Film / The Lost Boys

"One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach. All the damn vampires."

The Lost Boys is a 1987 vampire movie with all the trimmings. A recently divorced mother and her two sons move to Santa Carla. The older one, Michael, falls in with a gang of biker vampires; the younger, Sam, befriends a couple of seemingly insane comic store assistants. Michael begins turning into a vampire and it is up to Sam, with the help of the Frog brothers, to save him.

Starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Dianne Wiest, Alex Winter, and a few other people, including Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander as the Frog brothers. It was directed by Joel Schumacher.

Followed no less than twenty-one years later by a Direct-to-Video sequel, Lost Boys: The Tribe. Chris Emerson, a young disgraced former surfing pro, and his younger sister Nicole move to Luna Bay to live with their Aunt following the death of their parents. Nicole falls for the enigmatic Shane Powers, another former pro-surfer who "mysteriously vanished" from the circuit. Turns out, it was because he became a vampire. Shane turns Nicole into a vampire, and Chris sets out to save her. Oh, and he enlists the help of Edgar Frog.

Starring Autumn Reeser, Tad Hilgenbrink, Angus Sutherland and Corey Feldman, with Corey Haim returning as Sam Emerson in a mid-credits cameo and two alternate endings, and Jamison Newlander returning as a now vampiric Alan Frog in the alternate endings.

A second Direct-to-Video sequel, Lost Boys: The Thirst was released in 2010. Vampire-romance novelist Gwen needs Edgar Frog to find her brother who has gone missing after getting sucked into a series of underground raves, called 'X Parties' held by an enigmatic spinner named DJ X. In a last, frantic message he mentioned being given a new party drug known as The Thirst, which Edgar identifies as really being vampire blood. With the next 'X Party' only days away, Edgar is faced with the threat of an army of vampires, unless he stops DJ X and saves Peter. But, DJ X isn't just a vampire, he's the Alpha Vampire, the ultimate head vampire and someone Edgar's going to need help to defeat, and Edgar hopes to recruit his reclusive brother who's dealing with his own dark past.

Starring Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander as the Frog Brothers, and Tanit Phoenix.

There is also a four issue comic book series, Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs. Published by Wildstorm, the series is set between the first two films and explains why Edgar is working alone by the time The Tribe starts, how Shane became a vampire as well as the fate of several other characters from the films, some of whom are never mentioned in The Tribe.

These films contain examples of:

  • '80s Hair: Especially on the guys.
  • Adult Fear: Your child goes missing and becomes a monster.
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Justified in that Sam and Michael's mom doesn't believe there are vampires; she believes the more rational explanation that her sons are having trouble coping with the idea of her dating again. Ironically her current boyfriend turns out to be head vampire and it nearly gets her bitten. Also, subverted at the end, Grandpa returns just in time to kill the last vampire in the house and point out that he knew all along that there were loads of vamps around.
    • Subverted in The Tribe, but only because Edgar Frog returns from the first film.
      • Played straighter by Chris and Nicole's aunt (she's unaware of the vampires, and just thinks that they're just taking advantage of not having their parents around by partying all night— even when she walks in on them at the very end, covered in blood, she assumes that they've just come back from a party and have gotten stoned) and the police (who are flat out afraid to deal with Shane's gang, despite being unaware they're vampires).
  • An Aesop: Peer pressure is bad. Don't give in.
  • Affably Evil: Max. To some degree, David and his crew as well.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted with David and Star, since she and Michael start taking an interest in each other. The trope is also deconstructed in that even though we don't know how Star came to be involved with David, she doesn't seem to be enjoying the life of a vampire very much since she refuses to kill, even when David intentionally set her up with Michael so that he could be her first kill, but the two end up having sex instead.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The comic series, Lost Boys: The Reign of Frogs is this in spades, clearing up several loose ends from the first film, and revealing some of the the back story to The Tribe. Some of the ideas in the comic (Such as Alan becoming a half-vampire, and someone drinking animal blood to avoid becoming a full vampire) are also used in The Thirst
    • Sam's Grandpa is really a half-vampire, and only feeds on animals to stay that way. The reason he didn't return to normal at the end of the film like Michael, Star and Laddie is because the Widow Johnson (a never seen character in the first movie) sired him, not Max.
    • Michael and Star are dead, having died in a car crash. Whilst never explicitly stated in the film or comics, it is believed that this means that Chris and Nicole from The Tribe are their children, due to them also being called Emerson and that it's mentioned that their parents died in a car crash.
      • Possibly retconned in The Thirst - Some of Edgar and Alan's dialogue implies that Michael and Star aren't dead.
    • David sired Shane, back in 1987 and Shane created The Tribe because David had The Lost Boys.
    • The reason Edgar works alone, is because when he, Alan, Sam and Grandpa Emerson went after the Widow Johnson, the raid went badly. Grandpa was killed, and Alan was forced to drink vampire blood, thus becoming a half-vampire.
      • Retconned in The Thirst - Alan and Edgar went after a half-vampire Senator, and in the chaos Alan was forced to drink blood. The Emersons weren't involved.
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • Sam . . . just Sam. His poster of Rob Lowe shirtless (Though he also has one of Reform School Girls), his fixation on an oily muscly saxophone player, and his crooning of the girl verse from I Ain't Got a Man" while taking a bubble bath.
    • Also some of his disconcertingly rainbow themed wardrobe choices, although that may just be a side effect of it being The '80s. The Frog brothers comment on him being a "fashion victim". Note, Word Of God explains this on the commentary: the Rob Lowe and Molly Ringwald posters in Sam's room were intended as a Shout-Out to the John Hughes teen movies of the time, and Schumacher directed St. Elmo's Fire.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: It's been played straight and subverted in the original film. Out of all of the vampires, Star is the only one who never puts on her Game Face, and she is a good character. However, Michael and Laddie have shown their vampire faces, but they're not bad either.
  • Big Bad: Max in the original, Shane Powers in The Tribe Peter Lieber in The Thirst
  • Big Brother Instinct: Michael naturally has this toward Sam. Star also exhibits the big sister instinct toward Laddie, a young boy that the vampire gang kidnapped and intended to turn into a vampire.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Grandpa, in the original movie.
    • Edgar Frog in The Tribe
    • Alan Frog in The Thirst
  • Blonde Guys Are Evil: A couple of David's core crew are blonde, and David himself is no exception.
  • Breaking and Bloodsucking: Sam is hauling one of the creepy taxidermy animals into the closet. When he turns around, half-vampire Michael has come in the room by the second story window. After some arguing between the brothers, Star arrives, first yelling up to them from the ground, then suddenly floating by the window.
  • Car Fu: With Grandpa's Cool Car, no less!
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • Around half an hour into The Thirst, Edgar is thrown into a book case in a comic book store, and the contents of the shelves fall on top of him. As he gets up, a copy of the collected The Reign of Frogs is in-front of his face.
    • Twenty minutes into The Thirst Chris and Nicole are discussing whether to attend Shane's party until Aunt Jillian approaches, wielding a copy of The Goonies which features Corey Feldman.
  • Chekhov's Gun: We see Grandpa working on the fence earlier, and the Jeep is filled with the fence posts when he goes on his date.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Grandpa. Also, Edgar and Allen have shades of this, along with being Properly Paranoid.
  • The Comically Serious: In Lost Boys, Edgar and Allan are about as cheerful as their namesake, and take themselves as seriously as CIA agents, yet they are some of the nerdiest teenage comic store employees you'll ever see.
  • Cool Car: Say what you will about him, Grandpa has one sweet ride.
  • Creepy Child: Laddie is the cutest kid you've ever seen... until he vamps out.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Michael and Sam's grandfather was perceived as just another senile old guy, until the end where it was revealed that he knew Santa Clara was infested with vampires all along.
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • Grandpa crashing through the wall in his jeep with perfect timing... okay. Said jeep happening to be piled high with a bunch of pointed fence posts... fine. But one those fence posts just happening to go right through the heart of the vampire, thereby killing him right before he bites Lucy... that's a bit much.
    • Considering how David's death-by-antelope-horns didn't appear to pierce the heart at all, and may have involved animal horn rather than wood, it's possible that impalement of any sort suffices for this film's vampires. Which would also make Sam's fatal arrow shot on Dwayne more plausible.
    • Michael does shove Max into the path of the posts as they fly forward, as well.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Michael promises Sam he'll find answers to his new vampire problem, and sneaks out to go get answers from Star, but winds up just having sex with her instead. He comes back the next morning as solution-less as he left, leading Sam to have to contact the Frog Brothers for help.
  • Dramatic Landfall Shot: How Michael is initiated into David's gang after drinking his blood.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: David really wants Michael to understand how awesome it would be to become a vampire, and Max really wants Lucy to understand how great it would be to be "part of the family." Neither can understand why they would have a problem with that little "soulless blood-sucking monster of the night" detail.
  • Evil Plan: Essentially, the entire of The Thirst is revealed to be one. Peter trying to make Edgar his personal hitman
  • Expy:
    • Santa Carla is pretty obviously expy of Santa Cruz. It's even filmed on-location!
    • Gwen Lieber from The Thirst is one for Stephenie Meyer.
  • Eye Color Change: Vampires' eyes go from their natural colour to red when they transform into 'vampire mode'.
  • Fanservice: The titular "lost boys" are very easy on the eyes. Also both Corey Haim and Corey Feldman in one movie!
  • Final Solution: Kill the Alpha Vampire, all vampires return to normal.
  • Flight: One of the vampires' abilities.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Its very subtle but Grandpa shutting his office door when sees Max having entered the house. Re-watching with this in mind, a guy who knew about the damn vampires keeps out of sight from being seen from the head vampire.
    • There's also the dialogue of the character who entered when he confuses the superstition of seeing the bride before the marriage with seeing the food before the meal.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: The Thirst gives us lesbian vampires.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: Averted to Hell and back with Lucy. While very kind, loving, and optimistic, the movie doesn't gloss over how hard it is being a recently divorced mother of two teenage boys, (for starters, she has to move back in with her father), or how difficult it is for her to juggle raising them, finding a job, working said job, and having a social life all at once.
  • Heroic Dog: Nanook the husky, who did a lot more than "help a little."
  • Heroic Willpower: Michael uses this at the last minute to defeat David.
  • I Ate WHAT?:
    • The way Michael's turned into a half-vampire is by being tricked into drinking blood, being told it's wine.
    • Also when Michael is eating rice with the vampires, David (Kiefer Sutherland) says to him, "Maggots, Michael. You're eating maggots. How do they taste?" Upon which Michael suddenly notices (or has been fooled into thinking) that his meal is a writhing mass of maggots; he reacts appropriately.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Michael and Star's opinion of David.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • David's death.
    • One of Shane's mooks in The Tribe is impaled on a working jackhammer.
    • Invoked once again in The Thirst, when with DJ X's death.
    • Max. A fence post destroys most of his torso and he's flung backward several feet.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: David and his gang certainly think so. It's their main sales pitch to Michael.
  • Make-Out Point: Favorite hunting grounds for the vampires.
  • Music Video Syndrome : Music and surreal images overlap in a number of scenes. Word Of God on the commentary notes that this type of storytelling would not have been possible without music videos.
  • Na´ve Everygirl: Star; at least as much as she can in an R-rated movie.
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge: While not a cop, Edgar and Alan hates all vampires, not just the bad ones. However, they are willing to help half vampires get their humanity back.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Evil AND a vampire.
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: Sam's bedroom, to be precise.
  • Pushover Parents: Being an ex-Hippie Nice Girl who wants to be friends with her two teenage sons works about as well for Lucy as you'd expect, although she does start to put her foot down later in the movie.
    Max: I tell ya, boys like Sam need discipline. Otherwise they walk all over you.
    Lucy: Oh, he doesn't walk all over me.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Averted in The Thirst, as it's been stated that the scenes that mention Sam's death were shot before Corey Haim's death in March 2010.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Many Lost Boys scenes take on a new meaning after Max is revealed to be the head vampire.
  • The Savage South: Santa Carla, California: Murder Capital of the World.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: David and his friends revel in this mentality. It's pretty hard for security guards and other authoritative figures except Max to keep from from going wherever they want or doing whatever they want, since those people tend to go "missing" afterwards.
  • Senseless Phagia:
    • The wine in both the original film and The Tribe.
    • Michael eats maggots, because he was told they were rice.
      • Although it's unclear from the footage which contents of the carton, maggots or rice, were genuine. And it'd probably be easier for the vampire gang to swipe (or even pay for!) some genuine Chinese takeout than to gather a bunch of maggots and earthworms.
    • The drug "The Thirst" from... The Thirst - It's part ecstasy and part vampire blood.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Averted in both the original film with David's skeleton,and The Tribe with the two unused alternate endings. See What Could Have Been for more detail.
    • Played straight in The Thirst, as Edgar makes a comment about how he's recently read that female werewolves can transform at any time, and the viewer sees Zoe's eyes become wolf-like
  • Sex Equals Love: Michael and Star really didn't share that many lines with each other before they ended up having sex halfway through the film.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: David and Star's first time.
  • Shirtless Scene: When Tim Cappello sings I Still Believe.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Edgar and Allen Frog. You're either young, poorly read, or English is not your first language to figure that one out.
    • "Holy shit! It's the attack of Eddie Munster!"
      • Receives a Call Back in The Thirst - "Holy shit! It's the attack of Grandpa Munster!"
      • Amusinggly, the vampires have a Munsters Go Home poster in their hideout.
    • When Max reveals his plan, Edgar responds by describing it as "The Bloodsucking Brady Bunch"
    • There's an Echo and the Bunnymen poster in Sam's bedroom (they sung The Doors' song "People Are Strange" in the opening montage).
    • The whole movie, down to the title, is a subtle Shout-Out to Peter Pan, with vampiric immortality being equated to Neverland and David/Peter recruiting new 'lost boys' while Star, like Wendy, chooses to reject the life. Max also claims that he wants Lucy to be a mother to his boys, much like Wendy was a mother to the lost boys.
  • The Siege: The climax in the original movie.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: When Max was about to bite Michael and Sam's mom, Grandpa came charging into the house with his car and Michael pushes Max in front of the car, which not only caused one of the random and sharpened planks of wood to impale Max, but sent him flying into the fire place - which wasn't even lit at the time - making a large plume of fire spew out and cover everyone in the house with ash and dust. How the hell this chain of events even managed to happen is beyond us - but it was hella sweet.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Shane from The Tribe has more or less the same personality as David did in the original film and Shane's actor is Angus Sutherland, half-brother of Kiefer Sutherland, who played David.
  • Take Me Instead: At the end of The Lost Boys, Lucy is willing to let Max bite her in order to spare Michael and Sam. Grandpa saves her from this fate at the last second by crashing his jeep into the house.
  • Take That: Gwen Lieber from The Thirst is a thinly veiled Expy of Twilight creator Stephenie Meyer. When Edgar says that he knows she's the author of a series of romantic novels about vampires which are now being adapted into films, Gwen states that she's flattered. Edgar responds by saying the books suck, and derides the fans of the books as "emo goth teens".
  • Taxidermy Terror: Sam wakes up to discover that his grandfather has left a stuffed woodchuck in his room to "brighten up the place". It freaks him out to the point that he tossed a shirt over it. The shirt is still covering the woodchuck at the end of the movie, indicating that Sam found it more disturbing than the vampires he just had to fight.
  • Title Drop: In The Thirst, and immediately followed up with a Development Gag - Johnny Trash refers to his audience as "Lost Boys and Girls".
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Alan Frog becomes a vampire in The Thirst. Not like it was a twist, or anything...
  • Trashcan Bonfire: several of these are scattered throughout the Hell Hotel.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Santa Carla: Blue skies, lovely beaches, theme park on a board walk, active night life, great music culture, and swarming with murderous vampires.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: How David and his buddies lay waste to a group of frat boys having a beach bonfire party.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Its so Eighties that it actually looks like a modern film set in the eighties.
  • Vampire Monarch: According to legend, if you kill a "head vampire", all the "half - vampires" turned by vampires under his command are restored to human form. This fails when the protagonists kill David - because Max is the head vampire.
  • Vampire Refugee:
    • Star, Laddie, and Michael.
    • Nicole and Chris in The Tribe
    • Alan Frog in The Thirst