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The Lost Boys is a 1987 American coming of age action-horror film about two young Arizonansmarker who move to Californiamarker and end up fighting a gang of teenage vampires.

Directed by Joel Schumacher, the film stars Jason Patric, Corey Haim, and Kiefer Sutherland, and co-stars Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, and Barnard Hughes.

The title is a reference to the Lost Boys in J. M. Barrie's stories about Peter Pan and Neverland.

Plot

Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) Emerson move with their mother Lucy (Dianne Wiest) to Santa Carla, a coastal California town plagued with gang activity and unexplained disappearances. The family moves in with Lucy's father (Barnard Hughes), a cantankerous old man who lives in the outlying suburbs of town and who decorates his house with the product of his hobby: taxidermy.

The center of town life seems to be the local boardwalkmarker, which has an amusement park. While Lucy gets a job at a local video and electronics store run by a man named Max (Edward Hermann), Michael is fascinated by a beautiful young woman he sees at a concert. When Michael follows her, she leaves the boardwalk with the leader of the local gang. The following night, Michael finds the young woman again and learns that her name is Star (Jami Gertz). As they are about to leave together on Michael's motorcycle, the gang leader, David (Kiefer Sutherland), reappears and provokes Michael into a motorcycle race where Michael is almost baited into going over the edge of a sea-cliff. Michael punches David, who merely sees potential in Michael. David invites Michael back to his secret hangout, a dilapidated old hotel that sank underground after an earthquake.

At the lair, the gang leads Michael through an unsettling initiation involving Chinese food, culminating with a swig from a wine bottle. A concerned Star warns Michael that he's drinking blood, but he ignores her and drinks from the bottle. Later that night, Michael joins the gang in hanging underside elevated train tracks. A train passes, and a stunned Michael watches the gang members purposefully fall off into a foggy gorge below. Unable to hold on any longer, Michael falls in as well. He wakes up in his bed, groggy and disoriented.

In the meantime, Sam meets two young brothers, Edgar and Alan Frog (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) - a duo who not only run the local comics store, but they also hunt and kill vampires. Sam is skeptical of their claims but begins to notice Michael's strange behavior, such as sleeping all day, being sensitive to sunlight, and an episode of blood lust. Michael's behavior gets worse, but Sam denies the Frog brothers' pleas to kill his brother.

The gang reveals to Michael that they are indeed vampires, and then show him by murdering teenagers at a party. Michael almost succumbs but leaves to meet Star, who explains they are both "half vampires," who will not achieve full vampire status until they have had their first kill. Then Michael and Star kiss and have sex.

Sam learns that if the "head vampire" is slain, all "half vampires" will revert back to human form. Due to his suspicious behavior, the store owner, Max, is suspected as the head vampire. Complicating things is that Max and Lucy are now dating. Sam and the Frog brothers attempt several vampire tests on Max (garlic, mirrors, etc.), but Max is unaffected by all of these tests, so it would seem that he is human. The plan now is to invade David's lair during daytime and slay the sleeping vampires, hoping that one of them is the head vampire. When the Frog brothers kill the first vampire, his dying screams awaken David and the others. Sam and the Frog brothers manage to escape from David while Michael takes Star and a young vampire boy named Laddie (Chance Michael Corbitt) back up to his car. The Frog brothers, Michael and Sam, plus the two vampires drive out of the cave. David promises revenge come sundown.

That night, Lucy is on a date with Max and Grandfather is away. Michael and the teens prepare for the gang's assault, arming themselves for the battle. The three remaining vampires attack and chaos ensues. Sam kills one with an arrow through the heart while another is knocked into a bath tub filled with holy water. Michael and David fly and battle until Michael impales David on deer antlers and kills him. However, Michael is still a vampire. Max and Lucy then appear and Max reveals himself to be the head vampire after all; the tests hadn't worked because he had been freely invited into the house by Michael before. He reveals that he had wanted Lucy as his mate and that his "family" and hers would merge. As Max is about to bite Lucy's neck, her father crashes his jeep through the wall of the house; the vehicle's hood is piled up with the large spiked fence posts, one of which impales Max, killing him. 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," indicating that he knew all about the vampires from the very beginning.

Production



  • 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 even though nearly 100 years had passed, a la The Shining. 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 importance

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.

The novel

As was the case for many of Warner Brothers' 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 their forms. 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.

Sequels

"David" (Kiefer Sutherland) 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. He makes a reappearance in the comic book series, The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs, which serves as a prequel to Lost Boys: The Tribe and explains the antlers missed his heart.

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 greenlit. Corey Feldman reprises his role as Edgar Frog, with cameos by Jamison Newlander and Corey Haim as Alan Frog and Sam Emerson, respectively. Kiefer Sutherland's half-brother Angus Sutherland takes over the role of lead vampire in the sequel.

In March 2009, MTV reported that work had begun on a third "Lost Boys" movie entitled Lost Boys: The Thirst. Corey Feldman will serve as an executive producer as well as act reprising his role of Edgar Frog.

Music

Thomas Newman wrote the film score to be an eerie blend of orchestra and organ arrangement while the music soundtrack contains a number of notable songs and several covers, including "Good Times", a duet between INXS and former Cold Chisel lead singer Jimmy Barnes which reached number 1 on the Australian charts in early 1987. This cover version of a 1960s Australian hit by the Easybeats was originally recorded to promote the Australian Made tour of Australia in early 1987, headlined by INXS and Barnes.

Tim Capello's cover of The Call's "I Still Believe" was featured in the film as well as on the soundtrack. Tim Capello makes a small cameo appearance in the movie playing the song at the Santa Carla boardwalk, with his saxophone and trademark bodybuilder muscles on display.

The soundtrack also features a cover version of The Doors' song "People are Strange" by Echo & the Bunnymen. The song as it featured in the movie is an alternate, shortened version with a slightly different music arrangement. This version has not been released as of yet.

Lou Gramm, the famed lead singer of Foreigner, also recorded "Lost in the Shadows" for the soundtrack, along with a video which featured clips from the film.

The theme song, "Cry Little Sister", was originally recorded by Gerard McMahon (under his pseudonym of Gerard McMann) for the soundtrack, and later re-released on his self-titled album "G Tom Mac" in 2000.In the sequel of the film the theme song "Cry Little Sister" was covered by a Seattle based rock band "Aiden".A re-make of the song was done by Zug Izland. Many of the lyrics were changed, including some apparent mondegreens. Zug Izland's song is called "Cry" and is featured on their album "Cracked Tiles."

Songs not on the soundtrack



References in popular culture

The phrase "vamp-out" has gone on to be used elsewhere, including as slang on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Other Buffy connections include Kiefer Sutherland's father, Donald Sutherland, who played the role of Buffy's first Watcher, Merrick, in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer feature film. The film, however, was not canon to the TV series.

In a number of sitcoms, Haim and Feldman reference The Lost Boys. In National Lampoon's Last Resort, Haim tries crossing himself to ward off an attacker. Feldman interrupts, "Hey, cut that out. You already did that in The Lost Boys."

Plus, the show Big Wolf on Campus had Haim and Feldman appear in different episodes as themselves, but vampires, the story being that during the making of The Lost Boys, they actually became vampires.

In the movie Reservoir Dogs Mr. Orange talks about how he was interrupted in his efforts to watch the movie.

Hardcore punk group Death By Stereo gets their name from a line spoken by Sam Emerson. A clip from the movie can be heard on the first song of their album If Looks Could Kill, I'd Watch You Die.

The song "Santa Carla Twilight" by psychobilly band Tiger Army is named after the town in The Lost Boys and makes references to vampirism.

The movie inspired the eponymous song "Lost Boys" by Finnish rock band The 69 Eyes. The movie-adapting video for the song was directed by Bam Margera.

The 2004 Activision video game Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines makes reference to the film during a quest in the Hollywood hub. The quest involves the player convincing a food critic to give a certain cafe a bad review. If the player's character is a Malkavian, they may use their power of Dementation to make him think he's eating maggots. The line is identical to Kiefer Sutherland's character's spoken dialogue in the film with the phrase "Not like this is from a movie or anything..." added at the end.

In an episode of Psych entitled "Poker? I Hardly Know Her!", Shawn refers to the movie when asking Gus about the rule involving vampires needing to be invited into a dwelling, saying, "Gus, you've seen 'Lost Boys' like 14 times, what's the rule?"

Industrial rock band Dope Stars Inc. references the movie's tagline in their song "Infection 13": 'Sleep all day, party all night, never grow old and never die'.

Welsh post-hardcore band The Blackout have a promo photo of them dressed and posed identically as the movie poster for the film.

References

External links




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