Way before Robert Pattinson made sucking blood cheesy and ridiculous, vampires on the big screen were actually quite scary (and, umm, very sexy). At least that’s how we remember The Lost Boys, which was released 26 years ago today. The 1987 flick by Joel Schumacher told the tale of a young guy bullied into joining the dark side by a gang of vampires, while his comic nerd younger brother tries to save his soul.
There’s a slew of reasons why The Lost Boys remains one of the coolest vampire films ever. For starters the film was shot at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, offering an eerie circus vibe backdrop, and it featured a killer soundtrack that included Echo & The Bunnymen’s rendition of The Doors’ trippy tune “People Are Strange.” But the film’s mainstay was its cast members, some of whom would become prominent movie and TV heavy hitters, while others, sadly, would never shine brighter than their ‘80s teen legacy.
Let’s take a look at where some of our favorite characters are now.
Kiefer Sutherland: In the mid ‘80s Kiefer Sutherland was the “IT” Bad Boy thanks to his unforgettable role as the greaser jerkwad in Stand By Me, which also happened to be his debut film. Either Sutherland was a tough guy in real life or acting like one just came naturally to him. Regardless, during his teenage years, Sutherland—son of distinguished actor Donald Sutherland—changed schools often. It wasn’t until he moved to Hollywood to pursue acting and bunked with Robert Downey, Jr. no less, that he truly settled into his calling. It was on The Lost Boys that Sutherland began collaborating with director Joel Schumacher, and the two hit it off. They went on to collaborate on several projects including Flatliners, A Time to Kill, and Phone Booth. Of course these days, Sutherland is known for his explosive small screen role as Jack Bauer in the Fox television series 24, which he’ll reprise next year.
Jason Patric: Like Sutherland, Jason Patric also has acting DNA running through his veins. The Queens native is the son of Jason Miller (from Exorcist fame), and his grandfather is Jackie Gleason. His role as Michael, the older bro “hazed” into becoming a vampire in The Lost Boys was his feature film debut. In the ‘90s Patric starred in two huge films including Rush, where he played a narcotics detective who ends up being a drug addict, and in Sleepers, alongside Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt. These days Patric has been making headlines over a messy custody battle. The mother of his child, who was previously his girlfriend, alleges Patric only consented to donating his sperm. Patric is now suing for custody. If the judge rules in his favor, the decision could alter sperm donation laws as we know it.
Corey Haim: Synonymous with coming-of-age films in the ‘80s, Corey Haim was an acting veteran before his teenage prime. At the age of 10 Haim starred in Firstborn, his first feature film, alongside Robert Downey, Jr., and his then-girlfriend, Sarah Jessica Parker. We remember him fondly as the nerdy boy in Lucas, which starred more ‘80s teen staples like Charlie Sheen and Winona Ryder. By the time The Lost Boys hit the screen, Haim and his onscreen sidekick (and offscreen BFF) Corey Feldman were mega teen heartthrobs. Known as the Two Coreys, the actors appeared in several films together including License to Drive and Dream a Little Dream. They also appeared on A+E’s reality television show The Two Coreys in 2007. Subsequently, it was on this show that Haim’s long-term drug abuse was seen publicly. Because of his addiction problems, Haim was never able to transition into an adult star. Strangely, Haim died of pneumonia in 2010 at the age of 38. Contrary to public belief, toxicology reports state that drugs were not a contributing factor in his death.
Corey Feldman: Corey Feldman always played the eccentric buddy—the go-to pal with the perfect one-liners who’d have your back no matter what. He played “Mouth” charmingly and hilariously in The Goonies, and the troubled and rebellious Teddy in Stand By Me. Like Haim, Feldman has been acting most, if not all, of his life. However, by the time he reached The Lost Boys, it not only introduced the pairing of Feldman and Haim and propelled Feldman into bigger films, but it also introduced the actor to substance abuse. It was during this period that Feldman appeared in The ‘Burbs, alongside Tom Hanks, and Dream a Little Dream with Haim. In 2000 Feldman declared he had been clean and sober for more than a decade but getting his acting career back on track has turned out to be a rocky road. As of late he’s been trying to launch a music career, releasing a dance single titled “Ascension Millennium,” which HuffPo called “the worst music video of all time.” The five-minute clip has a day-in-the-life-of narrative that includes a cameo by his Goonies buddy Sean Astin and a Michael Jackson-like dance sequence. Given the media reviews of his latest venture, he might want to keep his day job.
Jamie Gertz: Jamie Gertz was the quintessential “IT Girl “ in ‘80s movies and television shows. She was Blair’s friend in The Facts of Life and the popular preppy in Square Pegs and Sixteen Candles. But she soon moved into more vixen-y roles, including her sexy “half-vampire” character Star in The Lost Boys, and in Less Than Zero alongside Andrew McCarthy and Robert Downey, Jr. But Gertz decided to take a break from acting in the early ‘90s, moving to Paris and working as a scent designer for the high fashion house Lanvin. Around the same time she had been offered the role of Rachel Green in Friends but turned it down. (Imagine where Jennifer Aniston would have been today had she not gotten that role!) But Gertz eventually returned to acting, guest starring in several TV series including ER, Ally McBeal, Entourage, and Modern Family. She currently can be seen on the ABC comedy The Neighbors.
Dianne Wiest: A successful theater, film, and television actress, Dianne Wiest has been entertaining us for over four decades. She began her acting career on the theater stage in college and didn’t make her film debut until 1980 with It’s My Turn, a rom-com drama starring Michael Douglas. A year prior to playing Jason Patric and Corey Haim’s clueless single mom in The Lost Boys, she starred in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters along with Barbara Hershey and Mia Farrow. The role earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She went on to star in other Allen pictures including September, Radio Days, The Purple Rose of Cairo, and Bullets Over Broadway. But of her vast repertoire of films, perhaps some of her more recent memorable roles include the Jodie Foster-directed film Little Man Tate and Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, where she played a matriarchal Avon saleswoman, opposite Johnny Depp.
Watch a clip of ‘The Lost Boys’: