31 Days of Halloween Day 12 – THE LOST BOYS

31 Days of Halloween – Day 12

Lost Boys (directed by Joel Schumacher, 1987) If you are looking for a film that represents the 1980’s, look not further than The Lost Boys. The movie plays like a ninety minute music video, with enough sizzle worthy of its MTV era audience. Although, this stylistic tale of vampires is not only flashy, it has some good substance. During the 80’s, the cinema was chalk-full of teen coming of age melodrama. These included Breakfast Club (John Hughes) and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling). So hey, why not take this idea and translate it over to the horror genre? Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim), along with their mother, move to Santa Carla, California to live with their grandfather. The boys soon discover that there is something unnatural and strange about the sunny coastal town. Besides being the murder capital per capita of North America, and having an abnormal amount of missing persons, Santa Carla is also home to clan of teenage vampires. Older brother Michael falls into league with this clan, and Sam has to race against time to save his brother and destroy the vampires. There are many memorable characters in The Lost Boys. Kiefer Sutherland is David, the charismatic leader of the fang gang. Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander are the Frog Brothers, vampire hunters and the only residents of the town that believe in Sam enough to help him on his mission. The film also stars Edward Hermann (Gilmore Girls), Diane Wiest (Parenthood), Alex Winter (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure), and Bernard Shaw (as the eccentric grandfather). From the cast, to the soundtrack, to the overall feel of the movie, this is the archetypical 80’s popcorn movie. I think The Lost Boys also had a lot to do with the renaissance of the vampire in pop culture. Director Joel Schumacher made this gang of vampires look young, and hip. They were the town bad boys, and not just the local ghouls that murdered the residents. Along with Goonies and Ghost Busters, The Lost Boys is at the top of my list for essential 80’s viewing. The last entry to my 31 Days of Halloween, I recommended Near Dark for viewing. Why not add The Lost Boys, and make it back to back blood-suckers for you Halloween festivities. If you still are not convinced, just watch it for the sweet saxophone solo during the concert scene during the first part of the movie. You will not be disappointed.

Sorry, couldn’t help myself…

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Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Day 11 – Near Dark
  • Day 12 – The Lost Boys

T.

31 Days of Halloween Day 11 – NEAR DARK

31 Days of Halloween – Day 11

Near Dark (directed by Kathryn Bigelow, 1987) Country boy Caleb (Adrian Pasdar, Top Gun, Heroes) meets a pretty, young stranger, May, which he has an instant connection with. What Caleb does not realize is that May is a “vampire” (although the term is never mentioned in the movie). After being turned into a creature of the night, Caleb also discovers that May comes with some baggage; a marauding “family” of blood thirsty maniacs who have no regard for human life. Caleb is not reading to accept his new way of life and crosses the gang, which results in a violent game of life and death. There are many similarities between Near Dark and Lost Boys, which I think are purely coincidental because they were released within months of each other. Where Lost Boys had a comedic element and has a more “Hollywood”, Near Dark is more dramatic and has an independent feel. This does not mean the film lacks style, because it does not. Near Dark takes itself more seriously. If you are looking for scares, Near Dark is probably not going to satisfy you. But if you are looking for a cool spin on the vampire genre, with some good gore, violence, and atmosphere, Near Dark is a safe bet. Veteran horror mainstay Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Pumpkinhead) plays Jesse, the leader of the “family”. Bill Paxton (Weird Science, True Lies) is Severen, a psychotic vampire, with a quick wit, and a desire to watch people suffer. Paxton’s dialog is worth the price of admission alone. Kathryn Bigelow (Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) is an academy award winner and an amazing writer/director. This is only her second full-length feature, and you can see why she has gone on to an incredible career. She gets a lot out of the actors in Near Dark, which makes it believable and entertaining. The film fires on a cylinders; action, violence, characters, and even has an element of love story. It may not be the typical Halloween film, but typical can get boring, and Halloween should not be boring.

Cool Fact – In the background of one of the early scenes, you can see a movie theater marquee with “Aliens” now playing. Near Dark stars Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton and Jenette Goldstein are also stars in Aliens (1986). Director Kathryn Bigelow is also married to Aliens director James Cameron.

Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Day 11 – Near Dark

T.