Movie of the Week: The Lost Boys (1987)

Joel Schumacher directs Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric and Corey Haim in this Eighties teen vampire horror comedy.

Last time I revisited The Lost Boys, I thought I had outgrown it. There was something about its slightness and style over substance that left me cold. A VHS I watched many times as a kid had become a toy not worth playing with in adulthood. Yet it popped up on a hotel late night channel, and I decided to introduce Natalie to it. And we had fun. The horror is diluted down… only a bonfire attack feels bloody enough to hold its head up in the era that gave us The Evil Dead and Re-Animator. The comedy is a bit more serviceable. It can be witty, gloopy, camp, hysterical. The kids sell the gags better than the scares. Whatever the generic deficiencies are, The Lost Boys is all about attitude. Jack Daniels soaked rocker, comic book reading, rundown boardwalk rides, sax rocker sweat mood. The film has a hazy, ominous, electric feel. The soundtrack and score helps. Foreboding yet headbanging. “CRRRRYYY LITTLE SISTER!… (thou shall not fall)”. The cast is variable. Yet Dianne Weist, Edward Herrmann, Corey Feldman and Nanook the dog all make a little out of a lot. Star of the show is Kiefer though, the leather vamp who sells the seductive tragedy of being an undead immortal. He joshingly tricks us with his Chinese banquet of maggots and worms, bristles into action at a flick of a switch and cries a solitary heartfelt tear when sunlight burns him. He and Schumacher did stronger work in Flatliners, but The Lost Boys is their iconic triumph. And the film has one of the best final lines of dialogue in blockbuster history.

8

My Top 10 Vampire Movies

1. Near Dark (1987)

2. Let the Right One In (2008)

3. Waxworks (1988)

4. Nosferatu (1922)

5. What We Do In the Shadows (2014)

6. The Lost Boys (1987)

7. The Hunger (1983)

8. 30 Days of Night (2007)

9. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

10. Dracula (1931)

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