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The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys. Joel Schumacher. 1987. ⚃

Does anybody remember reading an article in… like… The NME? In the late 80s? I remember the article was called something like “American Gothic”, and it was about these new, exciting movies coming from the US. It was movies like Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark, the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple and Raising Arizona, and this one. I think? It’s a long time ago.

And when I read it I thought “yes! that’s such a thing!” Because I’d been watching these movies (on VHS) and I thought, too, that there was a connecting tissue, somehow, between these movies… something fresh, something punk, something exciting was happening in genre film in the US at the time.

I’ve tried to google the article, but that’s impossible, of course — nothing that happened before 1997 exists. Does anybody have a copy of that article? Because I bought the movies in question on blu-ray the other week, because I can’t really remember them at all now. Are they any good? And I wondered whether they mentioned any other films in that article…


Let’s start with The Lost Boys, because Schumacher died the other day.

[half an hour passes]

I had totally blanked on how much this was a mid-80s horror movie. It’s got that… look… where you can immediately tell. It’s not that far removed from, say, big-budget movies like Gremlins, really…

But I did remember correctly: It’s fresh and cheeky. And punk. Well, there’s a lot of punks in the background of the shots, at least.

It’s no immediately clear what’s even going on, even if the comic book geeks are talking about vampires…

I mean, even why the lost boys even want Michael is pretty obscure.

[half an hour passes]

As usual, I love Dianne Wiest… but it’s like she’s in a different movie from the other actors, and I’m not quite sure what they are going for. I can imagine Schumacher standing just off-camera shouting “BROADER! BIGGER! FUNNIER!” to the actors, because they’re totally not aiming for anything resembling naturalistic.

On the other hand, that does reflect the plot — her character is the one in the dark, while the others are living it up.

[the end]

Well, that wasn’t the movie I was expecting at all: It really is Gremlins, but with vampires instead.

But I like it. It’s fun.

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