According to Netflix, Mike and Jeffrey agree with each other on movies 84% of the time. In their regular feature, The Awkward Movie Challenge, they search valiantly for that sweet 16% that results in big arguments and big laughs.
Phew. Boy oh boy, did we just take a long hiatus from the movie challenge. A lot has happened since we last talked. Segretto had a baby and I finally became a man, officially, in a tribal ceremony that involved a lot of painful tweezing and embarrassing obstacle courses. Being a man is harder work than I imagined. There’s a lot of construction and swearing involved.
But now we’re back, and we’re ready to “sink our teeth” into an 80s classic, The Lost Boys. Ha ha ha, that’s a joke, because The Lost Boys is a movie about vampires, and one thing about vampires is that they like to put their teeth in things. Another thing about them is that they all look like members of Aerosmith during Aerosmith’s very bad period. These are the kinds of lessons we learn from watching The Lost Boys.
Let me get this out of the way right off the bat: I love this movie. I haven’t seen it since I was a kid, but when I was a kid, I watched it many, many times. I was not aware how many times I had watched it until I rewatched it last night. Every line of dialogue is ingrained in my brain. I know every song inside and out because my sister would listen to the soundtrack over and over again. If you know the soundtrack, actually, you already know half the movie, because it is basically a music video with occasional dialogue. And unexpected special guests!
The Lost Boys tells the story of Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim), two brothers who move with their recently-divorced mother to a beach town that just happens to be the murder capital of the world. Soon after settling in, they go to a gay biker convention on the beach where Michael spots the beautiful and beguiling Star (Jami Gertz). Michael chases her through the streets, making terrible small talk, until she introduces him to her gay biker friends, the titular Lost Boys. Led by the dangerously sexy Keifer Sutherland, the Lost Boys have a secret … and they’re not telling!
So what’s their big secret? If you guessed “they’re transvestites,” you’re WRONG! They’re quite open about that. The secret is … brace yourself … the Lost Boys are vampires! Shocker! Soon, Michael succumbs to peer pressure and becomes a vampire himself. Or, half-a-vampire, I guess … you have to kill someone with your teeth to become a full-fledged vampire, or something. I didn’t quite get that part.
Meanwhile, Sam meets the fabulous furry Frog brothers, Edger and Alan (Corey Feldman and some other dude), at a local comic shop. The Frogs love killing vampires. Or at least they love talking about killing vampires. One assumes they’ve never killed a vampire before, because they are twelve-years old.
Once Michael turns into a vampire, he starts behaving strangely. He behaves exactly like someone who has a serious drug habit. Luckily, he has the most checked-out mother in the history of cinema (Dianne Wiest). She assumes he’s waking up at 3 in the afternoon and wearing sunglasses all day and speaking in a creepy whisper because of a girl. Good guess! No wonder your marriage ended in failure.
Her children’s lives might be falling apart, but Mom has other things on her mind … namely, boning the friendly local video store clerk. We can’t understand why they’re devoting so much time to this supposed subplot, but then, surprise! It turns out the friendly local video store clerk is not so friendly after all. Vampires die, surprises occur, and in the end we all learn a little something about why you should never invite anyone into your house again. The end.
Is The Lost Boys dated? Yes and no. Yes, it is a product of its time period. The hairstyles and the fashions are ludicrous by today’s standards. It doesn’t help that at several points in the movie the characters talk about how cool and fashionable the other characters look. But fashions come and go … everything looks stupid after awhile. I can’t really fault a movie for adhering to the zeitgeist.
By far the most dated aspect of The Lost Boys is its total inability to recognize homoeroticism. I’m sure the 80s was not a great time to be gay, what with Ronald Reagan and AIDs and what-not. But what a fabulous time to be in the closet! You didn’t even need to work at it … people just assumed you were straight until you put your cock in their hands, and even then, you were often okay. (When I grew up, many people did not realize fucking Boy George was gay. Boy George! He was essentially a giant cock in the hands of America.)
Despite its lack of gay self-awareness, The Lost Boys is massively, retardedly entertaining. It is consistently inventive and rarely dull. The dialogue is frequently clever and the performances are fun and campy across the board. The Coreys eventually became a Hollywood joke, but at this stage of their careers they really did show a lot of promise. They’re both a lot of fun to watch. The script occasionally makes no sense … how the Hell does the Grandpa know his house is being invaded by vampires, anyway? … but where it fails in plot it more than makes up for with style, wit, and a killer final punchline. It made me long for the days before irony took over everything … I can’t remember the last time I saw a big budget movie with this much silly charm, especially a big budget horror movie aimed at teenage girls. No, Grown Ups doesn’t count. That movie was not charming.
On the Awkward Scale of Pizzas, I give The Lost Boys … 5 pizzas!
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