Yep, Zombie 1 is reviewing the oldies again.
Partly because we want Love Horror to become THE place for horror movie reviews; partly because shockingly, we haven’t reviewed any vampire movies yet.
Oh also because I used to love this film man!
Yep, I’m old, and yep so is the film. But hear me out. It contains all of the classic, most vital components of a vampire film (the garlic, holy water, stake through the heart); it has a decent bunch of actors (Kiefer Sutherland, Bill & Ted’s Alex Winter, the once huge ‘Coreys’ and some other people that you’ll recognise); but most importantly of all, it teaches the younger horror movie viewer all that he/she needs to know to recognise and eliminate vampires. Educational.
Welcome to Santa Carla, the murder capital of the world don’t you know? Mainly because there is a bunch of hungry vampires living there. But Sam (Corey Haim) and Michael (Jason Patric) don’t know that.
They’re moving home with their mother after what appears to have been a messy divorce, and have ended up upping sticks and re-locating to the coast, to live with Grandpa.
Grandpa is weird, but it’s not his fault as Santa Carla is a weird place.
All manner of strange, long-haired wanderers hang out there, and it doesn’t take long for the young brothers to be sucked in to the wild and refreshingly different atmosphere.
Michael is enchanted by a dusky maiden, who entices him towards her biker gang, led by David (Kiefer Sutherland) and basically a whole lot of bad news.
Sam on the other hand is enticed by comics and befriends a couple of comic book loving vampire hunters, known as the Frog Brothers. A master stroke really considering that his brother soon becomes one.
What follows is a race against time. Sam and the Frog Brothers have to find and kill the head vampire to prevent Michael, his girlfriend, and a strange feminine little boy from becoming ‘fully turned’ vampires – a fate from which there is no return.
And the race is a gory, bloody spattered, 80’s rock accompanied adventure, with the high momentum and likeable characters that keep the viewer locked in.
As is often the case with these classic 80’s movies, we don’t get bogged down with dialogue and explanations. The director assumes that the viewer has some imagination and common sense and therefore makes the whole experience a lot more interesting and fun. No surprise really when you realise who the director was – the accomplished Joel Schumacher.
The special effects are excellent. Gore fans will be quite satisfied with the tearing of flesh in the campfire scene, and may even feel the need to applaud the geisers of blood that jet from the plumbing in the final confrontation.
Schumacher managed to use the two most popular teenage actors of the time to guarantee big cinema attendances, but in fact, they even act pretty well.
Each of the young actors involved really seem to give it their all, and it’s no surprise that many of them went on to do bigger and better things.
By todays standards, the film could be perceived as being too simple, too cheesy, too strange a combination of blood, comedy and teen idols. But if you can look beyond the celebrities, the INXS guitars, and the sweaty, pony-tailed saxophonist (you’ll know him when you see him). I think that you’ll find a great film. A bit of fun which has all you need for a Saturday night in.
In fact, I would not be at all surprised if this one was re-made in the near future. And to show how much I like this film, I’m even willing to put myself through the ordeal of watching (and reviewing) ‘the Lost Tribe‘, the sequel to this classic which, by the looks of the trailer, could be pretty bad.
If you haven’t watched the Lost Boys, go and get it now. Best of all, it will probably be really cheap!
Additional film information: The Lost Boys (1987)