The Lost Boys is a snapshot of ’80s cool, complete with big hair, rad music, leather jackets, and a rebellious spirit. This vampire horror comedy follows brothers Michael and Sam Emerson as they move from Phoenix to Santa Clara, California with their mother. The Emerson brothers quickly find themselves in trouble after Michael’s brush with a few biker bros results in him becoming a half-vampire. He fits the attractive rebel teen protagonist trope but this story is actually rooted in nerdiness. In fact, The Lost Boys is really about three nerds and their mission to defeat vampires using comic book knowledge.
Sam’s first solo stop in his new city is at the local comic shop where me meets brothers Edgar and Alan Frog. His in-depth comic book knowledge quickly mitigates their initial intimidation efforts and builds an instant connection. The Frog brothers recognize another true king, so they waste no time giving him a Vampires Everywhere! comic that will allegedly “save his life.” Sam brushes off their weirdness but he comes back to the shop and gets another vampire comic suggestion with their contact information. The Frog brothers reveal their ultimate goal—to be fighters for “truth, justice, and the American way.”
Edgar and Alan are unlike most horror film doomsayers and conspiracy theorists who give unheeded warnings about impending death and destruction. Those roles tend to be filled with vagabonds, brilliant scientists, and people perceived to be mentally unstable but this time the warnings are from kid comic geeks. However, the Frog brothers are undoubtedly outsiders who would be excluded from David and his crew’s inner circle. So, their mission to take down these vampires is almost like dismantling a social hierarchy that labels them as strange outcasts.
Thankfully, the Frog brothers are intriguing enough to make Sam check out their comic suggestions. His timing is impeccable as he reads it during Michael’s inadvertent vampire initiation. If Sam hadn’t read the comic, he would have likely killed his own brother during their first post-vampire encounter. Instead, Sam runs from Michael and goes straight to the Frog brothers for answers. He also uses his comic knowledge to conclude that Michael wouldn’t be a full vampire until he fed on his first victim.
This is a big turning point for the movie. Michael starts to become more of an audience surrogate than a protagonist as he asks a dozen questions. He’s clueless about how to save himself and can’t even do a proper investigation without having sex with Star. Oh, Michael. So, Sam and the Frog brothers form a formidable yet bumbling hero trio.
Their head vampire investigation obviously starts with examining the comics for clues. All signs point to Max, the new boyfriend of Sam’s mom and leads to a hilariously failed vampire litmus test over spaghetti. In the end, Sam, Alan, and Frog’s initial instincts are proven correct during an epic final showdown complete with garlic and holy water baths, bow and arrow action, and a few strokes of good fortune.
The Frog brothers’ mission to defend America saves Santa Clara from a complete vampire takeover. And, Sam’s love for comics give him the answers he needs to save his family from a blood sucking eternity. So, The Lost Boys real story isn’t about a group of boys who live forever but the merits of being a comic book geek. Read a comic book, save a life!
Image Credit: Warner Bros.