|The Lost Boys|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joel Schumacher|
|Produced by||Harvey Bernhard
|Written by||Janice Fischer
James Jeremias (story and screenplay)
Jeffrey Boam (screenplay only)
|Music by||Thomas Newman|
|Editing by||Robert Brown|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||July 31, 1987|
|Running time||93 minutes|
|Followed by||Lost Boys: The Tribe|
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.
Michael Emerson (Jason Patric) and his boyish brother Sam (Corey Haim) move with their just-divorced mother Lucy (Dianne Wiest) to Santa Carla, a coastal California town plagued by gang activity and unexplained disappearances. The family moves in with Lucy's father (Barnard Hughes), a cantankerous and eccentric old man who lives in the outlying suburbs of town, with a hobby of taxidermy.
The center of town life is the boardwalk and amusement park. While Lucy gets a job at a local video store run by a man named Max (Edward Hermann), Michael is fascinated by Star (Jami Gertz), a beautiful young woman who lives with the leader of the local gang. Michael finds her the next night, but is provoked by gang leader David (Kiefer Sutherland) into a motorcycle race, in which he is baited into almost going over the edge of a sea cliff.
David invites Michael to their lair, where he is put through an unsettling initiation that includes drinking blood from a wine bottle. He joins the gang in hanging from the underside of elevated train tracks, watching in horror as each willingly drops into a foggy gorge below. Unable to hold on any longer, Michael falls... waking up in his bed, groggy and disoriented.
In the meantime, Sam meets brothers Edgar and Alan Frog (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander), self-proclaimed vampire hunters who give Sam horror comics to teach him about vampires. Sam scoffs at them until Michael's developing vampirism becomes clear: their dog is forced to fend off Michael's blood-lust-driven attack on Sam, who notices that Michael's reflection has become transparent.
Sam turns to the Frog brothers for help, but refuses their advice to kill Michael. He turns their suspicions to Max, who has begun dating Lucy, suggesting that he is the head vampire whose death will free half-vampires such as Michael, who have not yet killed. They put him through a series of tests, which appear to indicate that he is normal.
Michael resists joining the gang in a feeding frenzy. Star reveals to Michael that she too is half-vampire, and wants his help. The next day Michael leads Sam and the Frog brothers to the gang's lair, where they intend to kill the vampires in their sleep. But the killing of one vampire awakens David and the two others, and the Emerson brothers, Frog brothers, Star, and a recently abducted child half-vampire barely escape.
That evening, while Lucy is on a date with Max, and her father is out of the house, the teens arm themselves with weapons based on traditional defenses against vampires. David and the others attack, but are killed spectacularly, with Michael ultimately impaling David on deer antlers. But Michael doesn't transform back to normal with David's death, as they expected.
Max and Lucy arrive, and Max is revealed as the head vampire, having passed the Frog brothers' tests only on the technicality of being invited into the house. Max's objective all along was to get Lucy to be a "mother" for his "lost boys", but is thwarted by her father — who has been aware of the vampires all along — crashing his jeep through the wall of the house, killing Max on the wooden fence posts it was carrying. Michael, Star, and Laddie go back to normal. Everyone is relieved, but grandpa normally goes to get something to drink. He then declares, "One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach...all the damn vampires".
The greater majority of the movie was filmed in the city of Santa Cruz, California, and the surrounding Santa Cruz mountains. The amusement park scenes were filmed at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. This is the same park that appeared in Brotherhood of Justice (also starring Kiefer Sutherland). The Boardwalk also was seen in the Dirty Harry sequel Sudden Impact and Harold and Maude. Only the inside of the Cave and house were filmed on Stages 12 and 15 at Warner Brothers.
The original screenplay written by Janice Fischer, and James Jeremias was about a bunch of "Goonies-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 off camera he fell off, breaking his wrist, which forced him to wear the gloves through the whole movie to cover his cast.
The Lost Boys performed well at the U.S. box office, grossing over $32 million; a strong performance for an R-rated horror film, especially for that time.
Critical reception was generally positive, with a 77% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave the movie two-and-a-half out of four stars, praising the cinematography and "a cast that's good right down the line," but ultimately describing Lost Boys as a triumph of style over substance and "an ambitious entertainment that starts out well but ends up selling its soul."
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.
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.
The character David (Kiefer Sutherland) is impaled on a pair of antlers but doesn't disintegrate like the other vampires, and was not intended to be dead, which would be picked up in a sequel, The Lost Girls. Scripts for this and other sequels circulated, and the original film's director, Joel Schumacher, made several attempts at a sequel during the 1990s.
David makes a reappearance in the 2008 comic book series, The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs, which serves as a prequel to the first film sequel Lost Boys: The Tribe, and explains that the antlers missed David's heart.
Lost Boys: The Tribe, was greenlit more than 20 years after the release of the original film. Corey Feldman returned 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 played the lead vampire.
In March 2009, MTV reported that work had begun on a third film entitled Lost Boys: The Thirst, with Feldman serving as an executive producer as well as playing Edgar Frog, with Newlander returning as Alan Frog. Haim was not slated to be part of the cast, and died in March 2010.
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.
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".