The original screenplay written by Jan Fischer and James Jeremias was originally about a bunch of "Goonie-type 5th-6th grade kid vampires", with the Frog Brothers being "chubby 8 year old cub scouts", and Star being a boy instead of a love interest. The original inspiration came from James, who caught upon the notion that Peter Pan could fly, visited Wendy and her brothers at night, and never grew old. The simple notion that Peter Pan was a vampire was the genesis for the story. In the first draft of the script, the character of David was originally named Peter, and other characters also had names from the Peter Pan story. In the final draft, many name changes were made, but originally the two brothers were Michael and John (which was later changed to Sam) and the mother's name was Wendy. The most obvious nod to the Pan story is the dog, Nanook, inspired by the character Nana the dog. The Grandfather character was never a part of the original story but later created in the draft by Jeffrey Boam, who was hired to do the final rewrite.
Joel Schumacher hated that idea and told the producers he would only sign on if he could change them to teenagers, as he thought it would be much sexier and more interesting.
The new location of the Atlantis Fantasyworld comic book store, which was featured in the film, is owned by Joe Ferrara II, who still carries the original #1 issue of 'Vampires Everywhere' that Sam reads in the film. The comic was created only for the film, and its opening page is signed by all of the cast members from the movie. The owner Joe Ferrara II allows any shopper to hold it and take a photo with it free of charge.
Every year at the landmark Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, California, this film is screened as part of the park's free summer movie series. Beach goers may bring outdoor furniture and supplies to watch after sunset. Many features of the town shown can still be recognized, most notably the rides and games of the Boardwalk itself.
In the cave of the Lost Boys, you can see a poster of Jim Morrison, who recorded the original version of "People are Strange" with The Doors. Also, when Star and Laddie are being carried into Sam's room, you can see a poster of Echo & The Bunnymen, who recorded the version used in the movie.
Two men can be seen playing pinball the second time Sam visits the comic shop. The guy with the facial hair is Joe Ferrara II, who actually owned the comic shop Atlantis fantasy world. The comic shop has now moved location but is still owned by Joe.
Corey Haim jammed with his co-stars between takes, and enjoyed the large props room. Precluded from the nightly parties held by the older actors, Haim bonded with Corey Feldman as they stayed in the hotel watching movies and visited the local arcade.
At the time of filming, Jamison Newlander (Alan Frog) had chest hair despite being only sixteen. In the scene where Paul (Brooke McCarter) gets pushed into the bathtub, he grabs the Frog brothers by the shirt. When Jamison was grabbed by the shirt, his chest hair was grabbed too. Jamison says, "The pain you see on my face is actually quite real."
In Lethal Weapon (1987), when Murtaugh and Riggs are walking down the street discussing how Murtaugh owes Hunsacker, a movie theater's marquee displays "Lost Boys: This Year's Hit". Richard Donner directed that film and produced this one. Both were both released in the same year.
Several thousand local residents answered the casting call for family types, street people, punks, surfers, roller skaters and one "brain dead hippie". Some 2,000 of the applicants were signed for several nights work on what was the largest film production ever brought to the area at that time.
Kiefer Sutherland's role as David, being one of the lead cast members, had the fewest lines amongst all leading and supporting cast members. At the same time, he had the most dialogue amongst the four vampire Lost Boys. This included saying the name "Michael," 118 times.
Though almost all of Kelly Jo Minter's scenes are deleted from the film, and the only true appearance she makes is over Lucy's shoulder in the video store, she still received billing in the film's opening credits. Her scenes can be viewed in the 2004 "The Lost Boys" DVD special features.
Corey Feldman (who played Edgar Frog) almost wasn't in the movie. At the time Corey struggled with drug abuse at a young age and showed up to work coming down from a cocaine binge. Director Joel Schumacher was very upset that Corey kept dozing off and was unable to continue filming, so he fired him, but hired him back the next day after Corey apologized and swore to come to work prepared from then on, which he did.
Kiefer Sutherland was originally reluctant to star in the film, until he heard that Joel Schumacher had lined up INXS and Jimmy Barnes to sing some of the songs on the soundtrack. Kiefer had spent a summer in Australia when he was a child and became fans of their music.
Santa Cruz, where Santa Carla takes place, was once plagued with the reputation of being "The Murder Capital Of The World" because of a series of very brutal murders by three different very disturbed men in the early '70s. Because of John Linley Frazier, Herbert Mullin and Edmund Kemper, Santa Cruz endured 28 murders over a 30 month period between 1970 and 1973.
In the dinner with Max and the Frog brothers, Alan puts out candles with his fingers. Nobody told (Jamison Newlander) that he had to wet his fingers first, so he ended up getting burnt. In later takes, he dipped his hands in a basin of water before putting out the candles.
Jamison Newlander lived in Beverly Hills at the time of filming. On their day off, he and Corey Haim cycled from Jamison's house to the beach. They had to call Jamison's parents to come and pick them up afterwards because it had gotten dark.
Both The Lost Boys and its direct-to-video sequel The Lost Boys: The Tribe star a son of Canadian actor Donald Sutherland: Kiefer Sutherland plays David in The Lost Boys, while Angus Sutherland plays Shane in Lost Boys: The Tribe.
In the opening sequence there is a random crowd shot that includes an older man in the distance with thick glasses wearing a Gothic looking hooded black robe. While his appearance is in line with the "spooky" factor of the film, he is in fact a semi-nomadic Christian.
As has been noted, the "Murder Capitol of the World" slogan seen on the back of a billboard was in reference to Santa Cruz having had one mass murderer quickly followed by two simultaneous serial killers in the early 1970's. The actual nickname itself became associated forever with Santa Cruz due to a contemporary Reader's Digest article about modern murders which branded the town. The front of the billboard in the film was a copy of a mural of Santa Cruz, located on the wall of Upper Crust pizza, virtually the first thing you'd see coming into town on the coast road from San Francisco. For the film, the mural was relocated to West Cliff, above the surfing spot Steamer's Lane.
A year after the release of this movie, Alex Winter portrayed Dr. John William Polidori in Haunted Summer Haunted Summer (1988). Polidori wrote what is considered the first modern successful vampire story.
The Atlantis comic book store in the film appears to be located at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. It was really a few blocks away. The doors opened onto Pacific Ave. and to create the illusion that it was down a hallway in the bowels of the Boardwalk, scaffolding and drywall boards (covered with graffiti) were extended over the sidewalk and along the curb.
This is the second movie Corey Feldman starred in with Keifer Sutherland where Feldman was the hero and Sutherland was the villain. These movies were filmed back to back in 1986 and 1987; they were Stand By Me and Lost Boys.
When Lucy goes to apologize to Max for leaving their date early, Sam reads a vampire comic book that features a page dedicated all about the dangers of "Hellhounds: a special guard dog for vampires who sleep during the day". Not seconds later, Lucy almost gets eaten by Max's pet dog (and guard dog) Thorn, prompting Sam to save her.
The movie didn't originally end on a joke. After the scene with Grampa at the refrigerator, it was supposed to cut to the surviving Lost Boys regrouping in the sunken hotel. The last shot was of a mural on the wall, made in the early 1900s, with Max in it - looking exactly the same as he did today. All of this appeared in an early draft of the script, but ultimately was never filmed.
In the scene where Sam and the Frog Brothers stake Marco while he sleeps they are pursued by the rest of the vampire gang as they try to escape back into the daylight. David grabs Sam's leg but Sam manages to drag David's hand into the sunlight where it catches fire. A tear then slides down David's face as he clutches his hand in agony. Apparently, the tear running down his face was actually caused by Kiefer Sutherland's contact lenses which were stinging terribly, but they decided to keep it in as it looked really good and was in context.
David is impaled on a pair of antlers and doesn't disintegrate like the other vampires. Despite what Max later says, he is not really dead. This was intended to be picked up in the sequel, "The Lost Girls", which was scripted but never made. In the Wildstorm comic's mini-series "The Lost Boys: Reign of the Frogs" (2008) - which helps bridge the 20-year gap between films - it's implied that David not only survived the impaling but went on to create 'Shane' the head vampire in Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008).
Both of the two 1987 movies about a "family" of vampires who lure a young man and make him into a half-vampire before he is eventually "cured" (Near Dark (1987) and The Lost Boys) feature a son of Jason Miller in their casts: Joshua John Miller is in Near Dark, and his half-brother Jason Patric is in The Lost Boys.
During the climax of the film, Edgar Frog states that "when a vampire bites it, it's never a pretty sight. Some yell and scream, some go quietly. Some explode, some implode, but all will try to take you with them." All the vampires follow these four deaths exactly. Marko when staked by Edgar screams as he dies, Paul dissolves in a bathtub of holy water causing the plumbing in the house to implode on itself, Dwayne and Max blow up and David dies very quietly and with minimal struggle.
When Sam is in the comic book store the first time he tells the Frog Brothers he's looking for a Batman #14. Joel Schumacher a lifelong and devoted Batman fan, directed Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997) and Corey Haim was considered for the part of Robin.
When Max is invited over for dinner, he says to Lucy that he thought the guest shouldn't see the food before dinner, to which Lucy corrects him saying thats the bride before a wedding, to which Max says he always gets the two mixed up, foreshadowing the ending when its revealed that Max is the head vampire as he wanted Lucy for his bride.