Thursday, October 14, 2010

30 Day Movie Meme: Day 13


Not gonna lie: I have a ton of films I could have just as easily chosen as my favourite guilty pleasure film. Other potential choices: Hook (1991), Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1988), Twister (1996), Beetlejuice (1988) and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).

But, in keeping with the "holiday spirit" of Halloween, I'll go with The Lost Boys (1987); that crazy little vampire movie from schlock-master director Joel Schumacher. Starring some of the biggest young stars of the 1980s, the film's popularity has endured, probably thanks in large part to its incredibly quotable dialogue. It also has a little bit of everything to keep audiences interested; horror, romance and comedy. Although there are some who argue the film hasn't aged well (you only need look to Rotten Tomatoes to find the evidence), I couldn't disagree more. If nothing else, it's a time capsule of a decade when big hair reigned supreme, kids listened to cassettes and teen movies weren't always ruled by raging hormones and nudity.

The Lost Boys is its own brand of fun. Say what you want about the film, but there isn't another movie quite like it. It's over-the-top, over-stylized and completely ridiculous. But it never pretends to be something it is not and for that it gets brownie points in my book. It's the Batman Forever of vampire films, taking the mythology around the "creatures of the night" and throwing in laughs along the way. Completely CGI-free, The Lost Boys instead relies on excellent make-up and actual stunt work.

The plot is straight-forward: Michael (Jason Patric), Sam (Corey Haim) and their single-mom, Lucy (Dianne Wiest), move to Santa Carla for a fresh start. Within hours of arriving, Michael makes enemies with David (Kiefer Sutherland), the head of a motorcycle-riding vampire gang. Sam enlists the help of the Frog brothers, Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander), to help him save his brother, Michael, from becoming a vampire. Self-proclaimed vampire hunters, the Frog brothers are the teenaged dimwit equivalent of Van Helsing.

Watch it for the cheese-tastic soundtrack, the vibrant clothing, 1980s pop culture references and some great vampire fight scenes. Did I mention the two Corey's were in it?


This almost topped The Lost Boys and, in many ways, it's a much more entertaining film. But, you know. The Halloween theme and all.

Speed (1994) was my favourite action film as a child. That bomb-on-bus, highway-jumping action sequences just don't come out of Hollywood anymore. Granted, CGI has never been better that it is today, but Speed rarely (if at all) had to rely on any of that and it still manages to be more exciting (and openly ludicrous) than the large majority of action films being released today. It's almost as though the film were self-aware: instead of turning away from its outrageous plot, it embraces it and puts its actors through violent encounters with elevators, buses and subways just for the hell of it. Why not?

Reasons I love Speed: (1) Keanu Reeves, never better. (2) Dennis Hopper and his nine fingers. (3) The troubled transit systems in Los Angeles. (4) For keeping viewer interest when a large portion of the film takes place on a bus. (5) It's ridiculous and awesome.