THE LOST BOYS
Review by Gordon Justesen
Stars: Corey Feldman, Jami Gertz, Corey Haim, Edward Herrmann, Barnard
Hughes, Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Dianne Wiest
Director: Joel Schumacher
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Stereo
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 97 Minutes
Release Date: August 10, 2004
you know who we are, now you know who you are. You’ll never grow old, Michael,
and you’ll never die…but you must feed!”
When one is to
think of a quintessential vampire flick from the 80s, the one title that is
likely to pop up instantly, if not say Near
Dark, is The Lost Boys. The two
movies happened to be released in the exact same year, and both have gone on to
experience a unique afterlife (no pun intended) years after their initial
release. This is one of those all time fun flicks that can be expected to be
passed down from generation to generation.
When I first saw
the movie, I was really really young, and it had something of an effect on me.
The effect was that it frightened me quite a bit. I also remember laughing quite
a bit. Later in life, I would come to realize that The Lost Boys was, and is, a true B movie classic, and a fantastic
looking one at that. If one is to ever take it too seriously, he or she has
missed the point of the flick right then and there.
If anything, the
movie should be given credit for featuring one of the more over-the-top plot
scenarios of all time, even for the period it was made in. It centers in on the
Emerson family, who consist of single mother Lucy (Dianne Wiest) and her two
teenage sons, Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim). The family is moving
back to the town where Lucy's father resides.
Despite the town's
distinct labeling, Santa Carla does have something of an appeal, especially to
those in search of the wildest night party on Earth. After being shacked up with
Grandpa (Barnard Hughes), who seems to still be living in the stone age, Michael
and Sam journey to the boardwalk area on their first night in town. The brothers
are instantly awestruck by the outlandish never-ending party that parades the
beach just about every night.
Michael is also
awestruck by the sight of a mysterious, and quite beautiful local girl named
Star (Jami Gertz). After pursuing her elusive trail, Michael is led to an even
more mysterious biker gang, led by David (Kiefer Sutherland), a presence who is
both dark and engaging. After a series of challenges, David eagerly welcomes
Michael into their so-called brotherhood.
Thinking he's just
made some harmless new friends, Michael is very unaware of just who or what he's
just made friends with. He finds out soon enough, however, through a significant
change in himself. Michael soon comes to realize that, like the gang members
he's now associated with, he is a bloodsucking vampire. Needless to say, he
finds himself wearing sunglasses more than often.
discovery of his big brother's sudden change, he is at a lost for words.
Luckily, Sam comes into contact with the Frog brothers, cleverly named Edgar
(Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander). They run a comic book store on the
boardwalk, and also happen to know a thing or two about fighting vampires. They
simply advise Sam to execute his brother, which he absolutely refuses.
It all leads to an
all out showdown, as Michael attempts to ward off his newly discovered evil
identity, and destroy the bloodsucking infestation that is destroying the town.
Sam finds himself as something of an ally to the Frog brothers, whose supposed
knowledge of vampires at the point of confrontation is quite challenged. The
last half hour of the movie is pure in-your-face horror action, mixed in with
frequent bits of comedy that come way out of left field, like the crucial moment
involving the rule of letting a vampire into one's home.
Though the movie's
plot should never be taken seriously, the technical level of The
Lost Boys should definitely be taken into account. Director Schumacher,
along with cinematographer Michael Chapman, has created a striking look to the
film, which I think, brings something of an impact with each viewing. In
addition, the special effects are quite astonishing. The make up effects used in
the look of the vampires still manage to inject a jolting reaction.
Nearly 18 years
after its release, The Lost Boys is,
to many, one of the quintessential movies of the vampire genre. I prefer to look
at it as more of a B movie classic, since it has all of the qualifying elements.
One thing's for sure, though; if you're with a bunch of friends on a late Friday
night and there's nothing else to do, pop in this movie and the night is
I never caught the
movie's first outing on DVD, which was released way in the beginning period for
the format, but I can say this; I've rarely seen an 80s flick look so incredible
as this one of a kind transfer courtesy of WB. The look of the movie is
something of a key here, and the anamorphic picture succeeds in making the
cinematography and set pieces even more electrifying than before. Image quality
is that of consistent sharpness and ultra crisp form, and the colors are simply
Talk about a sound
mix that'll really blow the roof off. The strong and superb 5.1 mix on this
stellar release comes close to doing just that. Dialogue is terrifically clear
and well delivered, the 80s rock songs included never sounded better, as well as
the haunting score by Thomas Newman. And when the movie kicks into horrific
action gear, most notably late in the movie, prepare to be rocked big time!
There's no question
that the legions of fans who worship this movie will get more than their money's
worth with this killer two disc set.
Disc 1 includes a
commentary track with Joel Schumacher.
Disc 2 has the
rest, and is extremely well assorted. There's a retrospective documentary,
featuring interviews with many cast and crew members. In addition, there's a
feature titled "The Return of Sam and the Frog Brothers", which
features multiangle video commentary from Corey Feldman, Corey Haim and Jamison
Newlander, an effects featurette titled "Vamping Out: The Undead Creations
of Greg Cannom", "Inside the Vampire's Cave", which features 4
additional featurettes, The Vampire's Photo Gallery, a music video for the song
"Lost in the Shadows", an interactive map, and a trailer.