Corey Haim Died Two Years Ago: Let's Talk About The Lost Boys
Saturday was the second anniversary of the death of 1980s teen heartthrob, Corey Haim. We loved Corey Haim. We loved him in everything he did (right up until 1990, at least). We loved his boyish good looks, his inability to ever close his mouth and his off-set, bad boy reputation.
We loved his touching portrayal of a young, sensitive nerd in Lucas (with Charlie Sheen!). We loved his comedic performance in the ridiculously over the top teen car movie, License to Drive (with Heather Graham!). We even loved him in insane rollerblading romp, Prayer of the Rollerboys (with Patricia Arquette!) -- and that movie was awful. But most of all, we loved him in The Lost Boys, a 1987 classic that should be watched by every human being on the planet, at least once.
For those of you uninterested giving up 90 minutes of your life to do so, we have prepared a (tragically detailed) plot synopsis, so you too can fully understand the glory of this thing. This is for you, Corey Haim. We will always love you. R.I.P., buddy.
The Lost Boys
Corey Haim and his stunning array of dayglo '80s clothing move from Phoenix to "Santa Carla" (it's transparently Santa Cruz, but whatever) with his big brother (Jason Patric), his mom (Diane Wiest), and his dog Nanook. Once there and living with their crazy taxidermist grandpa, Jason Patric befriends a gang of be-mulleted teen vampire rebels on motorcycles (keep up!), led by Keifer Sutherland and followed by the one from Bill & Ted that isn't Keanu Reeves.
After finding out that Santa Carla is "the murder capital of the world," the brothers decide to go to the boardwalk to watch Tina Turner's oily be-spandexed saxophonist perform. During the show, Jason Patric spots a girl in the crowd with huge hair and flowing skirts and gives chase, so Corey Haim enters a comic book store with his collar popped and gets called a "fashion victim."
The two brothers that run the store -- Corey Feldman and some other dude -- warn Corey Haim about vampires, utterly unprompted. Meanwhile, a man with huge shoulder pads gives Diane Wiest a job in a video store (VHS! Cutting edge technology!).
The following night Jason Patric finds Big Hair Lady -- her name turns out to be "Staaaaaarr" -- and has a stilted, irritating conversation with her. Then the vampires show up and make Jason Patric do a motorcycle race with them down some stairs, across the beach, under a pier, through a forest and to the edge of a cliff (because all of those things live next door to each other in nature).
Jason Patric tries to fight Kiefer Sutherland, but instead inexplicably goes back to the gang's cave instead, where the vampires strut around like they're in a Poison video, before feeding Jason Patric an array of worms, maggots, and, yes, Kiefer Sutherland's blood. All the while, they are watched by a giant Jim Morrison poster. The gang dances like it's a Motley Crue video (Dr Feelgood era). Staaaaaarr looks concerned. But she's kind of just got one of those faces, we think. Also, there's a 7-year-old boy there. Weird.
Jason Patric goes for a walk with the vampires and watches them all jump off a bridge. So he does too. Which is nuts because we're pretty sure there's a commonly known Zen parable about that very specific issue and the lesson is that only stupid people without a mind of their own would do such a thing. How are we supposed to sympathize with this ass-clown?
Jason Patric develops a bad attitude -- we know this because his ear is now pierced, he's wearing sunglasses in the house, and Corey Haim accuses him of "watching too much Dynasty." (Who wouldn't? That show was amazing!)
One night, Corey Haim is in the midst of taking a bubble bath (like a girl) when Nanook (the dog, remember?) attacks Jason Patric for opening the bathroom door (seems reasonable -- privacy issues and all that). When Corey emerges, he notices Jason Patric no longer has a reflection (awkward!) and utters the greatest line in the whole movie: "My own brother! A goddamn shit-sucking vampire! Oh, you wait 'til mom finds out, buddy!"
Haim then calls Corey Feldman for advice (who would call Corey Feldman for advice?!) -- which turns out to be "get a garlic T-shirt" (useful) -- then Jason Patric wakes up stuck to his ceiling and promptly falls out the window.
When Corey Haim sees Jason Patric floating outside his window he shouts "You're a vampire!" Jason unconvincingly replies "No I'm not!" so Corey shouts "So what are you? The flying nun?" (This movie is really, really awesome.) Corey drags Jason inside and promises not to tell Diane Wiest even though "it's not like getting a D in school or something."
Jason Patric runs to the cave to find Staaaaaarr who whines and whimpers for a minute, before the two of them collapse into bed, in a writhing array of flexed muscles, naked backs, and net curtains.
Meanwhile, Diane Wiest tries to leave some wine on the doorstep of her shoulder-padded boss, only to be attacked by his dog. Haim concludes that the dog is "a hound from hell" (naturally) and seeks counsel from Feldman and bro. They conclude Shoulder Pads is the head vampire and that they must kill him if Jason Patric is to go back to being human, instead of his current status as a half-vampire. (You don't go full-blown 'til you eat someone. Just so we're clear.)
Shoulder Pads comes over for dinner where the Coreys feed him garlic, throw water on his crotch, and stick a mirror in his face (the kids are seriously lacking discipline in this household). Because Shoulder Pads has a reflection, the boys decide to go on a killing spree instead. But not before the vampires do -- chomping down on the heads of some perfectly lovely Aerosmith/Run-DMC fans. Keifer Sutherland tells Jason Patric he "must feed," backed by some really dramatic poses from the vampires (like a band promo shot) and some, frankly, stunning organ music. Jason resists and goes home (what a wuss!).
That night, Corey Haim tells Jason Patric "I'm basically a good kid, so don't kill me" (seriously -- he gets all the best lines in this thing). Staaaaaarr arrives and flies up to Corey's room and whines and whimpers some more. Christ, she's annoying. And also a "half vampire," like Jason Patric -- again, just so we're clear. Corey Haim yells "Don't kill anybody until we get back to you!" as she's flying out the window. Genius.
The Coreys, plus Jason Patric, head to the vampire cave. Patric picks up Staaaaaarr (moaning again, naturally) and the 7-year-old, puts them in the car outside, and promptly passes out. (This guy is useless!)
The Coreys then find the vampires all hanging upside down with their hair extensions extended and blowing in the breeze. (Hot.) Feldman stakes the dude from Bill & Ted and everyone gets covered in guts. Keifer chases the boys out of the cave, but his hand catches fire the second it's exposed to daylight. He cries a little bit and growls a lot.
Shoulder Pads and Diane Wiest have dinner. Blah.
A montage commences (yes! we love those!), soundtracked by triumphant trumpet-based music, during which the Coreys steal holy water from a church, get grandpa out of the house, crush garlic, put holy water in the bath (how did they carry all that home on their BMXs?) and put tables up against windows. No one remembers to get the bloody dog in the house, though, until about three seconds before the vampires arrive to kill everyone. (These kids are idiots.)
A vampire shoots out of the floor of the fireplace (how did he get in there?) and kicks Jason Patric in the face, knocking him out immediately (again: this guy is useless). A random array of items explode in the living room for no good reason whatsoever. Corey Feldman and his brother find a vampire in a fishnet shirt upstairs (nice), discover garlic doesn't work on the undead, so throw him in the bath of holy water instead. He melts. Then, for -- again -- no discernable reason whatsoever, the sinks come loose from the wall and commence spewing blood fountains. Oh. And the toilet explodes. As does the kitchen sink. And all the other pipes in the house. (Makes perfect sense.)
Corey Haim, in the living room, shoots a vampire with a teeny tiny bow and arrow. The arrow, naturally, is powerful enough to go straight through the vampire, propel him halfway across the room, and impale him onto a red boombox, which immediately starts playing and exploding simultaneously. The song conveniently stops playing as soon as the vampire's hands and head have blown up. (That's how stereos operated in the '80s.)
Corey Haim pops upstairs just as Keifer Sutherland pushes Jason Patric down them. Corey Haim doesn't stop or turn around or anything! That selfish bastard! The Coreys commence a bedroom meeting, during which the 7-year-old half-vampire bursts through the bed and starts screaming, all fanged up. As the boys go in for the attack, Staaaaaarr intervenes -- you've guessed it! -- whining at everyone. (Seriously, we would want someone to push this woman out of the window if we didn't know she could fly.)
Downstairs, Jason Patric does battle in mid-air with Keifer Sutherland in full vampire face. (Thank God grandpa's house has such high ceilings!) Patric skewers Sutherland on some conveniently placed antlers, which sets off a smoke bomb of some kind in Sutherland's jacket.
Shoulder Pads and Diane Wiest arrive home. Shoulder Pads makes an unprompted, Columbo-esque confession to being the head vampire and explains he was immune to the early vampire tests because he was invited into the house. (Man! The holes in this plot!) Staaaaaarr's hair is blowing in the wind, even though she's inside the house. This happened a lot during the '80s.
Shoulder Pads throws Jason Patric through a banister, Staaaaaarr to the ground, and grabs Corey Haim (who is nobly shouting "Don't you touch my mother!" and flailing around with his tiny lady arms). Just as Shoulder Pads is about to persuade Diane to become a vampire, grandpa arrives home and (utterly unprompted) drives his truck straight through the side of his own house into the living room, managing to simultaneously avoid running over everyone in there and propel a giant stake through the torso of Shoulder Pads, who promptly turns into a massive cloud of flames.
Staaaaaarr cries and hugs the 7-year-old, safe in the knowledge that they are no longer half-vampires. Diane Wiest smiles like this is all perfectly normal. Grandpa exclaims "One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stand. All the damn vampires." (He knew all along!)
And that is why:
(a) The Lost Boys is infinitely better than teen vampire series today, and
(b) Why Corey Haim movies are awesome.
Next year, we'll do Prayer of the Rollerboys for you. It's quite the treat.