Recap #271: The Lost Boys (1987)

The Lost Boys (1987)

Title: The Lost Boys (1987)

Tagline: [bat: Shall we recite it in unison?] Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It’s fun to be a vampire.

[Dove: That is a long fucking tagline.]

Summary: A mother and her two teenage sons move to a seemingly nice and quiet small coastal California town yet soon find out that it’s overrun by bike gangs and vampires. A couple of teenage friends take it upon themselves to hunt down the vampires that they suspect of a few mysterious murders and restore peace and calm to their town. [Wing: That is a pretty bland summary. I guess I’ve never read it before. Also, if the bike gangs are as dangerous as the vampires, as implied with that juxtaposition, who is taking care of the bike gangs?

Also, two warnings: One, we’re all wordy and this is one of our favourite movies, so this is long. Two, if you’ve ever wanted to know more about the recappers, our histories, and our fannish experiences, you’re in luck, because the initial thoughts below the cut map us out.]

Initial Thoughts:

Apologies for the length of my initial thoughts. Feel free to skip this part and go straight to the others’ comments or the recap, but someone recently asked for an origin story for the recappers, and here it is.

I first saw this in the summer of Stand By Me. Every summer, Channel 4 would put on great movies every Saturday night, and during this particular year, it was a pretty good run, it went: Stand By Me, My American Cousin, Heathers, Pump Up the Volume… and if there were any more, I can’t remember them. My logic was often flawed when it came to movies, for example: I enjoyed this movie. It has Corey Feldman in it. Therefore I must like all Corey Feldman movies. (Actually, that was a pretty fair assumption for anything he did in the 80s.) This led me to renting The Lost Boys. And yeah, every party we had we’d watch Stand By Me and The Lost Boys back to back.

And it’s because of this very movie that: I still exist, that this website exists; and that this particular arrangement of recappers is here on this website.

Time moved on, and for my 21st birthday (2001), I treated myself to the DVD of The Lost Boys. This caused waves of nostalgia and I quickly went searching for fanfic and fansites. And this is where I met Wing, while searching for bat. I always feel bad about this part, but honestly, my rude little self emailed Wing asking where bat was (bat was on hiatus) [bat: bat doesn’t remember where bat was, though bat would hazard it was around the time bat quit art college and had a mental meltdown]. [Wing: Dove has no reason to feel bad. I hosted fic that I loved, and I wanted other people to read and love it, too, and I was glad to bring authors and readers together.] After a brief discussion about bat, Wing and I actually struck up a friendship, and when bat returned from hiatus, I was introduced to her.

Without wanting to indulge too much, let us just say that my non-internet life was literally the worst it had ever been, and everyone except for my optician (true story) was rooting for me to… no longer exist. So, I leaned heavily on Wing and bat (and it would take so many entries to tell the stories of this particular year), and during one of my dramatic wailing sessions, bat (probably in frustration) sent me a link to a blog post that had made her laugh in the hopes I’d crack a smile. I did.

[bat: I sent her the link because, literally, the author lived near Dove. Or at least my memory says that’s why. And it was a funny post. I did a good deed and had no idea I was about to become an inadvertent matchmaker.]

Santa Cruz beach watch of The Lost Boys in 2018 (Dove’s photo, Wing is on the beach somewhere)

When I married the author of that blog post, Wing gave me away—and bat watched online, because ain’t nobody but Kiefer Sutherland dragging bat to Vegas. (And several years later, Wing and I went and watched The Lost Boys on the Santa Cruz beach. And my handbag is still full of sand from the experience.) [Wing: HOW?! How do you still have that much sand?]

Santa Cruz beach boardwalk Sky Glider
Santa Cruz, California, 2017 Lost Boys anniversary celebration. Dove and Raven are up on that ride somewhere. (Photo by Wing.)

[bat: Sutherland dragged me to a part of a city I otherwise would never go, to meet him, so Dove might be right about Vegas. I guess if Sutherland is paying, I would go.]

So while none of that relates in the slightest to the movie, this movie is my Turn Left. This movie is the most important movie in the world. Without it, I wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t have my lovely friends that have been with me for nearly two decades, I wouldn’t have my wonderful husband… nothing. This movie brought me to the people who saved my life.

So yeah. Beat that, bitches. I claim this movie in the name of DOVE and friends! *sticks flag in movie* Actually, it would be more apt, to claim it in the name of The Lost Cave.

As a side note, the three of us have weathered some of the worst wank to hit the fandom of all time. There was the “whose blood was in the bottle” debacle. There was the “why did you remove the chatroom” debacle. There was the “CHANGE THE SITE TO WHITE TEXT ON BLACK BACKGROUND BECAUSE OF MY MIGRAINES!” debacle, there was the “your site sucks and I hate you” debacle which was instantly followed by the “WHERE THE FUCK IS THE SITE?!” debacle, and then there was the “accidentally changed permissions on a busy thread” debacle. There were a lot of debacles. [bat: I still have debacle scars.] So my tone may be a little jaded at times when talking about fandom. But that’s fandom, not the movie.

[Wing: Oh, The Lost Boys. I owe so, so much to this movie. My friends, a billion adventures, my life. It, and fandom as a whole (all fandom, not just LB fandom), gave me far more good than bad. 

I first watched Lost Boys in 1999. I’m not even sure what prompted me to finally watch it. Possibly someone in the Buffy fandom (specifically the Willow/Angel mailing lists) recommended it to me. (Buffy was my first online fandom. I joined in 1998, and I posted my first fic in 1999. Yes, I’ve celebrated more than 20 years of fic-writing fandom.) I immediately fell in love with the movie, even though werewolves have always been my favourite monster. Since I was already enjoying online fandom so much, I went looking for the LB fandom.

And oh, boy, did I find it. We were still on mailing lists and message boards back in those days. I was used to the fast-paced Buffy fandom, and LB was much slower, but there were such wonderful people and they wrote amazing stories. I was inspired, and I started writing LB fic, too. I posted my first one that year, and have since written 39 stories with more than 250,000 words. You can find all of my LB fic on Archive of Our Own.

I am still friends with so many people I met back then, and some of them are my very best friends. Dove and bat, clearly, and Raven was brought into my life because of LB, too, as you’ve read above, plus the very first person I met in the fandom. I’ve been friends with her for more than 20 years now, and I’m grateful every single day that fandom brought me so much support and friendship.

There’s a pretty hard line in my fannish experience between LB fandom in the late 90s and early 00s and LB fandom now. I still write fic, and I still know people in the fandom, but I’m not monofannish at all anymore (I’ve written in more than 80 fandoms as of 2019), and I’m only sporadically involved in fandom at all. (Mostly for fic exchanges in the fall. Trick or Treat and Yuletide are my favourites.)

Fandom is complicated. There are good parts and bad parts, just like everything else, and shitty people and wonderful people, and I am glad, so glad, that I found online fandom and never looked back.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Dwayne is my favourite of the vampires because I like broody, quiet guys (and also: have you seen him? Good lord), I have defended Star a billion times over the years, and I’ve come to ship Star/Michael/David due to writing them in gift fic for various people.]

[bat: I did not see the film in an actual theater until 31 years, 2 months, and 15 days after the fact. Before that, I first saw it on the local station’s Saturday night movie in roughly 1992. I was 11 and, unfortunately, I was sent home from the neighbor’s house just before the bonfire scene, which meant I got to imagine the whole second half of the film for months on end until I was able to convince my aunt to let me rent it.

Even then I blew it and didn’t get to watch the whole film properly until I was 12. My best friend in grade school attempted to buy me a VHS copy for my 12th birthday but my mom forbade him from doing so. SO I BOUGHT THE DAMN THING WITH MY BIRTHDAY MONEY, TAKE THAT, MOM.

I still have that copy, that VHS tape is worn out. Yeah. I literally own copies on VHS, Beta, PAL, and DVD. The film is recorded on my DVR and I have digital copies, so whenever the fancy strikes, I can watch it wherever the fuck I’m at. No one should watch it with me, especially if they’ve never seen it, because I will talk through it the whole damn time. Hence why this recap will be extremely long. I apologize in advance. You have three people writing a recap of a film that has a lot of personal history to each of them.

It’s funny, I’ve made life-long friends because of this film; Dove and Wing and I are going on 20+ years, we’ve been through a lot of shit together, even though we’ve never met in person. It’s the movie I’ve written the most fiction around, it’s the reason I got into online (email list!) fandom back in the days of dial-up modems. I think at this point my name is synonymous with David’s in certain circles. I’ve never spent as much time actively engaged with a film as I have this one – I have a huge collection of promotional ads, studio photographs, actors’ autographs, and all kinds of odds and ends, all to do with one little vampire film.

I guess that speaks to the power of entertainment. When you find something that resonates so deeply, connect to people who become friends all based on your mutual interest of a film that hit you right in the jellies and stayed with you so it ends up becoming a part of you, it’s an awesome thing. And I’m not talking about large fandoms like those wars in the stars or magical students – those are mammoth fandoms and unto themselves with so many factions and faucets – I’m talking about tiny homegrown fandoms that pop up around movies that may or may not be well known in the public zeitgeist. The Lost Boys really was a tiny fandom back in the day. In some ways it still is. Stuff we came up with on the Cave mailing list is actually just “common knowledge” nowadays. But I remember when we had discussions and things were decided and before that, it just didn’t exist or wasn’t known.

Um, anyway, fun fact, Marko was my favorite for about five seconds, mostly because 1) I was stuck imagining the last act of the film, 2) David intimidated the fuck out of me for a hot minute, and 3) I eventually watched Stand By Me and Flatliners and intimidation turned into oh my god he’s so hot. Over the years, though, it’s become more about the character than the actor. Yeah, I know, no one’s gonna believe me.

We better get this recap started.]



Times New Roman never looked so cool.

This movie starts so well. Opening with the theme song, Cry Little Sister, and a shot that pans across the water towards the Boardwalk.

[bat: Still gives me chills, I love it so much.]

The camera pans into the carousel, which I have ridden with Wing, Raven and Ostrich. There is some kind of thing you can do with rings, I think you’re handed rings and you toss them at targets as you go around. I can’t really remember how it works. I’m hoping Wing or bat does.

[bat: Basically, you get a steel (they discontinued the brass) ring from a mechanized dispenser and try to throw it into the clown’s mouth; I think they used to award you a “free ride” if you succeeded but I don’t think that’s the case anymore. Being that I have never actually been to Santa Cruz or ridden the Looff Carousel, this is just me knowing shit because I read the internet and know people who have been there. A high school friend actually sent me one of the steel rings back in the early 2000s. Basically, I cannot die until I visit Santa Cruz. DRIVING THROUGH CITY LIMITS AND NOT EVEN GOING NEAR THE BOARDWALK DOES NOT COUNT.] [Wing: RECAPPER REUNION. Sometime in the future when people can travel safely. I have never grabbed a ring, but my very first LB friend, T, has one from one of the several years she worked at the Boardwalk.]

Anyway, back to the movie, David (Kiefer Sutherland) [bat: BEST. ENTRANCE. EVER.] and his band of 80s-styled bad guys (Leather jacket or trench coat? You’re the bad guy. Mullet or long hair? You’re the bad guy. Combo of any of those things? Definitely the bad guy.), Dwayne (Billy Wirth), Paul (the late Brooke McCarter) and Marko (Alex Winter), roam through the carousel until they find Shelley and Greg, who are not actually named in the movie. In fact, a whole bunch of people do not have names in the movie, but we’re uberfans, so trust us. These two are Shelley and Greg, and they belong to a gang called the Surf-Nazis, which is a ridiculous name for anything.

David “flirts”—???—with Shelley, but this always looks so awkward, he just grabs her face, like he’s measuring it or something. Greg takes this very badly. Nobody puts their hands on his woman. Fisticuffs ensue, and it all seems like a bunch of regular toxic masculinity on parade.

[bat: I think the awkwardness of that scene is all because Sutherland broke his wrist during filming in Santa Cruz. Even the way he tries to grab Greg’s face screams “dude can’t use his other hand!” to me. Before knowing all that, I always just assumed it was some weird power move on David’s part.]

[Wing: Back in the Livejournal days, there was an icon floating around of this scene that I love, and I still have a copy.]

Vernon Beasley, the security guard, shows up, loops his nightstick around David’s neck and reminds them that they are banned. And also, Shelley and Greg are now to get off the Boardwalk.

David tells his boys to go, smirks and leaves.

Cut to an exterior shot of the Boardwalk as the lights go off for the night. It’s kind of satisfying to see them all go off. [Wing: I have not been attacked by birds in that part of Santa Cruz, but there are birds and bats in that parking lot, and they can be creepy as hell as they go fluttering past overhead. It’s great.] We see Vernon making his way across the parking lot, and we cut to an overhead shot. There is the sound of fabric flapping in the breeze, and the camera pans towards Vernon, moving faster now.

He glances back and sees something that makes him yell in fear. He takes off running – in the shots where he’s facing camera, he’s holding his hat on, in the long overhead shots, he’s not. For some reason, this is the piece of trivia every babyfan feels the need to point out when they enter fandom. I don’t know why, but this is the one they fixate on.

[bat: Yet… they rarely seem to know the character has a full name.]

He makes it to his car, but can’t get the door open because it’s locked. Something offscreen yanks him away from the car while he yells in terror.

[Wing: There is zero chance that he was able to hang on to that door enough to jerk it off the car when he’s jerked into the sky. Zero chance.]

And yeah, that’s how you open a fucking movie. Also, I love that we almost never see the vampires flying. Even with today’s technology, it would look goofy as fuck. Humanoid bodies just don’t look right flying. Keeping it to POV shots was not only a great way to save money, but it was also a way to future-proof scenes that could look terrible later in life. [Wing: Hard agree. I hate POV shots like that and yet it works for me here. And they don’t trigger my vertigo, which is a plus. And rare.]

[bat: I’m also glad they excised the drained corpse on the beach with the puppet dummy – a scene recounted in the tie-in novelization! – because it keeps the mystery of what the fuck just attacked him?! in tact. I know the first time I saw the film I hadn’t really made the vampire connection, so it was all so very mysterious!]

And now we have the proper opening. Lucy Emerson (Diane Wiest) driving her sons Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (the late Corey Haim) through Santa Carla to the sounds of Echo and the Bunnymen’s cover of People are Strange. Michael looks to be at least 45, and Sam is almost too 80s to function. [bat: He’s a fashion victim, Dove.] As they pass the town sign, the back reads “Murder capital of the world”.

[Wing: Here is where some fans will point out they’re coming in from the wrong direction to have come from Phoenix. I will point out that I’ve both walked and driven that road and love that surf museum in the old lighthouse.]

Next comes a montage of the weirdest people they could find. It’s the 80s and it’s a tourist town. They found a goldmine. I feel like someone claiming to be the friend of “Rat Girl” friend was once on our mailing list back in the eGroups days. I think she said that they’d approached her, got her to sign a waiver, she forgot all about it, and was quite surprised when people started coming up to her saying, “Hey, you’re Rat Girl from the opening of Lost Boys.” Which, to be honest, was probably not the greatest moniker to be stuck with.

[bat: Crap, I used to know the rat’s name! I’ve sadly forgotten it.]

Of course, we also are fairly sure that a certain YA author was on our mailing list back in the day, so, maybe don’t trust me. Or totally trust me. The internet was a much smaller place in 2001.

Also in this montage we see a huge amount of flyers for missing people.

Lucy and her brood are now pulled up to buy gas. Lucy sees kids dumpster diving for food and hands Sam some cash and tells him to give it to the kids. Since we later find out she’s flat broke, Lucy is a nice lady. The montage continues, showing Michael both getting his motorbike off the back of his mom’s trailer and riding in the car. When they pull up at Grandpa’s house, Michael’s riding it. A+ for continuity. He’s also taking in a face full of dust, because it’s the 80s and he doesn’t have to wear a helmet. [bat: His big hair will protect his skull, Dove. It’s a known fact!] [Wing: California’s helmet law didn’t go into effect until 1992. Apparently fewer than half the states have universal helmet laws currently on the books (i.e., everyone has to wear a helmet on a bike), but most have laws tied to specific ages. Three states don’t require helmets at all.

I love to ride without my helmet, but only if my hair is otherwise covered somehow. I live in a helmet-law state, I wear my helmet when I ride, but there can be quite a bit of joy to not wearing one.]

Grandpa lives in an epic sprawling lodge, surrounded by artifacts, such as totems, garden gnomes (really?), taxidermy animals, and um… I’m not sure how to describe them other than something like baby mobiles made out of chicken feet and bones.

They see Grandpa laying out on the porch, not moving. Lucy moves to his side, the boys are a bit more hesitant. Michael says that it looks like he’s dead, and Sam asks if he is dead, can they go back to Phoenix. No, Sam, you can’t. Do you know what a ball-ache probate is? [Wing: No, Dove. Very few people actually know that off the top of their head. You delight me.]

Grandpa pops his head up and announces that he was playing dead. I have never seen the point of this scene. There are much better scenes later that show off Grandpa’s eccentricities, and this one just seems needlessly annoying. Grandpa, by the way, is played by the late Barnard Hughes. It’s very depressing how many actors in this movie have “the late” as a prefix.

The boys start bringing their stuff inside, and Sam complains that he hasn’t seen a TV, which means, horror of horrors, there’s no MTV. Michael tells him they’re flat broke.

Outside, Grandpa says to Lucy that she’s the only woman who didn’t improve her situation by getting divorced. Lucy says a legal battle wouldn’t help anyone, and she was raised better than that. Then she hugs him and he complains she’s hurting his hair.

Again, I could totally skip these two Grandpa scenes. They’re so babyish. They really don’t feel like the rest of Grandpa, who is odd, but functional. The faking death and “Ouch, my hair!” just seem like it was written for a toddler or something.

Inside, Michael is chasing Sam through the house, and damn they are boisterous. I’m very glad I didn’t grow up with brothers. The house wouldn’t have taken it. [Wing: Not just sets of brothers. One of my brothers and I once broke a window. With our elbows.] The chase leads them to Grandpa’s taxidermy room, which I’m pretty sure reeks something awful.

Grandpa announces there are rules. The second shelf of the fridge is his, nobody is allowed to pick at the label on the TV guide when it arrives – and to clarify, no, he doesn’t have a TV.

Grandpa: You read the TV guide, you don’t need a TV.

Michael asks about the “murder capital of the world” graffiti, and Grandpa confirms that if all the corpses suddenly stood up, things would be hella crowded.

[bat: Which is based in fact. There’s been a lot of murders in the Santa Cruz County limits and several unresolved serial killer cases. This is why city leaders forced the film makers to change it to “Santa Carla”, to maintain a “wholesome” image, though fat lot of good it did them, everyone knows it was filmed in bloody Santa Cruz.]

And then they recycle the footage skimming across the water towards the boardwalk, and we cut to the most 80s of concerts on the beach. “Sax Guy” (Tim Capello) had a lengthy career working with Tina Turner, but thanks to this movie, he is “Sax Guy”. It must be awesome being a meme for the least significant part of your career. [Wing: To be fair, he seems to enjoy the cult fame that came with it.]

Enter Star (Jami Gertz), who is 60% hair and 40% spangly skirt, and that is completely Michael’s type,  [Wing: Also Wing’s type.] along with Laddie (Chance Michael Corbett). Who Laddie is is never explained at all. Fandom makes assumptions, but this movie explains very fucking little of the vampire contingent.

Michael’s “come to bed” face. It’s not exactly a 100% success rate. [Wing: More like I’m going to wear your skin as a suit face.]
Michael cannot stop gawping at Star. She makes the odd bit of eye contact, but when Michael gives her his “wanna hook up?” face, she decides it’s time to go. Rightly so. It’s kind of smug, desperate and terrifying all at once. (Sorry, Michael is not an interesting character to me, and Jason Patric’s dismissive attitude towards this movie doesn’t help.) She takes off, Michael follows her, and Sam follows Michael.

We cut to Lucy walking around the boardwalk. [bat: Actually it’s the Santa Cruz Wharf; you can see the Boardwalk rides in the distance.] [Dove: I’m British. It’s basically the pier or the prom. Wing will verify she can never remember what the prom is.] [Wing: Verified, because my first thought was a formal dance even knowing what you were actually talking about.] Someone is sticking up a missing poster for Vernon Beasley, the security guard. She then spots a “Help Wanted” sign in the window of a video store. Before she can investigate, she’s distracted by a crying child.

A child is traumatised by a woman wearing three different purple patterns, and finishing the ensemble with sandals and socks. #The80s

And by crying child, I mean a child that is perfectly fine, not crying, but keeps poking itself in the eye in an attempt to act. I’m assuming this was the kid of someone involved in the production, because if they paid for this child based on the acting skill, boy did they take a wrong turn.

The child cannot find his mother and we are supposed to believe he is deeply upset. Lucy’s maternal instincts kick in and she asks if she can help. The owner of the store, Max (the late Edward Herrmann) looks on, charmed, then scowls as David and Co walk in.

The boys are so 80s bad boy that they kind of make a metallic crunch as they walk, thanks to all the zippers and buckles. [bat: And David’s silver spurs.] I kind of miss this audio cue that someone would kick. your. ass.

Also, I have just noticed that over Max’s shoulder is a section for “Adult” videos. Who knew that Max rented porn? Inexplicably, it’s right next to the “Classics” section. I guess so that people could feel super awkward about grabbing Debbie Does Dallas while someone with finer tastes than them picked up Gone With the Wind or something. Or to really kill their rental experience – if someone saw them in that section, and they wanted to style it out, grab the first classic movie they could and act as if they’re not in the porn section. And now they’re stuck with it. [bat: ‘WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE SOUND OF MUSIC IS CHECKED OUT TIL TUESDAY?!’] [Dove: God bless you, batters.]

Lucy walks in and says that she’s found a lost boy (title drop, bitches) and is his mother in here? Before Max can really respond, the child’s mother comes flying over. She is about as good an actor as her on-screen son. She acts as if Terry is a misplaced hairbrush that she “just put down a minute ago”, rather than her beloved offspring that had gone missing on a fucking busy night at the Boardwalk [Wing: Wharf. The fancier version of touristy sections. As bat pointed out earlier, now that I’m going through the recap again after her comments have been added.] in the murder capital of the world. “I was so worried,” she says, looking anything but.

While the boys chat up Maria (Kelly Jo Minter), [Wing: Also Wing’s type, if you’re keeping track.] Max hands Lucy a lollipop as a reward for her good deed. [Wing: Dirty.] Lucy refuses then changes her mind instantly, and every time I see this, I think “Was this really the best take they had?” For a movie that does so many things right, it’s always strange that there are these odd lines that are just awful.

By the way, Maria had a much bigger part in the original draft, and, I believe, in the novelization, but since it’s been about a decade since I read the book, and even longer since I read the scribbly notes about the alternate version, I’m going to let bat/Wing handle this whenever they think it fits best in the recap.

[bat: Uhhh… yes? Most of the reason why no one knew about Maria’s existence was because the formatting of the film for home video release meant that she was cut out of the scenes so the film fit television dimensions. She’s literally always there but unless you knew about aspect ratios and purposefully found a “widescreen” version of the film, you didn’t see her. Hell, she pretty much hadn’t been seen since the film was in theaters. As for Maria’s role, I remember she mentions stuff about the Los Gatos store Max is opening and how Max gave her a job but that’s all that comes to mind. Maybe Wing remembers more?]

[Wing: Wing does not. Wing needs to dig out her copy of the book and reread it.]

Max says that he told David and his boys not to come in here anymore. The boys smirk and exit. He turns back to Lucy, who burbles several sentences in a single breath…

… wait. Maybe that was the best take they had. I’m starting to think that Diane Wiest is not a good actress – in this movie, at least. Or if she is, she was very poorly directed in this. I’m suddenly flashing back to every upcoming scene. Dude, she sucks. Her delivery is always terrible. She never pauses where a normal person would in delivery, and if in doubt, she just mashes the words together, as if blubbering them out in a single breath is the way to win at acting. She is absolutely fucking terrible.

The line is, “Oh they’re just young. We were that age too. Maybe they dress better. Bye-bye.” In response to Max’s comments that they’re “wild kids.”

Her delivery is: “Ohthey’rejustyoungWe werethatagetoo. [epic space – but this is the editing]. MaybetheydressbetterByebye.”

But since she’s won awards for her work, so I guess we’ll blame the director for failing to point out that words should be separate.

[bat: She’d just won an Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters prior to being cast in this film, Dove. Although I’ve never seen it, apparently members of the Academy thought she could act. She was good as Michael J. Fox’s dying mother in Bright Lights, Big City, and totally awesome in Edward Scissorhands and The Birdcage. And, really, Lucy isn’t a developed character. She’s a catalyst for some events and she’s a “authority figure” for Michael to “rebel” against, even though he barely suffers any punishment at all for half the shit he pulls on his mom. Michael is a terrible son and I dislike him.] [Wing: My god, I did not expect to be the recapper who likes Michael the most in this recap. Oh boy. But what I actually came to comment is that maybe she was drinking. A lot. To celebrate her Oscar. Or, you know, it’s Santa Cruz, maybe she’s high.]

Max asks what Lucy’s looking for, since he has the best selection of tapes in Santa Carla (including the adult section). Lucy says it’s not a tape she needs but a job.

Smash cut to Star and Laddie walking through the Boardwalk, and Michael following her in a very determined stalker with a crush way. Sam asks what’s the big rush and Michael loses his patience, and asks Sam if he has anything better to do than bug him all night. Sam’s eyes light up. Actually, he does.

Sam walks into a comic store. And this is the first time we see his outfit in full. He’s wearing a linen trench coat. Linen. I remember a friend of mine saying how hot he was, and how awesome boys in trench coats were. Dude. He looks like a fucking deckchair. And I think we can all agree that there is nothing sexy about a deck chair. You want a hot 80s boy in a trench coat? Try JD in Heathers. Not a whiff of deckchair about him. Or even David in this movie, although for some reason, only one of my friends thought Kiefer Sutherland was hot, everyone else couldn’t get past the mullet.

[bat: All the more David for meeeeee. Wait, am I the one friend?? Also, I was trying to find a place to interject this, but the scenes filmed in Santa Cruz are the only time Sutherland isn’t wearing a mullet wig, it’s his own hair bleached and cut. This is why no one ever gets his hair right in art or toys. Those goddamn wigs are horrific.]

[Wing: Wait, that coat is linen?! I always thought it was some sort of weird light-weight sweater thing.]

Sam picks up a comic, then freezes, feeling eyes on him. Two guys his age are staring at him. These are the Frog brothers, Edgar and Alan (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander). And this is another thing babyfans can’t help but blurt. “Hey, did you ever notice that the Frog Brothers are named after Edgar Allan Poe?” Fun fact, one of the original Big Name Fans wrote a series where they have a younger sister called Poe. That fic has been in existence since… 1999, maybe earlier. So yeah, people know. Stop blurting, kids. [Wing: Oh my god, Dove, it’s okay. Let them have their fun. All of this was new to us once, too, plus I’m pretty sure that series has been offline at least a decade longer than it was online. It was such a fun read, too, it’s a shame.]

Even the 80s had to raise an eyebrow at the concept of a linen trench coat.

The Frogs have zero people skills. They’re like the exact opposite of Games Workshop sales assistants. When you step into Frog Comics, two workers immediately accost you and tell you to fuck right off. [Wing: Since they do it to everyone and not just girls looking for comics, MY KIND OF COMIC SHOP.] Sam pulls rank, saying he’s looking for a Batman #14, he’s looking for the other three to round out his collection, since there are only four in existence.

Can I call bullshit? I’ve seen some pretty rare things at PonyCon. I’ve held about three ultra-rare ponies, where the total amount on the planet is less than ten. And those collectors are hardcore. They own a lot. They’re devoted. And they’ve sunk a lot of pennies into attaining that particular one. When we later see Sam’s room, you know what it lacks? Comics. I know, divorce and all, but you’d think he’d at least have a small collection. So bullshit, Sam.

Sam then schools them on how badly their comics are organized. The Frogs do not appreciate this. Edgar, however, offers him a comic free of charge, it’s called Vampires Everywhere and it could save his life. Sam says he’s not into horror, but the Surf-Nazis grab a handful of comics and run off with them, causing the Frogs to make a sharp exit to retrieve their property.

I’m guessing unsuccessfully. [Wing: Well, we do see them reading comics later.]

Cut back to Star walking out of the Boardwalk and back to the boys. She gets on David’s motorbike, and Laddie climbs up behind Dwayne. Everyone gives Michael pitying looks before they tear off. Star looks back after him though.

Cut to a bluff overlooking the boardwalk, and a parked car. Shelley is laughing her head off at a Sad Sack comic. Either we are missing out on comic gold on that page, or she is not sober. Greg tries to get frisky with her and she slaps him away, preferring the hilarity of the comic. Eventually his persistence pays off and they start to make out.

Their snogging is interrupted by the roof being torn off the vehicle and both Greg and Shelley being hoisted into the air by offscreen assailants.

Cut to the next morning. Grandpa is showing his car off to Sam. I know less than nothing about cars (as evidenced by me not knowing enough to keep my battery alive during lockdown), but it looks very old and very well maintained.

[bat: Grandpa’s car is a cherry-condition 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner retractable hardtop convertible in baby blue and white. The California license plate is personalized to read “57 FLIP”. A very serious car, man. It was actually up for sale on eBay a few years ago.]

Sam asks if he can drive the car on the way back, and Grandpa says nobody drives it but him. Also, is Sam meant to be around 13 in the movie, because he looks old enough to drive, and Grandpa reacts more as if “My car, my rules” and not “You’re three years too young, kiddo!” so maybe that was dropped. I’m always confused about how old the characters are. Especially because Michael looks like he should have kids of his own in high school. [Wing: Which is really interesting considering Jason Patric was young enough he could have still been in high school had he failed a grade or so.]

Grandpa starts the car, then turns it off. That’s as close to town as he likes to get. He exits the car and Sam is baffled.

[bat: Grandpa understood social distancing before it was a necessary thing.]

Cut to Frog Comics that night. Sam walks in and the Frogs ask him how he likes Santa Carla. He says it’s pretty cool, if you’re a Martian. “Or a vampire,” Edgar corrects. The Frogs expand that they are fighters for truth, justice and the American way. They give him another vampire comic and tell him to treat it as a survival manual and pray he never needs to call them.

Over with Michael, he’s bought himself a kickin’ leather jacket because he’s down with the kids, despite his encroaching senior citizenship, and he’s contemplating getting his ear pierced. Enter Star, who offers to pierce it for free. They get talking, she tells him her name and reacts badly when he says, “Oh, your folks too?” He means they were hippies, he was “this close to being called Moon Beam or Moon Child, something like that.” There is only one Moon Child from the 80s, Michael, and it’s not you.

They awkwardly flirt, and I was genuinely astonished when the book marked “Michael’s great, I like Michael,” as a playful line. I always see this exchange as, “I have to talk to you. I have to agree with you. I must flirt back with you.” … Am I alone in this? Does everyone else see this scene as genuine flirting? [Wing: Genuine awkward flirting with an undertone of maybe I want to rip out your throat, yes. Or at least I got that’s what they were going for and went along with it.]

Michael asks her if she wants to get something to eat. [Wing: Just you, dude.] As they approach his bike, the rest of the boys arrive and David asks where she thinks she’s going. Then he stares her down until she gets on the back of his bike. He asks Michael if he knows where Hudson’s Bluff is. Michael says he can’t beat David’s bike. David gleefully responds that Michael doesn’t have to beat him, just try and keep up. [Wing: That’d be easier if Michael had any fucking idea where Hudson’s Bluff is, and he has no reason to have that bit of information at this point.] [bat: I have always considered that a weird plot hole. Hudson’s Bluff is only ever mentioned ONCE, by David, and never again. No context, ever, other then that’s the vague direction of the cave.]

And then we have a damned cool montage set to Lost in the Shadows, and the upgraded version really does highlight the markers on the trail that were hidden by the fuzziness of VHS. I’m assuming this is where Kiefer broke his wrist, but again, bat’ll know all about that one.

[bat: Nope, it was at the Boardwalk, I think when they filmed them riding away after Star (and Laddie) ditches Michael. Sutherland, always desperate for a girl’s attention, tried to show off and ended up catching the tires in the trolley tracks, thus crashing his bike and breaking his wrist. [Wing: Dumbass.] Dude did this just as initial location filming commenced, so he quickly got some local surfboard maker to build a thin “cast” around his wrist out of fiberglass cloth, which could be hidden by the Coat and black gloves. If you watch the scene in the video store, his left hand is in the Coat pocket the entire time, his arm bent at an awkward angle to hold it there; we only ever see his right hand moving. They also had to rig the controls on his bike to the right-side only, since his left hand was fucking useless. Post location shooting in Santa Cruz, a few months later, his wrist was healed but his hair no longer fit the bill, so he got the goddamn wigs but the character kept the black leather gloves for continuity.]

The music fades away and the fog rolls in. Michael is neck-and-neck with David, and David goads him to go faster. Michael ends up wiping out, which is the best case scenario, as David comes to a halt inches from the edge of the cliff.

[bat: That scene on the edge of the cliff makes me so mad because you can see the awful wig on display in its full glory. I’ve seen the wigs come up for auction. I hate them. Seriously, watch from the moment the Boys circle Michael and Star under the colonnade to the cliff. DAVID’S HAIR GOES FROM ACTUAL MULLET TO FUCKING MULLET WIG IN THE SPAN OF A MONTAGE!]

Michael gets to his feet – apparently completely unhurt from skidding along a rock face at, what… well, let’s be super cautious, 30mph. I’ve been dragged along grass by a trotting pony and still lost skin. [Wing: Oh, yeah, at least one leg is absolutely shredded right now, if not more of his body.] He punches David in the face while Star yells “No!” The other boys cluster around him, but Michael says “Just you,” to David.

“How far you willing to go, Michael?” David asks in response. And all the shippers did squee.

(I’m not one of them. I ship literally nothing in this movie. Except for maybe Max/the idea of Lucy.)

[Wing: I have written so much fic for specific people’s requests at this point that I have all sorts of ships, including David/Star/Michael. I don’t always end up liking the ships I write for people, but I did with LB.]

And welcome to one of the coolest set pieces in the movie. The hotel that slipped down into the fault line after a huge earthquake. Apparently this is a real cave, and Jami Gertz really did run around in it in bare feet. And, presumably, really did cut her feet while doing so.

[bat: Not exactly a real cave, more like a set built on a soundstage but with enough jagged flooring that it sure looks like weathered rock. But yes, Gertz did run around in bare feet and ballet flats and probably did cut her feet. The “walls” were panels they could move around, that’s why the precise dimensions of the cave never feel fully realized. Still, A+++ best set ever! I weep to know it was destroyed, because no one thought to preserve it.]

David dispatches Marko to go get food, then explains that what he likes about this place is the subservience, he asks, he gets. Paul hands him a joint, which he passes to Michael. Star looks on worriedly.

[bat: In the widescreen version, while David is corrupting Michael with a joint, Paul and Dwayne grab Laddie’s hands and pull him to stand between them on the rim of the broken fountain. See, it’s the little things lost when you fuck with the aspect ratio!]

Cut to Sam in bed reading one of the Frog comics. Lucy barrels in and announces “Ten o’clock, lights out,” in a single breath. We get a moment to appreciate his room. He has one of those oversized wristwatch wall clocks that were so cool in the 80s, and a picture of Rob Lowe looking alluring on his closet. Intentional or not, you can’t fault slashers for seeing a smidge of a hint about sexuality there. There’s also a gigantic poster of another dude on the other wall. I can’t tell who it is – some 80s bratpacker – but it’s not unlike Charlie Sheen. And if you’ve listen to Corey Feldman’s statements, that’s some fucking nightmare fuel right there. You know what, it might even be a girl. The 80s was an era where every gender shared hairstyles without limitation. That’s less creepy.

[bat: The Rob Lowe poster is a nod to St. Elmo’s Fire, which was also directed by Joel Schumacher. A bit of googling says there’s also an Echo and the Bunnymen poster as well as a poster from Sixteen Candles in Sam’s room.]

Lucy leaves the closet door open – who the fuck does that? Who goes in to a room with clothes, puts them away, but wanders away without shutting the door? Lucy, you’re a fucking idiot – and Sam gestures that she should shut it. Lucy then says that she can’t sleep with the closet door open, and one of the reasons she divorced his father was because he didn’t believe in the closet monster. And yet she left the door open. I hate Lucy as a character. I just want to smack her. [Wing: Aww, I like Lucy. I think she was just trying to make him feel better.]

At this point, Grandpa attempts to jump scare the room with an evil laugh. He’s brought something for Sam’s room. It’s a stuffed beaver. [bat: It’s a groundhog/woodchuck, Dove.] [Wing: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck.] Sam politely thanks him but is horrified. When everyone gets out of his room, he hides it in the closet. Where it can become possessed by the closet monster and gnaw at his toes while he sleeps.

Back with Michael, Marko arrives with Chinese food. Michael refuses, he doesn’t like rice, and David brings up a racial stereotype and Michael caves to the peer pressure. Once Michael has a mouthful of rice, David asks how are those maggots? Michael looks down and the carton is crawling with them. He spits out his food and drops the carton, and now it’s just regular rice again.

David says sorry, while not looking particularly apologetic. He offers his noodles instead. Michael sees worms. David takes a healthy bite of… perfectly normal noodles.

While Michael pokes the noodles to ascertain they are just noodles, Star tells them to lay off, and David whispers to Marko that he wants his wine.

Crafting. Before Etsy existed and you had to do it yourself. [bat: Clearly Marko made this during Cave Craft Night.]
Marko retrieves an ugly ass ornate bottle covered in old brass and glass stones, some of which are missing. He takes a large swig then offers the bottle to Michael with the words, “Drink some of this, Michael. Be one of us.”

Star says not to drink it, it’s blood. Michael has been successfully gaslit to ignore her very sensible advice. And really alarm bells should really go off when all four boys start chanting his name before he drinks, and then react so enthusiastically at his first sip. Best case scenario when that happens, you have been drugged with something.

Star and Laddie back away in horror, and we get another montage set to the most awesome song on the soundtrack, Cry Little Sister. The guys leap around the room while Michael drinks and Star looks on in horror.

[bat: Does… does anybody else notice how David reacts to drinking from the bottle? I mean, is it spoilers to discuss this even when the film is 33 years old? Star tells everyone it’s blood but of course we’re all supposed to disbelieve her. But watching David’s physical reaction to drinking that particular blood has always bothered me. It seems… wrong? Weird?]

[Wing: Oh boy, are we going to recreate the blood in the bottle argument? Because I love that argument. (I still think it was meant to be Max’s and then lack of continuity in the movie led to David’s later line about it being his own blood set against his response here to drinking blood. Pretty sure that’s not the response of someone drinking their own blood.)]

[bat: It’s weird. When that line comes up in my part of the recap, the tone of voice David says the line in could be read as ambiguous. His could be taken two ways. It made me start arguing with myself all over again.]

[Dove: I’ve always leant towards the idea that it was Max’s blood and the “my blood is in your veins” is more of a “my family’s blood” or David drank Max’s blood, so did Michael, it’s all the same blood. But honestly, it’s not a hill I’d die on. Unless it was the late 90s and we were on a very talkative mailing list.]

Star clearly took some me-time between getting back to the cave and Michael drinking, because she’s wearing a completely different top than in earlier scenes (she started off the night in a cotton/nylon stretchy criss-cross top, and is now in a pure cotton, non-stretchy, top with small ruffles around the edges). [bat: CONTINUITY! WHAT DOES IT MATTER! What does it matter that this scene was shot months after the beginning of the scene!]

Fading transition of Star’s face, David’s face, and the boys arriving at a railway bridge. They leave their bikes either side of the tracks and walk halfway across the bridge. David announces that it’s “perfect timing”. The boys evade answer, but they do manage to namedrop Marko and Paul. Dwayne never gets namedropped.

David eventually decrees it’s time to tell Michael what’s going on and turns to Marko to explain.

Marko says, “Goodnight, Michael”, and drops of the bridge. Paul repeats the process with a cheery, “Bottoms up, man,” and Dwayne pulls out the finger-guns. David leaves Michael’s side and says, “Come with us Michael,” before dropping off too.

“Fun” [Wing: Yes fun.]
Michael leans over the edge and sees the boys hanging from the bars underneath the bridge.

They invite him to join him, and with trepidation, Michael swings down under the bridge too.

“Fun, huh?” David comments.

A bridge in Santa Cruz. Is it the bridge? No. Probably not. But close.

If the photo I took is any indication of how long the fall is, it’s not that scary, broken bones are still possible, but not splatter of strawberry jam. But I’m pretty sure it’s not the same bridge, but it’s right next to the Boardwalk. Apologies for the garish watermark, but fandom is a scummy and theft-heavy place nowadays, and it fucking sucks. Ancient stuff is frequently reposted without credit or outright stolen and it’s bloody annoying.

[bat: Santa Cruz desperately (to the point of annoyance) shills the bridge in Dove’s photo as the “Lost Boys bridge!” when, in fact, the actual fucking bridge is located in Santa Clarita, CA – about 5, 5.5 hours from Santa Cruz. It’s been modified since it appeared in the film (it’s no longer used for trains) and was most recently seen in an Apple iPad commercial (of all things! I may have started screaming at the television when I saw it for the first time) and you can go walk across it. There is a shallow ravine below, nothing near the “movie magic” height implied in the film through smoke and matte paintings.]

[Wing: Definitely not the actual bridge, but random Wing fact, I have absolutely made out on that bridge more than once, so all in all, still pretty famous. Also, if you walked from the Boardwalk across it and up the hill, there was a gorgeous viewing point looking out over the water. Where I also made out. Look, I spent a great deal of my first trip to Santa Cruz making out in various places, what can I tell you.]

And this is where I leave you. Wing will take over, and then bat.


We really could have chosen better places to split our recapping. Places that actually make sense. Instead we (metaphorically) (and kind of theoretically since you really just kept reading) leave you hanging with the vampires while we switch recappers.

But it’s my turn!

I do love David’s whole, Michael Emerson come on down schtick. Like he’s won a chance at a game show prize. [bat: Welcome to the Price is Right, Michael! Bid a dollar!]

No lie, I want to hang out under a bridge while a train goes overhead. I bet it would be horrifying and wonderful, loud and powerful. I already love the sound of a train. [bat: Have you ever watched Sunshine Cleaning, Wing? There’s a whole part of the plot about characters sitting in this tall wooden railroad trestle while sparks come down from the train wheels. I think you would enjoy it.] [Wing: I have not! But clearly I should.]

And one by one the boys fall away into the fog while David calls for Michael to let go because he is one of them. Out of all of them, David looks the most in control when he lets go, when he falls, this steady drop into nothing.

The train passes, Michael can hear them calling for him still, and then he falls. He can’t pull himself up, he can’t hang on, he doesn’t make the choice to let go, he just falls, unwilling and terrified, which is pretty apt for this entire process for him.

He falls and falls, ridiculously dramatically, hair flying in the window, screaming, and then he lands in his bed, shoes still on (gross), shirt and jeans dirty. They haven’t lived here this long and his room is already a mess. [Dove: Also, as he falls, he kind of flails back and forth, and one of his flails looks pretty back-snappy to me. Does anyone else notice that?] [Wing: No! But I did after reading this and going back to watch yet again. I love how there’s always new details to notice.]

And, of course, his ear is pierced. Star held true to her offer to pierce him, I guess. [bat: Deleted scene. Sigh.] [Wing: I felt so vindicated when I read it in the novelisation the first time.]

Lucy calls from work, asking Michael to stay home with Sam that night because Max asked her out to dinner. He’s moving fast! Michael and Sam both point out that Sam is too old for a baby-sitter, but in the end, Michael agrees to stay home with him.

Grandpa, too, is off on a date (of sorts), taking taxidermy to see the Widow Johnson. It’s some breed of dog, and I am deeply creeped out by that. He drives off, horn not quite making it through “La Cucaracha.”


At least, I think that’s what the horn is playing. Dove or bat will let me know if I’m wrong, I hope. [bat: You’re absolutely correct, Wing.]

Sam judges Michael’s wardrobe choices, especially the earring not being him, which is rich considering what we’ve seen Sam wear! [bat: And the fact that Sam sports his own twinkling stud ear piercing.] I am struck by how attractive I’ve come to find Michael over the years. I used to not think him attractive at all and then he grew on me, which is annoying as hell. I’m not even sure why. Maybe analyzing the character as I was writing fic, which in turn led to me liking him as a character more, which in turn led to him growing hotter in my eyes. Sad times, sad times. [bat: All the Michael for you, Wing.]

Anyway, back to the point, Sam, you have no ground to stand on when it comes to fashion choices. [Dove: Linen trenchcoat. Linen.]

Suddenly the house is surrounded by motorcycles and wind, shaking everything and blowing their hair around, headlights bright through the windows, shouting from outside, and David calling Michael’s name, but when Michael opens the door (against Sam begging him not to) all is dark and still down a lovely horror-movie lane.

Michael sends Sam to take his bath as if Sam is a little kid. I’ve always found some of their interactions weird; Lucy treats him as younger than he is, but that makes sense, he’s her youngest, they often get babied a little, and she’s gone through a stressful time of things at least with the divorce and moving and maybe even longer before that in a shit marriage. Michael’s pulling away, an adult or as good as, and she clings harder to Sam. [Dove: Is it also a holdover from the original draft, where it was all very PG and Goonies-esque and all the vampires were tweens and younger?]

But here, at least, Michael treats Sam like he’s a little kid, too, sending him to his bath, baby-sitting him, protecting him from whatever’s going on. It’s a different dynamic than when we first see them in the car teasing Lucy about her music or in the house, running around together exploring and play fighting. They’ve gone from siblings not too far apart in age (actually, more on this in a moment) to a much older brother and a much younger brother, and I find it weird. It almost comes across as if the Sam character was written at two (or more) different ages at different points and the script wasn’t quite cleaned up after they cast Haim.

Going back to the earlier way they interact as siblings, there’s a solid chunk of fandom who ship Sam/Michael, and after watching the movie with an eye to that interpretation, I can see why. They are incredibly touchy for siblings, and I say this as someone who has incredibly touchy siblings. While some of the hanging off each other seems like regular sibling stuff, there are a couple scenes, particularly where they first find Grandpa’s workshop and Sam puts his head back against Michael’s neck, that read much more like people flirting than like siblings. I don’t think I ever would have noticed it myself, but I can see where those shippers get it.

[bat: As an only child, I have no experience with this kind of touchy-feely sibling relationship stuff. I can remember all of once where I was touchy-feely when my then-best friend and it seemed to be some sort of fluke. In high school, everyone always hugged each other, but it was an art-centric school and we all knew one another – even if it was on a minimal level – and hugging was a thing.]

[Dove: Or on a much darker level, Haim was deeply misled on what was normal behaviour between males on movie sets – groomed to hell and back. He was under the impression that the boys club was… um, incredibly touch-heavy. Feldman says that Haim was super flirty with everyone on this set, exasperatingly so. Perhaps it bled over into his interactions with others. Haim and Feldman were both going through trauma when this movie was made, and it probably did have bearing on their performances.]

[Wing: That is a terrible and believable explanation, damn.]

Back to the actual recap, Michael gets milk out of the fridge looking like he will drink from the cardboard carton, which is disgusting, there are other people in the house. He’s struck by a wave of vampiredom as he’s still changing, smashes the milk carton on the floor in a way that the top opens to form a perfect square, somehow, which goes away in the next shot of it, so weird, impossible, and pointless. He’s overwhelmed by the sound of a beating heart and his own thirst and of course goes for the only blood sources, Sam in the bath and Nanook upstairs with him.

Sam is being ridiculous, making himself a mohawk and dancing around in the bathtub. It’s actually kind of adorable. He doesn’t notice anything wrong, but Nanook feels a predator coming and sets about to protect Sam, because of course he does. He attacks Michael and sends him down the stairs, leaving Sam alone and confused in the bathtub.

Sam proves himself one of those type of people, the ones who walk through a dark house without turning on any lights, calling out people’s names. You would not be a final girl, Sammy boy. 

(This movie is shot so dark in a lot of scenes. I get why, and it’s a staple of a lot of horror, but sometimes I just want to be able to fucking see the details, damn it.) [bat: One of the more recent transfers, I believe it’s the Bluray version, has lightened / colour-corrected the film. You really can see more and better but I think it loses some of the magic.]

Sam finds Michael collapsed at the bottom of the stairs, holding his own hand, and Nanook did a number on him. (There’s a braided-style rug beneath him that conveniently has no blood, but also makes me all nostalgic because I had family who would make rugs like that.)

Sam wants to know what Mike did to Nanook, which delights me to no end. [bat: Me, too. Sam’s reaction is my reaction.] While he demands answers and Michael admits that Nanook was protecting Sam, Sam notices that Michael’s reflection is fading, and all of that is enough to send him straight to vampire despite him not even liking horror comics about thirty seconds ago.

My own brother, a god-damn, shit-sucking vampire. You wait til Mom finds out!


Michael chases Sam upstairs, but Sam locks him out and frantically digs out the vampire comic book so he can call the Frog brothers for help. Also, a locked door apparently keeps vampire Michael out when they don’t look sturdy enough to keep human Michael out. [bat: Which is funny, considering one of the deleted scenes shows Michael barely able to lift his weight set during the daylight but now it’s night? He’s turning into a vampire! They’re strong during nighttime!]

The Frog brothers aren’t much help for people who are supposed to be fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. (…fitting, I suppose, considering law enforcement is also supposed to be protecting that, and we know how that’s going.)

Michael sleeps all day, the sunlight freaks him out, his fingernails are longer, but he’s always had bad breath, Sam says, and I am left giggling. They tell him Michael is a vampire and he needs to stake him; when Sam says he can’t do that to his own brother (fair enough), they offer to do it themselves, but he won’t let that happen, either.

Not that I blame you for not wanting to kill your own brother or see him killed, but what else did you expect when you called the guys who dress in camo and wear dog tags and hand out vampire comic books as survival manuals and talk about what they fight for? You really should have seen that exact answer coming. [bat: I’m shocked they diagnosed over the phone without physically assessing Michael in person, when we know from later on that they believe werewolves and ghouls also exist.] [Dove: I’m not. These are true believers. I’d say there’s a solid air of supernatural prejudice eminating from them. Better to assume the worst and stake Michael for the greater good.] [Wing: The Greater Good.] [bat: Does anyone else really want a Cornetto now?]

Back in Michael’s room, he’s managed to fall asleep in the short span of that phone call despite sleeping all day and wakes to find himself floating on the ceiling. That would be disconcerting, especially when it becomes clear he has no idea how to get down again.

He manages to make his way to grab on to the window, but that doesn’t actually much help because he keeps trying to fly back up to the ceiling. And actually, I don’t understand this. I can understand going straight up in your sleep, maybe, but once he starts trying to move, why would he be rising up and backward into the room rather than directly up or even up and forward out the window?

[bat: I’ve always been confused by this scene, too. I’ve taken to interpreting it as though an unseen force is drawing him away from his humanity (literally and metaphorically) and trying to bring him to the cave.]

Lucy calls to check on Sam, which supports my theory that she’s clinging tight and babying him as a part of her reaction to all the stress (even this dinner date with Max, as much as she said she was looking forward to it, is clearly stressful for her). He babbles at her about how he needs to have a real long talk about something, she hears Michael screaming in the background as he’s being sucked out his window (see, that makes more sense!), Michael goes floating past Sam’s window which, of course, freaks Sam right the fuck out, he starts screaming that Michael’s going to kill him, and Lucy takes off, leaving Max to watch her drive away. [Dove: Lucy is wearing white high heels with blue socks. Every outfit is a gift.]

Sam makes a cross from his fingers, but eventually lets Michael into the room when Michael reminds him that they’re brothers and he needs help. And, no lie, that’d be how a vampire would get me. Send one of my siblings to me needing help and I’d let them right in. Because I am an idiot, I know, and also loyal to a fault.

Michael begs Sam not to tell Lucy anything (and again I can see where shippers are coming from here as he clutches at Sam’s face and leans in close enough it looks like they’re about to desperately kiss).

Lucy makes it home in record time, and Sam covers for himself, saying he was reading a horror comic and thought he saw someone outside his window and now he’s freaked out. Lucy’s pretty annoyed by this, by how her boys are acting, and on the one hand, sure, it definitely looks like Sam did this on purpose to drag her away from her date, but on the other hand, you’ve been in Santa Carla about 30 seconds after a divorce and moving them away from everything they know. Cut them some slack, damn it.

She’s even more annoyed when she sees the milk carton on the floor (top of it no longer open in a perfect square), milk spilled, and fridge open. As she cleans stuff up, we see Laddie’s face on the milk carton. [Dove: He’s on a sponsored silence. His parents would be delighted to hear from him.]

(Any time I see the words “face” and “milk carton” near each other, I think of The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney, a book I read a billion times as a kid despite how much I hate SEKRIT ADOPTION stories. Yes, that Caroline B. Cooney.) [bat: I saw the made-for-TV movie version of that book, I don’t think I ever read the book.]

Lucy says she’d like to have a personal life, too, which, again, fair, but also, in Santa Carla for 30 seconds, this all seems a little rushed.

Sam covers for Michael, claiming he went to bed early, and as Grandpa comes home, we see Michael sneaking out, rolling his bike down the driveway.

Sam goes to sleep in Lucy’s bed; she teases him about smelling like garlic and he opens his robe long enough for us to see that he took the Frog brothers’ advice at least that far and has made himself a garlic necklace. Fucking adorable.

We skip over to Max coming home from his aborted dinner date. Much like at Michael’s, the wind picks up and there’s the sound of motorcycles and shouting around him. We’re meant to take this as the vampires picking out another target; after all, the security guard kicked them off the Boardwalk and we saw them kill him and then the couple they got into the fight with on the carousel. It makes sense that after Max kicks them out of his store they’d come kill Max, too.

Though they’re really slacking if the first line of terror is throwing a cheesy vampire bat kite at him. [bat: I still want that kite, damn it. I had so many opportunities in the actual 1980s to buy one but never did. Now you can’t find one.]

Also, Max has the most adorable dog. I want to adopt Thorn as my own. I’m sure Monster Dog would love to have a Hound of Hell around.

Michael’s made his way back to the cave with the fallen hotel, searching for Star. The set design here is gorgeous, all the partially burned candles and the broken art, fabric hanging, tattered and flitting in the breezes. Gorgeous nod to both a fallen luxury resort and the sort of grown-up fallen neverland a group of monstrous lost boys would create. A+ job there, set designers.

Star’s sitting with Laddie who is fully passed out. When she goes to him, he begs to know what’s happening to him, and she swears she can’t help him but even more importantly, she doesn’t know how to help him. The first part’s pretty clearly a lie, but the second part carries enough fear to make it come across as true.

They of the big hair have stress sex, because sure, that’s an understandable response what with Laddie not all that far away. (Okay, okay, except for the whole Laddie being there part, it makes perfect sense at this point.) We get a dramatic sex scene set to Gerard McMann performing “Cry Little Sister,” all soft lights and angles, very much just on the edge of 80s softcore porn. 

While they do their thing, we’re taken on an above-the-clouds flight at sunrise that is actually gorgeous. This is one of the few movies where the first person cam work doesn’t trigger my vertigo, except for the spinning one above Lucy’s car when they first arrive. [bat: Also known as unused B-roll footage from Top Gun that was a coup for the film, because they certainly didn’t have the budget to do this.]

The vampires come flying and shouting into the cave, waking Michael who is curled around Star. He doesn’t see them, just hears them, and then is distracted when he finds his hand completely healed.

I love that trope, a bad wound healing too fast and that being one of the ways the character knows they’ve become something else, something monstrous. Love it, love it, love it. I see it most often with werewolves, but it’s great here, too.

Michael drags himself home and finds Lucy waiting for him. She wants to know if they’re friends still, which is, you know, not really the right question. It makes sense that she’s the type of parent who would want to be more friend than parent, but that’s a bad idea (I say from my firm stance of never, ever being a parent myself). She feels out of control, but being their friend instead of their parent seems like a good way to always be out of control when it comes to your kids.

He tells her she can’t possibly understand the changes he’s going through, and she treats it like puberty, which, uh, pretty sure that’s already a done deal for Michael Emerson.

Lucy is so … she’s gentle, but there’s more to it than that. I’m not even sure how to describe it, really. I know that she has this core of strength running through her, we see that when it comes to protecting her boys, but she’s also — walking on eggshells, maybe? Timid, I guess works, and I don’t know that they intended it, but it comes across as if she’s gotten out of an abusive relationship, which adds layers that could be explored but aren’t. (Which is part of why I don’t know that it was intentional.)

[bat: I want to say the tie-in novel basically gives the highlights that Lucy’s ex-husband was originally like her, hippie kids who rejected the conventional lives of their parents, but he ended up joining the rat race and going corporate and they just drifted apart romantically until they divorced. Otherwise, no other context given.] [Wing: I’ve always been intrigued by the idea that Lucy was a hippie kid rejecting her dad’s conventional life only for her to come back super conventional and him hippie-ish.]

Grandpa teases Michael that they both got lucky the night before while Sam sullenly asks if Michael took care of everything. While wearing this weird as shit shirt that has cartoon trolls on it? Trolls in the style of Shrek, not Troll dolls. I have no idea what the fuck he’s wearing, but I’ll say again: SAM YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO JUDGE ANYONE ELSE’S STYLE OH MY GOD.

(Actually, I think maybe they are supposed to be people? Sort of holding each other? And it’s maybe a dress? I am so confused.) [bat: I always thought they were poorly drawn stick figures.] [Dove: Same as bat. But still hideous.]

Lucy and Sam take a bottle of wine to Max to apologise for her running out. She doesn’t just want to leave it outside the gate, but Thorn immediately comes after her (while Sam conveniently reads about hounds of hell), protecting the house. She drops the bottle of wine which shatters (I’ve dropped bottles with more force and they didn’t shatter) and runs, screaming for Sam to help her, which, uh, pretty sure you don’t want him anywhere near that dog.

After she escapes, Sam heads over to the comic book shop (and the creepy as fuck clown thing across from it, holy shit I hate that thing). [bat: LAFFING SAL!!] He tells them about Thorn attacking like a hound of hell, and they admit there’s been some serious vampire activity in Santa Carla, which has become a haven for the undead, with ghouls and werewolves in high positions at City Hall.

On the one hand, high positions at City Hall in a small seaside town like Santa Carla is supposed to be aren’t exactly big politics, boys. On the other hand, werewolves. [bat: Oh yes, it can be big-ish politics, especially in a town that relies on tourism. Speaking from experience in being related to someone who lives in a small “seaside” town who is always talking about city council politics. Totally explains werewolves being on city council in Santa Carla.] [Dove: Seconded. I knew someone whose dad was on the Round Table in a teeny town. OMG, the drama. And you’d think they invented chocolate with the reverence they spoke of it. Dude, you organise fireworks night. Calm your tits.] [Wing: None of that is still big politics. Dramatic politics, yes.]

Kill your brother. You’ll feel better.

God, I love this movie.

Sam doesn’t think they need to kill Michael, though, because per the comic book, if they kill the head vampire, all half vampires will become normal and Michael surely can’t be more than a half vampire. You sure the hell are putting a lot of faith in a vampire comic book, Sam! I’d be doing way the fuck more research before I went out to try to find and kill the head vampire.



Sam decides that everything started when his mom went to work at Max’s video store and then logics his way into deciding it must be Max. Now, if he’s going to believe the comic book lore he’s been given, sure, it makes sense: Max never comes in after dark, Thorn was the one acting like a hellhound, etc. 

HOWEVER, it is far more logical for this to have started with someone Michael met, considering everything is focused on Michael so far. Even if Sam doesn’t know that Michael and Star ran into each other that second night at the Boardwalk, he sure as shit knows Michael’s been out there meeting people. 

(I know, I know, this is set up as a beautiful red herring, I get that, but come on. I do not buy that Sam’s thoughts would go that way to begin with, though once he settled on Max, of course he’d find all the ways it must be Max. That’s how our brains work, often. We see what we need to see to support what we believe.) [Dove: Him jumping to Max would make more sense if he was actively against his mom dating someone else, rather than accidentally giving off that vibe.]

To throw back to Sam and his fashion sense one more time, SAM. You have a goddamn earring yourself. YOU HAVE NO GROUND TO STAND ON WHEN IT COMES TO JUDGING MICHAEL’S STYLE.

Sam already knows exactly how to convince the Frog brothers into doing what he wants, leaning hard on that whole truth, justice, American way bullshit they spew, and I love it. He’s very crafty.

Night falls (days pass so quickly around here) and Michael dramas his way through the house, black leather jacket zipped up to his chin, stark skin and big eyes, putting out candles with his bare fingers. Very dramatic there, Emerson.

Before he escapes, though, he has to run the gauntlet past Lucy, who is making dinner. Max will be joining them that night, and Grandpa’s grumpy because he has to have company in his again for the second time in eight years.

Grandpa and I are kindred spirits.

Lucy wants Michael to stick around and meet Max, but Michael has plans. She threatens him with things changing once school starts. (a) Yeah, I don’t really see things changing, not with the way you’ve been parenting him. (b) How old is Michael again? I haven’t read the novelisation in a long time, and I don’t remember if it says more there, but Michael exists in this weird kind of limbo where he maybe is turning 18/19 and is a senior in high school or maybe has already graduated or — I don’t know, he really could be anywhere in late teens to early twenties based on storytelling. (Jason Patric was 19/20 when this filmed, so that works visually, too.) Seems like a weird, toothless threat no matter what.

[bat: 17? 18? I don’t think it really says for sure with any certainty. But likely high school senior.]

Max is at the door when Michael leaves and refuses to come inside without being invited in by the man of the house. I know what he’s doing here (both in what he’s actually doing and in sucking up to Lucy’s kid, but, uh, this is very clearly Grandpa’s house). [bat: YEAH. GIANT PLOT HOLE. Michael isn’t really the head of the household!] [Wing: Oh, huh, that’s interesting. I never took it as him needing to be invited in by the actual head of the household, just that it was weird for Michael to accept Max calling him the man of the house. Like, as someone dating Lucy, it makes perfect sense for him to be that sort of awkward with her oldest son, but at the same time, it’s weird to me that Michael just rolls with it, yeah, sure I’m the man of the house, whatever. Though I guess he is kind of distracted at this point. Anyway, long aside is long, I always assumed anyone could invite a vampire into a home whether they were head of household or not. Hell, whether they lived there or not.]

There’s a weird little exchange between Max and Lucy about whether the guest can see the food before dinner and that he’s thinking about the groom and the bride before the wedding, none of which makes sense, all of which is cringe inducing but somehow still charming. They are just so fucking awkward. I kind of love them.

Max brings her flowers from Thorn as an apology and Thorn’s promise that he’ll behave if she comes back. Their kiss is interrupted by Sam showing up with the Frog brothers. Lucy didn’t know he was bringing guests and Sam lays on the guilt real thick, offering to go eat peanut butter in the kitchen if they’re in the way. You manipulative little shit. I love it.

(Edward Hermann does this great bit of work in the background to this exchange, touching his mouth. It is perfect after a kiss being interrupted by the son of the woman you’re wooing, and it is also perfect if, for example, you are being set up as the head vampire, red herring or not.)

Lucy’s made spaghetti and meatballs (I think meatballs, they are pretty small compared to the meatballs I order for dinner, yes, yes, Dove, mock away, I’ll never live it down), and now I want that for dinner. [Dove: It’s no fun if you let me.] [bat: I don’t know the meatball story.] [Wing: Long story short, we were in Vegas for Dove and Raven’s wedding, Ostrich and I took them out for Italian one night, I maybe underestimated how much food would be in each dish and ordered several for us all to try, and the meatballs were gigantic. Dove and Raven have given me shit for it ever since, mostly because there was enough food we could have eaten on it for weeks.]

We go through a fun range of ways to see if Max is the head vampire (or a vampire, at least, none of these are things that would be targeted specifically to the head vampire): bad breath (Lucy says someone has bad breath and the boys look pointedly at Max but really she means Nanook breathing on her as he begs for food); garlic (Sam passes Max “parmesan cheese” but it is really chopped garlic, and I am not sure I buy that they look enough the same for Max to load up on it without noticing, but maybe he’s cottoned on to what they’re doing and playing along — he says he likes garlic, but it’s a bit much at that amount — also, Lucy’s real damn proud of Sam grating the cheese himself); holy water (Sam throws a glass of water on him and asks if it burns, but Max says it’s freezing, and I don’t actually buy the freezing part, but whatever, no big deal); and finally glowing and reflection (the Frog brothers kill the lights to see if Max is glowing and when he’s not, Sam holds a mirror up in front of him so that he’s staring at himself when the lights come back on — Max has a reflection). 

(The glowing part is interesting and not something I’ve seen much of in vampire lore. I’d like to see that played with more. And honestly, as much as I hate Twilight, the idea that the vampires here are any less ridiculous because they don’t sparkle when they (a) are supposed to glow in the dark and (b) explode into glitter, Marko, is bullshit. There are so many other reasons to hate Twilight!)

Anyway, Lucy is mad as hell, but Max tells Sam that he understands, he’s not trying to replace Sam’s father or steal Lucy away (as if Lucy’s an object to be stolen), he just wants to be Sam’s friend. Pretty sure you just want into Lucy’s pants, really, but okay.

Sam’s not happy that they fucked this up and hurt Lucy, which is pretty damn decent but also too little too late.

Max isn’t put off, though; Lucy apologises for Sam, and Max tells her kids Sam’s age need discipline. Uh, my dude, I’m pretty sure telling her how to parent isn’t the way to woo her. Just a guess.

They set up one more date, dinner at Max’s house the next night. I wonder what’s for dinner.

Grandpa creepily and dramatically stares at Lucy and Max from his workshop, and I’ve just wondered if he was being set up as a red herring. I never read it as such, but I’m not sure if he was meant to be a (very small, quick) red herring in all his creepiness and dead animals and taking off at night. [Dove: I always thought he was. I’ll add more to this thought at the end.]

Michael takes himself back to the Boardwalk demanding to know where Star is. David is maybe supposed to be sinister when he tells Michael that if he ever wants to see Star again, he’d better go with them, but he’s not really coming across as sinister at all.

Actually, this is as good a time as any to talk about this thought I had during this rewatch: Though a lot of people describe David (and Kiefer Sutherland at this age) as looking young and a little soft, I’m really not seeing it. I don’t know what it is, but he doesn’t come across as that pretty-faced devil they were writing him as, at least in part (David hits the same beats, the beautiful temptress, that Star does when it comes to Michael, really). I’m not really going anywhere with this, it just struck me as curious. He’s several years older in The Three Musketeers, and yet I think he looks younger there in a lot of ways.

And maybe that’s an intentional design! Ageless vampire and all that. But I’m not sure it is.

[bat: I kind of talk about this in my part of the recap, but, in context of reality, Sutherland was always trying to be older then his biological age. He’d run away from home and hid for four months so he could drop out of high school as soon as he turned 16 – pretty much forcing his parents to let him go into acting – did a couple of feature films in Canada, moved from Toronto to New York City, moved from New York City to Los Angeles, and spent so much time trying to… be older and wiser and more grown up then he truly was. I don’t want to go on one of my long Trivial Pursuit: KS Edition rambles but knowing that between filming and release of The Lost Boys he was about to be a first-time father as well as already being a step-father to a child half his age (and taking her to Parent-Teacher nights at school, what a trip) you can see why he comes off older but never really looks it, especially when you get beyond the facade.]

We’re off to one of my favourite scenes, where David and his boys take Michael hunting. They climb into this tree overlooking a bonfire (I assume on the beach) and rile themselves up before they show us their vampire faces for the first time (and I will never, ever forgive the designer for putting the goddamn fangs on the wrong teeth; fangs go on the canines and those are not on the canines and they look so fucking weird. And yes, I know, different vampire styles have them in different places, but damn it, canine teeth make sense). 

[bat: I got over it. It took time. But I also wouldn’t / couldn’t imagine these double fangs on any other vampire in history. It’s strictly unique to the Lost Boys.]

The vampire make-up is otherwise really fun. I love the strange golden eyes and the way their face actually changes, ridges where there were none (which in turn add dramatic shadows when the light hits at the right angle). Fun fact, the vampires in Buffy the Vampire Slayer were inspired by the vampire style here. (That and the idea of them looking human some of the time and monstrous other times.)

(I like that juxtaposition, but I also like the idea that vampires look human all of the time and when you kill them, visually it is like killing a human. That adds some pathos and also she who fights with monsters should be careful of becoming one to vampire hunting, and it’s one of my favourite ways to write it.)

The vampires tear into the humans, and by god they are wasteful eaters, tearing off skulls and wasting blood and all. Young and violent and out of control, and it really, really works.

[bat: Yes, it “looks cool” to bite a head and have blood spew out but it is ridiculous and wasteful. I’m just sorry they cut the part where David slashes the guy’s throat. It was too disturbing in 1986. Now it would just be commonplace.] [Wing: SO WASTEFUL! And I love it for that. That 80s excess hit even the vampires.]

Michael is tempted, shaking and sweating and desperate, and he too changes, but he flings himself away from them, he doesn’t go feed, and finally he’s left in the sand, human-looking again at the vampires’ feet. He cowers, and they stand tall and dangerous, bloody and sated.

Now you know what we are. Now you know what you are. You’ll never grow old, Michael, and you’ll never die, but you must feed.


We skip back to Grandpa’s house, and Sam in his sleep mask, and a taxidermy owl hovering over him because Grandpa is a whole entire bag of dicks when it comes to leaving these animals places. (I love him for it.)

And we come to Michael in Sam’s room, and to Sam terrified, and to Michael knowing who he is now (which is an interesting change from knowing what he is in the scene before) AND to bat’s turn at the wheel!

Bring us home, bat. Bring us home.

(Fitting place for me to stop, because it’s right in here that I’ve always felt the movie tips from one where the vampires are more interesting than, say, these inexperienced weird-ass vampire hunters, to oh, right, the humans have to win so let’s tip it back the other way somehow.)


Usually I stop watching after that iconic line. Sometimes I watch a little further, because there are some good vampire bits. But mostly I stop because this is the section that just makes me sad and yell at the screen a lot. The movie has to “realign” for “good” to win over “evil”. Bleh. JUST ONCE CAN’T THE VAMPIRES WIN?? [Wing: Yeah, I think a lot of us tuned out at this point.]

Anyway. My turn. We rejoin the recap, already in progress, in Sam’s bedroom.

Yes. You’re a “good” person, Sam, so your brother is obligated to not kill you. I don’t know how that works; I realize that a lot of authors cop out on vampires being killers by saying they only kill “bad” people or people who “deserve” it. Especially when the vampires are “super intelligent” and know right from wrong and blah blah blah. It’s a fucking cop out. Vampires are killers. They’re not human. It’s nice to think they’d be logical and rational but they kill humans to survive. So that’s really no exception, Sam.

Anyway, he’s not a full vampire, but clearly you don’t understand that either, Sam. Hell, I’m not sure Michael really understands the whole half versus full logic, either. And here we are again, searching for the head vampire. You weren’t wrong, Sam, you just don’t know the rules.

[Wing: I’m not sure the movie really understands the whole half versus full logic, either.]


Shove those windows open, Michael, your Juliet is downstairs. This part always bugs me and not just because I don’t care about the big haired twits. We know that Star gets left behind in the cave a lot and not just because she’s babysitting Laddie. But A) how did she get here? and B) how long has she been here without anyone knowing?

Sam is immediately suspicious of Star and wants to know if she’s a vampire. (If only. I can imagine Wing’s reaction if Jami Gertz had ever gotten to wear the vampire makeup, contacts, and fangs that were made for her. Hell, even I would have had more interest in the character if she’d only gotten to vamp out just once, properly.) [Wing: Yes, please, why would you not give this to me, movie? Why?] [Dove: Because it’s the 80s. Because she’s pretty. And because she’s a girl. You can’t have a girl being a vampire! bat, are you sure there aren’t photos knocking around? Star as a vampire would be awesome.] [bat: Nope, no photos. If she ever tried it on, any evidence is lost to history.]

Star needs to talk to Michael, she wants to come up. Michael is an asshole and tells her no. He orders Sam to shut the window and lock the door – why not lock the window? – but it’s too late. Star flies into the room, although we don’t get to see it (BOO!) and the sound effect plays and Sam screams, “She’s one of them!” and that’s how we learn Star isn’t just bait.

Oh, c’mon, you didn’t see that twist coming? [Wing: Wait, that was supposed to be a twist?] [bat: For ordinary viewers, yes?]

“Don’t tell me it doesn’t make her a bad person, Mike!” Y’know, not all vampires are bad persons (ex-persons? formerly humans?) so way to stereotype, Sam. Michael and Star share some standoff staring for a moment and then Michael gets all accusatory of Star. Duh, she knew where David and the Boys took you, at least in theory, to show boat reveal the twist. Star points that she did, in fact, try to warn Michael but he was a stupid teenage boy that bought into peer pressure and totally drank blood.

“YOU DRANK SOMEONE’S BLOOD? ARE YOU CRAZY??” Yes, Sam, we remember you’re still in the room, hiding under a blanket that could basically be another linen trench coat with that wild pattern on it.

Michael displays his ignorance on “how vampires work” by insisting he’s just like David (HA NOT A FUCKING CHANCE) so Star explains half vampires and (full) vampires by saying Michael is like Laddie and her… and that’s when Sam interjects “Until you make your first kill!”

In all the various forms of vampiric media that have existed over the last few centuries (and even before that) this is yet another example of playing with how one is turned. It’s also probably commentary on the HIV / AIDS crisis that was full-blown by the time this film came out. The blood is life, yo.

Whether Star was trying to soften the blow or not, we’ll never know, since Sam rudely broke the news. Apparently, for once, Michael is quick on his feet and realizes Star not only seduced him but had intended to kill him the prior evening. Star looks pretty broken by the fact Michael figured it out. She immediately blames David. Because, David. Snort.

(This is where a lot of fan theories have sprung up over the years. Did David have a master plan to use his own blood to turn Michael or was it because of something else? Did he really want Star to kill Michael? I realize the more I talk about this, the more it ties into things towards the end of the film, so now I have to shut up.)

#the lost boys from A Lost Boys ObsessiveBut anyway, Star couldn’t. Because she knows Michael is her (and Laddie’s) only ticket out of the half-vampire hell they’re in. Michael immediately becomes snarly and dismissive that Star could care so much about him – maybe she really does? It’s certainly implied as genuine – but Michael smacks her hand away. Star warns him it’s not too late for him but she is weakening. She wants Michael’s help. Michael laughs manically – him? Up against four vampires? HA! – and Star steps away, flying out through the open window.
[Wing: I once wrote a defense of Star based around this idea of her feeling trapped and seeing Michael as an escape, but damned if I can find it now.]

Michael realizes he’s an asshole and calls after her to no avail. Sam reminds Star to not kill anyone until they get back to her. Um. Sam immediately reaches for the old rotary phone on the nightstand, telling his brother he’s “got connections” and the music ramps up and the first round begins!

(I just really love that music cue. It’s so exciting.)

IT’S THE NEXT DAY! Edgar and Alan Frog ride up on their BMX bikes, kitted out for battle! Cameo fatigues, stakes, thermoses, maybe garlic? They drop their bikes and storm the front porch, met by Sam at the door. They ask for Michael by rattling off a bunch of various adjectives for “vampire”, Sam calls for Michael.

(Sadly, the cut scene that was supposed to be here would have been fun. Edgar and Alan interrogating Michael, who is weak as a kitten from the fact it’s the middle of the day, trying to glean information on the vampires. I have photographs that prove it was filmed and it’s included in the tie-in novelization.)

We smash cut over to Grandpa, who’s working in the “yard”, placing large poles sharpened to a point at one end. Looks like he’s building more fencing? [Wing: He is! I assume for the horses Thorn [bat: You mean Nanook, Wing.] [Wing: Damn it. Also, I feel like Deadpool, a fourth wall break within a fourth wall break. Sort of.] chases toward the beginning of the movie. Horses we never see again. I want some horse murdering up in here. I mean, I don’t, but that would’ve been brutal.] He hears tires squealing and looks up to see his grandsons have stolen his 1957 Ford, the top retracting as they drive down the dirt driveway, the Frogs in the backseat. Sam yells, “Is it okay if we borrow your car?” and waves before Grandpa can even give permission. At this point, I wonder what Grandpa knows and/or suspects.

Back to the DANGER: KEEP OUT signs, the lair / vampire cave. Michael careens the car along the cliff’s edge, following the dirt track towards the edge where the stairs lead down into the cave. It’s a beautiful day, even though there’s storm clouds gathering over the ocean in the distance. As soon as the car is in park, Edgar and Alan hop out and immediately begin to check their weapons and supplies.

Michael struggles out of the car because half vampires are weakened but are still functional during daylight hours and we have to keep reinforcing this fact. Sam rushes around to help his brother. The brothers hold a confidential chat. Michael doesn’t want Sam going into the cave; “this isn’t a comic book” and the vampires are brutal killers.

“So are the Frog Brothers!” Sam counters, as the camera pans over to watch Edgar and Alan prepare to go into battle. I’m pretty sure Michael isn’t buying it. Sam asks who’d Michael would rather go in with: him or the Frogs. Michael is more worried that something will happen to Sam and because he’s weak AF he won’t be able to protect his baby brother.

“This time I’ll protect you, bud. Even though you’re a [half] vampire, you’re still my brother.” Aw, Sam. You have to hand it to this movie, it’s a wonderful depiction of sibling bonds of love. Michael starts to hug Sam but Edgar interrupts. He announces that if Michael tries to stop them from doing their job or “vamps out in anyway”, he will be staked without a second thought. Sam tells Edgar to chill out.

And thus the party begins their descent into the cave, with Michael questioning Sam where the hell he met these weirdos.

“Holy shit!” “Vampire hotel!” The cave in the daylight is completely different from nighttime. It loses some of its magical-ness, since you can really seen what a derelict ruin it is and the fact that teenage boy vampires are not great at housekeeping. [Wing: You make a really good point about how in the light of day it takes on a completely different feel, and that’s a great visual metaphor for the vampires themselves and also the things that appeal to us at night, in the middle of parties and concerts and celebrations, the way we can get swept up in new things, etc. You may feel invincible at night, but come the cold light of dawn, things change.]

Almost immediately, Edgar hones in on Star, asleep behind the giant swath of lace that curtains her sleeping area. He calls to Alan, announcing intentions to stake her.

Michael and Sam appear, struggling down the melted stairs, Michael screaming for Edgar to not touch Star and to stay away from her. The Frogs immediately move away. This has always struck me as odd, as just a few seconds before in the film Edgar threatened to stake Michael if he interfered in any way. I’m pretty damn sure telling the Frogs to not stake a half-vampire is interference.

“Vampires have such rotten tempers,” Edgar snarks as he and Alan begin to search in earnest. Michael leans in to check on Star while Sam stands around awkwardly before flailing wildly at a piece of moss that has fallen on his shoulder.

Michael wakes Star, telling her he’s taking her out of there. Funny, you didn’t want to help her last night but suddenly she’s top priority #1! Star, half conscious, tells him to take Laddie first, please. Michael stares at the sleeping child cuddling a worn teddy bear and I’m thinking, hey wait a minute, Laddie’s sleeping area is practically next to Star’s, HOW DID HE NOT WITNESS/HEAR YOU TWO GETTING IT ON JUST TWO NIGHTS AGO??

Never mind that, Alan’s found something! A draft! A draft coming from a tunnel! Wow. (I know the layout of the cave isn’t perfectly described, since it was a set built with moving walls, so there’s no proper definition to reference. A thirty-plus-year old frustration of mine. [Wing: Dove also hates it when caves don’t have clear dimensions.] [Dove: See? It’s a real thing!]) Edgar comes over and calls to Sam to join them, they’ve got to check it out. It appears to be some sort of shaft, a tunnel created by the hotel’s collapse. From the angle of the scene, it appears it could be related to the massive metal cage that looks like an old elevator that lays off to one side.

Sam calls to Michael, saying he’ll be right back. He hopes.

Just inside the tunnel, they encounter flies. “Flies and the undead go together like bullets and guns!” Oh wise wisdom from Edgar Frog. (There’s a hilarious story about how hundreds of flies were released on set to film this scene, only for the filmmakers to realize the flies weren’t very visible on camera. So the flies plagued the Warner Bros film sets for quite a while afterwards. Oops.)

Outside, Michael carries Laddie to (relative) safety, struggling against his weakening state because it’s full daylight. He’s also thoughtfully wrapped Laddie in his leather jacket. It’s weird. It’s not like they burn in the sun. Michael’s proving that over and over just by walking around in it.

Further down into the tunnel, the trio of vampire hunters stop and sniff furiously, Sam commenting on the smell. Apparently, vampires are ripe. Or this could be sub-commentary on smelly teenage boys. Either way, the smell is unpleasant. Also, the tunnel is now tall enough for the boys to stand in? This tunnel grows and shrinks so many times, I’m perpetually confused.

Michael’s back! For round two! He grabs Star’s fancy jacket and covers her, lifting her into his arms to make the final struggle back to Grandpa’s car. But never mind that, the vampire hunters and Sam have found… a dead end? Edgar leads the charge, jumping into a hole. Sam notes it’s freezing in the cave.

There’s nothing, as the flashlight beams circle round wildly. Edgar insists coffins have to be hidden somewhere. BECAUSE VAMPIRES ALWAYS SLEEP IN COFFINS. Sam insists there’s nothing to be found and that’s when Edgar looks up, swearing and causing Sam to scream.

Above them, hanging from pipes and rafters, are the Lost Boys. All asleep.

(Seriously, it is criminal to underestimate how fucking game changing this was. Edgar said it – vampires sleep in coffins – but here we have four vampires sleeping not in coffins and hanging upside down like bats.)

Sam continues to scream as the flashlight beams play over the sleeping vampires’ faces. “That’s what this cave is! One giant coffin!” Edgar finally gets hip to the realities of these being “modern” vampires. Also, it’s interesting, that each of the vampires sleep with their hands folded over their chest – a nod to traditional vampires – but in individual style. Paul’s arms are in an X close to his throat. Dwayne and Marko’s arms are casually folded, hands over their chests. David… well, unfortunately, two different takes are used so it’s harder to say. In one, his arms are casually crossed across his chest, as if he’s holding himself in his sleep. In a closeup shot, his hands are decidedly placed over his chest in a very visible way. Damn you, continuity, my old nemesis.

The Frogs notice something ladder-like and begin to climb it. Edgar explains vampires are at their most vulnerable during the day, so they’re “easy pickings” according to Alan. Sam reminds them they just have to kill the head vampire. The camera focuses on David while Edgar answers they don’t know which vampire that is. Subtle.

“I guess we’ll just have to kill them all.” Sure, Edgar. The Frogs decide to start with “the little one”: Marko, who is really just the closest one to the ladder. (In reality, the shortest is Sutherland. But you wouldn’t know it from the way the film is angled.)

“First come, first staked!” This is not the time for vampire humor, as Sam notes. Alan hands Edgar a wooden stake as Sam shines the high powered lamp onto Marko. Sam calls out for Edgar to stop as Edgar raises the wooden stake and intones: “Goodnight, bloodsucker.” And with that, he plunges the stake into Marko’s chest.

#the lost boys from A Lost Boys ObsessiveAnd everyone begins to scream and roar, humans and vampires alike. Marko flails about, staked, gushing glittery blood all over the Frogs. The other vampires, now awake, roar in anger as their pack mate is dying. Blood begins to fall on Sam, sending him scrambling. The Frogs are forced to jump to the bottom of the cave, literally soaked in vampire blood. Marko falls, landing on the trio, writhing in agony as he dies.

The trio looks up and from overhead David roars at them. “You’re dead meat!”

Executing a back flip in mid-air, David lands on the ground and roars furiously at the trio. The Frogs and Sam, having climbed out of the cave, immediately hightail it back out towards to main part of the cave, towards the safety of sunlight. As I mentioned the height of the tunnel constantly changes. Instead of walking out of it, like they walked in to it, the Frogs and Sam are now crawling on hands and knees. Admittedly, the tunnel is shaking as if there’s a full on earthquake happening. I’ve always wondered if this was an illusion created by David to freak them out / slow them down. [Wing: I’m going with that theory.]

Edgar leads the way, followed closely by Alan, Sam on his heels. Just as it looks as though they are safely out of harm’s reach, David flies up the tunnel and grabs Sam’s ankle. He yanks the teen back, trying to drag him back down into the vampires’ lair. Alan and Edgar grab ahold of Sam’s upper body, entering into a deadly game of tug of war.

David gets both hands around Sam’s ankle but struggles to pull him down. I’m going to chalk this up to it being daylight and not because Edgar and Alan are stronger. Just when it looks like Sam might be pulled from their grasp and slaughtered by the lone vampire, Edgar screams that they have to get into the sunlight. With a mighty yank, David’s (so very fake) arm is pulled into a sunbeam and immediately alights in flame. He screams and lets go, giving the Frogs and Sam a chance to escape, though the tunnel starts to shake again.

#the lost boys from A Lost Boys Obsessive

Diving back down into the darkness, David’s arm/hand stops burning. Sam looks back once as he and the Frogs flee to the main part of the cave. David stares at his burnt, smoking hand. He looks at the camera, a single tear falling from his left eye, and smiles. “Tonight.”

(Yes, yes, the infamous tear. Look, the SFX contacts the vampires sported were made of solid glass and could only be worn for very short periods of time before they began to dry out the actors’ eyeballs. Special effects contacts were not like they are now, made of plastic. Alex Winter ended up going to the hospital to have his eyes checked out after dirt got under the glass contacts during the “flailing on the floor dying” scene. Sutherland has spoken many times about how the tear just happened, it wasn’t on purpose, it just occurred at the right time and helped elevate the scene. It works on multiple levels and was a happy accident. Can you tell this is one of my least favorite things to talk about because it’s been talked about to death?)

SMASH CUT to topside, daylight world! Michael has fallen asleep after depositing Star in the backseat of Grandpa’s car. Laddie is there, just not as visible. We hear Sam screaming, “MIKE! START THE CAR!” Well, I don’t think your brother is much help now, Sam.

Sam comes racing up the wooden steps, his blue cardigan soaked in glittery vampire blood (thank you, Ve Neil!) The Frogs are hustling behind him, their fatigues also soaked in Marko’s life(?) blood. Sam continues to scream for Michael but getting no response. By the time he crests the stairs and sees his brother laying half in and out of the car, Sam pours on a last burst of speed. He tries to rouse his brother. Look, he’s a weakling in the sun, Sam. He’s fine, he just needs nap time.

Alan and Edgar hit the top of the staircase, Alan having a meltdown over their first (and so far only) encounter with actual vampires. He tells Edgar they blew it. Edgar tells him to shut up.

“We unraveled in the face of the enemy!”

“It’s not our fault! They pulled a mind scramble on us! They opened their eyes and talked!

I love that exchange so hard. Alan realizing that reality is not comic books; Edgar clinging so hard to them being superior warriors and it’s all the mean vampires’ faults they only managed to kill one of them before fleeing in terror.

Sam, meanwhile, has gotten Michael into the backseat of the car. He’s still stone cold out and I can’t help but wonder why he’s not getting a terrible sunburn – we just saw sunlight burn David, but maybe it’s because Michael is only half still. Sam announces he’ll drive. Is this because it’s his grandfather’s car? Or because he’s seen the Frogs in action?

Alan announces they don’t ride with vampires. (Those aren’t… vampires… yet… Sigh.) Sam’s like fine, fuck off, and shuts the door. Taking a real quick look around at the barren landscape and proximity to the vampire cave, Edgar announces they do ride with vampires now. The Frogs jump in the front seat with Sam. Edgar tells Sam to burn rubber and stomps his boot down on the gas pedal.

The car, in reverse gear, flies backwards towards the edge of the cliff. All three boys scream in horror before Sam manages to stand on the brake and stop the car. We don’t exactly see him shift to drive but Sam chides Edgar and off they go, the top of the car trying to raise up back into place as they speed back towards Grandpa’s house.

SMASH CUT to Michael carrying Star – oh look, his nap refreshed him and he’s in the dark of the house so he’s totes strong again! – and Edgar carrying Laddie as Sam and Alan escort them inside Grandpa’s house. Nanook loses his shit, barking his head off. He’s also a smart doggo and blocks the staircase. Sam yells at his dog. Edgar gives Nanook a backhanded compliment about identifying flesh eaters. Michael orders Sam to take Nanook outside. (Yes, this will become an important plot development later on.)

As soon as Sam has guided Nanook away, Michael and the Frogs charge upstairs with the sleeping Star and Laddie. Grandpa appears! He wants to know if Michael understands the rule about filling the car with gas when you steal borrow it without permission. Michael stares, slack-jawed, answering, “No, Grandpa.”

“Well, now you do.” I LOVE GRANDPA. He just totally fucking ignores the fact Michael is carrying a sleeping girl in his arms, Edgar has a child wrapped in a leather jacket in his arms, and they’re headed upstairs to Michael’s room with both. Michael also looks noticeably sweaty and pale. But Grandpa is seemingly oblivious to all this. Or doesn’t care.

The foursome stampede into Michael’s room – that Echo & the Bunnymen poster on the closet door being an early example of meta – and lay the sleeping half vampires on Michael’s bed. Alan is holding a stake like a gun, pointing it at them. Because what, they’re going to awaken and attack you?

Sam arrives. “We blew plan A!” Michael drops to the floor beside the bed but we barely see that happen, as the camera follows the Frogs. Alan is still holding the stake like a gun. Edgar announces they only have two and a half hours to form and execute plan B. Sam is confused. Why so short on time? [Wing: Why such an idiot, Sam?] [bat: LINEN TRENCH COAT!]

“Because the sun will go down and they’ll be looking for us!” Edgar snaps as the trio exits Michael’s room. At least Edgar is aware of one of the most important things involving vampires – daylight length! Sam finally realizes his brother is unconscious as Alan grabs the front of his shirt and drags him from the room. The camera zooms in on the unconscious half vampires.

SMASH CUT (good lord) to Max’s Video store, where Sam rides his BMX bike into the store in a rude fashion. We hear Lucy talking to customers when her youngest yells for her. She is shocked to see Sam riding his bike in the store! Sam continues to be rude, telling his mother to shush before loudly announcing that “Santa Carla is CRAWLING WITH VAMPIRES!” By now, everyone in the video store is staring.

Lucy gives her son a withering look before turning round and politely excusing herself from the customers as she begins to push Sam’s bike towards the door. Sam FLIPS OUT, telling Lucy Edgar staked a vampire and it was “screaming and fizzing” and how there’s “evidence on my sweater”, as Lucy pushes and pulls on her son’s bike, wondering where she went wrong and why she ever left Sam read comic books.

She gets him turned around and tells Sam it’s not funny. Sam counters it’s not a joke and the vampires are coming to the house as soon as it’s dark. Lucy is beyond exasperated now. She tells Sam to stop it and that she can’t believe him, she’s seeing Max tonight and Sam is trying to ruin it (again.) She says there’s nothing wrong with Max and why doesn’t Sam want her to see him.

Sam loses his temper and screams “To hell with Max!” in his mother’s face. Lucy goes full blown pissed off mom and stops talking, staring at her youngest with that mom look on her face. Sam immediately realizes he has blown it and ruined any chance of his mother listening. “I’ll deal with you later, young man,” Lucy tells him before walking away. Sam tries to get her attention but Lucy snaps, “NO!” one last time.

Sam rides out to meet up with the Frogs. He announces they’re on their own. “Just the way we like it!” Edgar growls. Cue montage of Sam and the Frogs racing on their bikes around the town of Santa Carla. They reach a Catholic church, a baby’s baptism taking place, family members and the congregation gathered to observe. Sam and the Frogs burst in through the doors and immediately begin to fill their canteens with holy water from the fonts next to the doors. People stare. The priest stares. Canteens filled, the boys leave.

Smash cut to Sam opening the sliding doors to Grandpa’s work room. The widow Johnson has called and wants Grandpa to pick her up an hour earlier. “We got a date tonight?” Sam confirms, adding that the widow insists Grandpa not be late. Grandpa wags his brows and says he better get cleaned up. That means all the adults will be MIA when the vampires attack. In fact, we watch Grandpa drive away from the house, his horn blasting La Cucaracha as the sun sets in the west. The truck is shown to be full of fence posts in the back, their pointed ends sticking out over the end of the truck. [Wing: Chekov’s fence posts.]

Sam watches from the windows as Michael runs up. Well, Michael’s recovered again. He and Sam share a look and Sam immediately pulls the mini blinds shut. MONTAGE TIME! Michael runs around slamming windows shut and locking them. The boys barricade doors with furniture. Edgar and Alan light a roaring fire in the huge river rock fireplace. Sam smashes cloves of garlic with a meat tenderizer while practicing catchphrases to yell at vampires. The Frogs dump their canteens of holy water into the bathtub upstairs – one nitpick, there’s no way all that water is holy water and I don’t know the rules on how “regular” water affects holy water when they mingle so gaping plot hole in my book [Wing: Exactly what I was going to say! I guess an argument could be made that one drop of holy water makes any water holy, but in that case, the first time holy water evaporated, it would have infected the water cycle and by now all water everywhere would be holy. Actually, fuck, I love that idea, I need to write it somewhere.] – before Sam comes in with a bowl full of garlic which he dumps into the tub. The Frogs and Sam fill plastic squirt guns with the garlic/holy water soup, Alan aiming and firing his in target practice.

SMASH CUT (good GOD stop it already!) to Michael in his room, staring out at the setting sun. Star is awake, which means it’s close to sundown. She announces they will be coming for Laddie and herself. Michael bitterly adjoins that the vampires will be coming for all of them. Well, duh, you’ve made yourself a nuisance and a threat, stolen David’s bait trap (do I think they care about Laddie? No. Dwayne might.) and OH YEAH YOU KILLED MARKO.

Star wakes Laddie. Why, I dunno. Seems stupid to wake him up this early.

SMASH CUT (sigh) to footage of the sun setting behind the Boardwalk. The more I give this any thought, the direction of the sun in correlation to the location of the Boardwalk makes me wonder if this is footage of sunrise? Or can Wing better describe why it looks like the sun is setting in the East because I know the layout of Santa Cruz causes weirdness and I don’t know how to properly explain it.

Lost Boys fans overwhelmed the Boardwalk for the 30th anniversary.

[Wing: Okay, this photo is taken from the beach facing east(ish, not really directly east) while we waited for the sun to set. As you can see, though it is sunset, it still looks lighter to the east because of how things curve. Why? I have no idea. The sun very much sets to the west, but depending on what angle you are at, it gets all twisted.] [bat: Thank you! See, Wing’s been there. She can totally explain it better!]

We see a surfer run up on the beach before the sun is shown pretty much down, and now there’s the Boardwalk, the electric lights illuminating the rides (RIP Ferris wheel) as the tide comes in closer.

SMASH CUT to the vampire cave. Pigeons flap around as that single arc light that usually illuminates David’s face shines straight down onto what I think is the tunnel to the vampires’ “one giant coffin”. We see various others parts of the wrecked resort that have been spray painted and other parts that have become derelict and trashed. The camera starts to shake as the background score moans out a mournful sound.

Then we see feet.

BUT NOT JUST ANY OLD FEET. It’s a pair of vampire feet. The main part of the foot is elongated, probably doubled in length. The four toes hook over a pipe, the largest toe resembling a human thumb, all sporting x-acto blade sharp talons. It’s meant to mimic a flying fox’s foot and how they hang from things. It’s entirely wrong in that sense, if you look at a flying fox’s foot they’re completely different. BUT. I have to give the SFX guys major props for even attempting this, especially since it was kind of a last minute thing. I believe they spoke about casting one of the SFX’s guy’s hand/arm and building the resulting prop based upon that. There’s only one pair shown and it’s for such brief moment, but the effect is hella awesome and gives you all kinds of questions that never get answered.

Oh. Clearly those feet belong to David. As if there was any question. We are promptly shown more footage of David hanging in his day sleep, with closeups of Paul and Dwayne’s faces respectively. The camera returns to David, an extreme closeup of his face, already in vampire-form. He opens his eyes and roars, the image cutting back to the vampire feet ripping away from the pipe, as though the vampires were flying out of their coffin cave.

The footage from earlier, when the vampires flew into the cave before sunrise, is played in reverse. I mean, hey, working with what you’ve got within a budget. The remaining vampires fly out of the cave and into the night, the sea only rolling backwards because of the reverse footage. I always assumed (or maybe wanted to believe) the vampires were flying so fast the wind they caused blew the water backwards but that’s just me.

More footage of moonlight playing on the calm waters of the ocean as the vampires fly towards their prey. We see more footage of the Boardwalk at night. The footage cross fades into footage of a suburban area at night, the dots of lights houses in Apatos. Yes, somewhere in Apatos, is Max’s residence. The camera focuses in on a particular one before suddenly we see Thorn, lying on the floor. He looks up and barks loudly. He has heard the vampires.

Lucy screams and jumps. Max yells at Thorn. They are having dinner, cooked by Max, at Max’s home. It is… decorated oddly, for an adult man. Neon lights, a jukebox also done up in neon lights, a weird robot figure behind Lucy’s left shoulder. Like a KID WHO NEVER GREW UP, HMMMM??? [Dove: It’s so 80s.]

Max asks Lucy what’s wrong. She nervously giggles and sips her drink. Max presses the issue, wants to know why she’s so jumpy. She admits it’s something Sam said to her in the store that afternoon. Lucy thinks it was Sam’s imagination but she then says he seemed “so sincere”. Well, WHICH IS IT, WOMAN?? Max insists she tell him, that he won’t laugh. Uh huh. For once, in history, it’s true.

But we’ll get back to that. Remember how Sam dealt with Nanook? Well, he tied him to a fence in the yard, far away from the house. Good going, Sam. It’s dark, your dog is winding his leash around the fencing, and he’s whining. [Wing: Sam deserves to fucking die for this. Yes, I feel that strongly about leaving your dog out to be hunted.] [bat: It’s a strange twist. He was so concerned that Michael had harmed Nanook, but now does this? The writers fucked up on this.] [Dove: Agreed on all scores. There’s no way I’d let my pets be outside if there were vampires. Actually, my pets aren’t allowed outside at all, and I’m pretty sure there are no vampires in Leeds.]

In the house, Edgar is giving a mini TED talk about vampire deaths. Sam is playing with a bow and arrow, Alan is painting his face with face paints, Laddie is sitting there looking alarmed, you know, because he’s a half vampire. Does Laddie actually understand what he is? It’s debatable up to a point, a point that hasn’t been reached yet in the film. He clearly has to know something; he lives in a fucking cave with 4 nearly-20 something males and a female who is a glorified babysitter and AT SOME POINT Laddie ingested the blood from the bottle, so.

But anyway. Edgar’s TED talk. Edgar explains that vampires will go out in one of four ways and none of them are pretty: some scream, some are quiet, some explode and some implode. (I want to discuss this but I’m not sure now’s the time.) Edgar also notes that no matter how the “bloodsucker” goes out they will all try and take you with them.

What? Do I believe that? No. No, I don’t. I will be giving my own counter TED talk on how Edgar is only partially right later on. If I remember to. (Edit: Clearly I did not.)

More footage of Nanook whimpering and winding around the fence. The wind has picked up, making all the whimsical and charming “yard art” around Grandpa’s house start moving. The wind chimes ring. The laundry moves. The weird wing flapping noises start up. We get vampire POV of them descending towards Grandpa’s yard. Nanook begins to bark.

SAM FINALLY FUCKING REMEMBERS OWNING A DOG AND THAT HE’S ABANDONED SAID DOG IN THE YARD. Edgar and Alan try to stop him from going outside. Michael and Star, upstairs, look over the railing to watch Sam exit the safety of the house. Sam runs down the lighted aisle/driveway and finally reaches Nanook, the wind swirling above him, ominous sounds playing. He struggles with the knot in the leash. [Wing: Just unclip the fucking leash, oh my god. It’s not like you knotted the leash around his throat. …RIGHT?] Michael goes after his brother.

Star and Laddie are on the porch with Alan and Edgar, yelling at Sam and Michael to hurry up. Michael reaches Sam, yanking on the leash. We hear laughter from above as the view switches to vampire POV.

The camera races up and zooms in on Star’s horrified face. She screams: “MICHAEL, THEY’RE COMING!” [Dove: Thanks, Star. We had literally no idea. Damn, women get the worst lines, even in good movies.] Just then Michael frees the leash and grabs it and Sam, looking up to see the vampires overhead. (We never see them. Boo.) They race back towards the house, Sam slipping in the dirt. Because of course. Michael helps him up and we watch overhead via vampire POV as the brothers make it back to the safety of the house. Every one dives inside as Michael slams the door shut.

Michael orders the Frogs to take Laddie and Star upstairs. Alan grabs Laddie and Edgar barks orders as they do so. Sam and Michael lean on the couch (?) they’ve blockaded the front door with, peering through the wooden blinds, when…

…Dwayne comes exploding out from the bottom of the fireplace.

This has always bothered me. Like, implausible. Yeah I know, this is a vampire film, it’s already full of implausible make believe shit but I expect some things to be kept in reason and reality. The angle at which Dwayne (or really, the stuntman) comes out of the fireplace says he came from below the grate. It would be way more believable that he came down the chimney and into the house that way but fore some reason… nope.

Also, there’s still a fire burning in the grate but it is weak and barely burning when this all happens. Nor does it catch Dwayne’s clothing on fire. But anyway, there’s a shower of dirt and broken rock and Dwayne rises in the air to grab ahold of one of the wagon wheel chandeliers, swinging on it to kick both Michael and Sam to the ground. The chandelier crashes to the ground, its electric bulbs popping and the snapped wires spitting sparks.

Upstairs, the Frogs have gotten Star and Laddie into Michael’s room. As soon as the door is shut, Edgar pulls a stake and determines they should terminate the two half vampires. Star screams for Laddie to run, which he and she do, through the adjoining bathroom, into Sam’s room. The Frogs, hot on their heels, crash through the bathroom and can’t find either half vampire. (I’ve always wondered how that happened? Thoughts?) Alan leaps for the open door when it slams shut, revealing vampire Paul.

The Frogs scream as Paul laughs and calls dibs, advancing on them. He tosses away the squirt gun and stake they try to wield on him, forcing them back into the bathroom. “You killed Marko!” Paul bellows. Edgar takes credit and says Paul is next.

Now in the bathroom, the Frogs look at each other then at the bathtub full of garlic/holy water. Paul just laughs. The Frogs jump on him and try to force him into the tub. “Garlic don’t work, boys!” Paul taunts. (Why? Why not? WILL I EVER GET ANSWERS??) [Wing: I mean, it could just be a myth. We know the Frogs aren’t actual experts here.]

“Try holy water, death breath!” Edgar screams before he splashes Paul. Paul screams as the holy water hits him, knocking the Frogs to the floor. His face begins to smoke, before he drops his hands and reveals angry, bleeding burns covering his face. He advances on the Frogs again, as they scream and clutch one another, totally proving that their first vampire kill was a total fluke.

#the lost boys from A Lost Boys ObsessiveCue Nanook running into the bathroom. The dog leaps into the air (or, in actuality, was thrown at) and crashes into Paul, knocking the vampire bodily into the tub. Nanook runs to the safety of the doorway as Edgar and Alan lay on the floor and watch Paul writhe and scream as the holy water begins to eat away at him.

Smoke fills the air, clouding the room and lowering visibility. Paul and the Frogs are all screaming at the tops of their lungs. Suddenly Paul stops screaming and disappears in the cloud. Edgar and Alan rush to the side of the tub, only for Paul to pop up, soaked in holy water, and scare the shit out of them. The Frogs flee back to the other side of the bathroom, clutching one another, screaming in terror. [Dove: I’ve seen loads of people say that you can see Paul’s eyeball pop out in this scene. It’s a garlic clove. Not an eyeball.]

Paul, looking sort of like Freddy Krueger at this point, falls backwards into the tub, unable to free himself from his acetone holy water grave. We see a shot of his fingers slide down the side of the tub, the water now mostly blood and glitter swirling down the drain. The sink begins to shake. Alan is still screaming. Paul’s skeleton, completely stripped of flesh and clothing, pops up in the witches’ brew it’s been floating in. You knows it’s Paul because the skeleton has fangs. And gums, now that I look at it closely, what that fuck? (Sorry, Dove.)

The bathroom sink rocks around before both sinks begin to violently spew holy water mixed with melted vampire up through the pipes. The Frogs are sprayed down, soaked in the mixture. Downstairs, the kitchen sink explodes in a geyser of the same liquid. A pipe on the wall bursts, spraying the stuff everywhere. The Frogs flee the bathroom just as the toilet explodes from the force of Paul’s liquid remains.

So. We’ve had one screaming (Marko) and one melting which caused secondary explosions (Paul). Where in Edgar’s TED talk did he have vampires “melting”? Or does this fall under “implosions”? Or “explosions”?

[Wing: Vampire blood: High pressure explosives.]

Back downstairs, the living room is only illuminated by red lights. (I’ve never figured out where they come from. Grandpa’s workroom?) Sam is struggling to awaken his unconscious brother. Michael really took a hit to the noggin. Sam looks around, trying to find Dwayne. We get more vampire POV (which, for the sake of this scene, we’ll say it’s Dwayne. I beg to differ.)

#mygifs from are you death or paradise?Sam finds a floor lamp and switches it on, using it as a giant spotlight to search the vaulted ceiling. He searches a bunch of beams over the stairs but finds nothing. Sam returns to trying to wake Michael up, when Dwayne flies in (??) and grabs Sam. He flies into the air, dragging Sam with him, in the first real footage showing how the vampires fly. For the time period and the means, it’s pretty amazing.

Dwayne, for some reason, just hovers there, his hands grasping Sam’s face, his dangerously sharp talons near Sam’s eyes, laughing maniacally at the boy. (Why?) Sam remembers the squirt gun tucked into his jeans and withdraws it, firing holy water right into Dwayne’s eyes. Dwayne screams and drops Sam, clutching his burning face. Sam falls down to the couch, which breaks his fall, before he runs to claim the bow and arrow he was goofing off with earlier.

Descending closer to the ground, Dwayne continues to clutch his smoking visage. He finally removes his hands, revealing the same type of holy water burns Paul suffered. Sam nocks an arrow just as Dwayne flies at him, loosing it! Dwayne crumples into a heap on the floor.

Sam (and the audience) are shocked it was so easy. Sam can’t believe it, staring at the bow, before he looks back at Dwayne’s crumpled body. Sam rises and slowly takes a few steps towards Dwayne.

Dwayne gets up, laughing. “You missed, sucker!”

“Only once, pal!” Sam responds, nocking another arrow as Dwayne advances on him. This time, Sam fires and the arrow pierces Dwayne’s chest/heart(?) and the force of the blow (??) sends Dwayne flying backwards into the stereo system (which was originally seen first in a deleted scene.) Dwayne screams a high pitched weird electronically enhanced sound as the arrow jams into the stereo, simultaneously turning it on as well as shorting out the system. Sparks begin to fly as Dwayne lays his head back and howls. The song “Good Times” by INXS featuring Jimmy Barnes blares over the speakers as showers of sparks grow. Sam runs back and clutches an unconscious Michael as he watches the carnage. Amazingly, this is finally what wakes Michael up.

#the lost boys from A Lost Boys ObsessiveDwayne flails all over the place trying to free himself from his impending doom. The Emerson brothers shield their faces from the blinding light and sparks flying. Dwayne’s hands, one at a time, explode in the sleeves of his leather jacket. With one last squeal, Dwayne’s head follows suit. (Sorry, Wing.)
[Wing: Hey, Mike doesn’t want to miss the light show.]

A disembodied, taloned vampire hand jerks around on the floor, as sparks snap. The brothers stare at the exploded remains of Dwayne. He is a literal arrow-pierced torso, with other assorted bloodied chunks, cluttering around the sound system.

“DEATH BY STEREO!” Sam whispers in triumph.

I guess this falls under “EXPLODE” as defined by Edgar’s TED talk.

Michael, realizing his younger brother has now single-handedly murdered someone – even if it was a vampire trying to kill them – hustles Sam towards the stairs. [Wing: See? Killing something at least vaguely human does something to you. Or it should. Sam shakes it off pretty well later.] They are distracted by the sounds of gushing water, pausing to view the destruction of the kitchen by liquefied vampire Paul. We are shown the destruction happening in the kitchen. At this point, how do you rebuild after that? Just burn the house down and move.

Sam runs upstairs ahead of his brother, as Michael is just staring at the destruction and wondering how he is going to explain this to Lucy and Grandpa. He only comes to when he hears the door slam upstairs. Michael rushes up a few more steps before David swoops in, upside down, yelling. He blocks Michael’s path before pushing the dark-haired half vampire back down the stairs. Michael falls.

David laughs heartily. (I enjoy it. Almost too much.)

Michael regains his feet, looking around wildly at the ceiling for signs of where David disappeared to. The rafters appear empty, so does the side room. The sound of wings. David claws Michael in the face in a fly-by attack before disappearing again. Michael clutches the side of his bleeding face. He looks around, terrorized, but unable to find David.

Upstairs, Sam has slowly entered his bedroom. Edgar and Alan jump out, squirt guns aimed, yelling. Sam knocks the guns down. They realize it’s friend not foe. Edgar asks if Sam is okay. Sam informs them he took out Dwayne downstairs. The trio move to sit on Sam’s bed. Edgar announces they “trashed the one that looks like Twisted Sister!” A pause. “Nanook helped a little.” Sam is proud of his dog that he nearly got killed by tying it to a fence outside.

Under the bed, we see Laddie has transformed into his game face, revealing the vampire inside. I guess this means at minimum Laddie hid under the bed when the Frogs tried to stake him and Star? Where’d Star hide??

On top of the bed, the trio discuss killing more vampires and how fucking badass they are as vampire hunters (yawn) and the mattress explodes upwards in a burst of unseen howling winds. Laddie screams as he ascends, his powers uncontrolled, knocking the screaming trio to the floor. Climbing out of the hole in the mattress, Laddie steps on Alan as he passes. “Holy shit! It’s the attack of Eddie Munster!”

Okay. What triggered this transformation? All the blood in the air via liquefied vampire Paul? Dwayne exploding? We know that something similar happened when Marko was murdered killed as the three other vampires “awakened” as their pack brother died. So is that what happened to Laddie?? screams for them to kill Laddie. Star BURSTS through the double doors of Sam’s closet, screaming for the Frogs and Sam to stop and get away from Laddie. She shields the child with her body. “He’s just a little boy!” Laddie flails behind Star, trying to claw the Frogs and Sam. The trio stare at him.

Okay. Why didn’t Star change? (Answer: budget.) (Actual answer aka bat’s reasoning: Star wants all the vampires dead and to be free of them so she has zero sympathy for them, unlike Laddie.) [Wing: That’s my theory, too. Even if she has some small fondness for them, which I could argue either way, she doesn’t want to be what she is, at least not anymore, and she’ll do almost anything to be free of it. She wants them dead, why would she react? Though I also think Laddie’s change is tied more to fear and anger and blood in the air than sympathy.] [Dove: Yeah, I always assumed the entire stress of the day got to Laddie, and just the presence of three people he didn’t know on the bed above him — let’s face it, that kid slept through introductions — triggered the change. Star, being older, is feeling the same level of stress, but managing it better. And she can reason her way through it — she wants out, so let’s just put up with all this killing… and the prejudiced kids who keep throwing insults our way.]

AND NOW WE ENTER THE END GAME! (Fuck. I hate this part.)

Via vampire POV, David watches Michael searching for him. Michael, bleeding from various wounds on his face, cannot see David anywhere. Suddenly David’s face appears, roaring, as he claws Michael again in another fly-by attack. Michael feels the wounds on his neck as David chuckles darkly in the distance. (I melt on the floor at the sound, sigh.)

Michael accuses David of being afraid to face him. (WTF, asshole? No, that’s not what this is. This is David on a power trip.) [Wing: And David on a power trip is his own downfall. Fitting for a boy who will never grow up story.] David’s shadow appears on the uppermost part of the wall, he’s on the landing but still unseen.

“I tried to make you immortal.” David speaks, something almost sad or disappointed in his tone.

#the lost boys from A Lost Boys ObsessiveDavid’s shadow runs and we hear boot falls as Michael screams that David tried to make him a killer. David’s fist connects with Michael’s face, dropping the latter to the ground. David laughs, pleased with himself, crouched on a beam near the ceiling. Michael turns around and reveals he has finally transformed into his own vampire visage, the one hinted at during the bonfire scene. Blood drips from his nose. David stares in assessment.

“You are a killer,” David answers as Michael licks the blood from his nose. [Wing: Not yet a killer.] The two angsty teenage males both laugh and/or snarl before the simultaneously leap into the air and collide, grabbing the other by the shoulders. They struggle through the air, circling around, both trying to get the upper hand until Michael grabs David and slams him back into a wall. He misses the taxidermy head mounts (moose? caribou? something) and David snarls: “My turn.”

Shoving off the wall, flying through the air, Michael and David grapple but it seems the blond vampire once again has the upper hand. We are shown that the sliding doors to Grandpa’s work shop are open, revealing all the various taxidermy mounts and horns / antlers / etc. It’s a real cluttered workbench. There are a specific pair of horns that are situated in a way that they could be VERY PROBLEMATIC for someone in the next few seconds.

Michael leans back enough to see said horns while David is busy trying to strangle him, just as Michael is also trying to push David off. Just as they reach the threshold, Michael’s hands come up and grab the wooden lintel, bringing both of them to a sudden stop. David still has a grip on Michael’s neck. Michael looks over his shoulder, sizing up and checking the angle.

David, BECAUSE DISTRACTED YOU DUMBASS (sorry, this scene makes me very yell-y), is asking Michael to stop fighting him. Why? (OH WAIT this involves 33 year old spoilers, stop talking, bat!) David admits he doesn’t want to kill Michael (press X to doubt) and he wants Michael to “join us”. Beyond Star and Laddie, is there really an “us” left, David?

“NEVER!” screeches Michael. If you’re gonna be subtle about it, stop looking over your shoulder, Michael.

David tries a second tactic. He says it’s too late, his (ultimate debate question among hardcore LB fans, never bring it up unless you want to fight) blood is in Michael’s veins. Michael gives David one last look before screaming his line: “So is MINE!” and grabbing a distracted and slightly confused David and throwing him onto the horns.

David screams as the horns slice right through his body and out through his front, the music hitting its crescendo in a violent bit of organ fanfare. From the angle, it is implied one of the horns pierced David’s heart. Which, apparently, counts as staking him. Sigh.

#the lost boys from A Lost Boys ObsessiveMichael backs up as David continues to scream, smoke pouring out of his wounds, weakly clutching at the horns, crying “NO!” repeatedly. The arc light reappears, bathing David in stark white light as his fate befalls him (YES I WILL BE OVER-DRAMATIC IN DESCRIBING THIS SCENE!) He falls back onto the workbench, his hands weakly dropping away from the horns as he begins to die.

Michael is being melodramatic about having killed David, [Wing: So, Michael, you’ve let David make you a killer after all. And I guess that whole becoming a full vampire only happens after a human kill.] [bat: Huh. Never thought about that. You’re right, Wing. They have to kill a human – spill human blood – to turn. Wild.] shaking and making weird noises while still vamped out. I ignore him.

David seems to look at Michael (?) or the camera, not sure which, his eyes drawn to slits, before he closes his mouth and his head rolls back and the arc light fades away. David is DEAD. DEAD DEAD FUCKING DEAD AND CANNOT COME BACK, THE END!!!

(I have written extensively else where about those goddamn horns and how they really did end David, if you want to read about it. Spoilers for the stupid comic books released decades after the fact and the movie, and massive amounts of personal speculation. Be forewarned.)

This would fall under “going quietly”, as defined by Edgar.

We get a weird slow-ish bunch of shots between dead!David and vamped!Michael, as the chorus of “Cry Little Sister” plays over the scene. For some reason… Michael isn’t changing… back to human… yet.


Star comes running into the workroom, screaming for Michael, everything bathed in that red light. She comes to a hard stop, her mouth open in a scream that never happens, as she views David’s DEAD BODY on the workbench, still impaled on the horns.

We can see the Frogs and Sam hurrying down the stairs, headed after Star. We get a long shot establishing David as VERY DEAD, just as Sam calls for Michael. Michael, who is hiding behind… the wall? grabs Star and pulls her close. He tells Star not to let the Frogs and Sam see him vamped out.

Sam and the Frogs come in distance to see the last of the Lost Boys DEAD (do I need to keep repeating that?) and of course Alan and Edgar get all celebratory. “Get away, Sam!” Michael growls. Sam realizes something is wrong. Star gives Sam a sad warning look.

Outside, Max rolls up in his convertible, Lucy in tow. Apparently he took her story seriously! (…I wonder why…)

“What’s the big deal?? You destroyed the head vampire! It’s all over!” Edgar points out. (Ha! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!) Michael growls that nothing has changed. Star adds that she doesn’t feel any different. (GEE, I WONDER WHY.)

“Then there’s still one more!” Edgar observes. (Firstly, HOW DOES HE KNOW THERE’S ONLY ONE? Secondly, what did they do with Laddie? You morons left a child vampire UNATTENDED??)

Everyone stands around breathing hard and being confused, occasionally looking at David’s DEAD BODY on the workbench. We smash cut to Lucy and Max running towards the front door. Lucy calls out for her sons. “I’ll handle Mom,” Sam announces, taking off with the Frogs towards the front door.

Lucy and Max just casually enter the home, because even though they barricaded the door they didn’t lock it? WTF? Sam runs up on his mother and Max, who is yelling “What the hell is going on!?” as if he is suddenly the Emerson boys’ father. Sam and the Frogs surround Lucy, Sam saying they need to have a heavy conversation. Lucy just wants to know where Michael is.

Max takes off in a direct beeline towards Grandpa’s work room. The Frogs and Sam start to move Lucy away from, you know, seeing the teenage corpse splayed out in full view of the living room. Edgar, Alan, and Sam all start to talk at once, confusing and distracting Lucy.

Striding right on into the work room, Star sees Max from where she and Michael are hiding. Max, a look of parental concern etched on his features, turns David’s face to view him better. HERE’S WHERE WE SEE DAVID HAS HAD TIME TO SHAVE AND/OR MAGICALLY REVERTED TO HIS BABY-FACED YOUTHFUL APPEARANCE UPON DEATH. This scene literally 1) confirms David is DEAD and 2) shows that at one point all four vampires were human before they were transformed by the vampire blood and turned into vampires upon their first kill. (Just remember, Sutherland was all of 19 years old when they filmed this scene.)

Back to Max, who is staring in shock. The camera slowly zooms in on Star and Michael observing this touching action by Max. Seems… important. Max lets go of David’s face and looks up, before exiting the work room. Star and Michael finally exhale in relief. Max didn’t notice them.

Lucy has finally extricated herself from Sam and the Frogs. She wants to talk to Michael, damn it, because he’s the eldest and supposed to be in charge. She walks into the living room, as Max speaks. “I’m sorry, Lucy, this is all my fault.”

Wait, what? Huh? Whatever could Max be talking about?

“David and my Boys misbehaved.”


Max removes his expensive, stylish, non-prescription glasses like he’s a reverse Superman revealing his true identity. “I told you, boys need a mother!”

[Wing: When did he say this? I remember him saying that they need discipline and that she was a protective mother, but did he actually tell her boys need a mother?] [bat: Never directly says that. Deleted scene expounds more on the protecting mother part.]

Lucy is confused. She doesn’t understand what Max is yammering away about. Sam joins his mother as Max stops and stands still, revealing his profile. Sam yells out so the Frogs can hear him. “I knew it! You’re the head vampire!”

Chiding her youngest son and telling him not to start this craziness again, Lucy can’t believe her ears. The Frogs come running in. “You’re the secret David was protecting.” Star pops into the room, confirming that David was acting on orders: MAX’S ORDERS!

Max nods at Star. Lucy wants to know who the hell Star is. Alan points at Max and declares Max passed their vampire test.

#the lost boys from A Lost Boys Obsessive“Don’t ever invite a vampire into your house, you silly boy! It renders you powerless!” Max is so smug about this, I love it.

Sam asks if Edgar knew that. “Everyone knows that!” Edgar, you liar.

Lucy thinks everyone has lost their minds. Max begins his final monologue. He explains that Lucy was whom he was truly after and his plan of turning Michael AND Sam would mean she couldn’t say no, as her sons would be vampires and theoretically under Max’s control so she would have to turn, too. “It was all going to be so perfect, you see. Just like one big, happy family! Your boys and my boys!” Max turns away, gesturing towards David’s corpse.

“Great! The blood-sucking Brady bunch!” Edgar growls.

Sam and the Frogs have surrounded Lucy and start backing her away from Max, as Star stands in open defiance to the man she’s never known about. Max turns around, revealing his own vampire visage. “But I still want you, Lucy!”

Lucy screams. Star gasps, startled. (Wait, why, she’s seen Laddie AND Michael vamped out, but not the others??) Michael steps out from his hiding space in the work room. “I didn’t invite you this time, Max!”

[Wing: So does that mean they need a new invite every single time?] [bat: Apparently not? The Boys certainly weren’t invited.] [Wing: But they were also vulnerable to things like holy water, which Max wasn’t when he was invited but he’s able to be killed now. Would a stake to the heart not have killed him before, like the holy water didn’t burn him?] [bat: Halp. Too many questions, never enough answers!]

Yep. It’s all Michael’s fucking fault. As usual.

Lucy whispers her eldest son’s name, staring at him in vampire form. Max turns around and laughs at the big-hared twit who is challenging him. Michael rushes Max, Star screaming for him to stop. Max grabs Michael and throws him into the air, where Michael crashes through the railing and ends up on the upstairs landing, knocked out cold. Because that’s his only fucking defense, going unconscious.

Lucy screams for Michael. Star grabs… a metal pole? and charges Max with a roar. Max knocks her down and takes the pole, wielding it as the Frogs rush him. Soon they are down, shoved back by Max, who throws the pole on the ground. Sam is left as the last defense, trying to shield Lucy. Instead of staying put, Sam screams “Don’t you touch my mother!” and charges Max, who grabs the teen in an easy headlock.

Lucy reaches out to Sam but is wise enough to stay back, just out of reach. Sam struggles, being choked by Max, begging his mother to stay away. Max extends his hand in a slow flourish to Lucy, telling her it’s so much better if she doesn’t fight.

We see Michael move but he’s still useless.

Lucy puts her hand in Max’s, seeing no other option in which to protect her son. Max grins, pulling her forward, tipping Lucy’s head to the side as he leans down to bite her. (Okay, wait, so biting is still an option for turning??? Huh?? Does this mean she directly becomes a vampire?? Or does she still have to make a first kill???? SO CONFUSING.) strains of La Cucaracha pierce the air. Grandpa! Max stops and looks up. Michael jerks awake, opening his eyes. Grandpa BACKS HIS TRUCK into the front doors of his house, causing distraction and commotion. Sam grabs Lucy and pulls her away from Max as the wreckage of wood falls down to reveal the convenient plot device that is those giant wooden fence poles with the appropriately sharpened-to-a-point ends. Michael jumps from the upper landing and shoves Max into place as one of the fence poles aligns as it flies off the back of the truck and straight into Max’s chest.

Max is staked. The force of it sends him flying backwards into the fireplace, where he explodes in a massive fireball, which sends all the others in the room into shielding their faces from the fire and light. Sam clings to Lucy, the Frogs are donning goggles to watch the explosion, Michael grabbed Star. Grandpa puts up an arm to shield his face as he watches from the cab of his truck.

Max screams as he burns up. Apparently this is to denote he was the head vampire AND very old for a vampire. Eventually the fire dies out, the chimney damaged as rocks and masonry fall in, smoke and ash pouring into the room as the house shakes, the black soot enveloping the survivors.

Finally, it is over.

Everyone is coughing from the smoke and dust, their skin blackened by soot. They begin to check on one another. Sam and Lucy hug as Edgar and Alan get celebratory. Grandpa climbs down from his truck. Star keeps repeating that “it’s over!” as she hugs Michael. Laddie runs down stairs, human again, screaming for Star. Nanook follows him. (What? They left Nanook to babysit Laddie??) [Wing: Well, Nanook has the same number of vampire kills as everyone else who killed one.] Star gets up to hug Laddie. Nanook barks. Michael, human again, asks if everybody is okay.

Sam and Lucy, relieved, get up to hug Michael. (Yeah, he’s responsible for all this bullshit happening but yes, let’s be thrilled.) Lucy hugs and kisses her sons. Edgar asks Alan, “How much do you think we should charge them for this?”

Grandpa, the last sensible person in the room, wanders into his destroyed kitchen. Lucy calls out to him, she and her sons slowly walking towards the kitchen when Grandpa doesn’t respond. “Dad?” Lucy calls, worriedly. Grandpa opens the fridge and takes out a bottle of root beer, downing a healthy swig.

“Dad are you alright?” Lucy is concerned. Sam is piggybacking Michael. All three are coated in sweat and soot, staring at the old man, who’s still drinking root beer. He finally stops, sniffing hard.

One thing about livin’ in Santa Carla I never could stomach: ALL THE DAMN VAMPIRES!

Lucy, Michael, and Sam stare at Grandpa, shock and bewilderment on their faces, as the light from the fridge goes out when Grandpa shuts the door. The opening notes of “People Are Strange” begin to play as the screen fades to black. The credits begin to roll.

[Dove: I actually thought the twist-upon-twist would be that Grandpa was a vampire too. Either a good one, or just one that wanted Max out of the way. My first viewing of this scene misled me. I was watching a VHS rented from a local store, and the colour and tracking was off all the way through. I was pretty sure that Grandpa was glowing. Then he delivered that line and I was like, “So is he, or isn’t he?” And this experience pre-dated the internet by probably a decade, so… I had to eventually question my friends. Then I watched another copy that a friend borrowed from her local store and Grandpa didn’t glow. So I eventually figured it out.]


(Unless you actually sit through the credits, which is where you hear Roger Daltrey’s cover of Sir Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” playing over the second half of the credits before the Warner Bros. logo comes up again and the film is OFFICIALLY OVER.)

Final Thoughts:

[bat: More than one person has referred to this movie as “lightning in a bottle”. Everything came together under near-perfect conditions to create a movie that became a box office success – a difficult thing to do in the 1980s for an “R-rated” film – which morphed into a cult classic among following generations due in part to VHS sales, to a cultural influence – see “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and many others. The main cast was young and mostly unknowns, the adult actors were all established and had fun with their roles, the setting was its own character, the director believed in the project and felt it would special, the crew poured their hearts out making it… it was all fate.

If it had remained a “Goonies meet vampires” kiddie movie, I don’t think we’d really be talking about it now. “The Goonies” was a time capsule of 1984-5 and you can’t make a movie like that ever again. Throwing vampires into makes zero sense. The world needed teen vampires to inject new blood (yes I said that on purpose) into the then-dying genre. It worked. Better than anyone who was involved in making it ever believed it would.

And here we are, 33 years later, still talking about it, friends recapping it after 20 years of friendship.]

[Dove: I love this movie. I wish the sequels had never been made though. [bat: What sequels? Those have been erased from history.] I think this movie is a great product of the perfect setting, story, actors, even fashion (the lolz are strong here), and trying to recapture it for a soulless cash grab is just disappointing on every level. I may go and re-read the novelisation, because I still want to know more about the vampires.

Oooh, isn’t there an ending in the book that’s very much like From Dusk Til Dawn, where even though Max has died, under Santa Carla are endless tunnels filled with endless vampires, all from his line?]

[bat: In the cave there’s a painting of Max at the Boardwalk, surrounded by young men, which can be interpreted as him and his “sons”, but the tunnels are mentioned to make noises and the Emersons and Grandpa don’t want to investigate further. Or so says the tie-in novel.]

[Wing: This movie remains one of my favourites, and this far along, I can safely say it always will. Even beyond the whole friends and good life and excellent place to visit in California, it has inspired so much of my writing. Between it and The Howling (which I’ve talked about extensively elsewhere as both my first horror movie and where my love of werewolves began), pretty much every single thing I write has at least a drop of them in it.

I hope you enjoyed this, readers! We had a blast recapping all together, especially a movie that means so many different important things to each of us.]