Friday, March 18, 2016

The Lost Boys

     I may just need to admit to the fact that I am a fan of vampires. Ok. Said it : ) I blame The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, (even though I stopped watching The Vampire was just getting too crazy.) and even Twilight which is very good, if you leave out Bella and Edward. However, before Twilight or The Vampire Diaries, Joel Schumacher's 1987 cult film, The Lost Boys, paved the way for the idealized pop culture vampires we have today. 

     Before Lost Boys. vampires were primarily adults who were centuries old and lived in hiding. They had never been a bunch of rocker bad boys who partied and joked around. Since 1987, the vampire mythology has changed and now vampires are young, beautiful and complicated. The movie still has a huge following and I can now call myself one of those followers.

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Michael and Sam Emerson
Jason Patric as Michael Emerson and Corey Haim as Sam Emerson
      Newly divorced. Lucy Emerson and her teenage sons, Michael and Sam, have moved from Phoenix to Santa Carla, California to start a new life. Santa Carla, considered the murder capitol of America, is filled with punks, burnt out hippies and low lives, but there's a party every night on the beach, so how can it be that bad? When Michael Emerson meets a beautiful young girl named Star at a concert one night, he falls hard for her. 

     However, Star isn't alone and she introduces Michael to David and his biker gang. Michael is a reasonable person, but he is desperate to stay with Star and follows the guys to their caved in hotel on the beach. While there, Michael's whole life is turned into madness and chaos, and all he has to depend on is his younger brother to get him out of trouble as well as save their family. 

      Michael Emerson: While searching reviews for this film, I read from several viewers that Michael Emerson was the Edward Cullen of the 80's. Also that Jason Patric's performance as Michael was boring and anemic, especially compared to Kiefer Sutherland's breakthrough performance as the evil vampire leader, David. However, I find neither one of those to be true at all! I though Michael was a great character (not a hint of Edward Cullen in him at all!!). 

      What I loved the most about Michael is that oftentimes in movies where teenagers are in a divorce situation, you always have the one kid that is moody, angry, the whole world hates me and does everything in their power to make everyone miserable. Michael was the absolute polar opposite of that.

      He is very supportive and even defensive of his mother and seemed content with moving. Michael adores his younger brother Sam and is fiercely protective of him. He is a genuinely good guy, who is compassionate, honest and loves deeply (reminds you of another favorite vampire of mine?). And it's those qualities that prevents Michael from self-destruction and remaining a decent humane person.

     Sam Emerson: I loved Sam!!! He crazy, he's a dork, but an ever so lovable dork. A proper geek who knows comic books like a pastor knows the Bible (at least most do). Sam is his own individual person who doesn't care what people think about him. While trailing through a comic book store, Sam meets Edgar and Allen Frog, who believe in truth, justice and the American way...and defending the world from monstrous vampires. When Michael begins to go off the deep end, Sam enlists the help of the eccentric Frog brothers to save them. Sam also provided the comic relief for the film and some of his dialogue is just gold. 

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The Lost Boys & Star

     . The hardest thing about the Lost Boys is that they are all so damn likeable in the beginning, you find it hard to hate them. While they're vampires, they also retain fun loving and charismatic demeanor of regular teenagers. David, their leader, is as charming as he is cruel and if he wants something (or someone), he will stop at nothing to get it. His boys, Paul, Dwayne and Marko are loyal to a fault to him, while his two new recruits, 10 year old Laddie and Star are still half-vampires and must kill to complete their transformations. 

Star and Michael
(A much better love story than Twilight)
     Beautiful Star who is lonely and longs for love and affection, finds herself in a situation she can't get out of. Originally Michael was going to be Star's first kill so she could become a complete vampire, but she begins to fall in love with him and refuses to go through with it. Star's decision to maintain her humane nature has severe consequences and she and Laddie are put into extreme danger.  

     While Star gives the appearance of a delicate doll, she has an incredible strength of character that is brought out in her love for Laddie, with whom she is a mother figure. Star will do anything to keep the sweet little boy safe and would sacrifice herself to keep him alive. It's Star's love for Laddie (rather than just Michael) that made me appreciate her character so much. 

     However, it's hard not to fall in love with Michael Emerson, especially after being with David. Star's and Michael's love story was a sub-story because the film was more focused on the relationship with the Emerson brothers, but the romance was very well done. Not sappy or too sensual, even though there is a brief love scene (nothing graphic). One can really see how Star is desperate to be freed from David and the Lost Boys and how Michael values her safety more than his own. 

~ ~ ~

"Cry Little Sister" by G Tom Mac - The title song
(I found this rather strange seeing that no one in the story had a younger sister)

      The movie has no shortage of 1980's campiness and if it proved one thing, it was that Kiefer Sutherland was one of the few people on the 80's that could properly rock the mullet. That being said, The Lost Boys was just a fun film. The horror isn't over done and there's a proper balance of drama and humor that carries throughout the story as well. I loved the characters, good and bad, and the character development in the leads were all very well written and acted. 

      Chances are, this movie is probably going to end up on my (already over flowing) DVD shelf. For someone who is pretty picky about horror/80's films, I would say that that after seeing The Lost Boys, I now understand why the film is as popular now as it was almost 30 years ago. It's campy, it's funny, with a little romance, well balanced horror, brave heroes (and a beautiful heroine), evil punk vampires and a bevy load of young unknown talent that was introduced. Yeah...typical 80's film that makes me wish I had been a teenager at that time. 

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