Welcome to the first post in my Does it Hold Up? series. Since the world is currently a shit sandwich, I’m revisiting beloved movies of days gone by to see if they hold up to today’s standards and expectations. I’m starting with 1987’s THE LOST BOYS, a movie that I watched at least a dozen times between the ages of 12 and 18.
Did anyone know that Ted Cruz is in this movie? He’s the guy in the very first scene who punches his girlfriend in the face while trying to keep sexy vampire Keifer Sutherland from touching her cheek, since being touched by sexy vampire David is so much worse than a punch from a creepy politician. (I know it’s not really him, you guys. But I can pretend if I want to.)
The set-up is translatable to today. A single mother (Dianne Wiest) and her two sons (Jason Patric and Corey Haim) move in with her eccentric and cool AF dad so she can save money. I mean, struggling single moms have been around since the beginning of time (looking at you, Mary).
About 10 minutes in there’s a strong 80’s marker: a greasy man with a ponytail and codpiece playing the fuck out of a saxophone.
But then Jami Gertz appears and everything’s magical. Timeless beauty, man.
While we’re on the topic of beauty, how pretty were the vampires back then? *swoon*
And let me take a moment to pay my respects to the two Coreys. I preferred Haim (RIP) over Feldman back in my Tiger Beat days, but I would have made out with either one of them.
Not a comment on timeliness, but Jason Patric has his shoes on his white sheets and pillowcase like a GD monster!
Most, but not all, of the soundtrack is dated.
Though the fashion is dated, it’s still sexy as hell. I’m normally a just-say-no-to-mullets kinda lady, but I don’t hate this bleached bloodsucking-punk rock mullet.
Jason Patric was clearly in a Jim Morrison phase, and there are other nods to Morrison and the Doors in the film, including the Echo and the Bunnymen cover of “People Are Strange” at the beginning and end. The Doors don’t currently hold the cultural respect that they did in the 80’s. Of course, we had no way of knowing in 1987 that the Doors would lose their status as icons to suburban stoner kids, but we probably should have seen it coming.
The treatment of women isn’t date-rapey like in too many films of this era. Star (Jami Gertz) does have the damsel in distress thing going on. But it’s not old school Disney princess level helplessness. And she wields a big wooden stake before it’s all over.
The humor holds up, and I had forgotten that Corey Haim had solid comedic timing.
The most cringe-worthy 80’s thing about this movie is the music, though a couple of songs are fine. There are too many synthesizers and saxophones the majority of the time. The humor isn’t racist or ableist like a lot of old movies. And the women aren’t portrayed like mindless sex dolls.
Does it hold up? Yes. Yes it does.