Stuff I Watch in October: The Lost Boys (1987)

lost boys

Happy October and welcome! All 31 days this month, I will be reviewing all the films I watch in the month of October. They’re mostly a selection of horror or suspense films in my own library or films and shows that have been recommended to me.

Please enjoy and leave a comment!

And if you missed any of our past reflections, take a look:

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Psycho (1960)
The Haunting (1963)
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
The Other (1972)
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Halloween (1978)
Alien (1979)
The Shining (1980)
Halloween II (1981)
The Evil Dead (1981)
Halloween III – Season of the Witch (1982)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Teen Wolf (1985)
Aliens (1986)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Predator (1987)
The Monster Squad (1987)
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

Our next film is…

WATCHING: The Lost Boys (1987)

lost boys

DIRECTOR: Joel Schumacher…you can make all the jokes you want. Dude got a bum rap and made some good films. We’ll dig into him in a few.

WHAT IS IT?: A slick dark comedy with vampires. Yeah, director Joel Schumacher got rightfully roasted later on, but he deserves accolades for this film.

THE PLOT: Two brothers find out that the town they’ve moved to has a reputation for missing people. Looking deeper into things reveals an unbelievable truth — and puts the two on opposing ends of things.

WHAT DID CRITICS THINK?: Critics were surprisingly welcoming of the film — though, not all the way. Roger Ebert thought it was flawed and more “style over substance”. But, still, this was a hip film and one which made vampires sexy again. The film was referenced in several songs and in Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs”, so it’s had quite the legacy.

WHAT DID I THINK?: Oh, Joel Schumacher…yeah, he followed up Tim Burton’s dark, Gothic take on Batman with a bright, colorful take reminiscent of the old Adam West series. I’m not saying that “Batman & Robin” wasn’t absolute dreck because it was. I’ve even seen a fan-edit of the film which does its best to attempt to make the film better and it’s impossible. You just can’t polish a turd.

After Andrew Kevin Walker handed the script to “Se7en” to David Fincher, who made a masterpiece out of it, Joel Schumacher took Walker’s next film script, “8MM”, and was given a great cast in Nic Cage, James Gandolfini, and Joaquin Phoenix…and made a “Se7en” wannabe that still makes me laugh in the most unintentional manner.

lost boys

I think those two films might have made people forget that Schumacher directed “Flatliners” (the original, not the mediocre WTF remake), “A Time to Kill”, “Veronica Guerin”, the excellent drama “Flawless”, and the outstanding, underrated Hitchockian thriller “Phone Booth”.

And then there’s “The Lost Boys” which, in my opinion, makes Schumacher invincible.

First, the film was made about 30 miles or so south of where my wife and I live. Hell, I’ve lived in California all my life, so I can say that it was made in a place I’ve been to several times: Santa Cruz, California. He already gets a pass before he begins.

Second, the film is stylish as hell with some beautiful photography by Michael Chapman who worked with Martin Scorcese on “Raging Bull” and “Taxi Driver”.

Third, Kiefer Sutherland is in this film. He’s better than the film deserves. But he’s also what helps to hold this movie together.

He’s one of four adults who help legitimize this film.

Yes, the film is somewhat hokey (and the end of the film has a Looney Tunes-esque punchline by “Grandpa”) but this is a solid horror film with some great set pieces. The sequence at the beach set to Aerosmith and RunDMC’s “Walk This Way” and lit only by a bonfire is the stuff of legend, like something out of an old “Tales From the Crypt” comic book. It’s one moment I always look forward to.

“The Lost Boys” balances scares and laughs and I love it.

GRADE: B

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