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USA 1987
Directed by
Joel Schumacher
97 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
0.5 stars

Lost Boys, The

Joel Schumacher’s film is a prime example of the way in which the Zeitgeist shapes artistic decisions and that when the Zeitgeist is the 1980s just how spectacularly awful the outcome can be. It’s not just the hair, make-up and wardrobe that cries tacky but everything about the film from the inane script to the lame acting, the clichéd camera-work to the by-numbers music and above all the vacuous pretentiousness.  However you cut it, The Lost Boys is bad and not in a good way.

Teenage brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move with their penniless recently-divorced mother (Dianne Wiest) to Santa Cruz, in northern California to live with their eccentric grandfather. Within a matter of days Sam meets a pair of vampire-obsessed kids of his own age, wittlily named Edward (Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander), who for some reason run a comic book store on the boardwalk.  Michael falls for the gorgeous Star (Jami Gertz). She however is the gf of David (Kiefer Sutherland), leader of a local gang of bikers who are, as Michael is about to find out, also vampires

The Lost Boys is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek romp with Michael’s damsel-saving adventures with the vampire gang undercut by Sam and his friend’s comic-book perception of the ways of the undead. The fleshing out of this dynamic, however, in terms of both script and direction (not to mention every other department) is pedestrian with the film being not a parody or spoof of the vampire genre but rather simply nonsense lazily feeding off it with whatever modicum of potential which is shown in its early stage soon evaporating until it sinks in a slough of witlessness. There is also a sub-plot about Weist’s romance with a video store owner (Edward Herrman) which is as fatuous as everything else in the movie but especially embarrassing because of her fine work elsewhere (with Woody Allen in particular).

Joel Schumacher is at best a journeyman director with more misses that hits on his C.V. The Lost Boys goes straight onto the miss pile.




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