Vampire Week Day 2: Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys

Today I watched Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys (1987)

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Brothers Michael and Sam’s mother has just left their father and driven with them out too California to live with their grandfather.  Their new home is just outside the beach town of Santa Carla and while they bemoan the lack of TV and other modern entertainments in their grandfather’s abode at first, they soon discover a thriving beach night life of carnivals, comic shops, and shredded saxophonists gyrating on open air stages.  But in this anarchic view of west coast life lies a dark secret, Santa Carla is overrun with the undead.  It is Michael who makes contact with them first as he follows a cute girl from the aforementioned sax music, only to be confronted by David, the leader of the bloodsuckers who decides to initiate him into their rambunctious crew.

This movie is one of the most 80’s movies there is, brilliantly stylish and full of swagger.  The film is steeped in the style o LA gothic and night time pacific beaches.  With both the main characters and the vampires themselves all being quite young there is also a strong element of youth rebellion here, which forms something of the thematic thrust of the film.  The vampires here could be said to be metaphorical of that aggressive and violent expression of youth, and of the bad decisions one could make.  The problem then would be how much the film fetishizes and borderline worships both it’s antagonists and it’s radical setting.  Of course such rebellious sentiments are probably the point as that energy does drive the film and run through it’s principle cast.

A young Kiefer Sutherland as the head vampire David is positively hypnotic here as a personification of youthful danger.  His menace rises above the humour and 80’s camp  that much of the film resonates with and keeps things focused on the monsters.  Jason Patrick is also quite good as the infected Michael, though this role is mostly a sense of disorientation and wearing sunglasses at odd hours.  The rest of the characters are who they need to be, but stand out to me much less, they are all swept along by this film’s sense of chaos and energy.  That riotous attitude is the reason why I love this flick and is the reason why I highly recommend it as a deserved cult classic of vampire cinema.  4/5

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