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Warner Home Video presents
The Lost Boys (1987)

"I think I should warn you all, when a vampire bites it, it's never a pretty sight. No two bloodsuckers go the same way. Some yell and scream, some go quietly, some explode, some implode, but all will try to take you with them."
- Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman)

Review By: Kevin Clemons  
Published: September 01, 2004

Stars: Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman
Other Stars: Edward Hermann, Jamie Gertz, Diane Wiest, Alex Winter, Barbard Hughes
Director: Joel Schumacher

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: R for language, violence
Run Time: 01h:36m:12s
Release Date: August 10, 2004
UPC: 085393353025
Genre: horror

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A BA-B- B+

DVD Review

Seeing The Lost Boys for the first time is one of those great moviegoing experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. It was the first R-rated film that I had been able to see, and while I may have a soft spot in my heart for that reason, it also helps that the film holds up better than most movies from my childhood. Some 17 years later, it is still a seminal '80s favorite, and rightfully so.

A moderate hit in the summer of 1987, The Lost Boys is a smart, and scary blend of horror and humor that works better than most films that attempt to blend these two genres. Directed by Joel Schumacher, it tells the story of Lucy Emerson (Wiest) and her two sons, Michael (Patric) and Sam (Haim), who have just moved to Santa Clara, Californa, which is happens to be the murder capital of the world. While exploring the boardwalk on their first night, each of the sons takes a different approach to their new surroundings. For Sam it involves running into the Frog brothers, Edgar (Feldman) and Alan (Newlander), in a comic book shop where the pair warn Sam that the town is overrun by vampires.

Michael finds this bit of information out a different way as he meets Star (Gertz), a beautiful girl who introduces him to David (Sutherland) and his friends. After spending time with David and his group, Michael begins to feel different, mostly an adverse reaction to sunlight as well as an insatiable hunger. Soon Sam and the Frog brothers begin a quest to kill the vampires and return Michael back to his old self.

What separates The Lost Boys from so many other teen films of that era is that this is one of the few to take itself seriously. This may well be the best-looking modern-day vampire film (thanks to sleek cinematography by Scorsese collaborator Michael Chapman) as well as one of the smartest. The film is at its best when it focuses on Sam and his quest to save Michael—it is in these scenes that things fly, with sharp dialogue and a sense of humor that is welcome amidst the overall storyline.

The script was originally written as a Goonies-type adventure until Schumacher thankfully changed the vampires from sixth graders to high schoolers, but there is still a taste of that original idea that gradually drags the quality down. Whereas the opening half is an exciting blend of horror and humor, the final act seems like something out of a teen comedy.

Because a large portion of The Lost Boys is so terrific and smart, it is frustrating to bemoan the whole as "near miss". Sutherland gives a star-making performance that could have been easily over the top, while Patric all but nails his role with a deep sense of confusion. Haim and Feldman steal their scenes throughout, showing some truly fun chemistry.

The Lost Boys stands as a sort of new classic in my eyes regardless of its faults. There are avenues that I wish the screenwriters had gone down, including exploring the loss of any type of normal life for the young vampires, but that would have added a heavy dramatic edge to a film that successfully offers a good time for the viewer.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer for this new release is a vast improvement over the previous movie only edition. For starters the transfer is noticeably sharper with better definition throughout and it is clear that for the first time the film looks the way it should on the home video format. Gone is the grain that plagued the previous release, and the black levels are rock solid with very nice depth. The colors are crisp and vibrant with no bleeding, while edge enhancement is very slight with only one noticeable occurrence during the opening credits.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: While this release boasts a new video transfer, the audio portion sounds remarkably similar to the previous one. Dialogue is strong throughout with no distortion or dropouts, while the left and right speakers are present only on a handful of occasions. The split surround channels are put to little use with no real directional effects to speak of; the mix is also lacking in any sort of real depth from either the left, right, or .1 LFE channel. With the terrific restoration done on the video transfer, it is disappointing the audio mix is so bland.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
0 Other Trailer(s)18 Deleted Scenes
2 Documentaries
7 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Joel Schumacher
Packaging: Gladiator style 2-pack
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo Gallery
Extras Review: The first disc offers an informative commentary by director Joel Schumacher who talks at length about shooting the film on a low budget, wrangling together a cast of relative unknowns, as well as offering a new take on the classic vampire stories that had become rather boring over time. There are also a lot of behind-the-scenes stories as well as a discussion of how certain shots were set up and how some seemingly simple ones were very difficult to pull off.

On the second disc is where most of the bonus material is found, led by 18 deleted and extended scenes. The total running time is a little over 12 minutes, so the majority of the excised footage consists more or less of throwaway lines of dialogue. The most significant deleted scene is a love scene between Michael and Star that goes on for way too long and ultimately becomes rather uncomfortable.

The Lost Boys: A Retrospective runs just over 25 minutes and features interviews with Sutherland, Haim, Feldman, Schumacher, and others as they over-hype the legacy of the film and refer to it as "essential" several times over. While I partially agree with the statement that the film is indeed a sort of modern classic I think that some of the comments here are going a bit too far.

Inside the Vampires Cave is a collection of four featurettes that focus on the production design, the original concept of having the film revolve around younger vampires, the blend of humor and horror, and the possibility of a sequel to the film. While these are brief, the piece focusing on the potential sequel brings up several incredibly brilliant ideas including one that would revolve around a group of girls who are vampires.

Vamping Out: The Creations of Greg Cannom is a fascinating look at the conceptual art that makeup artist Greg Cannom did for the film. It is a nice way to see the process from start to finish and is easily one of the most interesting features on the new special edition. Haimster and Feldog is a four-minute piece that looks at the legacy that is the "two Coreys". The pair discuss their work on this film as well as numerous other projects they have worked on.

Finally the original theatrical trailer is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Surround, the Lost in the Shadows music video by Lou Gramm, and a 75-image photo gallery round out the extra features.

Extras Grade: B+


Final Comments

While having The Lost Boys on DVD was enough to begin with, the fact that Warner has released it in a two-disc special edition is better still. Add a terrific transfer as well as a large number of special features and this disc goes down in the history of the format as one of the true "must haves" for any collection.


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