Remembering The Lost Boys (And Other Vampire Films)

In honor of the weekend festivities, costume parties and jaunts through neighborhoods with your children – there are some movies we should revisit from films past that were just plain good flicks for this occasion.   So it seemed only appropriate for all you horror aficionados out there to take a moment to remember some of the great vampire films that you might want to revisit to kick off this traditionally horrific holiday.  Please note, this list is not by any means exhaustive, but we have done our best not to include anything that glistens in the sun. The Lost Boys – This film goes back to a time when we were in love with the Corey’s, and Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland were the epitome of cool.  The film revolves around a down on her luck woman who is forced to move her two sons (Sam and Mike) to Santa Carla, the Vampire Capital of the world, to live with her eccentric father. It isn’t long before Mike discovers a clan of vampires and starts to exhibit signs that he might have been turned into one after a night of crazy antics that climaxes with a daredevil drop into the abyss beneath a railroad bridge.  Sam soon enlists the help of the Frog brothers that begins the hunt for vampires that concludes with the discovery that the head vampire is the person that they least and most expected to be the leader of the Lost Boys.  And though it would be years before there were sequels, maybe that was always a good thing.  There really never was a need to revisit the franchise that not only gave us a great soundtrack, but locks both Corey Haim and Corey Feldman in a time where we most like to remember them. Fright Night – Before there was Marcy Darcy from Married with Children, Amanda Bearse played Amy Peterson in Fright Night. Fright Night is the story of the vampire next door.  When Charlie Brewster discovers that Jerry Dandridge is a vampire, he enlists the help of a late night television host and vampire slayer (albeit the fictional vampire hunter at best) to stop Jerry from taking any more victims.  Jerry takes Charlie’s girlfriend captive as she plays the doppelganger of one of Jerry’s former loves as well as Charlie’s current girlfriend.  If you’re a fan of vampire’s bursting into flames, this one is for you.  While Fright Night is definitely one of those movies that was campy to be sure, it was fun nonetheless. Near Dark – Who doesn’t like a movie starring Bill Paxton?  Set in Oklahoma, Near Dark, further explores the dangers with falling in love with strange young drifters.  When Caleb meets Mae and receives a love bite that begins his transformation from human to vampire, Caleb discovers that the cure lies in getting a blood transfusion.  Yeah, I know…it’s almost as ridiculous as vampires who glisten.  But as intriguing as a trailer park vampire story can be, this movie is memorable for vampires who catch fire in the sun.  Definitely a must rent. From Dusk Till Dawn – When Quentin Tarantino makes a vampire film, it’s a vampire film that only Quentin Tarantino would make.  This story is one part gangster film and one part vampire movie mixed in with a touch of a western.  When Seth and Richie Gecko flee from the law, they run into an unsuspecting family who they force to take them on Mexican rendezvous – the only thing they need to do is make sure they meet their contact at dawn.  The only problem is that the strip bar they stop at is a home for vampires.  Now the question isn’t whether or not they will make their appointment, but whether or not they will live through the night.  If you like Tarantino films, this is a slight departure, but teaming up with Robert Rodriguez helped make this a classic. Blade – Combining martial arts and the vampire genre is what makes Blade great.  The story revolves around Blade, who is half human and half vampire, result of being born of a woman infected with vampirism. The result?  Blade.  And while he detests his thirst, he benefits from all of their strengths and can walk around in the day light.  With the help of Whistler, Blade controls his urges through temporary injections that curb his appetite while they hunt vampires.  This all leads to a climax with an ambitious new world vampire, Deacon Frost, and a showdown that was definitely a game changer in vampire action films. If you’re like me, I think there are plenty of reasonable alternatives besides the films on this list.  These were just some of the ones that I can tirelessly go back to when I’m in search of a good vampire flick.  So tell me readers.  What are some of your favorites?  Please feel free to comment and let us know some of your favorites and why.  We look forward to reading your thoughts!

By Paul Stamat


2 comments on “Remembering The Lost Boys (And Other Vampire Films)
  1. Garrick - October 29, 2010 at 11:01 am

    LOL….I forgot about Fright Night. Another that I might have put on the list is Copolla’s “Brahm Stoker’s Dracula” from 1992 with Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Anthony Hopkins, Cary Elwes, Billy Campbell, and even Monica Belluci. Sure, it’s a little bit hokey in parts, and Keanu is in full wooden display, but it’s a classic. Maybe it’s just because I was 18 years old and, like the rest of us, in love with Winona Ryder at the time, but I’ve always loved the movie. And it was my first introduction to the glory of Gary Oldman.

    As for Near Dark, I recently caught that one in the middle of the night and couldn’t tear away from it despite a need for sleep. It’s directed by James Cameron’s ex-wife (who just won the Best Director Oscar for Hurt Locker), which may explain why three of the vampires also happen to be from the cast of Aliens, highlighted by Paxton and a typically creepy Lance Henrickson. It was different, that’s for sure. Those guys were brutal.

    By the way, please avoid James Carpenter’s Vampires with James Woods. My god was that bad.

  2. Erick - October 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Check out the sequel to Vampires, the one that stars Bon Jovi. It makes the first one look like Citizen Kane.