POSTERS: The Lost Boys
If you’re a film geek who grew up in the 80s, there’s a good chance Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys might be one of your favorite cult classics. My history with this film is interesting because when I went to see it on a summer night back in 1987 (a double bill with Revenge of The Nerds 2) I didn’t even know what it was about. I watched with no clue that what I was going to see was a new teen vampire film so when it was finally revealed that the characters are bloodsuckers it made the experience that much more memorable and resonant. Ever since the film has been a treasured little gem to me.
One thing that sets this film apart from others in the genre right away is the setting. It takes place in a sun soaked, hippie atmosphere of a California surf town. Sam (Corey Haim) and his older brother Mike (Jason Patric) and their mom Lucy (Diane Wiest) have moved from Arizona to the fictional coastal town of Santa Carla, California (it’s really Santa Cruz) to live with their grandfather, an eccentric old codger who is a taxidermist. What the family doesn’t realize is that they’ve just arrived in Vampireville USA.
One night while at a local concert at the town’s amusement park, Mike sees a beautiful girl named Starr (Jami Gertz) in the crowd and it’s love at first sight. He quickly asks her to go hang out with him. That’s when he is interrupted by David (Keifer Sutherland) an evil looking dude and his gang of teen punks. When David tells Starr to go with him, she does. He seems to hold some kind of power over her. Not to be completely rude, David invites Mike to a little motorcycle race through the bluffs. This is one of my favorite sequences in the film, the Rebel Without a Cause homage. Mike proves he is tough enough and David sees him as a potential member to the gang. Little does Mike know that these guys aren’t your usual teens looking for kicks. They hide a dark secret.
Meanwhile, Sam visits the local comic book shop where he encounters two militant punk kids who run the place for their stoned out hippie parents, they are The Frog Brothers, Edgar and Alan (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) who are suspicious of Sam with his coifed hair and new waver appearance when he walks in. The two force some comics on Sam that are about vampires. Sam who is not a fan of horror comics, refuses them. He doesn’t understand why these two kids are so serious and odd. After relenting, Sam finally accepts the comics and begins reading them, not knowing yet that they will come in handy as his survival guide.
The movies first act does an especially great job of stringing the audience along in a Hitchcock style, dropping messages here and there about what’s really going on, and also uses interesting point of view shots of the vampire crew flying over the water and during their initial attacks on unsuspecting people.
Schumacher had previously directed the Brat Packer coming of age drama St. Elmos Fire (1985), and The Lost Boys was a bit of a departure for him. He really does an excellent reimagining, bringing the classic themes in vampire movies into the 1980s and does a really cool twist on them. The use of dark humor mixed with the action also adds another layer of enjoyment. The title of the film is of course a reference to Peter Pan’s friends, the group of parentless boys who live on their own in Never Never Land.
FURIOUS FILM GEEK TRIVIA:
– In a bit of post-modern method acting, Corey Feldman decided to use Rambo as the basis for his character Edgar Frog. Notice his bandana and speaking voice.
– The Gecko Brothers name in the film From Dusk Till Dawn was inspired by The Frog Brothers.
For this week’s installment in our Furious Posters series, I’ve decided to take a look at two different theatrical posters for the film and how they differ:
The German poster features David and his gang in full horror glory illustrated in 80s european exploitation film style.
The U.S. poster is particularly interesting because of the mystery it creates surrounding the film’s genre. Without the tagline which mentions vampires it could be another 80s teen drama.