Jump to content


Episode 145 - The Lost Boys (w/ Dallas Sonnier)


19 replies to this topic

Poll: Episode 145 - The Lost Boys (w/ Dallas Sonnier) (31 member(s) have cast votes)

Should "The Lost Boys" enter The Canon?

  1. Yes (13 votes [41.94%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.94%

  2. No (18 votes [58.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 58.06%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 Dalton Maltz

    Foruman

  • Moderators
  • 866 posts

Posted 11 March 2018 - 09:12 PM

Producer Dallas Sonnier joins Amy this week to discuss the 1987 Joel Schumacher film “The Lost Boys.” Amy and Dallas talk about the otherworldly portrayal of California, the look and fashion of the film, and the acting contributions of Jason Patric and Dianne Wiest. Plus, they note how attention to tiny details and the unusual structure of the film work in its favor.

#2 Johnny Pomatto

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 88 posts
  • LocationNew York

Posted 12 March 2018 - 08:53 AM

First off, I'd like to applaud and share Dallas' enthusiasm for the glory days of the video store. I was a bit too young to miss its theatrical release, but I watched THE LOST BOYS in heavy rotation once it hit VHS. I probably hadn't seen it in about 15 years so revisiting it this week was a treat. However, as much as I enjoy it, I don't think I can endorse it for The Canon. I don't want this to devolve into a GOONIES/NEVERENDING STORY debate, in which we argue a film's merits based on our nostalgia alone. I feel like too many times I may have voted against a film just because it wasn't "my movie." THE LOST BOYS kinda was "my movie." I even grew up in Monterey, just across the bay from Santa Cruz, so all of this "California Weirdness" was very close to me and relatable. This was probably my go-to vampire movie, about neck and neck (sorry) with FRIGHT NIGHT, before I graduated to more mature horror once I was ready for the intensity of SUSPIRA and such. This hit all the beats that my young nerdy, angsty, funny, rebellious, wannabe smoldering teenage self desired. But I do think that there's so much packed into this movie that all of its themes and ideas never fully shine through. There's great hints at things, like the puberty angle, which I agree Jason Patrick is much too old to be going through. I really love Diane Wiest and (the too often undervalued) Edward Herrmann in this film, and I wish it made more of a push to be a "parents just don't understand" movie, because I think the idea of the head vampire just being a dorky dad is a great one. The cherry on top of Bernard Hughes spending the movie omitting key information from his own grown daughter would give his last line even more of a punch. But the movie never quite has time to make a subplot like this into a domineering idea because there's too much else going on, what with sexy vampires in trees and under tracks, all while comic book nerds are attempting to defeat them. All of this is great fun, but at the end of the day I think that's all it is, fun. So I'm voting a respectable NO, not because THE LOST BOYS doesn't work its nostalgia magic on me, but because I just don't think it goes quite far enough. I still enjoyed revisiting this far more than I did FAT GIRL, and after watching it late last night, I'm even eager to sit my wife down and watch it again with her. Everyone should watch THE LOST BOYS, but we don't need The Canon to force that upon them.

#3 sycasey 2.0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:33 AM

I don't want to get too mean about this, but . . . is there actually an argument for The Lost Boys that doesn't heavily rely on 80s kid nostalgia?

I never saw this movie as a kid (not because I was avoiding it or my parents wouldn't let me, it just never crossed my path), and having only seen it as an adult, I don't think it's good. It's weird and silly, but not actually good. To me this is absolutely another Goonies, something that meant a lot to young people who caught it at the right time but is bewildering to everyone else. I agreed with everything said in the reviews Amy quoted from newspapers at the time.

The Lost Boys is a tonal mess. The stuff with the Coreys is kiddie, Goonies level humor. The teen-vampire stuff is like a campier Rebel Without a Cause, played ludicrously straight-faced. The stuff with the parents seems to come from yet another movie and is barely touched upon before it suddenly matters for the finale. The vampire lore is haphazard and formless. The movie never tells us what the actual "rules" are for becoming a vampire or killing a vampire, stuff just happens because the movie wants it to happen. It is not a compliment when I say that Twilight actually does a better job of world-building than this movie.

I cringed at all of Dallas Sonnier's comments about how "brilliant" Schumacher's direction was, because to me it feels hacky. The production design is interesting, and I do like the opening montage of "California weirdness," but given the tonal whiplash, the wildly contrasting performance styles, and the lack of coherence from scene-to-scene, it doesn't feel to me like a movie by someone with a consistent vision and something to say about the world. It feels more like someone throwing stuff at the wall and turning the amp up to "11" whenever possible. Needless to say, these are things that would continue to plague Schumacher's career going forward, most obviously in his poorly-received Batman movies. I say the same problems were present from the beginning.

Is the movie influential? I guess you can say the "teen vampire" subgenre does stem from this film, so I could see an argument built around that. But I just don't think this movie is good enough. It's a nostalgia piece and a curio, not Canon.

No to The Lost Boys. No to Twilight. Yes to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show).

#4 Buffyfan1992

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 12 March 2018 - 11:43 AM

I voted no on Lost Boys because the film was neither culturally relevant (to me), something I want to see multiple times (I admit to looking at other things at specific points of the film out of boredom) or insightful. I think that I might love the film like Dallas if I saw the movie as a kid/teenager or if it affected my taste in media. The piece of media that really shaped my love of televisions shows and movies was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Though funny enough the vampire faces in Lost Boy was similar to the television show that turned me into a Pop Culture Geek. I think the film is at times a fun watch, but its a hard no for me.

#5 Susan*

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 130 posts

Posted 12 March 2018 - 02:06 PM

I've never seen it all the way through (so won't vote) -- I've seen much of it in pieces on cable. It's going to be a midnight movie at a local theater in a couple of weeks and this discussion made me intrigued enough to get some friends together. I appreciated the enthusiasm of the guest, though it's hard to imagine that it has the best soundtrack of all time.

As someone who went to high school and college in the 1980s, I find 80s nostalgia really hard to stomach. I thought this movie received poor reviews at the time? And most mainstream movies of 1987 are terribly dated--even the ones I really liked at the time. I don't think they mentioned Jamie Gertz on the podcast? Because I haven't seen the movie, I can't understand this omission. Maybe her role was completely forgettable? but this was the same year she was in Less Than Zero. If you're doing 80s nostalgia you need to mention her. Square Pegs, etc. I guess teenage boys didn't notice her?

1987 wasn't an outstanding year for movies. But it had Hope and Glory, which is one of my all-time favorite movies and no one seems to remember it. It came out the same year as Empire of the Sun, which was also about a British boy during WWII. Hope and Glory is the better movie but Empire had Spielberg. (And for what it's worth, I still watch Black Widow start to finish when I run across it on cable. That movie and The Big Easy are imperfect but they are underrated/not properly remembered. And the Big Easy is full of terrific character actors and has Neville Bros. on the soundtrack ;) )

#6 FictionIsntReal

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 93 posts

Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:44 PM

This is the easiest no I can recall in a long time. I did not enjoy watching the film and I was left irritated with Dallas for nominating it. At least Molly Lambert had reasons for nominating Carnal Knowledge. There's basically nothing to this film that Near Dark didn't do earlier & better. I don't think Near Dark qualifies for the Canon, but it's a hell of a lot more deserving than this. I felt bad for Dianne Wiest having any association with this film. All of the aesthetics Dallas has such nostalgia just seemed like utter dreck, definitely not the "timeless 80s" of something like Blade Runner*. They probably should have gone with their original idea of having the older brother be 13, because then the childishness of the film would have fit its characters. Even then it would be a sub-par version of the Goonies with vampires, and the Goonies doesn't deserve inclusion either. As it is, the tones of the Sam & Michael storylines don't fit together, not that either of them are particularly good on their own.
*I could also mention Manhunter, but as much as I like that film, I realize it's too much of a cult film superseded by Silence of the Lambs to belong in the Canon.

#7 AmandaNumbraOne

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 19 posts
  • LocationAtlanta, GA

Posted 13 March 2018 - 12:09 AM

Damn! I feel like it’s gonna be a resounding no for The Canon.

For me, it’s an emphatic yes. I love this movie. It is the epitome of an action packed, scary, creepy, sexy, fun popcorn flick. Hollywood does not make em like this anymore and that fucking sucks. I’m a huge fan of practical fx, and most movies made in the late 90s til now dealing with supernatural characters rely solely on CGI. Fuck that. Computer graphics age poorly and look like garbage from the jump and I will not support the overly CGI-ed hellscape that we are living in if I can help it.

I disagree with Amy regarding the acting we see from Jason Patric and Corey Haim. I think it’s intentional. They are on completely different planes, with Michael being the rad older brother who couldn’t give a shit about how Sam is doing and Sam escaping into comics. They can’t relate to each other. If I were to guess, it seems like Sam was supposed to be slightly younger with his love for comic books and bubble baths (though we know now that’s men of all ages).
I personally identify with this sibling sitch, as I was in hs as a freshman and my brother was a senior. He seemed so much older with friends I thought were annoying/babes and I was completely isolated from his world. Coulda easily been a vamp, spent enough time sleeping through the day.

The Lost Boys has a beautiful structure that Dallas touched on. We don’t really know what bad boy David is all about and the third act has the audience second guessing itself with Max.

Not to mention the Frog Bro vampire prep montage, sax man Tim Cappello, and, as Dallas mentioned, the love letter to California and Grandpa’s amazing ending line.

Y’all didn’t mention how much everyone says Michael 🤗❤️


#8 ActualButt

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • LocationPhilly

Posted 13 March 2018 - 06:26 AM

"It's funny, it's scary, it's cool, it's sexy...it's a unicorn."

This alone pretty much sums up everything you need to know about why this movie belongs in The Canon. But then, you add in the stellar cast and Joel Schumacher still at his best in my opinion. But yes, Dallas, you're right, this movie holds up completely, despite all of its trappings. I vote yes.

#9 hermeselsabio

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 14 March 2018 - 11:54 AM

I voted yes to TLB just because there wasn't a HELL YES option. Kidding aside, I hadn't even considered this movie to be Canon material, but the fact that it even got nominated, got me thinking about it. First, mad respect to the guest for bringing FANGO back. Well done, sir. And well done with The Lost Boys also. This is a very well executed movie, with its own aesthetic and mood, all of which has been criminally underrated. The fact that it manages to be both a video clip and also a kick-ass vampire story must be recognized. Its comedic timing is impeccable, and let's also give it credit for bringing succesfully mixing the vampires with the teenagers, in all seriousness and respect for the myth. I know FRIGHT NIGHT came two years before, but I still think TLB speaks to it teenager audience better than that, having a much more exciting and sexy approach than the nostalgic view seen in Fright Night. I think there's no BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER without TLB, they use a fairly similar look for the vampires, and they also use the term (coined by Corey Feldman's character) TO VAMP OUT. Come on, there's your legacy to pop culture right there. Welcome THE LOST BOYS to The Canon!

#10 joel_rosenbaum

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 729 posts

Posted 14 March 2018 - 07:34 PM

A fun, ridiculous, campy movie, but... no.

But at least 6 people (so far) are with this guy:

Spoiler


#11 vanveen13

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • Locationoklahoma

Posted 15 March 2018 - 06:03 AM

I admit I enjoyed this movie as eighties dreck, but it’s utterly ineffective as horror and lifeless as comedy. I saw it when it came out and hadn’t liked it at the time. Now I think I can articulate what’s gone so wrong with it.</div>

The first thing has to do with Star, the Jami Gertz character, who’s clearly been shoehorned into this picture. She’s hopelessly miscast as a she-vampire whose erotic aura of suffering is supposed to give her a mysterious mesmerizing glamour completely entrancing to the Jason Patric character, when in fact she comes across here as she does in almost all the movies she did in the eighties, as a bland spunky Jewish girl from Jersey. She also screws up the theme of the film. It’s called The Lost Boys from Peter Pan, about kids who never have to grow up; no girls allowed. The idea you could remain young and hang out with your buddies forever and ever and ever is both appealing and frighteningly pathetic. Also, because this group of Lost Ones is supposed to be in their late teens there ought to be a sickly homoerotic undercurrent. The romance needs to be between Patric and Sutherland’s blond New Wave vampire-thug, as he slowly seduces Patric to the dark side of male bonding. By using Gertz as Patrick’s way into the club, however, all this is short circuited; we’re never given even a whiff of anything darkly perverse going on between the boys; nor do we feel that Patrick’s character is particularly interested in being one of the gang. They just stand between him and his getting the underwritten girl. Gertz and Patrick are so uninteresting together that their “steamy” love scene, shot in corny dissolves and saturated with terrible music, is MTV kitsch, good dull clean teen fun.

The second big prob is that the filmmakers are incompetent in dealing with basic vampire lore and rules. You’re never really sure which vampire things apply to whom here. Garlic doesn’t work, but holy water does. What about crosses? If Max, the master vampire, has to be invited in, how come the rest of the gang is able to simply crash the place? The weird thing is, there was a convenient device introduced in the movie which could have spelled all this out for us: the vampire comic book that the Frog brothers gave to the Corey Haim character. Yet we’re never shown even a frame of it! As a side note, if the bathtub filled with holy water has a plunger in it, as it must, then why do all the other sinks spew gunk and the toilet explode? Joel Schumacher is a filmmaker without style. There’s plenty of stupid slick spectacle and overwrought set decoration, but he has no idea how to make use of cinematic means to express what’s in the material. All that flying camera and the characters’ annoying screaming is simply goofy and tiresome.

The third thing wrong is the most enjoyable. At the beginning of the movie Schumacher gives us a montage of all the punks and freaks that live in Santa Clara, California, but they are nowhere near as odd as the normal, E.T. style family, our protagonists, who move there. Clearly none of these people are related to each other. Patric and Haim could not possibly be brothers, Dianne Wiest’s insultingly conceived mom character could never have popped out these eerie showbiz kids, and the grotesquely cute codger grandfather belongs to another film altogether; his saving the day at the end is groan-inducing. But the strangest part of all this is Corey Haim, whose frosted coif and bizarre unchildlike wardrobe make him look as if he had been styled in a New Wave gay ice cream parlor, which Max the head vampire also seems to patronize. During every single scene with Haim all I could think was, what in the hell is this kid wearing?!!! And at that level, I suppose, it was an effective horror-comedy.

#12 vanveen13

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • Locationoklahoma

Posted 15 March 2018 - 06:08 AM

I admit I enjoyed this movie as eighties dreck, but it’s utterly ineffective as horror and lifeless as comedy. I saw it when it came out and hadn’t liked it at the time. Now I think I can articulate what’s gone so wrong with it.</div>

The first thing has to do with Star, the Jami Gertz character, who’s clearly been shoehorned into this picture. She’s hopelessly miscast as a she-vampire whose erotic aura of suffering is supposed to give her a mysterious mesmerizing glamour completely entrancing to the Jason Patric character, when in fact she comes across here as she does in almost all the movies she did in the eighties, as a bland spunky Jewish girl from Jersey. She also screws up the theme of the film. It’s called The Lost Boys from Peter Pan, about kids who never have to grow up; no girls allowed. The idea you could remain young and hang out with your buddies forever and ever and ever is both appealing and frighteningly pathetic. Also, because this group of Lost Ones is supposed to be in their late teens there ought to be a sickly homoerotic undercurrent. The romance needs to be between Patric and Sutherland’s blond New Wave vampire-thug, as he slowly seduces Patric to the dark side of male bonding. By using Gertz as Patrick’s way into the club, however, all this is short circuited; we’re never given even a whiff of anything darkly perverse going on between the boys; nor do we feel that Patrick’s character is particularly interested in being one of the gang. They just stand between him and his getting the underwritten girl. Gertz and Patrick are so uninteresting together that their “steamy” love scene, shot in corny dissolves and saturated with terrible music, is MTV kitsch, good dull clean teen fun.

The second big prob is that the filmmakers are incompetent in dealing with basic vampire lore and rules. You’re never really sure which vampire things apply to whom here. Garlic doesn’t work, but holy water does. What about crosses? If Max, the master vampire, has to be invited in, how come the rest of the gang is able to simply crash the place? The weird thing is, there was a convenient device introduced in the movie which could have spelled all this out for us: the vampire comic book that the Frog brothers gave to the Corey Haim character. Yet we’re never shown even a frame of it! As a side note, if the bathtub filled with holy water has a plunger in it, as it must, then why do all the other sinks spew gunk and the toilet explode? Joel Schumacher is a filmmaker without style. There’s plenty of stupid slick spectacle and overwrought set decoration, but he has no idea how to make use of cinematic means to express what’s in the material. All that flying camera and the characters’ annoying screaming is simply goofy and tiresome.

The third thing wrong is the most enjoyable. At the beginning of the movie Schumacher gives us a montage of all the punks and freaks that live in Santa Clara, California, but they are nowhere near as odd as the normal, E.T. style family, our protagonists, who move there. Clearly none of these people are related to each other. Patric and Haim could not possibly be brothers, Dianne Wiest’s insultingly conceived mom character could never have popped out these eerie showbiz kids, and the grotesquely cute codger grandfather belongs to another film altogether; his saving the day at the end is groan-inducing. But the strangest part of all this is Corey Haim, whose frosted coif and bizarre unchildlike wardrobe make him look as if he had been styled in a New Wave gay ice cream parlor, which Max the head vampire also seems to patronize. During every single scene with Haim all I could think was, what in the hell is this kid wearing?!!! And at that level, I suppose, it was an effective horror-comedy.

#13 sycasey 2.0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 15 March 2018 - 08:27 AM

View Postjoel_rosenbaum, on 14 March 2018 - 07:34 PM, said:

A fun, ridiculous, campy movie, but... no.

But at least 6 people (so far) are with this guy:

Spoiler



My favorite thing about the concert scene is that the marquee just says "LIVE." I presume this is not the name of the band, just a way to remind the audience that this is, in fact, live music.



EDIT: Also, these guys were still a few years away:

Posted Image

#14 JoeFilmJourno

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 15 March 2018 - 10:12 AM

I don't have much else to add or comment about The Lost Boys, but here's where I'm coming from:

I saw The Lost Boys when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, to which I had nightmares every night for the following 2 weeks. I woke up in sweats, cursed by the pain I imagined that I was transforming into a vampire, just like the little kid, Laddie. I think now that it’s a tragic sight to see such a young and innocent person go through such a transformation so early. I’m sure that there are many real world analogies to be made here. All which might look as painful as Laddie’s agony.

For me, it’s a yes, because it was the first film which showed me something like this, it’s a film which approaches the core subject from every conceivable angle, while remaining ever true to the fun, party all night vibe of the vampire plot. I hope this goes into the canon so a 7/8 old me can have some restitution for his sweat soaked nightmares. The Lost Boys does a great job of putting all types of characters through the ringer in their own personal way. No one experiences the same tragedy as another; somewhat true to life, we are all affected by the process of growing up in different ways.

#15 sycasey 2.0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 16 March 2018 - 06:21 PM

God damn it, this bad movie is gonna get voted in, isn't it?

I would have taken any of the other rejected 80s nostalgia pieces -- Neverending Story, Labyrinth, Goonies -- over this. Okay, maybe not Goonies.

#16 BostonBrand

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 16 March 2018 - 08:27 PM

When I was 10, my favorite movie was "Camelot."

Later, in my teens, I found myself a complete outlier because I loved Sylvester Stallone's directorial debut, "Paradise Alley."

What we like when we're young is powerful for us, because of how impressionable we were, and what it meant to us at the time. But that doesn't mean it's actually good, or that it belongs in the Canon.

I completely understand Dallas' love for "The Lost Boys" ... and there are certainly worse movies he could have imprinted on. Like "Camelot" or "Paradise Alley." But I'm with Amy on this one. It's a fun trashy movie, but not remotely a movie for the Canon.

#17 Riot71

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts

Posted 18 March 2018 - 07:19 AM

Like Dallas, my trips to the video store were epic. I would split my trips between genres. One weekend would be horror, the next comedy ...etc. And I took my time, so I definitely walked home a lot😂 As for “The Lost Boys, this was a movie I saw in theaters. My friends and I would sneak in to see movies and this was one of them. Once it was released on VHS, I purchased it and it was one of those movies I watched over and over again. It wasn’t my favorite. But I did watch it a lot. Does it belong in the Canon? Years ago I would’ve said no. I didn’t think Corey Haim was a good actor and it had a high camp level. But Dallas convinced me it should. Even at a young age I got the puberty angle concerning Michael. And yes, he was too old to play the character. But I think that was the point. After all, older siblings always seem older than they are. But when Dallas brought up the “building of families” angle, it gave the film a deeper meaning. Max attempting to turn Lucy into the mother figure, David seducing Michael to become his brother (or lover?) Michael wanted Star. But it seemed that David wanted Michael. Even the Frog brothers were trying to bring Sam into their nerdy fold. To Dallas’ point, everyone was lost and they were trying to use other people to hopefully find their way and fill a need. I just watched this movie again last summer at an outdoor showing at the local cemetery. And it still hits all the spots. Is it nostalgic? Yes. Is it camp? Of course. But that shouldn’t keep it out of the Canon. There’s nostalgic camp floating around the Canon now. Is it trash? Definitely not. I do disagree w/ Dallas on one thing, that soundtrack is booty. It fits the film. But you can’t just throw it on and listen to it. It definitely needs context. Anyways, “The Lost Boys” is a yes for me.

#18 bleary

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 102 posts

Posted 18 March 2018 - 03:21 PM

I'm shocked to see the vote is this close. This movie is bad. Maybe if I were a decade or so older and seen this in the theaters as an impressionable pubescent boy, I might have loved it too. However, I watched it tonight for the first time as an adult, and it's bad. Easy no.

#19 sycasey 2.0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 558 posts

Posted 18 March 2018 - 04:58 PM

View Postbleary, on 18 March 2018 - 03:21 PM, said:

I'm shocked to see the vote is this close. This movie is bad. Maybe if I were a decade or so older and seen this in the theaters as an impressionable pubescent boy, I might have loved it too. However, I watched it tonight for the first time as an adult, and it's bad. Easy no.


Nostalgia is a helluva drug.

Thankfully, sanity seems to have prevailed. It was touch-and-go for a while there.

#20 Nathan Roberson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 91 posts
  • LocationNew York, NY

Posted 22 March 2018 - 11:11 AM

I'm late to the party, but yeah, this movie is garbage like The Goonies. I once had an exhausting weed dealer who loved this movie and GnR--in 2007, approaching age 35. It seemed appropriate for him then, and still does now.