This Day in 1987: The Lost Boys premieres
30 years ago today, one of the definitive vampire movies of the ‘80s first hit theaters, bringing with it one of the most beloved soundtracks of the decade.
THE LOST BOYS: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK was a collection driven by cover songs, or at least those are the tracks that have garnered the most attention over the years. You’ve got INXS and Jimmy Barnes doing The Easybeats (“Good Times”), Roger Daltrey tackling Elton John (“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”), Echo and the Bunnymen doing The Doors (“People are Strange,” and Tim Cappello covering The Call (“I Still Believe”).
In addition, there’s the film’s theme song, “Cry Little Sister,” by Gerard McMann, and the film’s unofficial theme song, “Lost in the Shadows (The Lost Boys),” by Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm, and a few other contributions, including another INXS / Jimmy Barnes collaboration (“Laying Down the Law), Eddie & The Tide’s “Power Play,” Mummy Calls’ “Beauty Has Her Way,” and Thomas Newman’s “To the Shock of Miss Louise.”
To celebrate the film itself a bit, we’ve culled some quotes from some of the film’s co-stars as they reminisced about their experiences in the A.V. Club’s Random Roles feature:
- Jami Gertz [“Star”]: First of all, I have to mention Joel Schumacher, because visually he’s so interesting. He has such style of film, and he had such style back then. I mean, he’ll tell the story that he did the window displays at Bendel’s. [Laughs.] So his eye and his taste are impeccable, No. 1, but he just created this movie that I think had such sex appeal, warmth, and humor. And it was scary! Which is not easy to do. Many movies can’t re-create all that stuff. I mean, we had humor, we had sensuality, and we had fear in one movie. I don’t think it’s done often. And Joel was able to get all of that in there.
Dianne Wiest comes to mind when I think of that movie. Oh, she’s a brilliant actress, and she also makes it seem effortless. Ed Herrmann, an amazing man. Such a great actor. Jason Patric literally got me that job. We had done Solarbabies, and then we happened to get a play together. We both showed up at this audition and got it. It was called Out Of Gas On Lovers Leap, and we did it at the Costa Playhouse. It was a two-person play about teen suicide. Very uplifting. [Laughs.] And Jason got the gig in this movie, and they were casting the girl, and he said, “You know, you should come in and read. I’m going to tell Joel. Would you be interested?” I said, “Sure!” And I think Joel had in mind kind of a blonde, pixie-ish girl, and I’m, uh, not that girl, y’know? So I came in and read with Jase, and all of a sudden she became this kind of gypsy girl, with this mane of hair.
Susie Becker did the costuming, and I just remember having the best time. She would go to secondhand clothes shops, and she found, like, these old cowboy boots, and the material of my skirt was sari material. She was just so knowledgeable about clothing, designers, and fabrics. So, anyway, I really have Jason to thank for that gig, but in the end, I have Joel to thank. I think we kind of paved the way for vampires today! [Laughs.]
- Edward Herrmann [“Max”]: Boy, that was a ball. Joel [Schumacher] is a very witty and charming guy, very hip, and it was a cast of young, bright, interesting kids. And I was working with Dianne Wiest, who was an old friend. We knew each other from Williamstown, where we performed onstage a number of times. And Barnard Hughes was there as well, so the old folks were seasoned. And we took it all with a grain of salt, but it was fun. We were up on that coastal town in California, and we were told, “Don’t go out after 6.” And I said, “Wait a minute, I lived in New York, don’t tell me about what’s dangerous!” I think they did at least say, “You can hang close to the arc lights or hang close to the chuck wagon. Just stick with the guys.” But the fact is, the bushes were full of burned-out ex-hippies, so it was a very dangerous town! [Laughs.] So we just kept to the movie set. But, no, it was a lot of fun, and, you know, with the special effects, it was goofy and terrific. I had a great time.
Growing up as a kid in Detroit, way back, there was a movie station that would show old kinescope reproductions of old movies, and I remember seeing Bela Lugosi for the first time and being duly frightened out of my wits. But I was never drawn to the world of the vampire that has exploded so, turning them into romantic heroes. I just always thought of them as diabolical, and you avoided them like the plague. I like sunny stories. You know, my favorite girls in the ’50s were Debbie Reynolds, Doris Day, and Esther Williams. Looking at Esther Williams now, I can see why: She was a real dish! [Laughs.] But, no, at the risk of disappointing the vampire clan, I was not personally drawn to them. I just thought it was a hell of a lot of fun to play one, because I’d never done it.
- Corey Feldman [“Edgar Frog’]: Well, I’d say that Edgar Frog is certainly the most prominent character I’ve ever played, in the sense that it’s something I created as a child. I was 15 years old, but I was given the task by Joel Schumacher to create a character based on a series of action films. He said, “Go look at the Rambo films, go look at Chuck Norris’s films, go look at Bruce Lee’s films—all the action heroes of our time—and then mold a character based on different aspects of all those characters you see.” And then he asked me to grow my hair long and make this kind of young punk action hero. So I said, “Okay, great!”
I went out and created Edgar Frog, and [Schumacher] introduced me to Jamison Newlander, who was to play the other Frog brother, and he’d given him some advice. And when Jamison and I met for the first time, I said to him, “Listen, this is how we’re gonna play this: The only way this is gonna work is if you stay with me 100 percent. If you stray from this mission at any time, if you break the deadpan, if you break the seriousness of what we believe in, then it’s gonna lose the whole thing, because the only way it works is if we’re in the same exact mind space all the way through.” So he agreed with me—he’s a fantastic actor—and that’s what we did. We came in for the final audition, and we read together, and we played those roles and we blew Joel out of the water.
Although I’d done interesting takes on characters with Stand By Me and Goonies and Gremlins and all those movies before that, Lost Boys was the first time where I felt like I really created a character, where I really removed myself entirely from it and just became somebody else.
Kiefer Sutherland [“David”]: The funny thing about that film for me is that it’s the number-one thing that people come up and say, “Man, I grew up with that,” or, “That film mattered to me,” or whatever. I was 19 when we made that, and I wish I’d been a little older or a little smarter, because... [Hesitates.] I wish we had known what we were doing when we were doing it. You know? It’s been such a part of my life, and I wish in the process of making it I had enjoyed it a little more.
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