80s US Bracket: The Lost Boys (1987)

The first film in my third match-up in the first round of the 80s US Bracket is a cult classic, although I’m still struggling with why this is a classic of any sort!

Screenplay By: Jeffrey Boam, Janice Fischer & James Jeremias
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

I have, over the years, had many people tell me that The Lost Boys is a fantastic movie. I must now ask those people what movie they were watching, or better yet what substances they were on while watching said movie. Actually, that’s too harsh, The Lost Boys just didn’t work for me, there’s no need for me to be snotty about it. It is a cult classic and many people do love it. I wish I could say the same, but I spent the majority of The Lost Boys wondering why I should care about what was happening on my screen and the rest of the time I was wondering just how homoerotic Joel Schumacher could get in a film without people noticing?

There are certainly elements to The Lost Boys that I feel were interesting and could have helped to form a good film with a competent guiding hand and a well written script to bolster them. The Peter Pan correlation is interesting, as is the idea of the vampires as allegories of wasted youth dealing with the cultural divide that existed in the 1980’s. Unfortunately Schumacher, never does anything with any of these ideas. Schumacher doesn’t do anything period, and one has to wonder what mark he meant to leave on The Lost Boys. The writing isn’t great either and the writers squander all kinds of interesting avenues, but I believe the director is most responsible for what we see on screen and thus I place much of the blame for my dislike of The Lost Boys on the shoulders of Schumacher.

My biggest complaint against The Lost Boys would have to be its inability to make me care. It’s a film that can’t decide what it wants to be, it spends a good chunk of its run time attempting to be a serious vampire film, creating a dense and foggy atmosphere. Then out of nowhere it turns into a schlocky B movie that is interested more in being a comedy than anything else, and at other times it is an ineffective family drama. And that family is what I am referencing when I talk about the inability of The Lost Boys to make me care. Schumacher tries for these dramatic beats, beats that are never earned. Michael is supposedly flying off the deep end, but we are never really shown this, we are simply expected to accept that he has been losing touch with his mother. But then we find out that it has only been a day since the beginning of the film, when he was all hunky dory with mommy. That is a leap in logic I couldn’t take and I could never quite justify it in my logic addled brain.

For those of you who do like The Lost Boys and view it as a cult classic, more power to you. I wanted to like it, and I tried, searching for things to like about the film at every turn. But, I can’t sit here and lie to you just to make you happy. Well, I could, but then how would you ever be able to trust another review I published? I can’t join you in championing this “cult classic,” in fact I’m going to do the exact opposite and warn all others off of The Lost Boys, it’s a waste of time in my estimation and a film that no one really needs to see. Even if it is running rampant with boatloads of homoeroticism, and trust me, everyone needs more of that in their lives.





6 responses to “80s US Bracket: The Lost Boys (1987)

  1. Wow…

    I’ll disagree with you, respectfully.

    I’m not a fan of Schumacher either. Yet, I believe that this is his best film. I watch it over the years and yeah, it hasn’t aged well but it’s fun to watch. The big surprise for me was Edward Herrmann, who I think will be remembered for 2 roles in his entire career. For this film and his work on the show “Gilmore Girls” as far as the world of pop culture is concerned. He’s just one of those guys I can watch in practically anything.

  2. I totally disagree. I was in on the fact it was a comedy when the buff dude playing jazz showed up. How is that not comedy?

    I also think that this film does a great job at using vampirism as a metaphor for puberty.

    Sure it’s schlocky b-movie junk at times, but I still think it’s a solid, well-made film.

  3. un
    that is a tough score Bill. oh well, each to their opinion i suppose
    pity yours is wrong.
    hehe, just kidding

  4. This movie is a Goonies meets Interview with a Vampire with a trip down memory lane for some viewers, and a history lesson for others of us. All in all, despite some of the over-the-top acting and relatively simple special effects, this is one of my favorite movies from this genre!

  5. Well we probably wouldn’t have Twilight without this film so you could criticise it for that but otherwise, in my eyes, it is a great product of 80s Hollywood.

  6. Steven – We’ll agree to disagree then.

    James – I don’t think the movie was aiming to be a comedy. It was unintentionally funny at times, but on the whole not so much.

    Ross – I’ve been known to be wrong, and quite frequently, no harm in mentioning that. 🙂

    Rok – Glad you enjoy it so much.

    Dan – Funnily enough I would take any of the Twilight films over this one, they are all on equal planes of terrible, but Twilight is at least more bonkers crazy.

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