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Do you enjoy some boardwalk fun
Where music pleases everyone
After the setting of the sun,
Where there resides a hidden fright,
Where teens go out to grab a bite
And murky murder plagues the night?
Then move to Santa Carla!
That’s where both Sam and Michael found
That teenage vampires abound
In coastal towns that bum around.
The elder learned to not imbibe
The blood of some vampire tribe
That sends a vague and creepy vibe.
If that should happen, it is best
To not be overly distressed
But stake the suckers through the chest.
Beware the bikers you befriend
Who look like Kiefer Sutherland.
There’s evil eager to descend
If you move to Santa Carla.

For over a year now, I’ve indulged in my movie list, and though some films were chosen more for their appeal to my Viewing Companion than to myself (such as The Horse Whisperer and The Hunt for Red October), the list is primarily films I personally enjoy. While she shares many of the same tastes with me, there are a number of movies that would qualify for her personal list and wouldn’t come close to mine. In all fairness, since she has accompanied me for most of this film-viewing odyssey, I’ll be reviewing some of her favorites, whether I like them or not. The Lost Boys is my first VC Pick.

While I’m not usually one to endorse films with spewing blood (nor is my VC), I’ll admit I do enjoy The Lost Boys, an ‘80s cult classic if there ever was one. Directed by Batman’s greatest foe Joel Schumacher, it’s a blend of teen comedy and vampiric horror that balances the two surprisingly well, managing both big laughs and gruesome scares. Not being a horror fan, it’s not my preferred kind of movie, but my VC has a special love for the way it alternates between frights and fun, with giddy dedication to both. She enjoys its ‘80s-ness, such as the adolescent importance of MTV and comic books and a soundtrack full of well-chosen but less recognizable musical staples, such as covers of The Doors and Elton John. She loves the charm of the young actors; as she says, Corey Haim is just “so cute” as younger brother Sam, particularly in his reactions to the weirdness of Santa Carla, and cuteness turns to hotness when it comes to his older brother Michael (Jason Patric) and vampire gang leader David (Kiefer Sutherland), who fits the now-popular mold of a dark sexy bloodsucker. She also loves the film’s choral rock theme song “Cry, Little Sister,” as well as that hunky saxophone guy Tim Cappello, who shows off his ample muscles during an early seaside performance. (Like I said, this is one of her movies.)

While some early scenes drag on a bit, there’s much to entertain. The early antics of Haim and Patric make them believable brothers, while Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander deserve some kind of iconic vampire hunter status as the artificially fearless Frog Brothers. Much of the humor comes from them, and by the time of the over-the-top climax (which reminded me of the later Spiderwick Chronicles), the Frogs are spouting self-teasing one-liners, as if they had watched too much Mystery Science Theater 3000. Other comedic moments come from the eccentric grandfather (Barnard Hughes) or even some subliminally funny lines (“Where’s Star, David?”). Plus, though it’s not an official Lost alert, I always get a kick out of David’s invitation, “Michael Emerson, come on down!” since Michael Emerson the actor played Ben Linus on that show.

Compared with the modern trend toward long majestically filmed continuous shots, The Lost Boys is a good example of the quick, skillful editing of yesteryear to lend more excitement to the action and to somewhat cover up the faked violence. It’s an appealing modern vampire tale, though it’s a shame they changed names (John to Sam, Peter to David, Wendy to Lucy the mother) to distance the story from its intended connection with Peter Pan, leaving only the title and Michael. For vampire fans and my VC, it’s a bloody treat that never fails to entertain.

Best line: (Sam, after a particularly rocking kill) “Death by stereo!”

Rank: List Runner-Up

© 2015 S. G. Liput

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