LOST BOYS was released in 1987, directed by Joel Schumacher, this horror comedy soon established itself amongst audiences old and young as an enjoyable romp which had sinister undertones. One of the film’s most noticeable attributes was its soundtrack, this was a combination of both score by composer Thomas Newman and a collection of rock orientated songs. The score by Newman has sadly never been given an official release although it is rumoured there was a 2 CD set doing the rounds a while back, but unofficial so as far as most serious collectors and fans of the composer was a big negative. One cue was released from the score on the soundtrack compact disc which was released a time of the film being in theatres.
But, it was rather an odd track that made it to the recording, it being a fairground sounding piece entitled , TO THE SHOCK OF MISS LOUISE, I cannot pretend that I was not disappointed when hearing this particular selection on the album, but, I also have to say that LOST BOYS the song soundtrack is one of the most played song scores in my collection and LOST BOYS is a perfect example of songs and score working well together for the movie, complimenting and augmenting each other. The film is fast paced and focuses upon two Brothers, Michael and Sam Emerson who are basically dragged away from their home by their Mother, Lucy after a messy divorce to settle in the small town of Santa Carla which is on the California coast. She chooses Santa Carla because her somewhat senile (or so he likes people to think) Father lives there. The town looks like a normal beach side town, but there is a history of people going missing and missing posters etc are scattered everywhere.
The audience is alerted to the fact that all is not well right from the off, when the song PEOPLE ARE STRANGE plays over the films opening credits, but you know what it’s like the main characters seem clueless to the danger. Both Michael who is the older sibling and his Brother Sam begin to frequent the boardwalk, the former becoming infatuated with a local girl who’s name is Star, whilst his Mother gets a job at a video store that is run by a well known and respected bachelor Max. Michael is disappointed as he finds out that Star seems to be with a local motor bike gang leader David (Keffer Sutherland). Sam meets up with two local brothers, Edgar and Alan Frog who are experts on comic magazines and give Sam copies of certain comics to acquaint him with Vampires, who they then tell him have become a problem in Santa Carla. They also inform him that they are Vampire Hunters, which is something of a surprise to Sam. Michael won’t give up on trying to get to know Star and is caught talking to her by David who throws down a challenge to Michael to follow them on his motor bike if he dares. Michael chases the gang along a beach, but a mist descends, and he cannot see where he is going almost going over the edge of a cliff only managing to stop when he hears the sea crashing on the rocks below.
It is not long before Michael is taken to the gang’s secret hideaway which is the remnants of an old hotel which lies under the cliff. David offers Michael a drink from a bottle, Star pleads with Michael not to drink from the bottle telling him it is blood, but Michael does not believe her and drinks the liquid in the bottle, thus being initiated into the gang. Later In the evening the gang with Michael in tow head along the beach to a bridge, where they all hang from and one by one they drop into the darkness, Michael falling after them. The next day Michael wakes up at home but can’t remember the events of the night before or how he got home. He becomes sensitive to sunlight and suddenly craves blood. He attacks his Brother but is himself attacked by the family dog, who saves Sam from Michael’s blood lust. It soon becomes apparent that Michael is not a full vampire and is kind of in limbo between being human and the undead. Michael asks Sam for help as his transformation to a fully-fledged vampire won’t be long coming as he has already begun to develop supernatural powers.
But, Sam concludes that he may still be able to save his brother from becoming a blood sucker as he has not actualy killed anyone. Sam enlists the help of the Frog brothers who tell him Michael can be saved but only if the head vampire is killed. The two vampire hunters devise a way of finding the head vampire as they think it is Max from the video store, Max goes to dinner with Lucy and the boys are there and they give Max garlic. But he passes the test and feels no ill effects from it. So, the three boys turn their attention to David, Meanwhile David entices Michael to the beach where the gang embark on a blood-filled fest as they attack and feed on members of a rival gang who are having a beach party. But Michael is disgusted at the sight and makes his escape, He meets up with Star who tells him she is too a half human half vampire, and has not killed, in fact David had intended Michael to be Star’s first victim and once she had killed him she would become a vampire. Michael begins to weaken and is fast fading but manages to lead Sam and the Frog brothers to the Vampires hideaway under the cliffs. They try to stake the vampire gang who are sleeping but are awoken by the clumsiness of the Frog boys, however they do manage to stake one of the vampires and make their escape being pursued by David who has to retreat because of the sunlight. This is a tense and highly volatile and at the same time comedic sequence within the movie, and one of its many stand out sections. The Frog brothers, Sam and Michael make their getaway with Star and a half vampire child named Laddie. The six of them make their way to Sam’s house and along with the family dog barricade themselves in armed with a longbow, stakes and holy water which is in water guns.
As night falls the gang attack and get into the house, Their Mother is out on a date with Max and their Grandfather is also out for the evening. The Frog brothers and the dog take care of one of the vampires by pushing him into a bath filled with garlic water his flesh melting from his bones as he plunges into the bath. Then Sam kills another gang member with a longbow and arrow, the arrow passing through the vampire into a stereo and electrocuting him. Michael takes on David and is forced to use what powers he has, in the end he impales David on a set of antlers and kills him. But, the half vampires remain the same. So, David was not the head vampire, Lucy returns home with Max who reveals himself as the head vampire. A tense stand off ensues and Max moves to attack Lucy but is stopped by a jeep that crashes through the building, hitting Max and impaling him on a wooden fence, as the vampire expires Star, Michael and Laddie return to normal. The house is wrecked, it is chaos and carnage, but the grandfather manages to find a can in the fridge and as he opens it and says, ONE THING ABOUT LIVING IN SANTA CARLA I NEVER COULD STOMACH, ALL THE DAMN VAMPIRES.
LOST BOYS is an iconic movie and is held in high esteem by many lovers of horror movies worldwide. As I have said it is such a shame that the score for the movie has never been released, but maybe soon that might change, who knows. It is a worthy contender for a release but until then I suppose we will have to make do with the soundtrack compact disc that has been around for a few years now, which is all songs save one cue.
The soundtrack album as we all know it is a varied collection of rock songs and includes DON’T LET THE SUN GO DOWN performed by Roger Daltrey, it is without any doubt in my opinion that the most effective song on the soundtrack is CRY LITTLE SISTER. By Gerard Mc Mann it sets the mood and the atmosphere perfectly, it is dark and sinister and conjures up a richly fearsome and otherworldly ambience. Other cues that are noteworthy include, PEOPLE ARE STRANGE, ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, GOOD TIMES, INXS/JIMMY BARNES, LOST IN THE SHADOWS, LOU GRAMM, and I STILL BELIEVE, Tim Cappello. But saying this all the cues are effective within the movie and also make for an entertaining listen away from the movie. The film spawned sequels, but to be honest they were not a patch on the original. Its hard to believe it was so many years ago that the movie first hit the cinema screens, and is deserved of the status it has achieved.