This week on my podcast, Death by Podcast (Podcast, podcast, podcast. Will that get old?), we talked about the 1987 Joel Shumacher opus, ‘The Lost Boys’. I remember when this movie came out and seeing the commercials on TV, the images of pure gothic pop-culture seared into my mind. I remember some kid sitting on the edge of a bed wearing a giant necklace of garlic, some really cool looking guys dressed like Twisted Sister, and some cool dude in sunglasses and the most radical 80’s curly mullet. I also remember wondering when my parents would let me see it, or if I’d have to sneak a viewing at one of my friends’ houses whose parents didn’t care what nightmares their kid had, or that they had to sleep with a cross under their pillow for the rest of their lives. I’ve seen this movie dozens of times since, and over the years it has crept its way higher and higher on my all-time favorites list. It’s in my top 5, easy, and possibly the most quotable flick I’ve seen.
Watching it for the podcast and taking notes, this time around I realized that it’s not so much a movie highlighted by scenes, but rather one-liners and dialogue. Which is odd considering it isn’t some mega star blockbuster, Shwartzenheimer action man extravaganza. But it isn’t just a clever line delivered by a cool dude or a pretty face, but the scene around them working so well with the dialogue. Some of my favorites being “They’re only noodles, Michael”, “We can just eat peanut butter out of the jar in the kitchen”, and our show’s namesake “Death by Stereo!” The list goes on, and on.
I also paid close attention to the lighting and framing of shots, and I’ve included some of my favorites in this post. Shumacher really doesn’t get enough praise for his pre and post Batman movies, and The Lost Boys, in my opinion, is hands down his crowning achievement. He really put a lot of care and thought into how light can enhance a scene, and bring out defining attributes of a character. I also watched it with some good headphones on, and man, there are some amazing sounds and sound design going on in the background all throughout the film. Little screeches and moaning in the distance, recreating the ambiance of some of the classic Lee and Cushing Hammer pictures, giving Lost Boys another layer of true horror.
To top it off it has a timeless cast with the 80’s mega, yet odd, heartthrobs, The Two Corey’s, Jason Patrick in his most dynamic role, and Kiefer Southerland giving the most intense and honest performance in his career. But for me, the gem of the bunch is the mom, Lucy Emmerson, played by Dianne Wiest. I can never get enough of that lady, and in The Lost Boys she not only protects her family with the ferocity of a hell hound, but also wears the badge of 80’s mom with perfection, of which she has some stiff competition, but shines through like sunlight frying a vampire’s face off.
Thanks for indulging me. AC
“One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach… all the damn vampires.” -Grampa