The Lost boys, released in 1987 was and still is the vampire film to rule them all as the Goonies go vampire. Directed by Joel Schumacher, the cult classic has it all, from punk rebellious costumes, to rigorous rock music. The film is about two brothers who move to a town in California with their mother, to find that it’s crawling with vampires. Schumacher landed a number of bands for the soundtrack by promising to direct music videos for them. The soundtrack features a number of key covers and original tracks by big 1980s bands. Roger Daltrey took on the appropriately-named Elton John song “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” Tim Capello covered The Call‘s “I Still Believe,” and makes an appearance performing it in the film, INXS and Jimmy Barnes duetted on “Good Times” by 1960s Australian band The Easybeats and Echo & The Bunnymen took The Doors‘ “People Are Strange.” The score was by Thomas Newman and Lou Gramm, the lead singer of Foreigner, contributed the theme song “Lost In The Shadows (The Lost Boys).” But the film’s music budget wasn’t enormous. There are also a few songs in the film that never featured on the released soundtrack: Run DMC & Aerosmiths cool “Walk This Way,” “Ain’t Got No Home” by bluesman Clarence “Frogman” Henry and The Rascals‘ “Groovin’”. The scene where walk this way is played is the goriest of the film however, with the music the scene is less scary and more cool, emphasising the vampires personalities.
The characters in the film were remarkably memorable for me, the Goonies isn’t the only 80’s classic that the director takes inspiration from, and this is apparent when we look at the Frog brothers. Edgar and Alan Frog played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander resemble mini Rambo wannabes, this is shown through their costumes of khaki jumpsuits, red bandanas and their props of constantly carrying Rambo style knives. They kindle a friendship with Sam who’s style is clearly inspired by MTV and is a massive comic book nerd, together the trio deliver some of the films best one liners such as “My own god damn brother a shit-sucking vampire” and “Were fighters for truth, justice and the American way”. The vampires all stand out in their own way, David wears black all the time and has a punk hairstyle, he has a classic bad guy look with the leather jackets, mullet and motorbikes. He is the second antagonist in the film and delivers the film’s most famous line “they’re only noodles Michael”. The other vampire I want to discuss is Dwayne, he’s portrayed as an enigma, strong and silent, and rarely included in conversation. He seems to be secondary to David as he takes care of Laddie the half vampire, is second (after David) to be introduced and is the third vampire to die in the film, just before David. Alex Winter who played Marco in the film also performed well considering he had just graduated from NYU, he went on to star alongside Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted. I think the vampire makeup and gore were also advanced and realistic for the time of the film’s release.
The film has a unique style, from mixing vampire features with rock- never been done before. The film feels very 80’s and nostalgic. It has elements of nostalgic 80’s like Kiefer Sutherland’s hair, that bleach blonde mullet is something you wouldn’t see today, but the film as a whole still emanates a badass coolness. This film makes viewers want to be like them, from the sunglasses, to the motorbikes. Even the way Michael turn into a vampire is so unique, in previous vampire films, you have to get bitten, but in this film Michael drinks vampire blood, mistaking it for wine. He then becomes a half vampire and needs to kill to become a full one- the Vampire Diaries references this as they too need to make a kill before turning full vampire. Also I’m a huge fan of the way Schumacher portrays the vampire stuff, like when they are flying around its kind of like Jaws when the shark swims around, we don’t see them but we hear screeches like birds flying and we get their presumed point of view. Overall the film is shot as if it is one massive music video. I have to say the ending is a little more faster paced than the rest of the film, but the director makes it so fun, that I don’t question it. The boys use squirt guns full of holy water to attack the vampires, the first vampire to die, Paul, takes a plunge into a bath full of holy water and garlic, (garlic don’t work boys clip) then Dwayne experiences “Death by stereo”, and then of course there’s the ultimate showdown between David and Michael all leading up to the big twist.
The Lost Boys has a good sense of humour and a dark style. All the actors seemed to enjoy filming and the tone of the film is constantly back and forth that viewers are unsure whether they will be shown something cool, funny or gory. This film put Shumacher on the map and led him to direct some of the Batman movies. This movie is so unique and combines suspense and laughs excellently.