40 Fangtastic Facts You Didn’t Know About The Lost Boys

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The Lost Boys is one of the defining horror comedies of the 1980s. But how much do you really know about the teens-versus-vampires tale? Well, we reckon you probably don’t know everything. So here’s a look at 40 little-known but fangtastic facts – featuring everything from script changes and recastings to pop culture references and natural disasters.

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40. The kids were supposed to be younger

The Frog siblings as “chubby eight-year-old cub scouts”? The vampires as “Goonie-type fifth-grade kids”? Yep, that’s how the first draft of James Jeremias and Jan Fischer’s The Lost Boys screenplay imagined the film’s leading characters. Fortunately, then, everything changed when director Joel Schumacher only agreed to come on board if the pre-teens became actual teens.

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39. An earthquake later destroyed two sets

Any The Lost Boys fans hoping to visit the real-life comic book store owned by the Frog siblings’ parents will be out of luck. Sadly, you see, the site was completely wiped out by the Loma Prieta earthquake that struck California two years after the film’s release. The bandstand featured in the scene where Star’s and Michael’s eyes first meet also suffered the same fate.

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38. It was the Two Coreys’ first film together

Corey Haim and Corey Feldman briefly became a popular Hollywood duo in the 1980s after starring together in three ’80s teen movies. And The Two Coreys’ working relationship began on The Lost Boys. Haim actually played the new-in-town Sam Emerson, while Feldman appeared as vampire hunter Edgar Frog.

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37. The fake blood had glitter in it

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If you’ve ever wondered how the production team managed to make the blood look so visceral, then wonder no more. In Bloodsucking Cinema, a 2007 documentary about horror movies, Corey Haim told audiences that glitter was in fact the magic ingredient. He also revealed that it was “slimier than other fake blood.”

Image: via IMDb

36. It’s named after characters in Peter Pan

It’s one of those facts that seems entirely obvious once it’s spelled out but may not have registered beforehand. So yes, the film’s title was inspired by the Lost Boys that feature in the J.M. Barrie classic Peter Pan. And just like the bloodsuckers in Joel Schumacher’s silver screen opus, Barrie’s group of fictional Lost Boys don’t age.

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35. The Goonies is referenced

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Schumacher actually abandoned the original idea to have the leading characters resemble those of The Goonies. But The Lost Boys still threw a nod to the much-loved adventure comedy anyway. After all, a copy of the film that, of course, also featured Corey Feldman can be spotted in one of the scenes set in Max’s video rental store.

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34. The comic book store owner makes a cameo

Turns out that the comic book store run by the parents of the Frog brothers was actually a real-life shop. And even though Atlantis Fantasyworld had to relocate following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the store is still in business. You can also see its long-time owner, Joe Ferrara II, in The Lost Boys as one of the two pinball players in the scene where Sam returns to the shop.

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33. Richard Donner was the first-choice director

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Richard Donner was all set to take the director’s chair before a stall in production saw him switch his attention to Lethal Weapon instead. And Donner even referenced the film that he very nearly helmed in the buddy-cop action classic too. Just look carefully at the marquee display outside the movie theater that Riggs and Murtaugh walk past and you’ll see the words “Lost Boys: This Year’s Hit.”

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32. Mary Lambert was the second-choice director

Following Richard Donner’s departure, then, producers were forced to look elsewhere. But Joel Schumacher wasn’t the first name they came up with as a replacement. Mary Lambert, then a relative unknown, was hired first – but she walked away over creative differences. Two years later, though, Lambert helmed the big-screen version of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.

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31. Jason Patric recommended Jami Gertz

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Jason Patric’s persuasive powers must be particularly strong. You see, Joel Schumacher initially had a blonde in mind for the role of Star. But after talking with the young actor who starred as Michael Emerson, the director cast brunette Jami Gertz instead. Patric in fact recommended the actress after having worked with her on Solarbabies the previous year.

Image: Warner Home Video via IMDb

30. Star was originally a boy

Star didn’t just change from a blonde to a brunette; the character also changed from male to female. In the original screenplay, in fact, the object of Michael’s affections was written as a vampiric teenage boy. But in one of the script’s many major alterations, Star swapped genders in order to give the movie an extra love interest.

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29. Kiefer Sutherland has the least amount of dialogue

Kiefer Sutherland was perhaps the biggest name in the film’s young cast, and his performance as vampire leader David is considered the most memorable. Yet he actually has the fewest lines of all the main and supporting characters. Most of his dialogue actually consists of little more than saying “Michael” – a name he utters on no fewer than 118 occasions.

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28. The role of Grandpa was twice recast

Barnard Hughes played Grandpa, who turns out to be the unexpected hero of the movie. But the actor was far from the first choice for the part. In fact, David Carradine was poised to play the grandparent until illness struck, and vampire movie regular Keenan Wynn sadly passed away shortly before he was due to assume the role too.

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27. Jim Carrey nearly played David

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Kiefer Sutherland’s role of Lost Boys leader David very nearly went to a future comedy icon. Yes, none other than Jim Carrey was initially considered for the part after impressing as a bloodsucker in 1985’s Once Bitten. But, of course, without this potential setback, Carrey might never have become one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors less than a decade later.

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26. Ben Stiller nearly landed a role

The Lost Boys could easily have ended up launching another Hollywood career too. You see, Ben Stiller also unsuccessfully tried out for a part in the horror comedy. Coincidentally, though, Stiller would go on to direct his fellow failed auditionee Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy.

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25. One of its top-billed stars barely appears

You would have had to have felt for Kelly Jo Minter when she watched The Lost Boys for the first time; the actress must surely have thought she was a major player after seeing her name flash up in the opening credits. But the majority of her scenes were left on the cutting room floor. In fact, Minter can only be spotted in the movie once – and even that’s simply over the shoulder of Lucy in the video store.

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24. Jamison Newlander got burned on set

Health and safety didn’t always appear to be a main priority on The Lost Boys. During the scene in which Alan uses his fingers to put out the candles, for instance, Jamison Newlander ended up burning himself. The actor should have actually placed his hands in a water basin before takes – but no one on the production team thought to tell him this vital piece of information until it was too late.

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23. Brooke McCarter became Haim’s manager

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Brooke McCarter is perhaps best known for playing vampire Paul in The Lost Boys. But his connection with the 1980s horror comedy doesn’t end there. In fact, the actor formed such a strong bond with co-star Corey Haim during its filming that he later became the troubled youngster’s official manager.

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22. INXS inspired Kiefer Sutherland to sign up

INXS didn’t just feature on the soundtrack for The Lost Boys; they also persuaded one of its biggest stars to sign up for the film. After all, Kiefer Sutherland initially had little interest in playing vampire leader David. But after discovering that one of his favorite bands was involved, the star quickly changed his mind.

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21. Feldman was encouraged to watch Chuck Norris films

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Joel Schumacher told Corey Feldman to watch some unlikely films for inspiration before filming began. That’s because the director wanted the Edgar Frog character to echo the era’s big-screen action heroes. And so in order to achieve this, he encouraged Feldman to binge watch all of the Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone films he could find.

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20. The Echo and the Bunnymen poster

Echo and the Bunnymen recorded one of the film’s most memorable soundtrack numbers – a cover of The Doors’ “People Are Strange.” And both bands were also referenced in the film itself. A poster of the Liverpool indie outfit is visible in Sam’s room, in fact, while a poster of The Doors frontman Jim Morrison can be spotted in the vampires’ cavern.

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19. Sutherland’s tears were real

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During the scene in which David’s hand catches fire after being dragged down into the sunlight by Sam, Kiefer Sutherland can be seen shedding a tear. And this tear was all too real. In truth, the actor was genuinely in absolute agony at the time – although not because of his hand. The contact lenses that made the actor look more vampiric had actually started to smart so badly that they made Sutherland weep.

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18. The film didn’t originally conclude with a joke

“One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach: all the damn vampires.” These are the film’s closing words which reveal that Grandpa was aware of the bloodsuckers all along. However, The Lost Boys wasn’t originally supposed to end on such a comic note. An early screenplay draft in fact concluded with the sight of an early 20th-century wall mural featuring Max looking just as youthful as he did almost 100 years later.

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17. The film hints at the vampires’ deaths

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The film’s early scenes contain clues as to the vampires’ eventual fates. In fact, the Lost Boys are introduced in the merry-go-round sequence in the exact same order in which they die. Marko, Paul, Dwayne and David also perish in the same manner that Edgar Frog unwittingly predicts during a conversation about vampire deaths: “some yell and scream, some go quietly, some explode, some implode.”

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16. Sutherland’s father and brother also have vampire connections

Kiefer isn’t the only member of the Sutherland family to have appeared in a vampire movie. His half-brother Angus actually showed up as Shane in the belated sequel Lost Boys: The Tribe. And his Hollywood legend father Donald stars as Watcher Merrick in the 1992 movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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15. Gerard McMahon wrote the theme without seeing the film

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The Lost Boys’ theme tune was provided by Gerard McMann, the slightly unimaginative pseudonym of British singer-songwriter Gerard McMahon. The gothic rock anthem “Cry Little Sister” fits perfectly with the horror comedy – and yet McMahon hadn’t watched a single frame when he wrote it. In fact, the musician had only read the screenplay before entering the recording studio.

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14. There was supposed to be a Lost Girls sequel

The Lost Boys eventually got a belated sequel more than 20 years on with 2008’s Lost Boys: The Tribe. But another, different follow-up story was supposed to hit cinemas much earlier. Yes, a screenplay for The Lost Girls was written in the wake of the original’s release – but has ultimately been left languishing on the shelves ever since.

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13. The CW was plotting a reboot

In 2017 American TV network The CW announced plans to rework the horror comedy as a small-screen anthology. The first season was apparently to focus on a vampire pack infiltrating the original Summer of Love scene in San Francisco too. However, the project has since been stuck in limbo.

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12. David survives

Despite being impaled at the end of movie by a pair of antlers, David apparently doesn’t die. After all, the character isn’t seen decomposing in the manner of his fellow deceased Lost Boys. And Reign of the Frogs, a comic book miniseries published in 2008, suggests that the vampire both survived and helped to create Shane – the future leader who appears in the sequel The Tribe.

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11. The Frog brothers are named after a literary great

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Played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander, Edgar and Alan Frog are the brothers who teach the Emersons everything they know about the town’s vampires. And their names were inspired by an author no stranger to the darker side of life. In the literary world, you see, Edgar Allan Poe is widely regarded as the master of the macabre.

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10. The movie was forced to rename its setting

The Lost Boys was shot in Santa Cruz, but its makers were banned from using the name of the Californian city. Concerned about the area being connected with such a bloodthirsty film, the authority in charge of granting film permits actually insisted that Santa Cruz should never be mentioned. So instead, producers decided to set the tale in the made-up town of Santa Carla.

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9. The location has a macabre connection

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Producers chose Santa Cruz as the setting of The Lost Boys due to its sinister status. The Californian city had in fact garnered an unwanted reputation as America’s murder capital, thanks to three different serial killers who had stalked their victims in the area. Unsurprisingly, though, the movie-makers didn’t tell the Santa Cruz authorities at the time.

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8. The maggot scene took some preparation

The film’s most disgusting moment occurs when David fools Michael into thinking that a box of maggots is actually a box of rice. It’s a scene which sounds simple on paper but in fact took quite a bit of preparation. In order to get the maggots wriggling around for full effect, for instance, the on-set bug expert had to constantly spray the insects with lemon juice.

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7. The saxophonist was in Tina Turner’s band

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The Lost Boys’ opening scene features a particularly memorable musclebound dude playing the saxophone at a beachside party. Yet the musician in question was used to playing in front of much larger audiences in real life. Indeed, Tim Cappello performed with none other than legendary diva Tina Turner throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Image: YouTube/INXS

6. Joel Schumacher directed an INXS video in return for their music

Joel Schumacher decided to put in a bit of overtime in order to secure the talents of INXS. Indeed, the director promised to direct a promo for the Aussie group if they contributed to the movie’s soundtrack. And after Michael Hutchence and co. teamed up with Jimmy Barnes to record “Laying Down The Law” for the movie, Schumacher stayed true to his word by helming the video for their 1988 single “The Devil Inside.”

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5. It inspired another vampire phenomenon

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“The idea of [vampires] looking like monsters and then looking like people, that was in The Lost Boys and that was very useful for us.” These are the words of Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer who has been quite open about how much The Lost Boys influenced his own 1990s vampire phenomenon.

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4. Sutherland had to hide a broken wrist

The black gloves that vampire David wears throughout the film weren’t just a fashion statement. The man who played him, Kiefer Sutherland, used them to hide a broken wrist from audiences, too. The actor had suffered the injury during his spare time while being a little too careless showing off on his motorcycle.

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3. Schumacher was surprised at Dianne Wiest’s casting

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No one was more surprised at Dianne Wiest’s casting as the Emersons’ mother, Lucy, than Joel Schumacher. Just a year before The Lost Boys hit screens, you see, the actress had picked up a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her turn in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters. And like many cinemagoers, the director didn’t expect such a critical favorite to then sign up for a teen horror comedy.

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2. It was referenced in What We Do In The Shadows

More than 25 years on from its release, The Lost Boys is still being embraced by pop culture. In 2014, for instance, another horror comedy based on the antics of a vampire group, What We Do In The Shadows, paid homage to the maggot-eating scene. The 69 Eyes, a gothic rock outfit from Finland, also referenced the teen classic with their 2004 track “The Lost Boys.”

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1. There was a novelization

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The Lost Boys was also adapted into a novel, which differed slightly from the screenplay. For one thing, writer Craig Shaw Gardner’s 220-page book adds more depth to the Surf Nazis gang who were peripheral figures in the movie. It also expands on vampire mythology and shows how Michael got a job collecting trash in order to pay for his famous leather jacket.

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