“I’m at the mercy of your sex glands, bud.”
The 1980s was an awesome time to be a gay kid with a single mom. There was positive reinforcement all around us! Dynasty, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Facts of Life, jelly bracelets…and, with the advent of cable television and mall culture, no matter where we lived, our fingers were on the pulse of everything! Amidst all that delicious consumerism, the whipped cream on the Entenmann’s danish of 1980s gay boy culture was the advent of the two Coreys (Feldman and Haim, respectively).
There was a gay boy named Joel Schumacher who was an assistant to the wardrobe people on The Wiz. Anyone who has a Wiz credit on their IMBD page to has me at hello. Schumacher grew up to make a LOT of bad movies in the years following his work with Miss Ross, but he also made some interesting ones. Flatliners is one of the tightest thrillers ever made and it’s gorgeously shot. St. Elmo’s Fire, a film indelibly trapped in the year it was made for all time, answered the question “what happens to The Breakfast Club after graduation.” I am in the minority of people who think that Batman and Robin was an expressionistic meditation on excess and a better film than Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. With this said, Joel Schumacher made a vampire movie called The Lost Boys. While The Lost Boys is not a gay love story as much as it is about brotherly competition (a bromance), I don’t think I’m off to point out that the main character, Corey Haim, is definitely a ‘mo.
Corey Haim just moved to Santa Carla, California with his recently divorced mother, Dianne Weist, and his brooding brother, Michael. He spends his days changing outfits, shopping for Rob Lowe midriff posters, and reading comics (much as I like to spend my days). While most films use a characters’ homosexuality as his tragic flaw, Corey’s gay keeps him safe and keenly aware of the impending doom around him! It’s his mother and brother who are off fucking vampires, leaving Corey to his own devices. I have a best friend who loses his shit if a girl pays him any interest. He’ll give her his car, his money, anything! The same can be said for Corey’s brother, Michael. Michael is so completely dickmatized by Jamie Gertz that he finds himself involved with a group of adrenaline junky vampires led by Kiefer Sutherland (the Julia Roberts years). Even though all the vampires are boys, there’s really no gay vibe in the Michael storyline (aside from their fabulous outfits). Michael's descent into vampirism is a metaphor for a kid getting wrapped up with the wrong crowd to impress a girl and maybe getting in over his head with drugs. Drugs are bad. Gay Corey gets Michael into rehab, saves Dianne Weist from herself, and still makes it to the mall before they close to get one of those "I love to shop" tshirts!
The Lost Boys has genuinely scary moments coupled with graphic scenes of horror, and it’s actually funny. Everyone from the actors to the set designers was on the same page, tonally, which is elusive. It was shot by Michael Chapman, the DP on Taxi Driver, so it’s slick as anything to look at and the soundtrack has aged like a fine Bordeaux. Joel Schumacher took Richard Donner's hand me downs (Donner had passed for fear that the finished product would be a Fright Night retread) and made something super specific and really fun to watch. Run, don't walk, children! This movie is far more enjoyable than even I remembered it being.