Vampires that sleep hanging like bats

lost Boys Poster

Vampires that sleep hanging like bats

On this occasion, I am going to talk about one of the vampire movies that most influenced me: Lost Boys.

The film is from 1987. Its director was Joel Schumacher. In the cast, we find Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander and Barnard Hughes.

The film tries to adapt the figure of the vampire to present it to the young people of the time, just as other films from the ’80s did, such as “Fright Night”, which I’m talking about here.

Fun Facts

Originally, Keenan Wynn and John Carradine, a vampire film veteran, were envisioned for the role of the grandfather. But Wynn died before filming began and Carradine was very ill.

The exteriors were filmed in Santa Cruz, California and the interiors at Warner studios in Burbank. The cave of the vampires was built there, which serves as a lair for the gang of villains. This was done by Eric Brevig, who also performed the tricks necessary for the actors to fly.

The original script was written by Janice Fischer and James Jeremias. They thought about doing a horror version of Peter Pan. In the end, they just took the basics of that script and rewrote the rest. The reason was that they needed to show a version of vampires that was attractive to the public of the time and that included certain sexual elements. That’s why they replaced the ancient suits with a more punk look and instead of sleeping in coffins, they hung from the ceiling like bats.

lost Boys Vampires
lost Boys Vampires

Reception

The film did pretty well between box office and VHS sales. Over time, it also became a cult film.

It won the Saturn Award for Best Horror Movie in 1987.

The Sequels

Scripts for a sequel started to circulate from the beginning, but it wasn’t until 2007 that “Lost Boys: The Tribe” was shot. In my opinion, this sequel is pretty good, but not up to the first movie.

In 2009, in South Africa, the third part was shot: “Lost Boys: The Thirst” . I haven’t seen that one, yet.

lost Boys Vampire
lost Boys Vampire

Other adaptations

Writer Craig Shaw was given a copy of the script, with a commission to write a novel to accompany the release. The novel includes some deleted scenes from the film. It also includes more supernatural elements: vampires can’t cross running water, and salt seems to have some effect on them. This book is now a collector’s item.

Before we continue, spoiler alert: If you’re thinking about watching the movie, you should stop reading now.

The Plot

Sam (Corey Haim) and Michael Emerson (Jason Patric), after the divorce of their parents, move with their mother, Lucy (Dianne Wiest), from Arizona, to the house of their grandfather (an eccentric old man), in the town of Santa Carla, California. The town is a quiet place, except for a series of misterious disappearances.

Lucy gets a job at the local video store. Her boss, Max, is interested in her and she agrees to date him. In turn, Michael meets a girl he likes. When he asks her name, she says her name is Star. Michael asks her if her parents were hippies, but she doesn’t give him a clear answer.

Later, Star meets with David (Kiefer Sutherland) and Michael thinks he is her boyfriend. But David accepts him as a member of his gang, although he first has to pass an initiation ritual. The gang takes him to their lair: an old hotel that has collapsed and sunk into the ground and is now a kind of cave.

lost Boys David
lost Boys David

The Initiation

The boys seem to have ordered Chinese food and start giving a box to each one. Michael starts to eat, but is then told that he is eating worms. When Michael looks at the box, he sees the worms and throws it on the ground. But then the other boys ask him what he’s doing, and when Michael looks back, he sees only rice. Then they hand him a bottle with an unknown liquid and invite him to drink. Star warns him that it’s blood, but Michael thinks it’s another prank and drinks. This time it was true: the bottle contained vampire blood and now Michael is half vampire.

Later they take him to a bridge where a train passes and they all hang from it. When the train passes, one by one, they let go and fall into the mist below. Michael clings on with all his might, as he hears a voice inviting him to let go. When he can’t take it anymore, he lets go and falls, but then wakes up in his room, still dressed as he was the night before. He is confused and disoriented: He does not know what happened the night before nor how he got home.

Meanwhile, Sam meets two other kids from town: Edgar and Alan Frog, whose parents own a comic book store. The brothers give him some vampire comics. Sam says that he doesn’t like horror comics, but the kids advise him to take it as a survival guide.

lost Boys David
lost Boys David

Knocking at the window

Sam doesn’t take them seriously, but when he returns home, he discovers that his brother sleeps during the day, is bothered by sunlight, and appears flying behind his bedroom window.

Sam asks the Frog brothers for help, but the only solution they give him involves killing his brother, which he refuses.

When Michael returns to see the gang to ask them for an explanation, they reveal to him that they are vampires and murder a group of young people who were celebrating a party on the beach. Michael refuses to kill and leaves. Then he meets Star, who reveals that it is not too late for the two of them to be human again. She also reveals to him that he was going to be her victim, but she couldn’t do it. So they have sex.

lost Boys gang
lost Boys gang

Confronting Evil

Meanwhile, Sam starts reading the comics and finds out that if he kills the boss of the vampires, the underlings will revert to their human form (you most probably know this rule from The Simpsons).

Together with the Frog brothers, they try to find out who is the boss of the vampires, but it turns out to be more difficult than they thought. Michael guides them to the vampire lair during the day. There they find them sleeping hanging like bats. They kill one of them, who explodes upon death (by the way, in this movie, when a vampire dies, he tries to take his executor with him), but this wakes up the rest, so they have to retreat.

Knowing that the vampires will seek revenge during that night, they mount a defense, filling the house with traps made with garlic and holy water. They also load water pistols with holy water. Thus entrenched, the group waits for nightfall to fight the final battle. Will Sam and Michael be able to defeat evil and save their family? You’ll have to watch it to find out.

Here the trailer:
And here a song inspired by the movie:

Bibliography:

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Boys


My comic book, “My First Job” is now available in my e-shop:

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