Much Celebritology time lately has been spent on the possible demise of the relationship between the stars of the “Twilight” saga, the most profitable vampire franchise in movie history.
But let’s turn our attention to another vampire flick, one that was released on this date in 1987 and demonstrated the power of INXS, Kiefer Sutherland in an extremely severe mullet and the Coreys’ combined capacity to destroy blood-suckers.
Yes, “The Lost Boys” celebrates its 25th birthday today. For those who remember seeing this teen-targeted movie when they actually fell in that demographic, this news will serve as yet another reminder that Gen Xers are now old, so old that, frankly, I can feel myself getting arthritis with every letter I continue to type.
And yet type on I must, because “The Lost Boys” is 25 today and there are so many awesome things for fans of that movie to remember. Like “Cry Little Sister,” and Chinese food that turns into maggots, and how much Jason Patric looked like Jim Morrison back then, and Laddie. (Laddie! Aw, remember Laddie?) This calls for a list, specifically of the 25 best things about “The Lost Boys.”
25. The fact that the movie was inspired by “Peter Pan.”
“The Lost Boys” was originally intended to be more closely aligned with the Lost Boys of Neverland, with all of the key characters as middle school students. But director Joel Schumacher turned them into older teens, and also amped up the sexy factor. Good move, Schumacher.
24. Jason Patric’s character is named Michael Emerson.
This was, of course, a meaningless fact in 1987. But I take pleasure now in knowing that Corey Haim’s “Lost Boys” older brother shares a name with the guy who played Benjamin Linus.
23. Tina Turner’s saxophone player was in it
Remember that ultra-muscly dude who played sax in Tina Turner’s band, and that Jon Hamm would later reference in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch? His name is Tim Capello. And he is in “The Lost Boys.”
Corey Haim’s Alaskan Malamute was loyal, protective and willing to lunge after a vampire’s neck when need be. Also, look how cute.
21. “Death by stereo”
20. Bill S. Preston, Esquire is in “The Lost Boys”
Before he became one half of Bill & Ted, Alex Winter was Marko the vampire.
19. The motorcycle scene
What starts off as your average motorcycle ride with a gaggle of vampires eventually turns foggy, mysterious and potentially life-threatening. Which, really, we should have seen coming. After all, a song by Lou Gramm is playing during the beginning of this scene. And Lou Gramm is synonymous with danger.
18. Best vampire lair ever.
True, it was a little dusty in that underground cave by the Pacific. But Star dressed it up nicely with some candles and some of her gauzy, crunchy-granola bed linens and draping. If it’s still there, I think it would make a nice after-hours lounge.
17. Thomas Newman score
The man who would later compose the music for “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Six Feet Under” and “The Help” also created the score for the greatest vampire movie of the 1980s. (Yes, I am counting “Fright Night,” but thanks for checking.)
16. Corey Haim singing in the bathtub
Corey Haim, who sadly is no longer with us, was never more adorable than he was in “The Lost Boys.” Okay, fine, maybe he was more adorable in “Lucas.” But he was still pretty cute here, especially as he took a bath while singing a falsetto version of “Ain’t Got No Home” by Clarence “Frogman” Henry (Frogman ... Frog brothers .. get it?) and ignoring the fact that his vampire-brother was being attacked by his dog. (FYI: A bit of NSFW language comes out of the mouth of young Mr. Haim in the clip below.)
15. Corey Haim’s Rob Lowe poster.
Why did Haim’s Sam have an erotic poster of Rob Lowe on his bedroom wall? Did he have a not-so-secret Rob Lowe crush? Was it because Lowe was in director Joel Schumacher’s “St. Elmo’s Fire” and therefore, Schumacher had a Rob Lowe poster lying around? I still don’t know the answer. And neither does the woman who writes this blog.
14. The Max test
Max seemed like a potentially lovely boyfriend for Dianne Wiest’s Lucy. But Haim and his friends the Frog brothers — Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander — were skeptical. As well as they should have been. Max worked in a video store. That alone is pretty suspicious.
13. Chinese food = maggots
Kiefer Sutherland hands Jason Patric some rice. It turns into maggots. And with that, a generation is unable to eat Chinese food straight from the box until sometime in the early ‘90s. (Also, is this scene the real reason that Patric stole Julia Roberts away from Sutherland four years later?)
12. Jason Patric = Jim Morrison
There’s a lickety split moment in the movie when an image of Jim Morrison is overlaid atop an image of Patric, confirming that they are basically doppelgangers. And yet Val Kilmer still got cast as the lead in “The Doors.”
Jami Gertz made her so mysterious, in a flowing skirt-and-clanging-bracelets sort of way, that I barely remembered that she used to be Muffy Tepperman.
10. “Cry Little Sister”
How many nights did we all spend listening to the intense “Lost Boys” theme song by Gerard McCann, then rewinding our “Lost Boys” soundtrack and listing to it again so we could brood longer in our adolescent way that only we , in our distinctly unique pain, could understand?
Wait, that was just me?
9. Dianne Wiest’s parenting
With her commitment to her two sons, her soft-as-a-baby-blanket voice and her patience even in the face of boyfriend-vampire accusations, who didn’t want Lucy Emerson to be their mom?
Turn to anyone who may have been a teenager when “The Lost Boys” came out and say, “Hey remember Laddie from ‘The Lost Boys’?” I guarantee you that person will immediately smile with deep and abiding fondness for that little vampire boy who only had Jami Gertz to call mommy.
7. Vampires who behave like actual vampires.
In this era of “Twilight,” haven’t we all developed a renewed appreciation for vampires who don’t sparkle, have no understanding of the word Volturi and do classic vampire things, like not being reflected in mirror, sleeping like bats and dying when sharp things are staked into their chests?
6. The presence of INXS
During the summer of 1987, you couldn’t turn on MTV without seeing the video for the INXS & Jimmy Barnes rollicker, “Good Times.” The version with “Lost Boys” clips spliced into it does not appear to be online. But this is almost as good.
5. The Frog brothers
Corey Feldman was never more intimidating than he was as one-half of the platonic wonder twins of vampire-slaying.
The Tony Award-winning Barnard Hughes was an esteemed actor with a six-decade career on stage and screen. Yet there are some who will always think of him as Grandpa Emerson, the headband wearing, hippie-dippie old man who loves root beer, prefers reading the TV Guide to watching actual television and has a passion for taxidermy.
3. The Coreys!
The magical combination of Haim and Feldman — the very notion of the Coreys as we know them — was born in “The Lost Boys.”
2. Kiefer Sutherland and his mullet
As David, the leader of the “Lost Boys” vamp clique, Kiefer Sutherland sported fangs and a spiky mullet that made the one Bono sported at Live-Aid look like a masterpiece of hair subtlety. And yet he was still sexy while giving off a vibe 300 times more intimidating than Edward Cullen.
1. The ending
The capper to “The Lost Boys” — the moment when Grandpa acknowledges his awareness of the vampire problem in most pithy fashion and the refrigerator door a la “The Godfather” — is one of the best movie kickers of the ‘80s.