Category Archives: Fresh Eyes

Fresh Eyes: The Lost Boys (1987)

FRESH EYES is a series where Kyle watches highly acclaimed horror films for the first time.

Lost-Boys-posterStarring: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Dianne West

Directed by Joel Schumacher

Format: DVD

Tagline: “Sleep All Day. Party All Night. Never Grow Old. Never Die. It’s Fun To Be A Vampire.”

“Sam and his older brother Michael are average, everyday teens. But after they move with their mother to peaceful Santa Clara, California, things mysteriously begin to change. Michael’s not himself lately. And Mom’s not going to like what he’s turning into.

The Lost Boys reshapes vampire tradition, deftly mixing heart-pounding terror, rib-tickling laughs, and a body-gyrating rock soundtrack.”

If my memory serves me right, I think my aunt got me this flick as a gift one year. We may have been at a horror convention when the topic came up that I had never seen The Lost Boys. It has sat on the shelf for at least six years. For years, I had some sort of negative relationship to the idea of watching The Lost Boys. Not quite sure where it came from; it might have been my aversion to vampire films, it might have been my aversion to Corey Feldman, it might have been me being told “oh dude, you GOTTA see Lost Boys!” If there is something I hate(d), it’s being told that I HAVE to see something. I have since grown some from that and those negative feelings towards the film have seemingly faded, I’m ready to go in with FRESH EYES.

LostBoysTitle.gif

Thoughts:

  • Is the name of this amusement park Mullet Mountain?Kiefer
  • Oh man, I forgot that vampires fly.
  • Honestly, I think the last vampire movie I watched was Near Dark like, two years ago.
  • “If you read the TV Guide, you don’t need a TV.” Speak on it, Grandpa.
  • Oh shit, I’ve heard so much about the “I Still Believe” saxophonist. It’s happening right in front of my face and it’s glorious.
  • Dude, the Santa Carla pier is LIT.
  • Lost Boys? Found ’em.
  • David is the dude. His facial hair is on point.
  • I love that this woman is laughing maniacally while reading a “Sad Sack” comic.
  • Alright, Feldman as Edgar Frog is kinda dope.
  • Did kids in the 80s think that this was what California beach life was all about?
  • Michael did NOT learn anything from the DARE program. The peer pressure is TOO REAL.
  • Michael, man, you’ve been a real jerk ever since you hung out with those bikers.
  • I’m all for Edward Hermann’s look. Max LostBoys
  • Damn, this “Cry Little Sister” song is dope.
  • “Kill your brother, you’ll feel better.”
  • Alright, why was Alex Winter the first?
  • Grandpa is the best.
  • I want to live in the Santa Carla Video Store.
  • The Frog Brothers going to church made me laugh out loud.
  • They are straight Home Alone-ing this house, how rad.
  • Oh damn, “Death By Stereo” was dope.
  • I thought Max would be more upset about his familial dilemma. But whatever.
  • How BAD did kids want to be the Frog Brothers in ’87?frogbros
  • This cover of “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” during the credits is FIRE.

 

The Verdict:

I once wrote a piece about how being a horror fan of my generation (born in ’91) can be difficult because the prior generation was around during the second “Golden Age” of horror, so they remember and lived through the films that modern horror fans celebrate. The Lost Boys fell into the category where I found it difficult to relate, or want to relate, to the film. It’s an 80s-kid adventure film with vampires and this dreamlike sense of things that I thought I couldn’t relate to. My serious interest in horror came post-9/11. And while I’ve come to enjoy many a horror film from past generations, I didn’t think The Lost Boys was gonna do it for me. But what a well-made, clever and genuinely fun flick. I was afraid the 80s cheese was going to be over the top, but there was a masterful balance between comedy, action and horror. That balance, along with the smart vampire nuances and misdirection, made for a really tight film. For me, there weren’t any eye-rolling moments or scoffs; The Lost Boys felt really fresh and pure. On par with films like Fright Night and Near Dark. Maybe my aversion to vampire flicks is waning. Or maybe I’m just picking some good ones and leaving plenty of space between. As you can see, I didn’t have many “thoughts” while watching because I was so intrigued by the film. But this verdict, man, I get it now. I get why people love this film so much. I can only imagine what it would’ve been like watching it as a kid in ’87, it would’ve blown my mind! It could’ve easily have been my favorite movie at that time. Thanks, Auntie, for getting me this movie. Sorry it took me so long to watch it.

Fresh Eyes: Halloween II (1981)

FRESH EYES is a series where Kyle watches highly acclaimed horror films for the first time.

HalloweenIIStarring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Dick Warlock

Directed by Rick Rosenthal

Format: Blu-Ray

“Picking up exactly where the first film left off, Halloween II follows the same ill-fated characters as they once again encounter the knife-wielding maniac they thought they had left for dead. It seems the inhuman Michael Myers is still very much alive and out for more revenge as he stalks the deserted halls of the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. As he gets closer to his main target, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) discovers the chilling mystery behind the crazed psychopath’s actions.”

Halloween II was never really on my “To Watch” list. I loved the first film and didn’t really care enough to explore the rest of the franchise. Or I would’ve watched the rest, but never wanted to spend the money on them. It wasn’t until I went to HorrorHound’s Jamie Lee Curtis event in 2012 that I found interest in the film (along with the rest of the franchise). So, that Christmas I received Scream Factory’s release of Halloween II and I STILL haven’t gotten around to it…until now.

Honestly, I don’t know a lot about the film. So here goes nothing.

My Thoughts:

  • Like, I get it, but I’m just so in love with the original score that dropping it in the flashback is a bummer.
  • Though I did like seeing The Shape fall off of the balcony.
  • So much evil was radiating off of his body that he left a complete print in the grass
  • “You don’t know what death is!” And then Loomis should have shot the neighbor and blamed it on Michael.
  • WHOA THAT OPENING CREDIT SEQUENCE.
  • How confused must the old lady be that just had her knife stolen by the boogeyman?
  • News spreads fast, man. The radio is already reporting about the murders?
  • Razorblades in candy, that might be the scariest thing in this movie so far. That’s not a gripe, that’s just scary to me in general.
  • Laurie is mad popular amongst the hospital crowd, and that’s before they even know what she’s in for.
  • That’s right, Loomis and Brackett should leave that police officer alone to watch the burning body of the boy he just killed. You think about what you’ve done.
  • Jimmy just walked in to Laurie’s hospital room while she rests. Jimmy’s gonna touch boobs, I think.

Halloween2 Laurie and Jimmy

  • Nevermind.
  • Loomis can’t catch a break. He’s just one man trying to protect a town from evil.
  • Wow, great mirror shot with Visitor Parking.
  • Dude, I could go for a pizza too. So on point.
  • Michael, you’re not a baby. Whatcha doing in the maternity ward?!
  • Jimmy, you’re an employee, not a hoodlum. Abide by the hospital rules even though you seem like a good dude so far.
  • Oh man, that wide shot with “Happy Halloween” so clearly through the hospital room door. Beautiful.
  • Dumpster cats, they’ll get you every time. Hey, it’s better than dumpster babies. Sorry. I’m sorry. SORRY.
  • Mr. Garrett, why would anyone be in the storage closet when the padlock (though it’s unlocked) is keeping the doors closed?
  • Wait, I know Michael has supernatural powers (kind of), but how did he get to the hospital so fast?
  • Mother of God, Ben Tramer.
  • So wait, there are no other patients in this hospital? Not one? I love the tone that it sets but c’mon.
  • Aw shit, that flashback though.
  • Oh god, nah dude. Not that hydrotherapy tub. Nope.
  • “Sam Hain?” Lol.
  • Michael Myers’ knowledge of the medical field is astounding.

halloween-ii

  • When Michael stabs pillows, cue “WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN.”
  • Everything is so dreamlike. Michael waling down the half-lit hospital corridor. So good.
  • I wouldn’t say that all hope is lost when Loomis leaves, he wasn’t doing too much to begin with. I love the guy, but he’s just no help.
  • RIP Laurie Strode’s ankle.
  • Rule of thumb, I suggest never going towards the red light, or using an elevator during an emergency.
  • Secret Myers file? Dope. Laurie is Michael’s sister? Doper.
  • C’mon Strode, find your inner strength.
  • We know that bullets don’t work, Loomis. I just don’t trust it.
  • I know that both Halloween and Halloween II use the same mask, but I love the way this one looks. It’s always lit interestingly and the shape of it on Dick Warlock’s head looks SO good.
  • Loomis has to go down with the ship, just like any captain.
  • Michael coming out of the fire, though.

The Verdict:

You know, it’s a slow film. Sometimes it just drags on and on. An empty hospital can only be filled with so much, you know? But the film is filled with more violence and gore in order to keep up with the changing tides in horror filmmaking, and I can’t help but kind of like that. When judging the film, you have to try to look at Halloween and Halloween II as separately as you can. And Halloween II is a slower paced, low-key slasher movie. The purpose of Fresh Eyes isn’t to look at something like Halloween II on its own too much, though, because it’s important to horror fans due to its placement within a franchise. Nothing will be Halloween, I certainly never expected this to, and Halloween II is probably the best film that could have followed up the original.

New Feature: Fresh Eyes

Hey there everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything for The Leftovers. Life’s been crazy. I graduated from Syracuse, I got married, I moved to California and finished my documentary Fantasm. Needless to say, I haven’t been visiting the forgotten gems of my movie collection recently. Or if I have, I’ve been too busy to write about them for this blog. I’ve continued my writing for The Miscreant zine, where there have been Leftovers posts included in various issues. I’ve also started writing for iHorror.com, which has been a blast.

Thinking a lot about horror, as I do, has sparked a bit of inspiration to return to this blog where I wrote a lot of my first…anything. Horror has this sort of “street cred” thing going on sometimes where you can not be a good horror fan if you haven’t seen this movie, or if you like so-and-so, etc. I really hate that. I don’t like being called out because I haven’t seen all of Child’s Play 2. By being a part of a community where most of the fans had their initial horror experiences before I was even born has made me feel like an outsider at times. And to be an outsider to something you love with a deep passion, sucks. It just sucks.

Recently though, I’ve come to terms and learned to embrace this “outsider” status. Which, in all honesty, is not an outsider status so much as it is not a widely recognized point-of-view. And I’m ready to admit more widely that I HAVEN’T SEEN A LOT OF “CLASSIC” HORROR MOVIES. I’m working to remedy this NOT to be more accepted by the horror community because, despite its occasional cockeyed look at my POV, the community will ALWAYS accept me and others. But I want to learn more about horror, the history of its fandom and why we consider this films staples of the genre.

So, I will include a new column on The Leftovers called FRESH EYES where I take a look at these notable horror titles with a clear perspective with little expectations besides the knowledge that the horror community embraces them. Some titles I plan to cover include Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Gremlins, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Halloween II, and a bunch more.

Stay tuned,

Kyle

Fresh Eyes