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The first time you see the Lost Boys take out the Surf Nazis, revealing to Michael they are vampires and the hardcore murderous destruction of said Surf Nazis, you’re totally shocked. It’s very visceral, no holds barred, a blood bath that is intend to shock the audiences. Especially back when the film was released and no one knew that they were vampires; I’m sure it had more impact then.

But after that initial viewing, and many subsequent viewings, and a lot of thought (because, hey, what else do I have to do?) I realized what it really was:

The Lost Boys were “shock and awe”ing Michael.

They were being reckless on purpose. They were flaunting their power. They were showboating.

They were being sloppy.

Why? Because plan A had failed. Failed in a major crash and burn. David’s subplot plan to get Star to make Michael her first kill (and take him out of the equation in the process) (god that’s a whole other post about the power struggle that would have ensued, HAD Michael turned fully) was wrecked when instead of biting him, she slept with him. I can only imagine David’s reaction when he learned this:

Star: I didn’t kill Michael. I slept with him instead.
David: YOU DID WHAT?
David: Great, now I’ve gotta go to plan B.
David: You’re grounded, you big haired twit.

Still, up until this point in the film, Michael doesn’t seem to know what the fuck is going on, even after Sam informs him that he’s a “creature of the night”. The flying, the floating, aversion to sunlight, the almost biting Sam, Nanook attacking him, the ghost-like reflection in the mirror, the mysteriously healed wound, salt on the bottoms of his feet (oh wait, that was deleted scene/novelization only) — all these things adding up. It doesn’t take a genius.

I mean, dude didn’t listen to Star whens he flat out told him he was drinking blood. I dunno, if someone tells you ‘hey that’s blood you’re about to drink’, YOU MIGHT STOP AND RECONSIDER.

Oh, 1980s peer-pressure, how simple you were!

Back to plan B. Michael makes a fatal mistake of inviting Max in the house (snort) and skips off to the Boardwalk to throw his weight around and threaten David because… well, there’s kind of a plot hole there.

He saw Star the night before, woke up the next morning, went home, some how got pissed about it (???) and the next thing he’s throwing Marko out of the way and getting up in David’s face about the big-haired twit?

What?

The novelization fills in the gap. Star wasn’t asked to join the Boys on their nightly sojourn to the Boardwalk. She and Laddie are left back at the Cave. Meanwhile, Michael is frantically running up and down the Boardwalk, ever returning to the bandstand where he first laid eyes on Star, but not finding her anywhere. Until he finally sees David & co., which is where the film picks up.

You don’t care about any of this. You just want to know why I called the Boys sloppy.

Think about it: first kill we witness in the movie is the security dude. In the film he disappears, ripped away into the air. In the novel, his drained, dying body is dropped along the beach to be washed out on the tide. He’s a desiccated husk compared to the big, overweight dude he’d been hours before, practically unidentifiable. I think that they were going to show that in the film but budget constraints and/or editing took it out.

Second kill is Shelly and Greg, aka those crazy kids who love stealing comics and picking fights on the carousel. Again, we don’t see them die, just get picked off. (That’s why I love this movie; you never see the horrible murders until the big reveal. It’s just like Jaws; the psychological stuff is far scarier then the in-your-face-gore!)

The movie purports, or asks us to believe, that Santa Carla has a big problem with missing people. Constant “MISSING” signs tacked to poles and bulletin boards, layers upon layers. Why aren’t bodies turning up?

Because the Boys aren’t sloppy. They know enough to hide the evidence, in whatever form or fashion, and to not take too many victims in one kill.

There’s four Boys and they take one fat security guard. And the next kill is two twenty-somethings. That’s not a hell of a lot of blood to split between four vampires. So that means they’re either doing kills off-screen or don’t need a hell of a lot of blood to function.

Now the Surf Nazis.

There’s roughly 5-6 (?) of them in the wide shot before the carnage starts. That’s nearly equal numbers to the Boys, including Michael. A large kill compared to what we’ve already “witnessed”.

Then things get weird and overtly over-the-top.

Why would a vampire bite a skull? Head wounds spray all over the fucking place and waste blood! I mean they clearly show blood spouting all over when David bites the top of that dude’s head.

Why snap a neck before biting? I don’t know? Marko just does.

Paul savagely rips a throat out with his fangs. Again, overkill. Anybody who knows shit about movie vampires knows all they have to do is puncture the skin with fangs and easy blood flow.

And then Marko is ripping a scalp off with his bare hands. Again, what the fuck, why? That’s just brutalizing a corpse at that point.

We never really see what Dwayne does, beyond tackling his victim and eventually throwing the body onto the bonfire. That’s it. I have no other evidence and believe me, I’ve looked.

On to the bonfire the bodies go. Firstly, WHAT THE FUCK and secondly, that fire isn’t hot enough to consumed human remains, even if they were drunk. Alcohol isn’t going to help that much, is it? Sure, flesh is going to char and burn, but the MASSIVE AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE that’s gonna be left before is astronomical! This plot point has bothered me since I was twelve, people. And it only got worse when I started to read up on and learn about forensics.

By this point, Michael’s cowering and David’s giving his infamous dramatic monologue about being a vampire and somewhere behind the Boys the bonfire is burning the corpses and I am left wondering WHY WOULD YOU LEAVE SO MUCH EVIDENCE BEHIND.

Well, as I often have to remind myself, it’s a fucking movie.

In the novel, the scene is more detailed but not. Of course it is, it’s a book, words get far more descriptive. There is more urgency then just a big twist reveal. David is compelling Michael, threatening that if Michael is not “one of them” then he cannot see Star again.

Their transformation is not as visually graphic as the film; they just fly off and attack the Surf Nazis, actually yelling at them and having a bit of dialogue, as opposed to the direct, wordless attack of the film.

In the novelization, the Boys toy more with the Surf Nazis. But there is less depiction of what they do to the Surf Nazis; clearly the movie was always going to be more visual in the big twist reveal. The novelization is sort of a let down in that respect. It’s a lot more of Michael’s internal dialogue and struggle with the realization of what the Boys are versus Michael’s inner vampire being revealed while the destruction and chaos surround him.

I theorize that the Boys were putting on a show, purposely intended to scare Michael, to reveal their level of power along with their true nature. It was all over the top theatrics because Star didn’t do the one thing David asked of her. They were sloppy on purpose.

Since we learn that Star is a half vampire in the next scene, when she flies in and out of Sam’s window, which is another twist, I can’t say that the film makers did anything wrong.

Do I think it would have been more effective for David & co. to have dragged Star along or had her tied up and waiting for them to arrive, then reveal to Michael that the girl he loves is also a vampire? Sure. It would have amused me more, because damn, seeing Star shift into game face would have been a HUGE blow to Michael. (I’m pretty sure they made contacts for Jami Gertz but she never got to use/wear them. Bummer.)

It’s still a blow when she confirms Michael’s theory that she was supposed to kill him, adding that it was what David wanted for extra salt in the wound, and it works just fine for plot purposes.

If everything hadn’t immediately gone south the next day, would the cops have eventually discovered the evidence? Would Max have pull or influence over the cops to cover it all up? These are the questions I can’t answer, because there’s nothing in the movie or novelization to give clues.

The lesson here is: don’t fucking showboat. It just ends badly.

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