Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on August 18th, 2004
Recently divorced Diane Wiest moves with her two sons Jason Patric and Corey Haim tothe California community of Santa Carla, where teenage vampires (headed by Kiefer Sutherland)cruise the boardwalk. Patric is initiated into the gang, but resists his vampiric urges, and Haimcalls in gonzo teen vampire hunters Corey Feldman and Jamsion Newlander to fight thebloodsuckers.
During the 1980s, some tributaries of the horror genre flowed into some very stagnant, fetidswam…s indeed, and few of these sloughs of despond did more damage than the misjudgedhorror-comedy. While laughs and chills have been tied together for most of the horror film’shistory, the bungled joining of the two makes for very depressing viewing, with the often witlesslaughs completely undermining what fear there might have been. For a good comedy-horror film,see 1989′s Tremors. For a perfect example of everything that was wrong with 80′s horror,check out this effort, which began life as a vampiric reworking of Peter Pan but lost just aboutevery element of that concept but the names. Directed by Joel Schumacher at his most vacuous(though the pictures are often pretty), The Lost Boys hits us with the same damn aerialshots over and over again, characters whose motivations are so obscure they must surely be fromMars, irritating non-humour from the deeply annoying Feldman, and a total lack of horror.Among high-profile vampire movies, this is one of the very, very worst.
The 5.1 soundtrack is lively, but tends to be so at select moments, rather than continuously.So specific effects (like a train, or some surf and wind) are thunderous and well-placed. On theother hand, some obvious opportunities for environmental effects, such as the crowded scenes onthe boardwalk, have no surround at all. The dialogue is clear and free of distortion.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer opens with impeccable blacks and promisesmuch. For the most part, that promise is delivered, with very strong contrasts during the nightscenes. The colours in some of the exterior day shots are a bit on the pastel side (perhapsreflecting the era of the film), and there is some grain. But a pretty sharp picture overall, for aprint from 1987.
Disc 1 has a commentary by Schumacher, who has lots of behind-the-scenes info to impart,while praising absolutely everybody under the sun. Disc 2 has screen after screen of specialfeatures. There are what amounts to two 20+-minute retrospective documentaries: “The LostBoys: A Retrospective” and “Inside the Vampire’s Cave” (which is divided into four featurettes:“A Director’s Vision,” “Comedy vs. Horror” [where Richard Donner’s theories will have yourteeth grinding], “Fresh Blood: A New Look at Vampires” and “The Lost Boys Sequel?”). Bothhave lots of input from Schumacher and his leads, especially the two Coreys. These guys get totalk more about their intertwined careers in “Haimster & Feldog: The Story of the Two Coreys.”In the same section as this featurette (a category called “The Return of Sam & The FrogBrothers”) is a multi-angle commentary on a few scenes by Haim, Feldman and Newlander (youchoose whose commentary you want to hear).
Also here is a 15-minute look at the make-up effects – “Vamping Out: The Undead Creationsof Greg Cannom.” Along with the theatrical trailer and a still gallery are fifteen minutes ofdeleted scenes, “Lost in the Shadows” (a music video by Lou Gramm) and “A World ofVampires.” I rather like this last feature. Presented with a map of the world, you select a regionand learn about the vampire legends of that particular part of the world. Cute. The menu for Disc1 has an animated and scored main screen and intro, while Disc 2 contents itself with a scoredmain screen.
Solid sound and picture, and a motherload of extras, but why lavish such attention on a lousyfilm, when much more worthy candidates from the same period are still unreleased?
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- “The Lost Boys: A Retrospective” Documentary
- “Inside the Vampire’s Cave” – 4 Featurettes
- “Vamping Out: The Undead Creations of Greg Cannom” Featurette
- Still Gallery
- “Haimster & Feldog: The Story of the Two Coreys” Featurette
- Multi-Angle Commentary by Corey Haim, Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander
- Deleted Scenes
- “A World of Vampires” Interactive Map
- “Lost in the Shadows” Music Video
- Theatrical Trailer