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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
The Shittiest Films Ever Made, No. 10: The Lost Boys 
Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 | 02:38 pm [film, review, shittiest films]
The Shittiest Films Ever Made
No. 10: The Lost Boys
I’d hate for my string of positive reviews of old horror movies in the last few weeks to give the impression I’ve forsaken the shittiest of the shitty. As anyone who’s driven past the marquee of a movie theater in October knows, there’s enough garbage constantly churned out in the vein of would-be scary movies to write about nothing-but from now until they bury me face-down/ass-up. Less numerous but twice as irritating are those horror movies that flat-out suck balls, but manage to become pop culture touchstones anyway. I’m not talking about something awful in an endearing way, like Plan 9 From Outer Space or Faces of Death. I’m talking about a flick that gives you nowhere to hide, that is just dogshit any way you look at it, and has nevertheless acquired a large and devoted following. I might be talking about The Lost Boys. I am, actually.
This was one of those films I heard about for years before actually seeing it. My best friend from my early teens through my early twenties fancied himself a horror movie person. He talked a good game — referring to Michael Myers as “the Shape,” and such — but it turned out he didn’t know his ass from an ice cream sundae when it came to movies, and pretty much everything else. The Lost Boys was one of those films he felt I ought to have seen already; when he discovered I hadn’t, he produced his well-worn VHS copy and decided to enlighten me.
Lucy, a middle-aged single mother, and her two teenage sons move to the fictional town of Santa Carla, California. The town has a gang of punk bikers led by David (Kiefer Sutherland, fifteen years before his Jack Bauer street cred), and including Star, whom Michael, Lucy’s oldest son, immediately develops the hots for. While Michael (Jason Patric, back when it looked like he might have, you know, a career ahead of him) rides bikes and plays chicken with David and Star and the gang (who are really a filthy buncha vampires, ya know), Sam, Michael’s younger brother (played by Corey Haim), befriends a pair of mildly retarded comic book geeks (Jamison Newlander and the other Corey — Corey Feldman) who also happen to be vampire hunters in their spare time.
The excitement of seeing both Coreys on the screen at the same time would be enough for most movies. Most directors would just coast at that point. Not The Lost Boys auteur Joel Schumacher. While Michael is being pledged into the vampire biker fraternity, and Sam is getting a crash course from the Belmont twins, their mother Lucy is being romanced by Max (Edward Hermann, years before finding better venues for his talents as the narrator of History Channel documentaries, and the aloof grandfather on Gilmore Girls). Surely these three plots can have nothing to do with one another. I mean, sure, maybe Sam and those moron vampire hunters might butt heads with David and the undead bikers, but Lucy’s affair with Max is just there for a lovely bit of character development, right?
Of course not! All three credited writers must have been paying close attention in screenplay class, because their story never sticks a toe outside of formula. In the lamest and least-shocking plot twist possible, Max is revealed to be the true leader of the vampire biker gang. By this time Michael has become alarmed at the vampiric tendencies he’s been displaying (aversion to light, wanting to sleep all day — must’ve been all that fucking blood he drank), and he and the two Coreys fight and kill David and the gang. This leaves no one to rescue Lucy at the end — no one, that is, except the hitherto useless character of Grandpa, who drives a jeep through the wall right on cue, conveniently staking Max with a splinter, grabbing a root beer from the fridge and casually declaring that his least favorite part of life in Santa Carla is all the vampires running around. Har har har.
Remember all those John Hughes, Brat Pack-type movies from the ‘80s? Imagine all the worst aspects of those films — the lame humor, embarrassingly dated fashion, shitty pop music — and throw in a little vampirism, and you’ve got The Lost Boys. Why it has enjoyed popularity with horror movie fans is really beyond me, because there isn’t a single thing to recommend it. Joel Schumacher had directed St. Elmo’s Fire a short time before this, and must have thought he was on the right track, because The Lost Boys is pretty much St. Elmo’s Fire with fangs. Even poor Edward Hermann is made to suffer, spending most of the film in a pastel Miami Vice jacket. Somebody just stake the pitiful bastard already!
My friend was dismayed that I didn’t share his esteem for the film. To him, Keifer Sutherland as David, with his spiked mullet and dark trench coat with the up-turned collar, was the walking embodiment of cool. Looking at it that way, I’m amazed we stayed friends as long as we did.
Saturday, July 6th, 2013 | 06:42 am (UTC) - Lost Boys Totally Rulezzz
That's what a younger me would've surely said in response to this post. I still think it rulezz, but I also agree with your assessment. I guess it's because you didn't see it as a kid. The same way a 35 year old wouldn't fall in love with the Neverending Story. And I love this movie, just as I love the Neverending Story.
Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 | 08:56 pm (UTC) - You are right but I still love the movie
Saw this movie when I was pretty young (around 10 years old) and have loved it since. Basically so much that I own both sequels even through they both suck. You are completely right with your comments and I agree with you if it was not so that it was the first vampire movie I saw growing up in the 90s.

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