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Lost Boys, The - Special Edition  (1987)

 

Rating: R

Distributor: Warner Home Video

Release Date: August 10, 2004
Review posted: August 12, 2004

 

Reviewed by Jon Bjorling

 

"Teenage vampires gone wild"

 

SYNOPSIS

 

Teenager Michael (Jason Patric) and his younger brother (Corey Haim) learn the horrific secret of their new seaside town - it’s infested with vampires. However, when Michael is turned into the bloodsucking undead, it’s up to Haim and his new vampire fighting friends, the Frog Brothers, to fight back and save his brother’s soul.

 

CRITIQUE

 

The Lost Boys, originally written as a “Goonies with vampires” flick, is one of those late 80’s films that has become a classic just simply by being. Had it been made today, very little would be thought of it, because it really is nothing more than a horror comedy with some very cleaver moments. However, it never really goes to the extremes on either side, the horror isn’t that horrific, nor is the comedy that funny. But as a vampire film, it works just fine.

 

The casting is mostly to blame for the film’s flaws, but it’s not the adults or teens that are the problem. Jason Patric plays a teen in a transitional stage of life believably, his love interest Star (Jami Gertz) plays both seducer and victim well, we never doubt her change in feelings for Michael. Kiefer Sutherland is great, and even though he has the fewest lines out of all the characters, we can feel his presence at all times. It’s the kids that are the problem. They don’t fit in to this film. They seem more fitting to the “Goonies with vampires” scenario than what the film ended up becoming.

 

Corey Haim plays a kid who is a complete and total wuss. It’s hard to imagine him summoning up the courage to enter the vampire’s lair in order to slay the slumbering undead. Corey Feldman, doing his best (worst) Stallone impersonation, is one of those kids who talks big, but when put into harm’s way, would run like a coward. Had the film been more of a comedy, these sorts of heroes would work, but since the film sets itself in a tangible reality, the kids seem out of place. Had the characters been grounded more in the film’s reality (i.e. a real transition for Haim’s character and less Stallone for Feldman) the film may have worked better.

 

The story itself isn’t bad. It weaves a decent love story into the horror and it never disrupts the flow. The twists and turns are fun and surprising, especially the revelation of the head vampire. Overall, The Lost Boys is not a bad film. It’s not a great film either. But it is worth owning for fans of vampire films and horror in general.

 

THE VIDEO

 

The transfer looks wonderful. The image is sharp and the colors are rich and balanced. The black levels are consistent and there is no digital artifacting at all. It’s a really good transfer of the film.

 

THE AUDIO

 

The film is presented in 5.1 Dolby digital surround for the English language track, and Dolby stereo for the French language track. The 5.1 mix is standard and fairly underused. I never felt that the mix added to the experience as it sometimes does with other films.

 

THE EXTRAS

 

Disc 1:

 

Commentary by Joel Schumacher: Joel Schumacher’s commentary, while informative, is nothing more than an hour and a half long ramble session. It’s definitely not a commentary aimed at entertaining the listener, but rather, one set to put the listener to sleep.

 

Disc 2:

 

The Lost Boys: A Retrospective: The cast and crew reminisce about the film and what it meant to them at the time. This also acts as a “making of” feature in some ways, although the featurettes of Inside the Vampire’s Cave are a little more “making of” than this. This is a really well done documentary, better than most or its kind.

 

Inside the Vampire’s Cave: Four featurettes (A Director’s Vision, Comedy vs. Horror, Fresh Blood: A New Look at Vampires, and The Lost Boys Sequel?) which, like the Retrospective, act as a “making of” feature. These four segments are infinitely more interesting to watch than Schumacher’s commentary.

 

Vamping Out: The Undead Creations of Greg Cannon: A very detailed look at the creature effects of The Lost Boys. An excellent thing to watch if interested in how practical visual effects are done.

 

Haimster and Feldog: The Story of the 2 Coreys: Learn what the Coreys thought about working together for the first time. That is, if you care.

 

Multi-angled video commentary by Haim, Feldman, and Jamison Newlander: Watch the parts of the film that the Coreys and Newlander are in with each person commenting on a separate angle track. Not very interesting.

 

Deleted Scenes: A single track of deleted sequences. None of these really expand the story too much, although one scene does set up the revelation of the master vampire, by showing him “stopping” Sutherland and his gang without much trouble.

 

A World of Vampires: Vampire legends from around the globe.

 

Rounding out the extras is Lou Gramm’s Lost in the Shadow’s music video, as well as a trailer and photos.

 

OVERALL

 

The DVD offers a really good presentation. The features alone make this a worthwhile purchase for fans of the film.

 

VERDICT: RECOMMENDED

 

Home | Back to Top

 

:: The Disc

 

:: Disc Ratings

 

THE MOVIE

7

THE VIDEO

8

THE AUDIO

6

THE EXTRAS

8

OVERALL

8

 

:: Merchandise

 

SOUNDTRACK

Various Artists

Buy the CD!