Saturday 11 August 2012

Review: The Lost Boys

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

The Lost Boys poster

The Lost Boys
@Caversham Court Gardens Summer Screens
97 mins / Dir. Joel Schumacher

Well if the major distributors won't release any films during the sports day period, I'll just have to go elsewhere for my cinematic entertainment, won't I? How about an summer-evening outdoor screening of a film that I used to watch religiously*1 during my formative late-teens? Deckchairs and Pinot Grigio? Go on, then.

'And I realise… I'm going home'

About twenty minutes amble from Reading station, lies Caversham Court Gardens, home to a Summer's worth of outdoor classic viewing. Ten earth pounds buys you a deckchair to watch a movie that you've probably got at home anyway, but you maybe never got to see on a big screen before. Back projected in hi-def onto an inflatable-framed screen, accompanied by a sound-system that's quite impressive given it's outside, and assisted by a not-unreasonably-priced bar.

9pm arrives, dusk strikes, and a single bat fluttering above the trees heralds the Warner Bros logo onscreen…

That's the sound of 200 people in deckchairs, grinning…

As is often the case with classics, I can't review The Lost Boys objectively because I've watched it too often. In fairness, I hadn't seen it for three or four years, but I still knew every line, every cue, every wiggle of Jami Gertz…

Let's be honest, this isn't a good film, is it? You remember it as the counter-culture cornerstone of the 1980's that it rightfully is. You remember the clothes, the soundtrack, the effortless cool. You remember that there was a character you wanted to have, and a character you wanted to be

But do you remember the clichéd script, delivered terribly by people who couldn't act properly yet, and allowed to do so by a director for whom 'style over substance' is a bullet-point at the top of his CV? Do you remember how immensely irritating Lucy, the boys' mother, is? Do you remember looking at the vampire-pack, and thinking that they obviously cast Kiefer Sutherland for his charisma, Brook McCarter and Billy Wirth for their looks, and then wondering how the hell Alex Winter slipped through the net? Do you remember how overly-soundtracked the film is, and you thought 'wow, I have to buy this!', and you got the CD/tape/record home and realised there's two, maybe three good tracks on the whole thing?

In all honesty, and with the best will in the world, this shouldn't work. And yet it's fantastic. Way more than the sum of its parts, it's a textbook time-capsule of a film. We took it seriously at the time, just as the characters in the story do. Standing on the outside now, we can see how ridiculous it all is, but there's so much charm that it doesn't matter. Like a child who hasn't grasped the telling of a joke, the flaws in the delivery only make it more endearing.

Home time.

And is it just me that thinks in the scene at the end, when Max has his vampire face on*2, he looks like he's being played by Anton Rodgers? He'd have been fucking awesome in that role.


…enough said.

*1 That's barely even an exaggeration, sadly.
*2 Yeah, spoilers. Sorry.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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