Movie Review: The Lost Boys

The 1987 vampire film, The Lost Boys, directed by 90’s Batman director Joel Schumacher, is pretty far out there.

Michael (Jason Patric), his younger brother, Sam (Corey Haim) and their now divorced mom, Lucy (Dianne Wiest) move to Santa Carla, California. Michael and Sam don’t know what’s ahead of them. As they pass a colorful sign welcoming them to the beach community, Michael notices the back of the billboard. In dark red letters, “Murder Capital of the World”. Not what you hope to see when you reach your new home.

What’s worse is they’re shacking up with Lucy’s father, an odd old man with a taxidermy hobby.

They go to the boardwalk because there’s nothing else to do and while at a small concert at the beach, Michael locates a pretty girl and stares. And stares. And stares.

Honestly, we’re ten minutes and 24 seconds into the movie and I already know this is going to suck. I went back to this scene and I clocked it. Michael stares at this girl for an entire 30 seconds. He doesn’t glance to the sides or anything. It’s like he’s in a trance. She’s pretty, I got it, move on. Well this girl (Jamie Gertz) finally picks up that he’s staring at her and guess what? Instead of acting like a normal person and looking away or maybe walking away out of embarrassment, he keeps staring for another 30 seconds before she gets creeped out and leaves. He then follows her through the whole park until she meets up with her apparent boyfriend, David (Kiefer Sutherland) and his gang and leave.

This is not attractive. Girls do not get turned on by stalkers, but I swear to you, before she leaves, she smiles at him. I also swear to you by the end of the film, Michael and this girl have sex.

That is some of the stupidest scriptwriting I’ve ever seen in a film. No guy, no matter how attractive, should be able to get away with stalking someone like that and still get a shot with them. That is nonsense. That doesn’t happen. Schumacher is a pitiful fool for thinking anyone was going to let that slide.

And guess what? We’re going to spend the majority of our time with the stalker. Isn’t that lovely?

After talking to this girl, Star, Michael rides out with the gang on a dangerous route and the rest of the movie shows him doing a bunch of rash things that seem absurd to undertake for a girl, especially one that’s already taken. On the other hand, Michael’s already shown to be a stalker so maybe he’s a sleaze, too.

There’s no lead-up to this journey either, so we don’t know if this is out of the norm for Michael or if this is his pig-headed pride getting in the way of his frontal lobe. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess.

There’s a side story going on with Sam and these two kids at a comic book store that are vampire experts. While it foreshadows the plot, it’s overly corny and some of the badgering that goes on between these kids is incredibly difficult to take seriously. What is this?

The acting and characters are just not there. Dianne West is just awful as Lucy and Lucy has got to be the most oblivious mother I’ve ever seen in film. She’s completely clueless and could not be more of a bubble brain. The divorce seems justified when you see how empty-headed this lady is.

Fun fact: Dianne West won two Academy Awards during her career. Keep that in mind when you watch this banana peel flop end over end.

Perhaps the hardest thing to grasp about The Lost Boys is deciding what is worse, the acting or the characters. You choose one and an example highlighting the errors of the other makes you want to change your mind. It’s a tug-of-war of mediocrity and as expected, it’s not a hypnotizing struggle.

Jason Patric’s good looks do not qualify him as an actor. Good looks do not equate to success. If for some reason you don’t believe that, watch this film and then try to defend Patric’s acting. I will tear your argument to shreds and put you through a grinder.

Michael’s drive for self-discovery discovers a vampire underworld, which diverts from character build-up or in this case, character acknowledgement. The film’s heavy leaning on plot overloads any subsidiaries that try to branch out. The boot of Schumacher’s oh-so-important plot manages to smash every ant that tries to leave the garden full of weeds, mud and rubble.

Michael does whatever David tells him to do. There never seems to be any questioning of David’s orders, a guy he’s just met mind you. Michael never shows any decision-making abilities or independence in this first stage but will magically discover them for the rest of the film as he predicates his individuality and rebukes authority. I sure am happy Michael managed to change his life mantra in such a short span of time.

Yet somehow the one who really gets buried in this affair is Kiefer Sutherland. As head vampire David, you would imagine that would lead to an enticing antagonist, someone who would spur change and intimidation. If vampires have truly been desolating Santa Carla for all these years as we’ve been told, David is probably a fearsome villain. I know what they say about assuming, but am I really being unreasonable for expecting this?

David is not any of those things. He name drops Michael at least 30 times. The gang laughs like hyenas the whole movie.

Laugh laugh laugh, laugh laugh laugh, laugh laugh laugh.

“Oh, Michael.”

Laugh laugh laugh, laugh laugh laugh, laugh laugh laugh.

“Come here, Michael.”

Laugh laugh laugh, laugh laugh laugh, laugh laugh laugh.

Piss off, Schumacher. Geezus.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Leon: The ProfessionalEnemySleeping with the EnemyEquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. Dead)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitzThe PunisherDrive Hard)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (ZombeaversCrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Boy Next DoorThe ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future Past)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (OutcastSabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafe)

My score for The Lost Boys: 47.

The Lost Boys became a cult classic in the 80s and spawned a prequel and a sequel. Why? Who knows. Perhaps it was the public’s fascination, perhaps it was the “pretty people”, but The Lost Boys certainly didn’t get popular for being The Lost Boys.

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