‘Thou shall not fall, Thou shall not kill’ echoes across the ocean in the night sky, as an amusement park is seen overhead, zooming into the ground where the kids and teenagers are enjoying the rides and entertainment. A group of punk looking boys who are dressed to kill, cause a fight when they meddle with another guys girlfriend and are told to get off the boardwalk. ” Ok boys, let’s go”. After a long night, the guard walks to his car, only to be attacked and lifted off the ground by an unseen force into the darkness.
In sunny daylight, Sam( Corey Haim) along with his brother Michael ( Jason Patric) and his mum, (Dianne Wiest ) are seen travelling to Santa Carla where “it smells like someone died”. They arrive at their grandpa’s shabby, creepy – looking house, where he pretends to be passed out. ” If he’s dead can we go back to Phoenix ?” Welcome home kids (!).
Upon entering, they find it looks as creepy on the inside as it is on the outside, run down like a broken up shack. Nice home, ” yeah for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. They also find their grandpa has a whole back room full of dead animals ready to be stuffed, but he means well, as company sure comes empty handed in these parts of the town.
In the refrigerator, the ‘old fart’ labelled shelf is where he keeps his double thick Oreos and root beer so ” nobody touches the second shelf but me”.
His eccentric demeanour is portrayed throughout the movie which makes for some subtle laughs which I really enjoyed because it’s my kind of humour. A ‘cool’ but strange grandpa who has no tv but likes to read the tv guide and wears Windex cleaner as aftershave.
The teenage brothers are soon off to explore what the town has to offer; it’s got a great amusement park, some illegal jobs and alot of missing kids.
At a musical festival, which has a great rock and jazz combined band playing for two minutes at best, is an amazing scene. It shows off the 80’s, semi hippie atmosphere and I love that they gave the band the time to shine. It’s also such a great piece which credits an oiled up Tim Cappello looking rather glorious with his saxophone. That’s something you won’t see today but I Still Believe as he sings in the little clip I’ve included for entertainment.
Michael draws his attention to a curly haired girl named Star, ( Jami Gertz) who fascinates him as she dances, glancing at him every now and then. Very cute.
While Michael follows his sex glands to find this mysterious girl, Sam wanders off to a comic store where he is approached by two boys Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan ( Jamison Newlander) who are ” just scoping your civilian wardrobe “. Evidently meeting their match as another ‘comic nerd’ who knows his stuff as he explains that certain issues can’t go next to each other because they haven’t discovered Kryton yet.
The pair waste no time in handing Sam an issue of Vampires Everywhere. They’d like to think of it as their personal survival vampire manual but Sam doesn’t like horror comics ” oh but you’ll like this one Mr. Phoenix. It might save your life”.
Michael on the other hand finally finds and gets to talk to the mystery lady but is quickly approached by the same punk boys from the boardwalk who are associated with Star, and ask Michael to keep up, as they ride through the misty cold air, taking him to an abandoned cave where they seem to hideout in their lair.
Their hospitality towards him is somewhat strange as Michael is aware of, but he sits down to some Chinese food where he begins to see things that are not quite there..” how are those maggots” ?Rice that turns into maggots but changes again to seem ‘normal’. When Michael grabs the next box he starts to see worms. ” They’re only noodles Michael”. A charming trickster a vampire possesses well.
Moments pass when the head leader David (Kiefer Sutherland) offers Michael a jewelled bottle ” drink some of this Michael, be one of us”, ignoring Stars warning that it is blood. Soon Michael begins to feel unusual, he has his ears pierced to fit in with the angst punk boys and sunglasses to throw some shade on the world, though that is the least of his worries when he begins to feel thirsty for something other than milk and floats up to his bedroom ceiling. This calls for some flying lessons!
This is the epitome of a great classic 80’s movie done right. The moment the scene opens, you feel transported into the era with some of the greatest music from amazing bands such as INXS and Jimmy Barnes, Echo and the Bunnymen that are placed in certain scenes that i’ve come across in a movie, so having the motion picture soundtrack is a must have on my list. I’ve also discovered so many more since watching this movie again, that I can really appreciate now.
It has the same iconic humour that was so loved in the Goonies, Ghostbusters and Home Alone that make this comedy horror so likeable. It was a movie I cherished around the age of ten and it really stood out for me as an intrguing vampire movie of its time, because let’s face it, most movies of such genre tend to suck.
These are a group of comic enthusiasts who are ” fighting for the Truth, Justice and the American way “. They have read enough issues to know how to defend themselves against the creatures of the night. Whether they can kill them is another story.
Armed with holy water guns, and their longbows, the boys have a long night ahead of them if they want to stake out the head vampire in hopes of bringing Santa Carla back to humanity. It’s truly a timeless classic worth sinking your teeth into.
Credits: Movie poster artwork by MalevolentNate on Devianart
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Story by : Janice Fischer and James Jeremias
Starring : Corey Feldman, Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Edward Herrmann and others
Music by : Thomas Newman
Other honourable mentions from 1987 that I love :
Predator: Directed by John McTiernan
Robocop : Directed by Paul Verhoeven
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors: Directed by Wes Craven
Good Morning Vietnam: Directed by Barry Levinson
Evil Dead 2 : Directed by Sam Raimi
The Witches of Eastwick : Directed by George Miller
The Untouchables : Directed by Brian De Palma