Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Lost Boys: Death by...Awesome

For those of you looking for possible explanations as to why I did not see The Lost Boys until now, here are your choices.

A. Corey Feldman's face is upsetting to me even when he was "cool".
B. Corey Haim's tragic death caused everyone to talk about this film too much.
C. Kiefer Sutherland is not The Donald
D. There is no reason, I am an asshole.
E. All of the above.

Well clearly the correct answer is C. Kiefer really freaks me out because he just doesn't possess the same charming quality that The Donald does.

I like to blame this on the fact that Kiefer is often type casted into roles that have the words; rapist, scum bucket, creep, and bad guy tacked onto the description. Believe me, if anyone was shocked that he would one day save the world or whatever he did on 24--it was me.

Alright, alright I'm kidding. The real answer is E.

There actually is no good reason for my delay in seeing this. I would have seen it sooner actually had I not noticed it would be going live Instant Watch on the 1st day of the year. I think I was also partially dubious of its charms. Yes, it was a fan favorite among many or all horror fans but was it a hit just because everyone grew up with it? Would it be another case of Andre hates something that everyone else likes?? Fear not, I loved just about everything having to do with The Lost Boys. Even Corey Feldman. And his face.

In fact, few movies have sucked me in as quickly as The Lost Boys did. But then again, few movies offer up this eye candy so early on in the film.

Apparently this was considered cool and hip in the 80s. And why wouldn't it? What isn't cool (straight) about a shirtless, Chris Jericho look-alike playing the saxophone and singing next to flaming trash cans? It's no wonder I was such a loser back then--I was much too invested in listening to Marky Mark and pretending that he was my boyfriend. And before you ask, yes I have been shown the SNL skit with Jon Hamm--3 times now in fact. It is marvelous but a clear case of shirtless saxophone wonder thieving.

I'm pretty sure I was the last horror fan on Earth to see this, but in case my calculations are wrong, here is the plot. Sam and his older brother Mike are forced to move to Santa Carla with their Mom. Santa Carla is the capital of murder because there just happens to be a clan of vampires roaming the carousels at night.

After Mike gets mixed in with the wrong carousel hunting gang, it's up to Sam, his new comic book hoarding friends, Mike, some chick and a small child, to stop them before it's too late.

I think what I enjoyed the most about The Lost Boys is that it is a no frills vampire story. It does not contain a need or desire to give characters a sudden superhuman strength to fight off the vampires. Nobody is given a wooden stake and suddenly an expert at killing things. Nobody is shown as fearless. In fact, it reminded me a lot of Return of the Living Dead in that respect. We are given what is largely a very real depiction of what a vampire infestation might actually look like. People scream, and people cry.

Teenage boys are not blessed with immediate and flawless aim and they use squirt guns filled with garlic and holy water. They care about the well being of their dogs, aren't afraid to sleep with their mother at night and still take bubble baths.

It's all just so refreshing to me.

Not only that, but The Lost Boys is insanely hilarious. It's one of those smile movies. You know, the kind that infect you with a giant smile the entire time you are watching it. Even when bad things are happening, even when Kiefer Sunderland pokes his big nasty vampire face in your face, you're still smiling like a fool.

It also happens to be the 2nd most quotable horror film behind The Monster Squad. Corey Haim is so charming and genuine, you can't help but love him. Even Corey Feldman and his annoying "weird husky voice thing" never gets old. Little moments where the boys bust into a church and fill their canteens with holy water made me laugh out loud.

Corey Haim's frantic shouts to his mother and how he constantly tells her that they need to have a talk will stay burned in my brain. The Lost Boys really is a truly fantastic film.

It's not pretentious, or overly "cool". Or who knows, I was only born a year previous to it so I can't say if adorning one's walls with giant swatch clocks was a cool thing to do. While we're on the subject, did anyone else detect a little gay undertone in Corey Haim's character?

Take another look at his bedroom and explain to me how having that poster on one's closet is not suggestive.

Oh wait George Michael was still cool back then I had forgotten...! Never mind, never mind.

So where does this leave me? Pretty bummed that I have been missing out on this for my entire life. It really is just a delightful film. And it's scary, and fun, and surprisingly gory. It's everything I would have loved when I was younger, and it's everything that I love right now. On Twitter someone asked me if The Lost Boys had "aged well". I didn't have an answer as this was my first time seeing it, but now that I think about it--I believe it hasn't aged at all. The Lost Boys may very well be a timeless horror classic. Yes, a shirtless man playing the saxophone was considered cool back then---but let's be honest with ourselves, it's pretty still fucking cool, and not gay at all. It grabs a hold of us from the moment it begins until the first names beginning sc scrolling in the end credits. The ending scene of mayhem is one awesome explosion after the next--and the final hero's last words are priceless.

Yes, The Lost Boys has made its official entry into movies I want to rub on my face for all eternity. Breathe it in and don't ask silly questions about why the only dogs there are Huskies, or why the only place to go is the Boardwalk. Just let it be.


Liam Underwood said...

Awesome review! I'm pleased you like the film and I have to agree, it's a timeless horror classic.

So much win.

Richard said...

The Lost Boys was a huge influence on me, and my dress sense, when I was a teen back in the day. It's one of those movies so utterly dripping in Eighties-ness it makes me weep with nostalgia whenever I see it.

Great review.

CashBailey said...

I have made myself very unpopular on various horror message boards over the years extoling the virtues of this movie, which most people just dismiss as merely another bit 80's cheese. As if it's THE BIKINI SHOP or something.

I've incurred the wrath of fanboys for even daring to mention that I personally find this movie funnier AND scarier than AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.

I love this movie. Fuck all the haters.

Andre Dumas said...

Thanks all!

Cash- Seriously? People hate this movie? I can't believe it. Sure, it's heavy on the 80s but everything else is timeless and perfect. What a bunch of loons.

Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror) said...

Dude, get out of my brain. I just bought Lost Boys like, an hour ago with my Christmas gift card. So weird. Haven't watched it in years, needed to catch up.

I wasn't that big on Kiefer for the longest time either, but after watching 24, I have fallen desperately in love with him. Even when he played a rapist. He's really kind of awesome in almost everything he's done.

CashBailey said...

Andre - Strangely, yes. There are actually people out there who don't like THE LOST BOYS.

But there are also people out there who like Rob Zombie movies and neither makes sense to me.

The Mike said...

Great stuff! I loved this growing up, then was all like "Oh, I don't love this anymore", then saw it again last year and was like "Oh yeah, I totally love this". It's just so much fun. And it might have the most perfect final line in '80s horror history. Barnard Hughes' Grandpa was a baaaaad man.

Bloodbath said...

So pleased you caught the Lost Boys bug. And you brought up some pretty good points. People who hate these movies or think it's just one big cheese just don't understand! And if a movie can make Corey Feldman seem real cool then it's a success!
The first movie was a classic, the second was pretty good, the third was pretty awsome!

Holly Wood said...

I have seen this film SO many times I've lost count and everytime I find new things to love about it. I have a signed photo of the vamp gang in my kitchen and it's my prized possession! Glad you liked it, I never feel ashamed to tell people how much I love it!! :D

Anonymous said...

I LOVED this movie when it came out and still do. I remember by the soundtrack (on casssette of course) right after I saw the movie.

And yes, even back then, we questioned whether a straight teenaged boy would have poster of Rob Lowe (not George Michael) showing his abs!

Andre Dumas said...

Hmm it really doesn't look like George Michael at all. I wonder why I thought that at the time.

Jamie said...

Corey Feldman ruined the film for me. If it was supposed to be a comedy it might make sense, but his character is so out of place - and that voice! It's so annoying. It's like someone told him to try doing Robert Shaw from Jaws. It's not the only problem, the poor dialog, the plot (which was thin but then fell apart when Max over-explains his nonsensical plan at the end). But having Corey Feldman play that role in the way he did took me completely out of it and kind of stopped it dead every time he speaks.