On Tuesday, I reviewed Vampires vs the Bronx. One of the main reasons that I did this was because it gave me the chance to rewatch The Lost Boys for today. My friends and I were obsessed with the 1987 classic black comedy when we were teenagers. It was a ridiculous thing and we loved it. It also helped that, even as a bleach blonde vampire, Kiefer Sutherland is an absolute dreamboat. The Lost Boys was a commercial success and is still beloved by fans. To the extent that, 21 years after it was released, a sequel was released. Apparently, there’s a third one as well. Something I might never have realised had I not been writing this post. Will I watch it? It’s unlikely but at least I now have the option.
I know people can’t forgive Joel Schumacher for what he did to Batman but we shouldn’t forget that he did some good things. There is an argument that, with The Lost Boys, he reinvigorated the vampire genre. By placing the focus on young and sexy bloodsuckers, the film helped pave the way for things like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight. Okay, don’t hold that last one against it too much. The point is, The Lost Boys had cultural significance and it’s easy to see why. The film brings together a pretty strong cast of young 80s actors and just has a lot of fun. How many of those faces are still recognisable to young people now? Probably not many but I imagine it’s one step ahead of St Elmo’s Fire. This is a film that screams 80s cheese and it is always enjoyable. It also features on of the greatest final lines of a film ever written. It might not be quite up there with Some Like It Hot but it’s bloody memorable.
Is The Lost Boys the greatest film ever? No. There are plenty of flaws and the story is a little vague at times. It feels as though a lot of the important lore got cut out and everyone just hoped people wouldn’t ask too many questions. As a comedy horror, the films leans a little too much towards the comedy side of things which does dilute the horror somewhat. Still, it manages to blend the two better than many of its predecessors. And I don’t really think that’s a bad thing. When you cast Corey Feldman as a teen vampire hunter then you’re clearly going for funny over scary.
One of the things that the 80s really got right was it’s films for teens. It understood that teenagers were more mature and complex than they’d previously been viewed. Teen films in that era really started to offer them more from their viewing and The Lost Boys allowed them to embrace both their silliness and their darker side. It perfectly balances Corey Haim’s funny one-liners with the grotesque visuals of a vampire melting in a bathtub filled with holy water and garlic. It’s a film that plays with The Peter Pan conceit from our childhood and puts a bloody twist on it. Asking the question, “is eternal youth really something to be desired?” It might not be perfect but there’s more to it than really meets the eye.