‘The Lost Boys’ resets the vampire genre


Joel SchumacherTeen Vampire Horror Comedy the lost boys opened the door for Dusk, buffy the vampire slayer and true blood, breaking up Hollywood’s tired Transylvanian tropes with a biker’s laugh. But first the production had to overcome a director change, a change in direction, casting issues, budget issues and Kiefer SutherlandHaircut.

Premiered July 31, 1987, the lost boys found brothers Michael and Sam Emerson (played by Jason Patric and Corey Haim) moving to a fictional new hometown of Santa Carla, California. They begin hanging out with a group of delinquents who are quickly revealed to be sexy night vampires, led by David of Sutherland. Sam teams up with Edgar and Alan Frog (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander), who imagine themselves to be vampire hunters, in an effort to save Michael from his dark fate.

If the underlying theme of male bonding while resisting growing up sounds familiar, it’s because the lost boys originated from an earlier script idea based on J. M. Barrie Peter Pan. The main characters had to be “Goonies-type 5th-6th kid vampires,” according to the movie’s DVD commentary. Sutherland’s character was even going to be called Peter.

“I had read Anne Rice’s book Interview with the Vampire“, said first-time screenwriter James Jeremias later. Empire“and in that there was a 200-year-old vampire trapped in the body of a 12-year-old girl. Since Peter Pan was one of my favorite stories of all time, I thought, ‘What if the reason why Peter Pan came out at night and never grew up and could fly was because he was a vampire?'”

The concept was shelved when the original director Richard Donner remains to focus on lethal weapon, although Donner retained an executive producer credit on the film. “What he wanted to do was quite different, which was kind of a cute, G-rated movie aimed at young kids,” Schumacher said. Venice magazine in 1999. “There were no wild teenagers on motorcycles.”

Watch the ‘Destroy All Vampires’ scene from ‘The Lost Boys’

With Schumacher at the helm, the lost boys has been turned into a vampire story for a new generation, peppered with frisky young peoplegroan-y jokes and MTV Ready Songs. When confused studio executives asked Schumacher if he was doing horror or comedy, he simply replied, “Yes.”

Alex Winter, who played Marko in the film, said at the start “it was impossible to see it working. Let’s take all these standard rules of vampire lore and apply them almost like a big, screaming teen sex comedy from the 80s – or sex drama, right?” he said in the 2019 documentary In search of darkness. “And I was like, ‘It’s not going to work in spades. “Patric didn’t understand either and continued to resist Schumacher’s overtures. In the 2004 documentary The Lost Boys: A RetrospectiveSchumacher says he met Patric every day for six weeks before the actor finally came on board.

Schumacher was coming out of the shot St. Elmo’s Fire, so he had some leeway. “We really didn’t know what we were doing then!” he said Venice, laughing. “We made it up as we went along. The studio was incredibly patient and supportive, considering they had never heard of Kiefer Sutherland or Jason Patric or Jamie Gertz or Corey Haim. That was another big chance taken by a studio. We were very lucky.”

Things sometimes became distinctly improvised. “We all opened up to the experience, we embraced it – which is the only way to make a movie,” Schumacher said. Empire. “Do not hold yourself back.”

Sutherland’s distinctive look, for example, was shaped by both chance and fate.

Watch the Trestle Train Scene from “The Lost Boys”

“It’s actually a funny story. Joel Schumacher wanted me to have long hair, and I had long hair then, and then he wanted it white, kind of a timeless millennial look,” Sutherland said. . yahoo in 2018. “So I dyed it white and my hair was like normally long, like long all over — and I just looked like a wrestler! I hated it, and I just thought, ‘This is awful. “”

Taking inspiration from contemporary pop-punk star Billy Idol, Sutherland decided to cut the top of her hair – but left the rest long. “So I actually think I may have been responsible, or at least partially responsible, for the creation of the mule – and for that,” Sutherland added, “I will apologize to the death.”

His signature gloves, on the other hand, were worn to cover a cast. Sutherland was showing off on the beach after the first night of filming when he lost control of a mountain bike and broke his left wrist.

Money issues have had an impact, as Warner Bros. picked up $2 million just before filming began. This is how a piece of unused B-roll of Superior gun ended in the lost boys, offering a point-of-view shot as a vampire zooms overhead that Schumacher couldn’t afford to film. He also had to agree to direct a music video for INXS in order to get them involved in the soundtrack. (from Schumacher music video for “Devil Inside‘ happened the following year.)

“There was a bit of shame at Warner Bros.,” Schumacher said Empire. “The marketing people would say, ‘Well, it’s not really a vampire movie, Joel. It’s really a movie about alienation; it’s about disenfranchised people.’ And I said, “No. We are absolutely in the process of making a teenage vampire movie. Our job is to make the coolest vampire movie ever made.”

Watch the “One Big Coffin” scene from “The Lost Boys”

The results didn’t quite live up to Schumacher’s stated goal, if only for the sake of the film. ridiculously implausible ending. However, the lost boys might be the coolest vampire movie made to date.

“It’s quite a stylish, slightly comedic film – and Joel Schumacher’s most heartfelt film,” said Oscar-nominated cinematographer Michael Chapman. argued later.

His film’s legacy, however, will always be wrapped up in what happened next. the lost boys was profitable, earning $32 million on an $8.5 million budget, but that wasn’t enough to enter the Top 30 highest-grossing films of the year. A few big-budget sequel ideas have been tossed around, including The lost girlsbut ultimately only two direct-to-DVD sequels starring Feldman were released.

In place, the lost boys found its largest audience in video rental stores. These viewers would then grow into directors, actors, and studio heads who would unleash a torrent of vigorous vampire-themed TV shows and movies.

For a justified Schumacher, this made thematic sense. “I think a lot of our culture is designed for people to deny who they really are,” he said. Venice. “I’m not saying everyone is inherently bad, but we spend so much time wanting people to think we’re perfect – that we don’t think bad thoughts, that we don’t do bad things, that we’re all really perfect people – and we are. We’re perfect in our imperfections.”

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