- Movie Rating -

The Lost Boys (1987)

| July 31, 1987

The teenage vampire thriller The Lost Boys opens with scenes so nervous and so filled with tension that I briefly thought that we are were onto something special.  I really did.  The movie opens with a really montage of people milling about in Santa Carla, California – which we are reminded is a place so dangerous that it has been nicknamed “The Mass-Murder Capitol of the World.”  Somebody ought to look into that.

The opening strands, played over Jim Morrison’s “People Are Strange” offers something new.  This is a vampire movie that doesn’t feature the old stand-by of superstitious villagers who warn weary travelers to avoid Dracula’s castle, instead we get the sense that everyone is in on it.  Anyone could be a vampire, not just the guy occupying a castle on the hill.

The story offers hope.  A family, which includes divorced mother Lucy (Diane Weist) and her boys, hunky son Michael (Jason Patric) and precocious younger son Sam (Corey Haim), move to Santa Carla despite its dreaded reputation.  The locals are surprisingly inviting, particularly a helpful video store owner named Max (Edward Herrmann) who begins a slow but very sweet relationship with Lucy; also a pretty girl named Star (Jamie Gertz) who takes a liking to Michael.

It is the second relationship that makes up the bulk of the movie.  Star is inviting, seductive and soon brings about The Lost Boys, a pack of local punks that Michael all-too-slowly begins to realize are actually vampires.  The movie makes the life of a vampire look kinda fun.  They hang out all night (literally from the rafters of an old hotel), they terrorize those stupid enough to wander around at night and they try to recruit Michael into their colony.

Meanwhile, younger brother Sam gets a warning from some local vampire experts who call themselves The Frog Brothers (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) that vampires are real and are living in the vicinity.  They own the local comic book show down on the boardwalk and offer services should Sam and Michael find a vampire that needs un-vamping.

It is at this point, that I felt that I really liked this movie.  Yes, it’s a teenage horror movie, but it has a style and some character touches that I like – like Sam’s joy at sitting in the bathtub, washing his hair and singing Frogman Henry’s “Ain’t Got a Home.”

But somewhere in the third act the movie attaches itself to the rails and we get a fight-to-the-finish between he and the gang’s head vampire named David (well played by Kiefer Sutherland).  The back half of the movie is the usual special effects fight that throws whatever imagination that the movie had right out the window.  Why?  Why not something more ominous and less hopeful than a bad guy death followed by a walk in the sunlight?  Why not some real imagination.  The movie ends on a line that I wanted to applaud, but I wish the preceding half hour had been just as original. 

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1987) View IMDB Filed in: Action, Horror