Remember when Joel Schumacher made good films and it was cool to have tassels on your leather jacket? Well Lost Boys is back, and this time in Blu-ray. I am not going to rant at all about how bad Lost Boys 2 is; to me this utter piece of tripe of a movie is, like other cash-in sequels such as the Matrix and Highlander 2, dead to me film-wise. There can be (please excuse the pun) only one, and here, 21 years later, the classic teen vampire movie has aged, but like a good wine, has matured with time and tastes great.
Lost Boys was, at the time, the epitome of cool. It had comic books, the two Coreys, sax solos, the guy who wasn’t Keanu Reaves from Bill and Ted (Alex Winter), pastel and neon clothes and even Jack Bauer (yes, Kiefer had roles before he spent every week blowing out people’s knee caps) all rolled up into a glitzy, Americanised mash-up of western Californian cool. And while the hair, fashion and music has not dated well, the whole teen vibe of the film is as strong as it ever was.
Who has never wanted to hang out with the Frog Brothers, kill a vampire using water-pistols and a stereo or hang out with a cool crowd in a secret graffiti-covered cave? Yup, I can guarantee there is something that will hook you into Lost Boys that, in the same way as other 80s films like the Goonies, will want you there befriending the cast and fighting alongside them against the bad guys.
So, how do the now clichéd low sweeping camera shots full of all night partying and the carnival lights of Santa Clara glittering off the Pacific, come across in HD? Well, not too badly at all. As mentioned, the source material is two decades old, but many of the scenes, especially the ones based in the Vamps’ crypt, are significantly deeper and detailed, with every nook and cranny of their spray-canned cave, overlooked by the iconic Jim Morrison poster, bought into HD clarity.
However there are still some scenes that do suffer a little, especially those with either a lot of motion or contrast ,such as the bike chase and the first outing to the Santa Clara boardwalk. It also seems that some scenes have not really been given the technical TLC they should have. While scenes such as Grampa’s hippy garden has every (dubious) leafed plant shown in perfect detail, others do not fare so well and scenes such as Max’s video shop don’t seem to have had the care and attention they should have in the transfer process. Still such minor technical niggles shouldn’t take away from the near perfect 96 minutes of witty banter, solid acting and enjoyable teen horror fun.
One of the main features that makes the Lost Boys stand out is, of course, the soundtrack, presented on this disc in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. So whether your favourite track is the excellent cover version of the Doors’ People Are Strange, the melodic Cry Little Sister or classic sound of Terrace ‘Frogman’ Henry, the new mix provides a fantastic listening experience.
Extras-wise the disc is crammed, and while some of the extras you might have seen or listened to, or seen before on the DVD, the majority of the disc shows you how good this format can be for cramming in high quality extra content.
From the half hour documentary called the The Lost Boys: A Retrospective, which features both the production crew and cast members (including Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim, and Corey Feldman), and the fun you will have watching Lou Gramm’s Lost in the Shadows music video, to the interviews with the two Coreys, there is a lot packed onto this disc. It covers everything from vampire mythology and special effects to the social impact of the film. It’s all interesting and fascinating stuff, well presented and thoughtfully put together for Lost Boys fans.
The film itself, the transfer and the work that has gone into the extras, all go together well, and while there has been bigger, gorier and probably better produced vampire films since this movie hit the screens (and video shops), it’s still a superb film and a great example of, even with archive movies, what can be achieved in Blu-ray.