Plot: What’s it about?
Let’s face it, if you’re a fan of vampire movies then there are no shortage of films to choose from. They vary from entertaining to scary to outright funny. But it was with 1987’s The Lost Boys that really made vampires “cool” again. Originally to be directed by Richard Donner, he left to work on Lethal Weapon, but stayed on as a producer. Director Joel Schumacher was brought on, though Donner stayed on as a producer. The Lost Boys had a cast of (then) relative unknown actors. Granted, Dianne Wiest and Edward Herrmann had been in the business for some time, but the younger, fresh faces of Jason Patric, Jamie Gertz and Kiefer Sutherland were still new to the Hollywood scene. The movie might also be noted as the first pairing of “The Two Corey’s”, Haim and Feldman. They’d go on to star in a few other 80’s classics with License to Drive (my personal favorite of their team ups) and Dream a Little Dream. Oh, and lest we forget this movie also features an oiled up, buff, shirtless “sax guy.” Enjoy.
We meet brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) as they and their mother (Dianne Wiest) have packed up and moved from Phoenix to a California beach town – Santa Clara (it’s actually Santa Cruz, but they were trying to shed the moniker of “Murder capital of the world” at the time). Michael becomes infatuated with Star (Jami Gertz), who happens to hang out with a group of thugs led by David (Kiefer Sutherland). Unbeknownst to Michael, they’re vampires and it explains the mass of “missing person” flyers that are so prevalent on the boardwalk. Michael finds this out the hard way as he too has been turned into a vampire. Sam, sensing something is off, heeds the advice of the Frog Brothers: Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander) who use their knowledge of comic books to keep themselves safe from the blood suckers. There’s a sub-plot about Max (Edward Herrmann) and his relationship with Lucy (Wiest) which ties everything together.
The movie was originally thought to be a companion piece to The Goonies but when Schumacher was brought on board, it was rewritten to cater to an older audience. It worked. The cult status of this film will likely never go away. And that’s fine. It served as a launching pad for several careers, gave us the “Two Corey’s” (not sure if that was a good thing or not) and it was odd to me that Jami Gertz is now one of the wealthiest women in America. After having seen countless vampire movies, this one does stand out. Yes, there are better, but this is really one of the few that makes them ‘cool.’ Oddly, the film’s success made it ripe for a big budget sequel, but that never happened and it’s really not known why. The film was only marred by two direct-to-video sequels that had very little to do with the original. If, for some reason, you’re reading this and haven’t ever experienced this film – there’s no time like the present…er, past?
Video: How’s it look?
It’s probably been 25 years since I sat down and watched The Lost Boys from beginning to end. And, back then, I really wasn’t paying too close attention to the way the movie looked. But after looking at the Blu-ray (included in this set), it’s clear (pardon the pun) to see that Warner’s new 4K restoration has greatly improved the visual look and feel of this film. The only real issue I saw was in the opening credits, there was some grain but that’s likely due to it being stock footage – still when compared to the Blu-ray, I did notice an uptick in picture quality. The movie, like most vampire films, is dark. A majority of it takes place at night and in dimly lit interior rooms. There are only a handful of scenes during daylight hours. That said, the increased resolution and the general lack of grain has breathed some new life into this transfer. The 2.39:1 HEVC 4K image doesn’t exactly scream 4K, but given the age of the film and what it’s looked like in previous iterations – it’s a vast improvement. The HDR does help out with those darker scenes, especially during the film’s third act. It’s a step up in picture quality, to be sure.
Audio: How’s it sound?
This might have been ripe for a new Dolby Atmos track, but the same DTS HD Master Audio mix from the Blu-ray serves as the main audio track here. The cover of The Doors’ “People are Stange” sounds positively delightful during the opening sequence and if you can’t get the phrase “thou shall not fall” out of your head after the ending credits roll, you’ll know the audio did its job. Kidding aside, the track sounds pretty good. Surrounds are put to good use, vocals are crisp and sharp and though the front stage takes lion’s share of the mix, I found the spacial aspect of the track to be fairly active. It’s not the best-sounding mix in the world, but for what it is – it works.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Disc One (4K)
- Audio Commentary – The only supplement on the 4K disc is the commentary from the late director, Joel Schumacher. It’s a good, solid track and he manages to fill the majority of it with anecdotes from the set, the writing, the cast and the overall story. It’s chock full of tidbits from the film and serves as a lasting reminder of Schumacher and his body of work.
Disc Two (Blu-ray)
The remainder of the supplements are found on the Blu-ray, though there’s nothing new here and these are dated circa 2008 (when the original Blu-ray came out).
- Audio Commentary – Same track as the one found on the 4K disc.
- The Lost Boys: A Retrospective – We get interviews with Schumacher, Richard Donner as well as members of the cast as they reflect back on the film, some of the original ideas and themes and such. It’s a good piece.
- Inside the Vampire’s Cave – This is actually a four-part feature that takes a look at the various aspects of the film.
- Vamping Out: The Undead Creations of Greg Cannom – We get a look at the make-up used in the movie as well as some history from Cannom and his career.
- Haimster & Feldog: The Story of the 2 Coreys – Like it or not, this is the movie that put these two Corey’s together for the first time. Both auditioned for the same role (that eventually went to Feldman) in The Goonies and it is a bit sad knowing that Corey Haim would be dead just a few years after this was made.
- Multi-Angle Video Commentary – Haim, Feldman and Jaimson Newlander offer up a 20 minute segment on some multi-angles of the film via the oft-used “angle” button your control. It’s there.
- A World of Vampires – An interactive feature that allows the user to learn about vampires from around the world.
- The Lost Scenes – Fifteen minutes of deleted scenes are included, though with no commentary or context – they’re a bit disjointed.
- Music Video – “Lost in the Shadows” by Lou Gramm
- Theatrical Trailer
The Bottom Line
I usually try to refrain from commenting on cover art. After all, we don’t judge a book by its cover, do we? Warner, along with some other studios, seem to like to reimagine their new cover art. I think the “classic” look of the film would have worked just fine. I got bored, so enjoy the graphic below to illustrate my point. At any rate, it’s not a huge deal, but if it ain’t broke…The Lost Boys is a classic in every sense of the word. Is it the best vampire movie? No. But that’s also subjective. This new 4K gives us better picture quality, though the extras and audio mix are the same as they have been for quite some time.