You know The Lost Boys was shot partly in Santa Cruz, right? And the fictional town of Santa Carla, with that beach boardwalk and those sexy teenage vampires? Yep, Santa Cruz, except with vampires. Today, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the film's release, The Atlantic gives us an academic, cultural anthropological analysis of The Lost Boys, paying special attention to "the embodiment of a specific type of single Boomer mother" that is Lucy, played by the great Dianne Wiest.
Critic Jeff Roda discusses Wiest's character as a microcosm for the divorced, self-involved parents of Generation X's "latchkey kids," and he sees Joel Schumacher's 1987 film as sort of allegory about these detached parents, and what happens to the kids when they're left to their own devices. They become vampires, and fall in with the wrong crowd, and could end up dead! He writes that Lucy is a woman "who mistakes passivity and willful victimization the refusal to fight for her sons’ security for an off-brand of free-spirited rebellion against the prevailing shift towards materialism. In short, Lucy is a fearful narcissist masquerading as a spiritually evolved human being." He's referring to the strange explanation at the beginning of the movie for why she somehow neglected to get child support in her divorce and had to move back in with her kooky father (played by the brilliant, late character actor Barnard Hughes) in Santa Carla in the first place.
We mostly like the movie because it reminds us how electric Kiefer Sutherland used to be on screen before he became an alcoholic television actor. And how hot Jamie Gertz and Jason Patric were in their prime. (Actually, Jason Patric has aged quite well, but we digress.)
More importantly, though, it featured not one but both of the Coreys. While Feldmen gets to play one of the self-proclaimed vampire hunters, it's Haim who walks away with the picture. As noted, "Haim single-handedly keeps the show going here, especially when it devolves into standard garlic-necklace and holy water fare, and he’s reason alone to revisit the picture."
If you're part of that generation for whom this film seems really historic, might we suggest a few others that, in our eyes, have stood up well despite the quarter century that has passed since their release. It truly was the golden age of teen cinema. See some clips below.
Weird Science (1985)
Stand By Me (1986)
Pretty In Pink (1986)