
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As was the case for many of Warner Brothers' films at the time, Craig Shaw Gardner was given a copy of the script and asked to write a short novel to accompany the film's release. It was released in paperback by Berkley Publishing and is 220 pages long. It includes several scenes later dropped from the film such as Michael working as a trash collector for money to buy his leather jacket. It expands the roles of the opposing gang, the Surf Nazis, who were seen as nameless victims of the vampires 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.
Kiefer Sutherland's character David is impaled on a pair of antlers but does not explode or dissolve in any way. He was intended to not be dead, which would be picked up in a sequel, The Lost Girls. Scripts for this and other sequels circulated, and the original film's director, Joel Schumacher, made several attempts at a sequel during the 1990s.
David makes a reappearance in the 2008 comic book series, Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs, which serves as a sequel to the first film and a prequel to Lost Boys: The Tribe, and explains that the antlers missed David's heart.
A direct-to-DVD sequel, Lost Boys: The Tribe, was released more than 21 years after the release of the original film. Corey Feldman returned as Edgar Frog, with a cameo by Corey Haim as Sam Emerson. Kiefer Sutherland's half-brother Angus Sutherland played the lead vampire, Shane Powers.
In March 2009, MTV reported that work had begun on a third film entitled Lost Boys: The Thirst, with Feldman serving as an executive producer in addition to playing Edgar Frog, and Newlander returning as Alan Frog. Haim, who was not slated to be part of the cast, died in March 2010. The film was released on DVD on October 12, 2010.
|The Lost Boys: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||July 31, 1987
October 25, 1990 (CD release)
Thomas Newman wrote the original score as an eerie blend of orchestra and organ arrangements, while the music soundtrack contains a number of notable songs and several covers, including "Good Times", a duet between INXS and former Cold Chisel lead singer Jimmy Barnes which reached No. 2 on the Australian charts in early 1987. This cover version of a 1960s Australian hit by the Easybeats was originally recorded to promote the Australian Made tour of Australia in early 1987, headlined by INXS and Barnes.
Tim Cappello's cover of The Call's "I Still Believe" was featured in the film as well as on the soundtrack. Cappello makes a small cameo appearance in the movie playing the song at the Santa Cruz boardwalk, with his saxophone and bodybuilder muscles on display.
The soundtrack also features a cover version of The Doors' song "People Are Strange" by Echo & the Bunnymen. The song as featured in the movie is an alternate, shortened version with a slightly different music arrangement.
The theme song, "Cry Little Sister", was originally recorded by Gerard McMahon (under his pseudonym Gerard McMann) for the soundtrack, and later re-released on his album "G Tom Mac" in 2000. In the film's sequel, "Cry Little Sister" was covered by a Seattle-based rock band, Aiden.
- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
- "Good Times" by INXS and Jimmy Barnes – 3:49 (The Easybeats)
- "Lost in the Shadows (The Lost Boys)" by Lou Gramm – 6:17
- "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" by Roger Daltrey – 6:09 (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
- "Laying Down the Law" by INXS and Jimmy Barnes – 4:24
- "People Are Strange" by Echo & the Bunnymen – 3:36 (The Doors)
- "Cry Little Sister (Theme from The Lost Boys)" by Gerard McMann – 4:46
- "Power Play" by Eddie & the Tide – 3:57
- "I Still Believe" by Tim Cappello – 3:42 (The Call)
- "Beauty Has Her Way" by Mummy Calls – 3:56
- "To the Shock of Miss Louise" by Thomas Newman – 1:21
The soundtrack was first released on LP and cassette in 1987 by Atlantic Records, then CD in 1990.
- "Tom Holland on his seminal vampire flick Fright Night, which turned 30 this week". 5 August 2015.
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- Kaufman, Gil (2010-03-10). "Corey Haim's 'The Lost Boys' Was The Original Teen Vampire Flick". MTV.com. Retrieved 2010-05-09.
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- Showalter, Elaine. Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin de Siècle. Virago Press, 1995, p. 183.
- "The Lost Boys (1987)". rottentomatos.com. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
- Jøn, A. Asbjørn (2001). "From Nosteratu to Von Carstein: shifts in the portrayal of vampires". Australian Folklore: A Yearly Journal of Folklore Studies. University of New England (16): 97–106. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "MTV Movies Blog » 'Lost Boys' Threequel On The Way, Corey Feldman To Return". Moviesblog.mtv.com. 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
- Prudom, Laura (July 15, 2016). "The Lost Boys Sequel Comic in the Works from Vertigo (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
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- Cabbage, Jack (27 October 2008). "Lou Gramm: Lost in the Shadows (1987)".
- Cabbage, Jack (26 October 2008). "Gerard McMann: Cry Little Sister (1987)".