Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys is widely celebrated as two things: a piece of gaudy, yet coherent ’80s horror-lite, and a textbook example of sneaky (x) = homosexual lore.
Both things are true.
The trailer introduces baby-faced Corey Haim as the nominal hero of the picture (and he is, kinda), with an odd couple of sidekicks, while broody Jason Patric is placed in the victim/antagonist-in-training slot (and he is, definitely). Plus, the violence/humour switch is hit almost as much as it would come into play.
On the other hand, the dude who put nipples on the Batman suit was working overtime (this discussion reads like a bullet list of do’s and don’t-mind-if-I-do’s), but you can’t quite let yourself drown in the gayness here. The most spectacular pieces of scenery (such as the underground Art Déco hotel which serves as the clan’s home) are kept under wraps, too. Guess the power struggle within the family angle was a safe box office bet, unlike the look at me, I’m so cool one.
And you see really little of The Boys, but plenty of the final 20’. Talk about sending out mixed signals.
Great use of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “People Are Strange” version, though, just like in the credit sequence (which, seeing it here and now, makes me realize why I love my new home so much - it’s close to the infamous Viareggio boardwalk, aka Santa Carla minus the funhouse).
Sometimes I really wish I had a teaching position. Instead of meting out essays on the nature of good vs. evil, I’d be all like “Wes Craven’s Deadly Friend: Most Misleading Trailer Ever. Discuss”.
Whoever marketed this didn’t believe in things like fulfilling one’s promises. Nor, for that matter, enticing the moviegoer. The picture looks as shabby as it actually is, but the slapdash juxtaposition of “what’s that noise?” reaction shots makes it look even more hastily put together. Then again, the whole shebang-a-bang is about capitalizing on Craven’s then growing fan base, which entrusted him to come up with more Elm Street-ish scenarios.
Boy, were they in for a surprise.
The trailer builds up nice girl next door “Samantha” as a sociopathic killer (she’s not), while the Frankenstein premise (she dies, her neighbour replaces her brain with a robot’s) is not mentioned: the infamous death-by-basketball scene, which almost cost the film an “X” rating, was probably too gory and abrupt to be featured here. The result fits nicely in the Brokeback To The Future tradition.
One major exception: the final shot that frames Samantha by the window, with the glass shattering and exploding from within. Now, that’s an audience-grabbing hook.
Kristy Swanson - which, as you may know, doesn’t quite cut it as a Terminatrix with daddy issues - would give the robotic thing another try later on. Go figure.
Socialite and ex blogger Valido saw it back in ‘86. We asked him about it: he said “I can’t remember much except the death-by-basketball thing… this makes it look like a female-oriented Friday the 13th”, and added: “Miss U Anne Ramsey.”
“With special appearances by Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons of KISS!”
Whoever edited the 1986 theatrical trailer for Trick Or Treat didn’t seem to have a lot of faith in its staying power, considering that the booming voiceover hypes “Marc Price from Family Ties!” (aka, a background player in a contemporary sitcom) as the nominal star of the picture.
Both the premise (play a heavy metal record backwards and you’ll definitely hear something) and the main hook (Satan-friendly dead rock star reaches out to his teenage biggest fan) are on display, though, and the killer’s M.O. is more or less explained straight away (starts out possessing stereo / Walkman / amp, moves on to random electric appliances).
Three quick notes:
- “His fans won’t let him die. He won’t let them live” would have made for a better tagline.
- The only quotable bit from the script (“you should be loyal to your heroes… they could turn on you”) is put to decent use.
- I remember a slightly longer, different trailer being around, with a couple creepier shots (one involving a door being opened via the psychic electric blue glow of doom), but maybe my eight year old self was just working overtime to make up stuff.
Writer and metal rock enthusiast Fabio Genovesi notes that “it sort of has a point even in this day and age” - we’ll trust him on that.