Guest Review: The Lost Boys

In this guest post, Jim Brymer takes a look back at the biting vampire classic The Lost Boys

Matthew and Sam (Jason Patric and Corey Haim), along with their mother, Lucy (Dianne Wiest), have moved to the California beach town of Santa Carla to live with their grandfather, Lucy’s father, played with crotchety relish by Barnard Hughes. Grandpa is a riot, a kind of cross between an old hippie and a half-nuts taxidermist.

As they pass a sign welcoming them to Santa Carla, the back of the sign has scrawled “Murder Capital of the World”. This is the first warning that something is wrong with Santa Carla.

The town has a plus going for it as far as the boys are concerned; it has a carnival on the boardwalk. Both boys head to the boardwalk, each seeking out their own interests. Sam, being a young comic book enthusiast, runs across the Frog brothers, Edgar and Alan (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander), who try to get him to take a vampire comic, saying it will be important to him. But Sam tells them he doesn’t like horror comics. Still he ends up taking it.

Meanwhile, Matthew, red-blooded young male that he is, spies a hottie at a concert. The girl, Star (Jami Gertz), flirts with him visually but ends up hoping on the back of her boyfriend’s bike. The boyfriend, David (Kiefer Sutherland), is the leader of a biker gang. You will notice from the picture below that they are Hollywood’s typical “80’s hair band” type of gang bangers. And yes, if the guy on the right looks familiar, it’s Alex Winter, who Keanu Reeves‘ partner in crime in the Bill and Ted comedy series. Meanwhile, Lucy gets her own freak on. She starts to work for Max (Bernard Herrmann), who runs a video place on the boardwalk. (Take a look at that face, this is the movie where I fell in love with Dianne Wiest).

Matthew and David end up in a motorcycle race down to the beach, where, in an abandoned and sunken hotel, Matthew is introduced, unwittingly, to an initiation rite which will turn him into a vampire, like the members of David’s gang. Sam finds out about Matthew’s transformation and immediately contacts the Frogs. The Frogs want to kill Matthew outright. (They are amateur vampire hunters, although as can be seen early in the movie, they don’t have that much experience).

It eventually comes out that in order to save Matthew, who is only a “half-vampire” since he has yet to score his first kill, the head vampire has to be killed. The Frogs think that person is Max, but a botched attempt to expose him convinces them otherwise. So they decide to focus on David. They find the sunken hotel and manage to kill off one vampire while it sleeps, but are scared off before they can kill David. Their plans to entrap David and his vampire crew are what constitute the last third of the movie, and includes some pretty graphic scenes.

Jim Brymer, AKA Quiggy, runs the movie blog The Midnite Drive-In, check it out for more insights on other classic films.