|The Lost Boys|
|Directed by||Joel Schumacher|
|Produced by|| Harvey Bernhard|
|Written by|| Janice Fischer|
|Starring|| Jason Patric|
|Music by||Thomas Newman|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date||July 31st, 1987|
|Running time||93 mins|
|Followed by|| The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs|
Lost Boys: The Tribe
Lost Boys: The Thirst
This article includes a tremendous amount of spoilers. If don't want to know, then turn back now...
Two brothers move to a picturesque California coastal town and soon begin to realise that the local renegade band of bikers are more dead than alive.
Full SynopsisEditFinancial troubles force recently divorced mother Lucy Emerson and her two teenage sons Michael and Sam to move from Phoenix to settle down with her father in Santa Carla, an offbeat coastal town in California plagued with gang activity, unexplained disappearances and just happens to be the murder capital of the world. Having settled into Grandpa's house (and Sam has discovered, much to his disappointment, the lack of TV), the two teens head out to check out the town. At a concert on the boardwalk, a beautiful young woman catches Michael's eye. Realising she's being watched a the girl promptly disappears into the crowd, along with a young boy. Michael, unable to take his eyes off her, begins to follow with Sam in tow. Meanwhile, Lucy is also exploring the Santa Carla nightlife notices a small boy crying. She takes him into the nearby video rental store where he is soon reunited with his mother. Lucy's kind and gentle manner are observed by the store owner, Max, who introduces himself before offering her a job working for him. Back at the boardwalk, Michael is still following the mysterious girl with a reluctant Sam trailing not far behind. Asking if Sam has nothing better to do, the younger brother's eyes light up and he says he does before leaving Michael to continue his pursuit. Unfortunately Michael's pursuit is in vain as when he finally catches up with the girl, he sees her climbing onto the back of a motorcycle with the leader of a local gang.
Elsewhere Sam has been making acquaintances of his own, having wandered off to check out the boardwalk comic book store. It's there he meets the Frog Brothers, Edgar and Alan, sons of the tripped out store owners. The two are clearly unimpressed with Sam's enthusiasm for Batman and Superman comics, and advise him to read something a little more darker, handing him a copy of Vampires Everywhere!. Sam snubs it stating he doesn't like horror comics, but the brothers insist he takes it and that it could save his life. The following night Sam returns to the comic book store and once again the Frog Brothers try to hand him a horror comic, this one entitled Destroy All Vampires claiming that is should be used as a survival guide.The same night Michael finally learns that the mystery girl's name is Star. As they're about to leave the boardwalk together, the motorcycle gang reappear and the leader, David, goads Michael into following them to the sea-cliffs where his bike nearly goes over the edge. He angrily pucnches David who merely asks how far he's willing to go. Michael then finds himself invited to the gang's lair, the remnants of an old hotel that collapsed during an earthqualke in 1906. The three other members of Lost Boys are Dwayne, Paul and Marko. It's at their lair that they lead Michael through an unsettling initiation involving Chinese takeout and David offers Michael a drink from what looks like a wine bottle. He accepts and takes a drink, ignoring Star's efforts to warn him that it is infact David's blood. The gang then takes Michael out to where some railroad tracks cross a foggy gorge; one by one the group jumps off the tracks and out of sight. Michael realizes they are hanging from exposed reinforcement bars. They talk him into joining them under the tracks. As the train roars overhead, the reinforcement bar shakes and one by one the members of the gang fall into the foggy gorge, but they do not die; Michael can hear them goading him to fall. Unable to lift himself up, or hold on any longer, Michael falls in as well. He wakes up in his bed the next morning with no idea how he made it home.
From then on Michael begins to act stangely, sleeping all day and only going out at night which is dually noted by Sam. After Sam's dog, Nanook attacks Michael he accuses him of being a creature of the night just like out of the horror comics the Frog Brothers gave him, pointing out his lack of reflection in the mirror. Sam calls the Frog Brothers who advise him that his brother is only a half-vampire until he makes his first kill and that in order to save him he needs to kill the head vampire. Sam draws the conclusion that Lucy's boss Max must be the head vampire since he only comes into the video store at night and that his dog, Thorn, attacked his mother just like the Hounds of Hell when she went to drop off a bottle of wine to Max after running out on their date the night before. Lucy invites Max over to dinner and the trio seize the opportunity to put Max through his paces. Max passes the test and the boys agree that he isn't a vampire.Meanwhile, David has decided that initiation is over and a horrified Michael watches as the gang feast on a group of teenagers at a bonfire party. David explains that he is one of them and must feed. Michael refuses and leaves. Star follows him to try and explain that Michael is only half-vampire like her and Laddie. Michael, still angry, shuns her while a frantic Sam calls the Frog Brothers for help. They determine that David must be the head vampire and head out to the lair in Grandpa's car. Michael takes care of a weakened Star and Laddie while the trio explore the lair looking for the vampire nest. Unsure of which of the vampires is David, Edgar stakes Marko first which awakens the others. The trio make their escape, though they know that they don't have much time unti sundown when they're sure the vampire will make their attack. That night, with Lucy out on a date with Max and Grandpa out visiting with The Widow Johnson, they prepare for a retaliatory attack. Sure enough come sundown the vampires invade the Emerson house and with the help of Nanook, the defenders pick off the gang-members one by one, with Sam shooting Dwayne through the heart with an arrow, Nanook knocking Paul into a bathtub full of holy water and garlic, and Michael impaling David on some deer antlers in his grandfather's taxidermy workshop. However Michael and Star feel no change, meaning the head vampire is still out there. At around this time Lucy returns home with Max, having been concerned about Sam. As she quizzes the boys as to what's going on Max discovers David's body, witnessed by an unseen Star. He then tells Lucy that it had been his plan all along to get her boys on side so that his boys could have a mother, revealing that he is indeed the head vampire and that the invitation into their home is why he'd passed the Frog Brothers' test. With Sam in his clutches, Lucy has no choice but to give herself over to Max and just as he is about to bite her they hear the sound of Grandpa's jeep. While Max is distracted, Michael dives at him as Grandpa's jeep comes smashing through the window which is loaded with wooden fence poles, one of which impales Max and sends him screaming into the fire. As the others stare in amazement, Grandpa casually gets a root beer from the refrigerator and remarks, "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
- Dianne Wiest as Lucy Emerson
- Barnard Hughes as Grandpa
- Edward Herrmann as Max
- Kiefer Sutherland as David
- Jami Gertz as Star
- Corey Feldman as Edgar Frog
- Jamison Newlander as Alan Frog
- Brooke McCarter as Paul
- Billy Wirth as Dwayne
- Alex Winter as Marko
- Chance Michael Corbitt as Laddie Thompson
- Alexander Bacon Chapman as Greg
- Nori Morgan as Shelly
- Kelly Jo Minter as Maria
Keenan Wynn and John Carradine (a veteran of vampire films) were both original choices for Grandpa. Wynn died right before filming and Carradine was too ill.
Though almost all of Kelly Jo Minter's scenes are deleted from the film, and the only true appearance she makes is over Lucy's shoulder in the video store and the Lost Boys flirting with her during Lucy and Max's first meeting, she still received billing in the film's opening credits. Her scenes can be viewed in the 2004 Lost Boys DVD special features.
- The amusement park scenes were filmed at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in California. This is the same park that appeared in Brotherhood of Justice (1986) (TV) (also starring Kiefer Sutherland). The Boardwalk also was seen in the Dirty Harry sequel Sudden Impact (1983) and Harold and Maude (1971).
- The original screenplay written by Janice Fischer and James Jeremias was about a bunch of "Goonie-type 5th-6th grade kid vampires", with the Frog Brothers being "chubby 8-year-old Cub Scouts", and Star being a boy instead of a love interest. Joel Schumacher hated that idea and told the producers he would only sign on if he could change them to teenagers, as he thought it would be sexier and more interesting.
- Executive producer Richard Donner originally intended to direct the movie himself, but as production languished, he moved on to Lethal Weapon (1987) - and eventually hired Joel Schumacher for the job.
- The movie didn't originally end on a joke. After the scene with Grandpa at the refrigerator, it was supposed to cut to the surviving Lost Boys regrouping in the sunken hotel. The last shot was of a mural on the wall, made in the early 1900s, with Max in it - looking exactly the same as he did today. All of this appeared in an early draft of the script, but ultimately was never filmed.
- Kiefer Sutherland was only meant to wear black gloves when riding the motorbike. However, while messing around on the bike behind-the-scenes he fell off, breaking his wrist, which forced him to wear the gloves through the whole movie to cover his cast.
Box Office and Critical ImportanceEdit
The Lost Boys performed well at the U.S. box office, grossing over $32 million - a strong performance for an R-rated horror movie, especially at that time.
It won a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film in 1987. The film was part of an 80s trend to make the vampire figures of the stories of old more applicable to audiences in the 1980s, one that included 1987's western-gothic Near Dark and the suburban Fright Night of 1985.
As was the case for many of WB's 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 man 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 the bottom of their feet. It has become something of a collector's item among fans with prices ranging from $20 for a well-read and somewhat battered copy to well over a $150 for copies in good condition.
'David' is impaled on a pair of antlers but doesn't disintegrate like the other vampires. Despite what Max later says, he is not really supposed to be dead. This was intended to be picked up in a sequel, The Lost Girls, which was scripted but never made. In Lost Boys: The Tribe this is explained away as a vampire being able to be killed by anything through the heart, not just a wooden stake. David does not appear in Lost Boys: The Tribe, but he does make a reappearance in the comic book series, The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs, which serves as a prequel to Lost Boys: The Tribe.
Scripts for this and other sequels have been circulating since the late 1980s, and the original film's director, Joel Schumacher, made several attempts at one during the 1990s.
Finally, over 20 years after the release of the original film, Lost Boys: The Tribe, was greenlighted. Corey Feldman reprises his role as Edgar Frog, with cameos by Jamison Newlander and Corey Haim as Alan Frog and Sam Emerson, respectively.
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