We’re all stuck in the house, right? There’s never been a better time to dig into those retro movies that you’ve always wanted to watch, but never had the time for. Personally, I’m a bit of a retrophile and tend to watch more older flicks than newer ones. On Fangirlish, you can now look forward to a retro review from me each Wednesday in this column. I’ll be highlighting one throwback movie a week, offering a spoiler-free review of the film, any throwback thoughts from my childhood, and where you can watch the movie yourself. Sit back, relax, and enjoy #WayBackWednesday.
I wanted to watch a fun movie for this week’s #WayBackWednesday; enter The Lost Boys. This 1987 vampire horror-comedy is a lot of fun and a film that I want to watch whenever the weather warms up. Have you seen this vampire blast from the past, filled with mullets, Grandpa Gilmore, Jack Bauer, Bill S. Preston, The Coreys, and Ariel’s mom from Footloose? I think it’s worth checking out just for the intertextual crossover, but there’s a lot more to The Lost Boys than just that. Check out the trailer for The Lost Boys and we’ll get started with #WayBackWednesday.
The Lost Boys tells the story of a single mom, Lucy (Dianne Wiest), and her two sons, Sam (Corey Haim) and Michael (Jason Patric) looking to make a fresh start in Santa Carla, California with her dad, played by Barnard Hughes. Michael, looking to get the attention of a beautiful girl he sees at the boardwalk, Star (played by Jami Gertz), follows her and a group of tough-looking teens back to their hideout. What transpires from there is a deep dive into a modern twist on vampire lore, directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Richard Donner. The film also begat two sequels–Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008) and Lost Boys: The Thirst (2010) with Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander reprising their roles as The Frog Brothers. Here are a few things I love about The Lost Boys.
The 1980s Aesthetic and Actors
My introduction to The Lost Boys came one summer when I was hanging out with my best friend back home. She has always been into horror films, while my deep love of the genre has really only developed in the past five years. One of her superpowers, aside from recommending which books to read ten years before they become popular films and television shows, is picking out horror movies for those who aren’t necessarily fans of the genre to watch and enjoy. When she heard I’d not seen The Lost Boys, she decided we needed to have a movie day to rectify such things post haste.
I loved it.
I really love the 1980s anyway, but the film is almost a time capsule for the decade. It’s also interesting to note that the Santa Cruz boardwalk used in the film is the very same boardwalk that you see in another intertextual modern horror classic–Jordan Peele’s Us (2019). Aside from my adoration for the aesthetic, the one actor I really recognized at the time was Edward Herrmann as Max. I knew him as Grandpa Gilmore from Gilmore Girls, so it was fascinating to me to see him as a younger man. He would have been in his early 40s at the time. Aside from him, other notable actors in the film are Kiefer Sutherland as David, Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander as The Frog Brothers, Edgar and Alan, and Alex Winter (yes, Bill S. Preston, but with a mullet) as Marko.
Killer Covers Soundtrack
One thing that I think is particularly fascinating about The Lost Boys is that while the main theme, “Cry Little Sister” by Gerard McMann is original to the film, the soundtrack features several notable cover songs. I always find cover songs to be interesting; I like to see what stays true to the original while the artist covering the song makes their version their own. The Lost Boys soundtrack features covers of The Doors’ classic, “People are Strange” as performed by Echo and the Bunnymen, Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” as performed by Roger Daltrey, and The Call’s “I Still Believe” as performed by Timmy Cappello. Other notable 1980s great, INXS has two songs on the soundtrack, “Good Times” (with Jimmy Barnes) and “Laying Down the Law.” I think the use of cover songs in The Lost Boys is interesting because it is thematic to the film; the film is a more modern take on vampire lore, a cover if you will, therefore it is appropriate to lay in some covers as background tracks. If you like cover songs or simply great 80s music, then you should definitely check out The Lost Boys.
The Lost Boys is filled with great humor and references not only to vampire lore but to other aspects of pop culture–rock music, television, and more. As someone whose brain is only capable of logging random pop culture trivia that is really only useful on trivia night at the pub, there were several lines that made me laugh out loud. However, my favorite lines of the film are always delivered by The Frog Brothers. Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander’s deadpan delivery does not cease to crack me up. If you could use a good laugh, you should add The Lost Boys to your viewing list.
Need a trip to the 80s? Do you love vampires, or do you just need a good laugh? Look no further than The Lost Boys.
The Lost Boys is currently streaming on HBO MAX and for free with ads on Tubi TV.