Vampires were popular long before Twilight. In the 80s the cult classic film The Lost Boys spawned cultural references that are still used today in TV and film. The film was not a smash hit, but it did draw a loyal following. Part of the appeal of the film was the cast, which featured 80s heartthrobs Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Cory Haim and Cory Feldman, and Jamie Gertz. Veteran character actors Edward Hermann and Dianne Weist also starred in the film. A sequel and a prequel to the film were eventually created but never made it to theaters. The direct to video films were really only of interest to the fans of the original film.
The film came out in the 1987 and today serves as a cultural snapshot of the late 80s. Everything from the hair and costumes to the visual look of the film screams 1980s. The campy quality of the film is one of the reasons why fans love the film. Even though the film has too many stars to qualify as a B movie it has a B movie feel to it. The soundtrack helps elevate the film’s cult status, featuring 80s mainstays INXS and Echo and the Bunnymen. Several of the more obscure songs on the soundtrack feature organ music and choral arrangements and became staples in Goth clubs throughout the late 80s and the 90s.
The story of The Lost Boys centers on Michael Emerson and his younger brother Sam, who move to Santa Carla, California with their mother Lucy after her divorce. They move in with Lucy’s father, an over the top caricature of a cranky old man. Lucy’s father enjoys taxidermy and his house is filled with stuffed animals much to the horror of Sam. The boys are not thrilled with the move to Santa Carla but are determined to make the best of it for their mom’s sake. While exploring their new home they go down to the popular hangout in town, the Boardwalk.
There is a band area, lots of shops, and a lot of people. Michael meets a girl at the Boardwalk, Star, and quickly becomes fascinated by her. But Star has a boyfriend, vampire Kiefer Sutherland. Sam also explores the Boardwalk and finds a comic shop run by the Frog brothers, who warn him that the town of Santa Carla is filled with vampires. Sam laughs them off, but the Frog brothers insist that vampires are running rampant in Santa Carla. They point out a huge number of Missing posters that dot the Boardwalk as evidence that many people go missing after they become victims of the vampires. The Frog brothers become the only ones who believe Sam after he figures out that Michael is being turned into a vampire. They give him vampire comics to help him figure out how to fight off Michael and help him become fully human again.
Lucy gets a job in a video store on the Boardwalk run by Max after he notices her helping a little boy who lost his parents on the Boardwalk. He is drawn to her motherly qualities. As Lucy and Max start to get close Michael starts spending time with Star. He is partially turned into a vampire by Kiefer Sutherland’s character and the only way to stop the progression is to kill the head vampire. After a brutal confrontation Sam and Michael discover that Kiefer Sutherland’s character is not the head vampire as they suspected. Max, their mother’s new boyfriend, is the head vampire. He wants Lucy to become a mother to his vampire children.
The tone of the movie is more comedic than scary, which is one of the reasons why it has developed such a cult following. The movie was never meant to be taken seriously. Much like another classic 80s vampire movie Near Dark the movie was meant to put the classic vampire mythos in a modern setting. In the pantheon of 80s horror movies The Lost Boys is one of the most well-known and most loved movies. At any Halloween party you will probably see at least one person dressed up as a character from The Lost Boys. Horror cons also have many people that Cosplay Lost Boys characters.