The Lost Boys – Celebrating 30 Years

One night in the late 1980s, a babysitter came round to look after me. In her bag, I spotted a VHS that had me immediately entranced. I begged and pleaded to watch it but the babysitter was boring responsible and said no. Kiefer Sutherland’s face looked menacing, in a cool way, but despite my young age I knew I had to see this film.

I was an odd child, fascinated by darkness, magic and the supernatural. My Mum used to worry I’d jump out of a window because I wanted to fly so badly. I’d constantly take out the same book from the library – Usborne Guide to the Supernatural World. It had sections on werewolves and ghosts but what I’d re-read the most was the chapter on vampires. Like a lot of kids at that time, I’d devour Point Horror books and the Nightmares series. Once I hit my teens, I progressed to Christopher Pike and Stephen King’s short stories. Instead of dressing up as a pretty princess when little, I’d wear a long black cloak, use an old encyclopaedia as a spell-book, and pretend I was an evil sorceress. It’s no surprise I eventually became a goth with a love of horror movies.

On the 31st of July, The Lost Boys will be 30 years old. A few years after harassing my babysitter, I finally watched it and instantly fell in love. I had the biggest crush on David (Kiefer Sutherland), it was funny, 80s-tastic, had a mulleted biker gang of vampires and an oiled up Tim Cappello on sax. I watched it so many times that I lost count. Every single time, I’d throw my hands up at Star for not wanting to join the ‘blood-sucking Brady Bunch’. Really, who wouldn’t want to be an 80s biker vampire slaughtering douchebag surfers?!

I created a small shrine in my bedroom and used MS Paint to create a Lost Boys logo poster to stick on my wall, along with the cast pictures that came with the special edition VHS and song lyrics. I was a little obsessed. There was no Amazon or Spotify back then, so it was a good day when I finally found a copy of the soundtrack. That too got played to death. Cry Little Sister was a firm favourite, along with Lost In The Shadows, I Still Believe and Beauty Has Her Way.

In the mid-90s, I went on holiday to California and managed to persuade family to go to Santa Cruz, the filming location for the fictional Santa Carla. It was surreal being there and going on rides featured in the film – the wooden rollercoaster, the carousel, as well as finding the shop they used as the comic store. I returned ten years later to see it all again.

In recent years, I met Alex Winter (one of the biker vamps and Bill from the most excellent Bill and Ted films). I thought I’d be chilled but I was instantly starstruck and gushed about my Lost Boys obsession. Thankfully he was really sweet and is probably used to awkward geeks like me approaching him.

I can’t write a post about The Lost Boys without mentioning the other 1987 vampire film celebrating its 30th birthday this year. Near Dark didn’t trigger the same addiction for me but it’s another movie I’ve watched numerous times since my teenage years. It’s darker, more mature and atmospheric, and often overlooked. Severen (Bill Paxton) is another one of my favourite vampires.

Over the next few days, we’ll be picking a night to double bill these films. I’ll order in some Chinese noodles, quote lines back at the TV and sing along to the soundtrack. And to those who have never seen this movie – “Initiation’s over, readers. Time to join the club!.”

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