The 1980s were chock full of vampire films, from The Hunger (1983) and Fright Night (1985) to Once Bitten (1985) and Near Dark (1987). But very few of those films have stood the test of time quite like The Lost Boys. The dark teen-vamp film became a cult classic and consistently ranks high among the greatest vampire films of all time. Here are a few things you might not have known about the film that is still influencing the genre.
1. THE TOWN OF SANTA CARLA DOES NOT EXIST.
Landmarks shown throughout the film reveal its real-world location as being close to Santa Cruz, home to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California's oldest surviving amusement park. The Giant Dipper roller coaster opened there in 1924 and is still in operation today.
2. THE VAMPIRES WERE SUPPOSED TO BE MUCH YOUNGER.
The title of the film is a reference to Peter Pan’s Neverland clique of eternally young boys, and that influence was reflected in the screenplay. Executive producer Richard Donner brought Joel Schumacher onboard to direct, but Schumacher was not into the idea of making a “Goonies go vampire” film, so the vampires grew into older, model-types (including Billy Wirth, who was working as a model when he auditioned).
3. IT WAS THE BIRTH OF “THE TWO COREYS.”
Actors Corey Haim (Sam Emerson) and Corey Feldman (Edgar Frog) ruled the '80s as teen idols. The Lost Boys was the first of many films that they would appear in together before ultimately landing a reality show called The Two Coreys, which aired on A&E for two seasons beginning in 2007. Both former child stars had troubled careers and Haim struggled publicly with drug addiction before dying of pneumonia in 2010 at the age of 38.
“We just clicked, chemistry for ourselves,” Feldman told Larry King about their friendship during a CNN interview in 2010. “I've worked with a lot of great people through the years. And with Corey, you know, you set us in front of a camera and tell us to go and it just happens. And there's really no explaining that.”
4. COREY FELDMAN’S CHARACTER WAS INSPIRED BY THE ACTION STARS OF THE DAY.
In a special features interview, Feldman talked about getting the part and the direction he was given by Schumacher to help find the character of Edgar Frog. “Basically he gave me an order to go out and rent all of the Stallone movies and all the Chuck Norris movies, like Rambo and First Blood and Missing in Action ... [Schumacher] said ‘That is your character. I want you to meld all of these guys together and make something out of it.’ So that’s what I did.”
5. THERE WAS A ROB LOWE CONNECTION
On the back of the door in Sam's room, there is a random poster of actor Rob Lowe in full heartthrob mode, which fans often point to when discussing the film's homoerotic undertones. The connection between Rob Lowe and The Lost Boys is Joel Schumacher, who also wrote and directed St. Elmo's Fire (1985), in which a young Lowe played a saxophonist. There is also a Sixteen Candles (1984) poster in the room, which featured Jami Gertz (Star) as Robin.
6. BEN STILLER WAS ALMOST A LOST BOY.
Schumacher said that he and legendary casting director Marion Dougherty sat through lots of auditions with hopeful young actors before finding the final cast; according to Ben Stiller, he was was of those fresh faces. People reported that at the 2010 Hollywood Life Young Hollywood Awards, Stiller said “the last time I saw a room full of so many talented faces was when I auditioned for The Lost Boys ... it was between me, and Kiefer, and the two Coreys.” It is unclear whether or not Stiller was joking about the audition, but he is the same age as the stars, so it's feasible that he and several other now-famous actors answered that mid-1980s casting call.
7. THE “SEXY SAX MAN” IS A TRAINED COMPOSER AND MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST.
During a random but memorable beach scene, teens are shown head-banging to a live concert by an oiled-up muscle man pretending to play the saxophone. The actor—credited as “Beach Concert Star,” but commonly referred to as “Sexy Sax Man”—is Timmy Cappello, a musician who trained at the New England Conservatory of Music after dropping out of school at the age of 15. Cappello also trained under jazz pianist Lennie Tristano, before going on to perform with numerous musicians in the 1980s, including Peter Gabriel, Carly Simon, and Tina Turner, with whom he toured for 15 years.
Cappello said in an interview that he was offered the role in The Lost Boys by Schumacher after missing out on a part in Beverly Hills Cop II. The two-hour acting gig became a lasting part of Cappello’s life and place in pop culture, to the point that it was parodied in one of Saturday Night Live’s Digital Shorts in 2010.
8. THE SONG "CRY LITTLE SISTER" WAS A HIT.
Written by Gerard McMann and Michael Mainieri specifically for the 1987 soundtrack, the song with lyrics like "Black house will rock, blind boys don't lie" reached number 15 on the Billboard 200 list and has been sampled by several rappers, including Eminem, Jim Jones, Lil B, Mobb Deep, and Joe Budden.
9. IT INSPIRED ONE OF THE BEST VAMPIRE SHOWS OF ALL TIME.
Fans of the Joss Whedon-helmed television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and its extended universe) regard it as the pinnacle of vampire depictions in pop culture, but Whedon has admitted to borrowing ideas from the cult classic film. “The idea of them looking like monsters and then looking like people, that was in [The] Lost Boys, and that was very useful for us,” Whedon told Salon. “You could have somebody fool you, or someone like Angel seem like he’s not a vampire and then he is one.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Whedon revealed that the overall look for the Buffy character Spike was also inspired by Schumacher’s film. “There's a little Billy Idol, a little Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys, and every guy in a black coat.”