Growing up I always loved scary and creepy stories about monsters, especially vampires, The Lost Boys was my first vampire movie and it scared the hell out of me. Even though I found the movie frightening I still loved anything about vampires, then when I was 13 years old and in 7th grade Twilight came out and my frightening thoughts about vampires changed now I was in love with them and I wanted to marry one and become a Cullen. Just knowing that’s how I thought makes me chuckle, out of the five movies that came out of this saga Breaking Dawn Part: Two I found interesting because us as fans were being introduced to more vampire covens that had powers just like superheroes. As I think of The Lost Boys none of them had powers like superheroes besides the flying and strength, in this essay I’m going to be discussing how one vampire movie from 1987 is vastly different then a movie about a human who marries a vampire and ends up giving birth to his half human half vampire baby that came out in 2011/2012. Overall, I give The Lost Boys as vampires five out of five stars; reason is because the way they look and act as vampires is what I grew up with knowing how those monsters are, and to this day still freaks me out. For the vampires of Breaking Dawn: Part Two I give them a three out of five stars, reason is because I still have childhood nostalgia when it comes to those movies but as vampires they are not great ones in my opinion; they don’t fly, they consider themselves vegetarians, and they don’t look scary they sparkle in the sunlight, also they don’t sleep during the day they are awake they never sleep once they turn into a vampire.
The Lost Boys came out in 1987, the movie opens with a family of three a Mom and her two sons, older brother Michael and little brother Sam who are moving to a fictional beach town of Santa Carla, California do to the fact that their parents are divorced their mother Lucy takes the boys to this beach town to live with her very eccentric father in his home. That same night the boys hang out at the board walk and as they are walking around you see a lot of missing person’s flyers everywhere, Lucy then gets a job at the local video store run by a guy named Max. Then Michael makes eye contact with a girl named Star and follows her around when he finally gets close enough to her she gets on a motorcycle with this guy named David, played by Kiefer Sutherland, and drives off with him and his young biker gang. Sam then meets these guys in a comic book shop who call themselves the frog brothers and they claim to be vampire hunters, they give Sam a horror comic to teach him about the vampire threat the frog brothers claim that they have in the small beach town. Throughout the movie Michael starts hanging out with the biker gang to talk to Star, at one point of him hanging out with the biker gang David offers Michael a drink from a bottle Star warns him not to because he is about to drink blood, Michael ignores her and drinks; soon he falls off a bridge with the gang.
Michael wakes up the next morning and has no clue how he got home, his eyes are sensitive to sunlight and he has a thirst for blood and starts to go after Sam, luckily Sam’s dog saves him and realizes that his brothers is turning into a vampire and is instantly afraid of him. Michael then finally convinces Sam that he isn’t a full vampire yet since he hasn’t killed anyone, and needs his help reversing everything with them killing the head vampire, which they both think is David. Then it surfaces that Star is also half vampire and David wanted her to kill Michael so she can finally become a full vampire, but she doesn’t want this and also wants a cure just like Michael does; soon Michael who is starting to become weak leads Sam and Michael to the vampire lair where they kill one of the sleeping vampires and escape with Star and another half vampire child named Laddie. While Lucy is out on a date with Max and as their Grandfather is also out of the house the whole team of teens fill water guns with holy water (which is an amazing scene of them in a church), a longbow, and stakes making a barricade for themselves inside the house. Soon David and the other two remaining vampires appear and start attacking the house, one of the vampires die by being pushed into a bathtub filled with holy water and garlic, and the other gets an arrow shot through his heart slams into a stereo and explodes. Then Michael is attacked by David, who everyone still thinks is the head vampire, they have an epic battle where Michael has to use his vampire powers to through David into a set of antlers which impales him and he dies instantly. Even though David is dead Michael, Star, and Laddie do not turn back to normal; Lucy returns home with Max who then reveals himself as the head vampire and since they invited him into their home his powers where never known to them. Max revels he instructed David to turn Michael and David into vampires so that Lucy wouldn’t hesitate turning into one so she could be the mother to his lost boys, as he pulls Lucy towards him to transform her, Grandpa crashes his car through the wall of the house and impales Max on a wooden fence post causing him to explode. Michael, Star, and Laddie then return to normal; Grandpa then grabs a drink from the refrigerator and says “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach all the damn vampires.”
Now as I think about how The Lost Boys themselves are monsters I look through Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s work of Monster Culture (Seven Theses) the first two thesis that apply to any sort of monster is 1. The Monster’s Body is a Cultural Body and 2. The Monster Always Escapes these two coincide with this classic movie because according to the first thesis “Drive a stake through its heart: it will be stuck to the ground at the fork, it will haunt that place that leads to many other places that point of indecision.” (Cohen) I think this represents three things in the movie the first was Lucy’s decision to move her and her boys to a new place to get a fresh start after the divorce, then second Michaels decision to fit in with a group to get attention of a girl no matter what the costs, and three Sam deciding that his brother even though is a vampire isn’t going to kill him and decides to help him get out of the mess he set for himself. The second thesis states “In each of these vampire stories, the undead returns in slightly different clothing, each time to be read against contemporary social movements or a specific, determining event.” (Cohen) This signifies that even though this movie takes place in the 80’s who knows how long Max and the lost boys have been actual vampires how long have they lived among the people of Santa Carla? Changing their style and the way they talk and think about the world to fit into the society so they are still able to feast on humans but still be able to live among them.
I am only going to touch briefly on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, the reason I chose this specific movie from the franchise is because the movie introduces new vampires from different covens and some of them have powers like superheroes. To give a real quick summary of the movie, Bella and Edward got married, went on a honey moon, and during that time Bella becomes pregnant while they are still away. Of course it’s impossible for her to be pregnant because Edward is immortal, but since Bella is still human it is possible (I didn’t write the books, ask Stephenie Meyer about that part.) So they go back home and Bella keeps the baby so it can grow but the pregnancy instead of lasting nine months only lasts a few weeks, they think that the baby is going to be some sort of demon baby but she is not and when I mean she I mean Renesmee, that is her name and she is born half human and half vampire; meaning she can survive off of people food and blood, in Twilight the Cullen’s and a couple other covens survive off of animal blood and not human blood calling themselves vegetarians. Anyways, Renesmee grows quickly than other children and is spotted by another vampire and goes the Volturi, which is basically the three main vampires kind of like royalty, and they decide if a fellow vampire needs to die so they can keep vampires hidden away from the human world. They think Bella and Edward bit Renesmee when they did not, but the Volturi comes anyway so have a battle over the “immortal child” hence why the other coven of vampires come to help out the Cullen’s to prove that Renesmee isn’t going to spill the beans to the human world of what she is. Finally before a big battle happens, Alice and Jasper return (Edwards other “siblings”) with a man and a woman, the man was born just like Renesmee and has lived for a long time and has done no harm the human world. The Volturi leave and the rest of the covens along with the Cullen’s live happily ever after. I will not discuss how Jacob was at first in love with Bella then he imprints on Renesmee when she is a baby and falls in love with her, someone else can write a whole dissertation about that plot point itself; meaning if you were a Twilight fan when you were younger we all know that Jacob Black is problematic just as much as Edward.
Breaking Dawn: Part 2 differs from The Lost Boys because these vampires have powers, some can read minds, make you feel different emotions, can make you think you are somewhere else, can shoot electrical currents, and can hurt someone by just looking at them. I admit the powers are cool, but does that make them real vampires? The Lost Boys in my opinion represent vampires really well, they still fly, have super strength, and drink human blood; also they look scary when they are about to attack someone, like a demon with big eyes and teeth with long fingernails. According to an article by Cydney J. Christner called Explaining the Vampire Legend through Disease “Vampires are typically observed to have an odd appearance of the eyes and nails, and staining of their teeth. The odd appearance of the eyes could be a symptom of Homer’s syndrome, which affects the size of the pupils and some facial features around the eyes.” (Christner) If you look at the difference of David and Michael fighting in The Lost Boys with any vampire in Breaking Dawn: Part 2 fighting it’s night and day, David and Michael are frightening to look at while Bella and Edward are nice to look at and they sparkle in the sunshine.
In conclusion, thesis three and four represent both movies, three is The Monster is the Harbinger of the Category Crisis which states “the too precise laws of nature as set forth by science are gleefully violated in the freakish compilation of the monster’s body” (Cohen) meaning that both these vampires never age and they get smarter as time goes on, they live among us learn things as we learn them and grow to become better than us since their age does not show and they can out live us. Fourth thesis The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference stating “the monster is difference made flesh, come to dwell among us” (Cohen) still stating that they live among us even though they are not us, they look human and according to the movies and books of The Twilight Saga look so beautiful, that’s why it is easy for them to bring humans to them because they are so beautiful they use that to their advantage. Lastly I will leave it with thesis seven The Monster Stands at the Threshold… of Becoming stating that “And when they come back, they bring not just a fuller knowledge of our place of history and the history of knowing our place, but they bear self-knowledge, human knowledge- and a discourse all the more sacred as it arises from the Outside.” (Cohen) meaning that since vampires live among the people they gain the human know ledge, learn what we learn and can take that and use it to make something greater than us humans ever could. That is why people are afraid of this monster, not just because they can drink our blood and look scary or beautiful doing it; they can out live us and doing something with our world that we could never imagine, unknown is what humans are afraid of, and Vampires are a representation of that fear.
The Lost Boys– 1987
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2– 2012
Christner, Cydney J. “Explaining the Vampire Legend through Disease.” Undergraduate Research Journal 23.1 (2019): 5. https://openspaces.unk.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1057&context=undergraduate-research-journal
The reason I chose this article is because I wanted to look for reasons why people started to claim why vampires where vampires. What was the evidence that claimed that that is what they were? As I ran across this article I found it fascinating that they were blaming diseases as to why the undead became vampires and blaming diseases that they fully didn’t understand on the undead instead of doing more research on it. I trust this article because it’s a scholarly journal.
Cohen, Jeffery J. “Monster Culture: Seven Theses. Excerpt from Monster Theory” Reading Culture. Univ of Minnesota Press, 1996 http://www.englishwithtuttle.com/uploads/3/0/2/6/30266519/cohen_monster_culture__seven_theses__3-20.pdf
We read this in class and it gives great examples as to why monster are the way they are. Also, as to why people are afraid of monsters and the things that they do not like or they cannot control. Some of the thesis states that people easily blame monsters than themselves. It’s a scholarly book about monsters that we have been studying in class, and I trust it enough to use it in my essay.