What's more traumatizing for a teenage boy than having to pack up his life and move to a new town with his brother and newly divorced mom?
Nothing, other than the local gang initiation. Which, in Santa Carla, may just involve drinking blood.
Though we're awash in vampire and other creature-centric entertainment nowadays, when it came out 35 years ago The Lost Boys was one of the earliest movies to update the centuries-old story of fanged immortals lusting for blood in the night for the high school set, taking youth culture classics like Rebel Without a Cause and The Outsiders and adding a dose of Dracula
"It was impossible to see it working," Alex Winter, who played mullet-rocking vampire Marko, recalled his initial reaction to the idea in an interview for the 2019 documentary In Search of Darkness. "Let's take all of these standard rules of vampire lore and let's squeeze them through almost like a big, gaudy '80s teen sex comedy—or sex drama, right? And I was like, 'that's going to not work in spades.'"
Winter was as delighted as anybody to be wrong.
The Lost Boys may not have ended up being the movie it was originally intended to be, but it turned out to be the perfect summer movie all the same—funny, scary, campy and set in a beachside town—and ended up with the box office numbers to show for it.
"It was only my fourth film," director Joel Schumacher, who was previously best known for making St. Elmo's Fire, told the Santa Cruz Sentinel in 2010. "I didn't know it was going to be successful and I didn't know if I would have a career."
As it turned out, he had a hell of a career, and countless actors he worked with over the years have credited him for helping launch their careers, as well. But not all of them had teeth like this one.
Tear into these secrets about The Lost Boys:
Schumacher died of cancer in June 2020 at the age of 80, and a parade of actors paid tribute to the filmmaker online and in interviews, recalling his talent, his creativity and his generous heart.
"Joel was a genius visionary that I had the great pleasure of creating Edgar Frog for," Feldman told Syfy Wire. "It was his vision of a badass teen vampire hunter, which quickly became my most memorable franchised character out of all that I have portrayed. Joel saw so much potential in me as an actor, that he took the personal time to help guide me through the very tumultuous times I experienced on and off the set of The Lost Boys, as he was a sober person who could see the signs of the potential danger that lay ahead for both myself and [Corey Haim, who died in 2010]."
Kiefer Sutherland tweeted, "His joy, spirit, and talent will live on in my heart and memory for the rest of my life. Joel gave me opportunities and lifelong lessons, making films such as The Lost Boys, Flatliners, A Time to Kill, and Phone Booth. His mark on modern culture and film will live on forever. I will miss you, my friend."
And Alex Winter told Mel Magazine, "I saw Joel not that long ago—we were always really happy to see each other when I saw him—and I gave him a hug. And it was so funny, because I felt like I was 19 again. He has such a parental quality—I was in my 40s or early 50s, and I was like, 'God, I just feel like a little kid around him.' But it was in a sweet way—the way you would around a family member that you care about. He had a lot of impact on me."
Sounds like a legacy that will live forever.