Joel Schumacher’s ‘The Lost Boys’ (1987): Never Grow Old And Never Die – Retro Review

If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, you do not have to be introduced to this teen vampire horror. If you need to be introduced, then I’m surprised, but mainly envious that you can now rush out and experience it for the first time. I don’t believe many of you will need the introduction, however, as Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys (1987) was an instant sensation. The film was released on July 31, 1987, and is one of the funniest, sexiest, and edgiest movies of the ’80s, or any time, really.


Jason Patric (The Losers 2010) and Jami Gertz (Twister 1996), Kiefer Sutherland (Stand By Me 1986 – retro review), and the two Coreys—Haim (Silver Bullet 1985 – our retro review) and Feldman (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter 1984)—led this blood-filled, action, romance horror film, a nod to vampires in the era of rock n roll. Sutherland leads a pack of wild teens turned black leather-clad vampires just out looking for a fun time… and to recruit.

Patric and Haim star as brothers Michael and Sam, who have moved with their recently divorced mother, Lucy (Diane Wiest: Edward Scissorhands 1990), to what appears to be the most fun city on earth, the fictional California coastal city of Santa Carla, which, unbeknownst to anyone in the family, is “crawling with vampires.”

Things are going good until mom starts dating her boss, Max (Edward Herrman: Overboard 1987). Or is it when a young, beautiful woman named Star (Gertz) introduces herself to Michael? We can’t leave out the ever-entertaining Frog brothers (Feldman and Jamison Newlander: Lost Boys: The Tribe 2008). Really, this movie has everything from sex, to violence, to gore, to music… more sax, anyone? If you’ll indulge me, I have to say how much this movie means a lot to me. I’ve watched it over 1,000 times easily, and I could watch it another 1,000. It never gets old, and it will never die.

The famous Frog brothers

Directed by Joel Schumacher (Batman Forever 1995, Flatliners 1990 – our retro review) and released by Warner Brothers, the budget for The Lost Boys was only $8.5 million but went on to earn just over $32 million that year, opening at #2 at the box office. Needless to say, The Lost Boys was a success in every way.

Since then, there have been some attempts to replicate that reception with follow ups like Lost Boys: The Tribe, and Lost Boys: The Thirst, but neither film came close to measuring up to the popularity of the original. There was also a comic book series released in 2016 by DC Comics and Vertigo Comics. The movie was introduced to a fresh audience, along with the freedom and wild heart that some would say should be associated with vampires. Would it not be fun to fly around at night doing whatever you want, especially in a town like Santa Carla? Okay, minus the necessary bloodletting, of course.

The one that looks like Twisted Sister…

There are some hilarious scenes and lines in The Lost Boys as well, and most of them are delivered by the late Corey Haim. We can’t forget the bathroom scene where we first catch a glimpse of what Michael is turning into. Sam is enjoying a bubble bath and rocking out to his favorite Frogman tune, voices and all. Sam’s beloved pet dog and silent star of the film, Nanook, is sprawled beside the tub when Michael bursts into the bathroom ready to feast on his younger brother. Nanook, of course, saves him.

Later that evening, Michael is caught unwillingly flying outside of Sam’s bedroom window. Before deciding to help his brother, Sam, in an understandably shocked state, screeches, “So, what are you, the Flying Nun?” Michael replies with, “I’m your brother, Sammy. Help me!” How many vampire flicks can pull at your heartstrings like that?

Through the excitement and danger of it all, like the hanging from railway tracks and the cave excursions, The Lost Boys is really just a movie about brotherhood… “Your boys, and my boys,” a beyond-exciting, entertaining, hilarious, scary as Hell, rock n’ roll movie about teenage vampires.

I also want to send shoutouts to the late Edward Herrmann, Brooke McCarter, and Barnard Hughes (Midnight Cowboy, 1969), as well as Alex Winter (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure franchise), Chance Michael Corbett (Pumpkinhead 1988 – our retro review), Billy Wirth (Body Snatchers 1993), and the late Cody the dog who were all amazing in The Lost Boys. Every character drives this story and has an important place in the plotline.

The boys
A final showdown

The title, The Lost Boys, is a nod to Peter Pan and the lost boys tribe, because they never grew up. There is something about this movie and just how friggin’ cool it is that makes me feel like I could be a kid forever, watching it with wide eyes and always having a blast doing it. I can’t believe it has been 35 years since the films release, but The Lost Boys is timeless and will live on forever, just like it’s supposed to. Someone will be writing about The Lost Boys in another 35 years, I’m sure.

But in the meantime, don’t forget, “They’re only noodles, Michael.”

About Lauraplant82

Hi there! I'm a mid-30s, Torontonian, virgo, true-crime obsessed, horror-obsessed, travel-obsessed, ...scrabble-obsessed, stargazing wannabe-novelist. I'd love to meet ya! :D Here is the link to my submission for Pophorrors 'meet the writers' segment:

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