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February 16, 2012

Midnight Movie of the Week #111 - The Lost Boys

Sometimes in life, you have to grow up and be mature about things.  For me, tonight is one of those moments.  Because, despite all of the will in my body pushing me toward a certain topic, I've decided that I won't only talk about Tim Cappello, the oily sax man, while talking about The Lost Boys.  It's tough.  When you've got something as Earth-shattering, mind-numbingly-awesome, and omnipresently-powerful as the oily sax man in your movie, it's hard for people to not only talk about it.  Heck, sometimes I forget what The Lost Boys is actually about.  I just know it's the movie with the oily sax man. I mean, seriously, just look at him.
Now look at him again.
Do you see what I mean?  No? OK, let's go to the tape.  SEE???

OK, now that that's out of my system (Wait....I STILL BELIEVE!!!!!  OK, now it's out of my system), let's talk about the rest of The Lost Boys, which is probably the most treasured piece of '80s pop culture mixed with horror known to man.  The teen-based vampire tale - which does not, thankfully, feature sparkling or emo depressed girls - is one of those movies that my entire generation just knows.  Like, if The Lost Boys stopped over and said it needed to borrow a cup of sugar, every dude or dudette aged 25-35 would invite it in and shoot the breeze for hours before sending it home with a freshly baked batch of snickerdoodles AND a cup of sugar.
Produced by Richard Donner and directed by Joel Schumacher - who is probably the most unfairly hated director of all-time, but that's a different story for another day (HINT: Burton's Batman movies sucked too!) - The Lost Boys takes us into the awesome world of Santa Carla, California, which local graffiti-ists have dubbed "The Murder Capitol of the World".  When we arrive, we learn that the town is full of Oceanside fun that includes carnivals, wicked neon video stores, and - of course - a rocking saxophone man.  But, as we learn immediately, there's also something awful in town.
Enter "The Frog Brothers", played by Jamison Newlander and the great Corey Feldman, who warn young Sam - played by the other Corey, Corey Haim - about the vampires that plague the town.  It's kind of a weird idea - especially when you realize that the Frogs don't seem to know anything about the identity of the vampires, who flaunt themselves pretty blatantly to my eyes - but I'm willing to give these pre-teen vampire hunters the benefit of the doubt.  After all, one might just think the group of vamps - led by future TV super-icon Keifer Sutherland - is a bunch of kids dressed in ridiculous clothes.
Thankfully we have Sam's older brother, Michael (Jason Patric, son of The Exorcist's Jason Miller!), a moody teenager who is drawn to a girl (Jami Gertz, who was what we call "80s hot") who is drawn to the four ridiculously clothed dudes, who happen to be vampires.  The result is a battle between those who want to hold on to their humanity and those who do not; a battle that plays off of vampire lore well throughout the film.
It's not entirely a young person's movie, however, with a budding romance between the local video store owner played by Edward Herrmann and Sam & Mike's mother played by Dianne Wiest.  There's also the boys' grandpa, played by Barnard Hughes, who is perhaps my favorite thing about the film.  Grandpa's final line in the film is one of the greatest things ever said in a horror film, a final line that I won't dare spoil for the ignorant or deaf fools who haven't yet truly experienced The Lost Boys.
Then again, if you haven't experienced The Lost Boys yet, you may be completely hopeless.  I had a video store employee tell me recently that he hates any movie made before 1990, which probably means he has no soul.  And if you're old enough to know The Lost Boys and haven't experienced it yet....well, I apologize for the abuse you've endured.
I don't need to sit here and talk about The Lost Boys.  As hair rockers Extreme would say, The Lost Boys is worth more than words.  But I couldn't keep this series of movies I love going on and on and on and not end up talking about just how cool The Lost Boys is.  Not was, IS. Those poor teenagers today have no idea what they're missing when they look at the neutered vampire films of this generation.  There truly is nothing - no film, no television show, no kids playing in their backyards - that is quite like The Lost Boys, a one-of-a-kind piece of horror history that should never be ignored by anyone.  Ever.
I have to add one serious thing, since I didn't say anything serious (or maybe I did?) during this whole rant about how awesome The Lost Boys is.  I badly...and I mean BADLY...want to visit the video store Ed Herrmann runs in this flick.  Seriously, it's beautiful.  Those big box Warner Brothers VHS tapes all over the walls, the wall of TVs, the weird neon TV shapes hanging all over, even the fact that the classics and adult films are randomly on the same wall....I just love all of it.  If I had a time machine, I would be in this store first.  Then maybe I'd hit up The Ice Bowl and after that meet Kim Novak on the set of Vertigo.  But first: the video store from The Lost Boys.  Yup.


Malice said...

Aaahh...thank you for reminding me of this little piece of awesomeness still in existence in this cold, cruel world!

Marvin the Macabre said...

This last October, Stacie Ponder over at the Final Girl Blog asked everyone to submit their favorite character in all of horror. My choice was Grandpa. Cool Grandpa fact: I had the novelization of The Lost Boys back in the day, and apparently Grandpa was a high-powered corporate lawyer before he took up the secluded life of taxidermy and cannabis-growing.

Awesome non-review. And as 80s hot as Star was, there's no way I'd have left the Tim Capello gig to chase after her. No wonder Haim was so pissed.

MadMan_731 said...

About two years ago I finally saw The Lost Boys, and I discovered what I had been missing. Prior to viewing it I had also seen the 80s horror classics Fright Night and Near Dark, two other really good vampire movies. I have to give the slight edge to Near Dark over The Lost Boys, but all three movies have that 80s goodness. The Lost Boys especially, what with that great pop soundtrack, the awesome cast, and the fact that its a smart, savvy and at times humorous vampire movie.

Also the Grandpa is indeed the best part of the entire film, and I love his final line. I also like how he tells the boys to gas up the car next time they take it, while just simply ignoring that his two grandsons and the two young vampire hunters have just brought a young woman and a little boy home with them.

Enbrethiliel said...


Ah, back when vampires were vampires and had big 80s hair!

I have to admit that the first time I watched this with a critical eye, I wasn't too happy with it. Vampirism as a symbol for drug addiction felt like a bit of a cop out because drug addiction already is a kind of vampirism, you know?

Only later did I appreciate all the coming-of-age elements as well. (Random personal information: my two younger brothers are now both teenagers. And yes, they might as well be night-loving blood suckers these days. ;-) Sheesh!)