Vampires are pretty much everywhere these days, with the "Twilight" franchise and TV's "The Vampire Diaries" gripping the imagination of teen audiences the world over. In part, it's because of the element of sexuality inherent in vampires, something that's been present ever since the archetype was born in Bram Stoker's "Dracula." But the idea of vampires appealing to teens, now something worth billions of dollars, can be traced directly back to one film: Joel Schumacher's 1987 film "The Lost Boys."
The film follows Michael and Sam Emerson (Jason Patric and Corey Haim), who move to the coastal town of Santa Clara, only for Michael to fall in with a local gang who, as it turns out, are a vicious group of vampires, led by David (Kiefer Sutherland), and Sam must team with local vampire hunters Edgar and Alan Frog (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) to save his brother from becoming one of the undead. With its of-the-moment soundtrack, MTV-style visuals and quote-unquote sexy vampires, the film became a big hit, and paved the way from everything from "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" to Edward and Bella. The film was released 25 years ago this week, on July 31, 1987, and to commemorate the occasion, we thought we'd take a look at five facts you might not know about Schumacher's seminal sleepover horror/comedy. Read on below.
Given that it's a film that involves characters melting in a bath full of garlic, flooding a house with a blood, and exploding after being electrocuted, it's near-impossible to imagine "Lost Boys" as anything other than R-rated. But in fact, the original conception of the film was as a G-rated family adventure movie, similar in spirit to "The Goonies" (which had been a big hit two years earlier). Inspired by the notion of Peter Pan as a vampire (hence the title), the original script by writers Janice Fischer and James Jeremias (neither of whom ever had major credit after the film), had characters named after those found in J.M Barrie's book, including Michael and John, and their Wendy. The Frog Brothers were vampires, 5th and 6th grade boys who were "chubby 8-year-old Cub Scouts," and the character of Star was another boy, rather than a love interest. When writer Jeffrey Boam ("Straight Time," "Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade") came on at the behest of director Joel Schumacher, he changed from what Schumacher described as "a sort of a cutesy, 'G'-rated movie aimed at young kids" to the teen-friendly picture we ended up with.
Given "The Goonies" comparisons, it may not be a great surprise to learn that that film's director, Richard Donner, was the first name attached to the project. The "Superman" helmer had set the film up at Warner Bros. in its original family-friendly incarnation, but the studio offered him a script for a cop action movie by a young writer named Shane Black entitled "Lethal Weapon," and Donner became enamored by it, dropping the kid-friendly picture for something a little more adult (although he retained an executive producer credit). Next on board, albeit briefly, was music video director Mary Lambert, who'd been responsible for early Madonna promos including "Like A Virgin," "Material Girl" and "Like A Prayer," as well as clips for Annie Lennox, Motley Crue and Tom Tom Club, among others. However, she fell out swiftly, for unknown reasons, and ended up making her debut the same year with "Siesta," starring Ellen Barkin and Gabriel Byrne. Her greatest success came with the 1989 Stephen King adaptation "Pet Sematary," and she was last seen directing 2011's "Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid"... After Lambert exited, Joel Schumacher, who'd had a recent hit with "St. Elmo's Fire" (which he pays tribute to with a poster of Rob Lowe on screen at one stage) joined -- Lauren Shuler Donner, Richard Donner's wife, had produced that film.