‘The Lost Boys’ star calls movie a “freaking obvious” gay metaphor—these homoerotic scenes prove it

Image Credit: ‘The Lost Boys,’ Warner Bros. Pictures

The movie responsible for making vampires sexy again—and likely inspiring countless gay awakenings for Gen X—The Lost Boys celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, looking as good as ever. (Obviously, because vampires don’t age!)

The spooky 1987 classic has long been heralded as a queer favorite. As the AIDs epidemic raged on and Ronald Reagan’s conservative moralism further ostracized the “other,” it wasn’t a stretch to read the film’s undead bad boys—with their leather get-ups and embrace of a chosen family—as stand-ins for the gay community in the late ’80s.

The metaphor becomes even clearer in retrospect, especially when you consider The Lost Boys‘ director was the late Joel Schumacher, a.k.a. the gay filmmaker who gave Batman’s suit nipples and somehow made The Phantom Of The Opera even campier.

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Sure, we gays have trained ourselves to read between the lines over the years, to find ourselves in stories that weren’t explicitly about us. But Schumacher himself even acknowledged it, clarifying a few years back that his film was “about the fear we have of the other—those who live outside of the mainstream.”

And now, even the film’s cast is acknowledging there was something queer going on beneath the surface of the The Lost Boys, with one star admitting they knew it was gay from the jump.

In a new retrospective interview with Entertainment Weekly, stars Corey Feldman (Edgar Frog), Jamison Newlander (Alan Frog) and Alex Winter (Marko) reflect on the film’s immortal appeal and even address its rather blatant homoeroticism.

“I think it’s the most successful interpretation of all the things [director Joel Schumacher] did well,” says Winter, “which was fashion and music and understanding actors and story and style and—I’m just gonna call a spade a spade—homoeroticism and sexual ambiguity and sexual adventurousness.”

Amen! Just look at the way the sweaty, shirtless saxophone player shakes his groove thing in this scene. Schumacher knew exactly what he was doing.

There’s also the fact that, in one notable moment, you can catch a glimpse of an ab-baring Rob Lowe poster hanging in the room of young protagonist, Sam Emerson (Corey Haim).

Newlander admits he never really thought about the movie’s gay appeal until a fan brought it up at a convention a few year back, at which point he remembered said poster, conceding that it was definitely “signaling LGBT.”

Screenshot: ‘The Lost Boys,’ Warner Bros. Pictures

But, again, it’s Winter who seemed to have been most keyed into what Schumacher was really going for. “I do think that, for sure, our characters had that kind of undercurrent,” he says when discussing The Lost Boys‘ homoeroticism. “I don’t think it required, you know, sitting around a table read discussing it,” but he recognized the world these vampires were meant to nod to.

“I had spent my previous five years doing two long-running Broadway shows back to back—during the beginning of the AIDS crisis and at the height of the disco era.,” Winter recalls. “I started going to discos at, like, 13, 14, years old. I’ve been around the nightlife in New York a really long time. I came from a family of modern dancers, so I’ve been around trans and gender-fluid and gay people my whole life and it was really freaking obvious what he was up to and, and I thought it was great.”

Related: This homoerotic cult classic was almost even gayer

Winter even says his performance as Marko—one of the vampire gang’s fearsome members—was inspired by the queer people he grew up around, pulling from the styles and sensibilities of the genderfluid kids he knew from Times Square: “It wasn’t exactly rocket science, but it didn’t require being overt. Everybody dressed like that. Everyone wore balloon pants and had highlights.”

Overt or not, it’s pretty undeniable what The Lost Boys has meant for gay audiences, both for those who saw it when it first hit theaters and younger audiences who experienced it years later. Just take a quick look at Twitter and you’ll still see plenty of queers bloodthirsty for this sexy, seductive, and seminal vampire flick:

The Lost Boys is currently streaming on The Roku Channel and Paramount+ for those with a Showtime subscription. It’s also available for digital rental or purchase on AppleTV, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, GooglePlay, Vudu, and DirecTV.

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