The Lost Boys (1987)
By: J.R. McNamara on July 25, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Warner Bros. (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1. English (FHI), English, Dutch, French, Italian, Arabic, Italian (FHI), Bulgarian Subtitles. 93 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Joel Schumacher
Starring:Jason Patrick, Dianne Wiest, Jami Gertz, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Edward Herrmann
Country: USA
The eighties. A time when men were men but wore the pastel colours of a Ken Done 6 x 4 canvas. Until The Lost Boys came along.

The film that launched a thousand goths. The film that made thousands of WHAM fans cast out their day glo and embrace the dark. Probably the only 'horror/comedy' that actually works. The vampires are genuinely fearsome and most of the comedic moments are actually laugh out loud.

After a messy divorce, Sam (Corey Haim) and Michael (Jason Patric)'s Mom decides to get her sons away from the big city and back to the small seaside town of Santa Carla, the Murder Capital of the World, to live with her father. A nice quiet town with a great boardwalk, and an unfortunately high quantity of missing persons, due mainly to the slight vampire problem.

Sam and Michael are immediately attracted to the boardwalk and its exciting array of fun park rides and amusement parlours. They each find new associates amongst the wacky array of locals. Sam meets the Frog Brothers (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander), teen comic proprietors and vampire hunters. Michael finds himself attracted to local waif Star (Jami Gertz), which unfortunately brings him the attention of the leader of the local gang of vamps, David (Keifer Sutherland) and his pals (one of whom is Alex Winter of Bill and Ted fame). Mom, in the meantime find a job in the local video shop with her potential love interest, Max (Edward Herrman).

To explain much more of this movie is to strip it of both its surprises and its comedic moments. All the actors put in brilliant performances, and the whole film has a sense of fun that most films today lack.

Director Joel Schumacher presents the story with a great amount of passion, surprising, considering what he did several years later with another bat man. The script is light but involving and fans of vampire lore should not be too disappointed with the way in which they are presented.

Also, this movie has a rocking soundtrack featuring music from INXS, Jimmy Barnes, The Doors and Run DMC, amongst others. Great fun all round.
Video
Warner Bros have done a beautiful job of this new digital transfer. The colours are crisp and nothing fades into the backgrounds, which is important in a vampire film, considering most of the action takes place at night. The subtleties of the lighting changes are evident and really make this movie a visual treat like it has never been on any home format before.
Audio
The 5.1 sound is the perfect match to these beautiful visuals. Every little sound effect and music cue are evident and make this an aural delight. There are multiple languages, French 1.0 and Italian 1.0, which makes me ask why bother, 6 subtitles (English, French, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Bulgarian) and two for the hearing impaired (English and Italian).
Extra Features
The extras on this disc are a pleasure. The first disc has a pleasant and moderately informative commentary from Joel Schumacher, who basically praises everyone who worked with him on this film, from crew to actors, but it is the second disc where this edition really shines.

I always think on these retrospective discs that the documentary's make them. The Lost Boys retrospective is a great journey into the memories of some of the people who worked on this film. There is an apparent fondness for this film from all involved, which in some cases stops short of being misty eyed and sucky.

Inside the Vampires Cave is a series of four mini docos that cover Joel Schumacher's vision for the film, a one sided debate on the pros of comedy/horror, the 'new vampire' and the potential for a Lost Boys sequel.

Vamping Out: The Undead Creations of Greg Cannom is the usual special effects feature that is not so special. A brief discussion of the make-up evolution of the vampires and where the influences for their style came from. I find these casual effects docos to be a waste, I would much rather a more in depth look at the design and creative process, and then the applications of the make-ups.

The best feature on disc two is The Return of Sam and the Frog Brothers. Haimster and the Feldog covers the amazing rise of the two Corey's, and the friendship that they still have today, and their tragic grip on eighties hairdos. Any eighties teen will really enjoy this documentary, although the memory of every magazine cover having one or both of the two in Trixter style poses will continue to haunt you for a few days after viewing. The Multi Angle Commentary is a great idea, the same scenes of Sam and the Frog Brothers being played with three different commentaries, one by Haim, one by Feldman and one by Newlander.

The Lost Scenes are a few forgettable missing scenes that really add nothing to the story but family hooha that is unnecessary and would have made the story drag out far too much.

The last two special features are trailers and a film clip of the song Lost in the Shadows by Lou Gramm.
The Verdict
The Lost Boys…modern horror classic or example of eighties tackiness? It's a bit of both, and this two disc special edition really gives it the treatment it deserves. This is the movie that a horror fan can incorporate into conversation with 'normal' folk and get respect. This is a horror movie that asks for nothing from the viewer, but gives back a whole lot, and this is a comedy that an older horror fan can enjoy with an early teen. Easy on the eye and great sound make this disc a must have in any horror collection.
Movie Score
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