Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Lost Boys

Corey Haim plus Corey Feldman plus Joel Schumacher doesn't seem like a foolproof formula for a good movie, but when the three oft-maligned figures united for 1987's horror-comedy The Lost Boys, the result was briskly entertaining. Where Michael Mann's Miami Vice famously introduced '80s-style MTV cops, Schumacher and company introduced MTV vampires: leather-jacket-wearing, hairspray-abusing bloodsuckers who look like they just stepped out of an INXS video, and are ready to resume their role as the most Byronic figures at the mall.


Just released as a double-disc special-edition DVD, The Lost Boys stars an appropriately brooding Jason Patric as a teen who moves with brother Haim and mother Dianne Wiest to a California town that's notorious as the murder capital of the world. Through love interest Jami Gertz, Patric falls in with a gang of vampires led by a creepy Kiefer Sutherland, and soon begins exhibiting the traits of the undead. Haim, meanwhile, falls in with fellow comic-book geek Feldman, who warns him that horror comics should be viewed as survival guides in dealing with the town's plague of vampires. Haim and Feldman became major teenybopper icons, but in The Lost Boys, they look like unlikely heartthrobs. Haim, who gets many of the movie's lamest quips, resembles a '50s tomboy: He's more Sandra Dee as Gidget than James Dean. Feldman, on the other hand, is a convincingly unrepentant nerd for whom girls are primarily buxom figures found between the covers of comic books.

Schumacher, cinematographer Michael Chapman (Raging Bull, Taxi Driver), and production designer/future Tim Burton collaborator Bo Welch unite to give the film a sleek, pop-gothic look that makes smart use of filters and minimal lighting. Drawing on a cleverly constructed, well-paced script immersed in vampire lore, the cast members who aren't named Corey all deliver memorable performances, especially Wiest as the boys' sweet and vulnerable mother, the great Edward Herrmann as her video-store-owning suitor, and Barnard Hughes, who gets to deliver one of the decade's best concluding lines. Though it's excellent popcorn fare, The Lost Boys doesn't justify two discs featuring separate Schumacher and dual-Corey commentaries. Still, it illustrates why, when blended this smoothly, comedy and horror prove as winning a combination as, well, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman.