9 Found Facts About The Lost Boys

Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video

The 1980s were chock full of vampire films, from The Hunger (1983) and Fright Night (1985) to Once Bitten (1985) and Near Dark (1987). But very few of those films have stood the test of time quite like The Lost Boys. The dark teen-vamp film became a cult classic and consistently ranks high among the greatest vampire films of all time. Here are a few things you might not have known about the film that is still influencing the genre.

1. THE TOWN OF SANTA CARLA DOES NOT EXIST.

Landmarks shown throughout the film reveal its real-world location as being close to Santa Cruz, home to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California's oldest surviving amusement park. The Giant Dipper roller coaster opened there in 1924 and is still in operation today.

2. THE VAMPIRES WERE SUPPOSED TO BE MUCH YOUNGER.

The title of the film is a reference to Peter Pan’s Neverland clique of eternally young boys, and that influence was reflected in the screenplay. Executive producer Richard Donner brought Joel Schumacher onboard to direct, but Schumacher was not into the idea of making a “Goonies go vampire” film, so the vampires grew into older, model-types (including Billy Wirth, who was working as a model when he auditioned).

3. IT WAS THE BIRTH OF “THE TWO COREYS.”


Anchor Bay Entertainment

Actors Corey Haim (Sam Emerson) and Corey Feldman (Edgar Frog) ruled the '80s as teen idols. The Lost Boys was the first of many films that they would appear in together before ultimately landing a reality show called The Two Coreys, which aired on A&E for two seasons beginning in 2007. Both former child stars had troubled careers and Haim struggled publicly with drug addiction before dying of pneumonia in 2010 at the age of 38.

“We just clicked, chemistry for ourselves,” Feldman told Larry King about their friendship during a CNN interview in 2010. “I've worked with a lot of great people through the years. And with Corey, you know, you set us in front of a camera and tell us to go and it just happens. And there's really no explaining that.”

4. COREY FELDMAN’S CHARACTER WAS INSPIRED BY THE ACTION STARS OF THE DAY.


Warner Home Video


In a special features interview, Feldman talked about getting the part and the direction he was given by Schumacher to help find the character of Edgar Frog. “Basically he gave me an order to go out and rent all of the Stallone movies and all the Chuck Norris movies, like Rambo and First Blood and Missing in Action ... [Schumacher] said ‘That is your character. I want you to meld all of these guys together and make something out of it.’ So that’s what I did.”

5. THERE WAS A ROB LOWE CONNECTION

On the back of the door in Sam's room, there is a random poster of actor Rob Lowe in full heartthrob mode, which fans often point to when discussing the film's homoerotic undertones. The connection between Rob Lowe and The Lost Boys is Joel Schumacher, who also wrote and directed St. Elmo's Fire (1985), in which a young Lowe played a saxophonist. There is also a Sixteen Candles (1984) poster in the room, which featured Jami Gertz (Star) as Robin.

6. BEN STILLER WAS ALMOST A LOST BOY.

Schumacher said that he and legendary casting director Marion Dougherty sat through lots of auditions with hopeful young actors before finding the final cast; according to Ben Stiller, he was was of those fresh faces. People reported that at the 2010 Hollywood Life Young Hollywood Awards, Stiller said “the last time I saw a room full of so many talented faces was when I auditioned for The Lost Boys ... it was between me, and Kiefer, and the two Coreys.” It is unclear whether or not Stiller was joking about the audition, but he is the same age as the stars, so it's feasible that he and several other now-famous actors answered that mid-1980s casting call.

7. THE “SEXY SAX MAN” IS A TRAINED COMPOSER AND MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST.

During a random but memorable beach scene, teens are shown head-banging to a live concert by an oiled-up muscle man pretending to play the saxophone. The actor—credited as “Beach Concert Star,” but commonly referred to as “Sexy Sax Man”—is Timmy Cappello, a musician who trained at the New England Conservatory of Music after dropping out of school at the age of 15. Cappello also trained under jazz pianist Lennie Tristano, before going on to perform with numerous musicians in the 1980s, including Peter Gabriel, Carly Simon, and Tina Turner, with whom he toured for 15 years.

Cappello said in an interview that he was offered the role in The Lost Boys by Schumacher after missing out on a part in Beverly Hills Cop II. The two-hour acting gig became a lasting part of Cappello’s life and place in pop culture, to the point that it was parodied in one of Saturday Night Live’s Digital Shorts in 2010.

8. THE SONG "CRY LITTLE SISTER" WAS A HIT.

Written by Gerard McMann and Michael Mainieri specifically for the 1987 soundtrack, the song with lyrics like "Black house will rock, blind boys don't lie" reached number 15 on the Billboard 200 list and has been sampled by several rappers, including Eminem, Jim Jones, Lil B, Mobb Deep, and Joe Budden.

9. IT INSPIRED ONE OF THE BEST VAMPIRE SHOWS OF ALL TIME.

Fans of the Joss Whedon-helmed television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and its extended universe) regard it as the pinnacle of vampire depictions in pop culture, but Whedon has admitted to borrowing ideas from the cult classic film. “The idea of them looking like monsters and then looking like people, that was in [The] Lost Boys, and that was very useful for us,” Whedon told Salon. “You could have somebody fool you, or someone like Angel seem like he’s not a vampire and then he is one.”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Whedon revealed that the overall look for the Buffy character Spike was also inspired by Schumacher’s film. “There's a little Billy Idol, a little Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys, and every guy in a black coat.”

15 Facts About Rushmore On Its 20th Anniversary

The Criterion Collection
The Criterion Collection

On December 11, 1998, Wes Anderson introduced the world to his unique brand of whimsical comedy with Rushmore. Though it wasn't his feature directorial debut—he had released Bottle Rocket, which he adapted from a short, in 1996—it was his first major Hollywood movie. And kicked off his still-ongoing collaborations with a stable of talented actors that includes Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. It was also the second film Anderson co-wrote with Owen Wilson.

To celebrate the quirky comedy's 20th anniversary, here are some things you might not know about Rushmore.

1. Rushmore Academy was the director's Alma Mater.

Wes Anderson sent location scouts across the United States and Canada to find the perfect high school to shoot the movie. He was having a tough time trying to find the school, until his mother sent him a picture of his old high school in Houston, Texas: St. John's School. Anderson thought it was the perfect location to make the movie.

2. Bill Murray wanted to make Rushmore for free.

Bill Murray in Rushmore (1998)
The Criterion Collection

Once Bill Murray read the screenplay, he wanted to be in the movie so badly that he considered appearing in it for free. Murray ended up working on Rushmore at scale with the Screen Actors Guild day rate minimum for smaller indie film projects. Anderson estimated that Murray made about $9000 for his work on the film.

3. Film critic Pauline Kael had a private screening.

Pauline Kael’s film criticism was a major influence on Anderson’s view of cinema. “Your thoughts and writing about the movies [have] been a very important source of inspiration for me and my movies, and I hope you don't regret that," he once wrote to her.

Kael retired from The New Yorker in 1991, so Anderson arranged for her to have a private screening of Rushmore before the film came out in 1998. He wrote about the screening in the introduction to the published version of the screenplay, and shared what Kael told him about the film: "I genuinely don't know what to make of this movie."

4. It was Jason Schwartzman’s first film role.

Casting directors searched throughout the United States, Canada, and England to find a young actor to play the lead role of Max Fischer. Australian actor Noah Taylor was the frontrunner for the part when, on the last day of casting in Los Angeles, Jason Schwartzman auditioned. He was wearing a prep school blazer with a Rushmore Academy patch that he made himself.

5. Owen Wilson's private school experiences inspired some of the movie's plot points.

As a sophomore at St. Mark High School in Dallas, Texas, Rushmore co-writer Owen Wilson was expelled for stealing his geometry teacher's textbook (the one that contained all the answers); he went to Thomas Jefferson High School to complete 10th grade. This was the inspiration for when Max is expelled from Rushmore Academy and is forced to attend Grover Cleveland High School.

Although Wilson doesn’t have a credited role in Rushmore, he does appear as Ms. Cross’s deceased husband, Edward Appleby, in a photo in Appleby’s childhood bedroom.

6. Wilson's Dad Inspired a Moment in the Movie.

Wilson’s father, Robert Wilson, was the inspiration for Herman Blume’s speech about privilege at the beginning of Rushmore.

7. Alexis Bledel was an extra in the film.


Getty Images

Before she starred as Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, actress Alexis Bledel was an uncredited extra—she played a Grover Cleveland High School student—in Rushmore. You can see her in the background in various scenes, including dancing with the character Magnus Buchan (Stephen McCole) at the end of the film.

8. Both Anderson and Wilson's brothers had parts in the movie.

Owen and Luke Wilson’s older brother Andrew plays Rushmore Academy’s baseball coach, Coach Beck. He also appeared in Anderson’s directorial debut, Bottle Rocket, playing the bully John Mapplethorpe.

Eric Chase Anderson, Wes's brother, plays the architect who designs Max’s aquarium.

9. The Movie's Editor Made a Cameo.

Rushmore editor David Moritz plays the Dynamite Salesman; he sells Max the dynamite and explosives for his stage play Heaven and Hell at the end of the film.

10. Producers Made a Deal to get a Bentley.

Producers needed a Bentley for Murray's character, Herman Blume, but Rushmore’s production budget was only $20 million and they couldn’t afford to rent one. A Houston resident was willing to lend them his Bentley if they gave his daughter a role in the film. Producers agreed; the man's daughter plays an usher who seats Miss Cross at Max’s play at the end of the movie.

11. Mason Gamble's role in Dennis the Menace almost cost him the part of Dirk Calloway in Rushmore.

Mason Gamble in Rushmore (1998)
The Criterion Collection

Wilson referred to the character of Dirk Calloway, played by Mason Gamble, as the conscience of the film. Originally, Anderson didn’t want to cast Gamble in the part because of the actor’s previous—and very recognizable—role as Dennis Mitchell in the 1993 live-action movie Dennis the Menace.

12. Rushmore Upset Francis Ford Coppola.

Director Francis Ford Coppola owns a winery, and when he first saw Rushmore, he was upset with Anderson because he used Coppola’s chief Napa Valley wine rival during Max's post-play celebration. (It probably didn't help matters that Coppola is Schwartzman's uncle.)

13. Anderson's Brother Did the Movie's Criterion Collection Artwork.

The Criterion Collection edition of 'Rushmore' (1998)
The Criterion Collection

Eric Chase Anderson did the artwork for the Criterion Collection DVD cover, an interoperation of a shot from the montage of Max’s extracurricular activities at the beginning of the movie. The Yankee Racer shot is itself a recreation of a photo from French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue, taken in 1909 when he was only 15.

14. Schwartzman waxed his chest to play Max.

Although Max only shows his chest once in the film (during the high school wrestling match), Anderson made Schwartzman wax his chest for the duration of Rushmore's filming.

15. The Max Fischer Players Appeared on MTV.

During the 1999 MTV Movie Awards, the Max Fischer Players recreated the year's hit movies—The Truman Show, Armageddon, and Out of Sight—as stage plays.

An earlier version of this article ran in 2014.

Harry Potter Star Daniel Radcliffe Says Broadway Made Him a Better Actor

Dominik Bindl, Getty Images
Dominik Bindl, Getty Images

For 10 years, moviegoers watched as Daniel Radcliffe matured on film throughout eight Harry Potter films. But the 29-year-old recently revealed that he believes the bulk of his professional growth has occurred as a result of his Broadway stage work.

“It gives me a lot of confidence as an actor, which is not always something that I’ve felt,” Radcliffe told Variety. “I feel like doing theater ... it was really very important for me psychologically.”

Radcliffe starred in a number of films after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the final film in the franchise, including The Woman in Black, Now You See Me 2, and Lost in London. His Broadway credits include Equus, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and The Cripple of Inishmaan.

“There’s something about doing it without an editor to save you, or a myriad of things in post-production that can help you out, something that made me go: ‘OK, I can act,’" Radcliffe continued. "I’ve grown a little bit as an actor every time I’ve gone back to the theater."

Radcliffe crediting his professional growth to working in theater may leave some Potterheads wondering if he thinks playing Harry Potter for so long held him back.

“Not professionally, at all,” he said. “There were moments when probably I coped with the personal effects of Harry Potter not as well as I could have. But professionally, no.”

According to Radcliffe, "There are directors that were, I think, excited to—I am quoting one of them here and I won’t say who—'reinvent' me.”

Radcliffe fans can gauge that reinvention for themselves with The Lifespan of a Fact, the new Broadway play starring Radcliffe, Bobby Cannavale, and Cherry Jones. It is running at New York City's Studio 54 through January 13, 2019.

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