It was 25 years ago today, Warner Brothers released the 1987 hit, “The Lost Boys” in time for the late-summer blockbuster releases. I had been made first aware of the movie when I bought my first issue of Fangoria magazine. I saw the pictures of TEENAGE vampires, a far cry from Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee, what I had grown up with seeing in my regular movies….I saw young men, well-built, with fangs, snarling at the camera. I was instantly smitten. I went back and forth as to which one would be my favorite Lost Boy, and I thought the name, a play on the forever-young gang in Peter Pan, was clever.
Then, all during July, I saw the tv spots, and promos,
In breathless anticipation. When I was younger, my mother and stepfather would keep us for a month during summer vacation. During that month, my Mom took us to a few movies. This was a RARE treat, keep in mind this was well before youtube, internet downloads, itunes and netflix…not every household had a VCR, and even renting videos (Videos, not dvds!) was considered pretty high expenditure. So seeing a movie at a theater was still a pretty big deal. My mother let me choose and I fought to see The Lost Boys in London, Ontario’s now defunct Capitol theater downtown. I remember what I had as a snack, orange soda, and shared popcorn with my mother….I remember seeing that “Warner Brothers” sign and the dark, black water of Santa Cruz, with G Tom Mac’s theme playing eerily in the background. A thrill went up my spine as I watched Kiefer Sutherland’s character step on that Carousel, and look around, with that smirk that made you think he OWNED the place. As the movie unfolded, even my mother, who really didn’t like scary movies, began to enjoy it. I wasn’t too impressed with the lack of biting, the feeding scenes being limited to Michael Emerson’s “Initiation” at the beach, but otherwise, I was in love. I even could see a bit of the “Good Guy” vampires in them…After all, they only eat those who messed with them and others. The security guard who kicked them off the boardwalk, Greg, who stole the comics from the Frog brothers and the Surf Nazis, who had harrassed Sam Emerson, younger brother of newly initiated Michael, in a deleted scene.
And Lucy Emerson, the mother, has forever ingrained in my memory, a new kind of Horror Movie mother, who sees something going on, and tries to get to the bottom of her sons’ problems. She’s also a newly single mother, bravely venturing out onto the dating scene while raising her boys with her father.
Before “The Lost Boys” came out, we were inundated with Counts from foreign lands, monstrous zombie-like creatures, and rarely good-looking vampires to tweak our imaginations. Anne Rice was just getting started with her newly published sequel to Interview with the Vampire, “The Vampire Lestat”, showing a young immortal rake just dying to be known. And he, too, was blond and hip. I like to think the book and the movie kind of helped raise the popularity of each other.
I would forever love this movie, force anyone I could to watch it with me. I memorized the novel (yes, there’s a novel!) and played out the sound track, “Cry Little Sister” being my favorite. I remember shopping in a store in downtown Woodstock, Ontario (my hometown) where the cashier had been playing the soundtrack in the store….As INXS began playing “Good Times” I stopped and looked about, mystified….Was I in a movie?? Ah. Youthful imagination…I almost expected Max to come out from the back, asking if I needed anything…I was prepared to say, “YES, that hot blond guy you hang out with would be nice.”…
I marked the calendar the date it would be released on vhs, and bought it as soon as I could. I wore that vhs out. Literally, the tape snapped, I watched it so often.
I wrote little stories about it I would learn later were “fanfiction”, but hid it from anyone. I changed names and faces and created small short stories about original vampire characters, and continued to read any vampire lit I could get my grimy hands on.
Ever after, I would still remain obsessed with the Lost Boys, followed the actors career, watched their other movies, no matter HOW bad, (“Haunted Summer” owes Alex Winter a very big apology) and watched the movies religiously with my best friend/cousin, Angie. There was one night Angie and I had just finished watching the famous chinese food scene, and was struck with the idea of having some. This was late at night and no chinese place in our area still delivered. We took it upon ourselves to make our own chinese food. Angie made up the fried rice and I was in charge of the sweet and sour chicken. Vampires would totally eat sweet and sour chicken right? Well, the sauce WAS pretty red… The only chicken my Aunt had in the house was chicken wings. Imagine me, bent over the sink at seventeen, stripping chicken meat off tiny wing bones to batter and fry….
At 11:30 that night, we had a chinese feast fit for a king. By that time, my long-suffering Aunt and Uncle were so fed up with the movie, any lines quoted from that scene were quickly hushed.
That halloween, I dressed as a punky, “Lost Girl” vampire, in all my eighties glory, big hair, fake fangs and bad make up. I scored my first boyfriend that night, obviously girls aren’t the only ones who love fangs.
Several years later, I met some wonderful fans online, got into a few fangroups, and had a wonderful time at “Blood on the Beach” in Virginia at the Reunion.
Alex Winter and I at Horrorhound Cincinatti, 2011.
Brooke McCarter, me and Billy Wirth. LOST BOYS SANDWICH!!!
Jamison Newlander and I
And at the Convention, the boys’ tables were ever busy….The Lost Boys movies and their sequels are inspiring a whole new generation!
If you can’t see, the t-shirts say “Team Lost Boys”. Twilight fans would not find a warm welcome here.
What effort for this outfit!
This young girl was sixteen at the time of this picture. Same age I was when I first saw the movie in theaters
She holds a special place in my heart for that….
The “Boys”, taking turns, signing “Superfan’s” pictures.
Thank you, Kiefer, Alex, Brooke, and Billy, for breathing life into those characters who have inspired, frightened and thrilled us these past 25 years. We are proud to say The Lost Boys have truly earned their place in the Classic Vampires Hall of Fame.
top banner photo courtesy of Kimmy Farmer, convention photos property of the author