Welcome back to The Friday Four!
Let’s talk about The Lost Boys. Almost everyone agrees that The Lost Boys is a great film, but when discussing the greatest horror films or even the greatest vampire films, The Lost Boys is never in the discussion. Maybe it’s because the film is looked at as frivolous because it stars the two Coreys or because it’s teenage vampires (for the most part).
For me, it’s my favorite vampire flick. Joel Schumacher managed to create a film that was both a product of it’s time (the late 80s – one of my favorite time periods) but also timeless. If you took the posters off of Sam’s walls and gave everybody cell phones, the film would still work perfectly today.
I had the opportunity to see it on the big screen last October, I think for the first time. I can’t remember if I saw The Lost Boys as a kid at the drive-in or via video rental. The latter seems more probable by that’s neither here nor there. I saw it at one of those fancy movie theaters that have servers and you can drink craft beer and eat nachos with weird toppings while you watch the movie. While I was watching the movie for probably the 150th time, a few things donned on me. These are the little facts and trivia that we are going to talk about today when we talk about…
FOUR OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE LOST BOYS
1. Kelly Jo Minter is in this movie
Maybe it’s because I hadn’t seen it on the big screen, but I never noticed Kelly Jo Minter’s name pop up in the opening credits. I did this time, so I actively looked for her in the film. She is there, but you have to really look for her. She works in Max’s video store.
In the final cut of the movie, she has no lines and you can only see her in the background. I theorized that perhaps all of her scenes where cut. Perusing the deleted scenes of the film prove that theory accurate. I am guessing that it was decided in editing that her dialogue may give away too much about the true identity of Max and thus, her part was pretty much cut out.
I wish I had known this a couple of years ago when I met her at a convention. Instead of chatting about Summer School and discussions of a sequel to People Under the Stairs, I could have been like “WTF girl?!” when it came to The Lost Boys. She would have been like “I know, right?” We would have bonded and became besties and every year I could have a Christmas card from the dyslexic girl who couldn’t drive in Summer School.
2. The Lost Boys is a Disney reference
Perhaps this isn’t odd to you. Maybe you’re sitting back and going “duh!” In full disclosure, I knew this before last year but it took a few viewings. It’s easy to overlook the fact the The Lost Boys is direct reference to the group of the same name from the classic Disney movie Peter Pan (which is itself based on the famous play by JM Barrie).
It doesn’t take much digging to find out that the original screenplay involved vampires aged 7-12 with the Frog Brothers being a pair of boy scouts. I am going to go on a hunch here and say if that screenplay had stuck, I wouldn’t be writing this column about The Lost Boys today. The reference still works, however. I suppose that makes Max Captain Hook, but there is seemingly no direct reference to Peter Pan unless you count Star.
The Lost Boys are essentially boys who will never grow up. In Peter Pan, they will never grow up because the live in Neverland. In The Lost Boys movie, these teenagers will never grow up because they are vampire. Different paths, same results. I’ve never read all the material on Neverland’s Lost Boys, but I am guessing Nibs doesn’t die in a bathtub full of holy water.
3. David isn’t dead
This one came to me as a surprise during this latest viewing. It just hit me. David looks so peaceful after his “death” via deer antler. He looked like a person laying in a coffin, which I suppose is apropos. But he didn’t explode. He didn’t implode. He didn’t disintegrate. He didn’t die screaming a bloody death. Something is fishy.
Throughout the movie, the Frog Brothers are sure to let us know that no two vampires die exactly alike. With all of those forms of death mentioned above, they seem to be accurate. Somehow, calmly dies peacefully didn’t seem to be on the list. I get that they were also going for the whole innocent boy look to kind of preview what David may have been like before turning into a vampire, but there was something shady about it as well.
A quick hunt on the internet confirmed these suspicions. David was not exactly dead. It was left open for his return in the scripted by not filmed sequel The Lost Girls. There is also a comic book which heavily implies David is the sire of the head vampire in The Lost Boys: The Tribe. Take it for what you will, but it is pretty interesting.
4. It’s influence on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I am positive that I have watched The Lost Boys since watching every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Thus, I am sure that I have had this observation before but The Lost Boys is obviously a huge influence on Buffy. I don’t know if Joss Whedon saw it at the dollar show twenty times when he was younger, but he has to be a fan.
Ten years before Buffy was a TV show (and five before it was a movie starring Keifer Sutherland’s dad), The Lost Boys had vampires that “vamped out.” They look different from their human counterparts. Their foreheads are a bit bumpier and their facial structures are not normal — unless you’re Ron Pearlman. And if you are, it’s a pleasure that you are reading my article, Mr. Pearlman.
This is the basis for every vampire in Buffy, a show that also liberally uses the term “vamp out,” which was first muttered in this film. Plus, where do you think they got Spike from?