Written by Macauley Jones
The Lost Boys has got to be one the best vampire movies of the 80s. Maybe even of ALL TIME! (Well, for me at least). The Lost Boys holds a lot of nostalgia for most of us and I’m sure, like me, you’ve watched it plenty of times. But, one thing that’s always bugged me is how ambiguous that ending is! Ever since I was hit with the punchline that precedes the closing credits, my mind was in overdrive!
The remainder of this article is riddled with spoilers. But, seeing as most people have seen The Lost Boys ending you should be cool to read on. If you haven’t, WHY?! Stop reading and GO WATCH IT!!!
A lot of fans will be aware that The Lost Boys ending could have been entirely different. There was a scene at the end of the movie that never saw the light of day. But that’s not what I’m referring to. However, just so we’re all up to speed, here’s the original screenplay for you to have a read over.
Sounds cool, right? But, because Grandpa’s punchline was so impactive, Schumacher et al. decided that this scene wasn’t necessary and it was never filmed.
Now, back to my theory.
As a teenager watching the end sequence I always thought it was a bit peculiar. Grandpa walking into the darkness, heading over to the fridge. Not really bothered that he’s just drove his car through his house and destroyed the head vampire. He just wants his ‘root beer’. He takes a swig and says “One thing about Santa Carla I never could stomach; all the damn vampires.” and that’s it! The end?! I genuinely thought it was going in another direction. I was almost certain that Grandpa was going to be a vampire too! And do you know what? I still think he might be!
Hear me out…
We first meet Grandpa at the beginning of the movie when he’s ‘playing dead’, yes? Well, maybe he isn’t just pretending. As we see later in the movie, those who have not fully turned lose their energy in the sun, but don’t burn. Starr, Michael, Laddie, all three of them can’t stay awake after being exposed to the sun’s rays. Maybe Grandpa is the same. Went outside to check if Lucy and her kids had arrived, felt faint and went for a snooze. What if Grandpa, like Michael, hasn’t fully turned into a vampire yet…
Don’t worry, I got more!
Later we learn that Michael can’t stand the light and has to wear sunglasses to alleviate the pain. Well, so does Grandpa! He plays it off by implying he’s only wearing them because he ‘got lucky’. But, what if he wears them because, like Michael, the light hurts his eyes. Throughout the movie we only really see Grandpa inside or driving to the Widow Johnson’s house at dusk. True, there’s a scene when he’s repairing a fence post outside during the day, but maybe he’d just had a ‘root beer’ and was feeling energetic.
And, speaking of his ‘root beers’…
Grandpa is very specific that the second shelf in the fridge is his. He states “That’s where I keep my root beer and my double-thick Oreo cookies.” But, when we see him drink one at the end, the liquid looks curiously red. Now, that may be down to the red lighting in the room. Or, it could be blood! We see Grandpa drinking his ‘root beers’ quite a few times in the movie. Maybe he’s just an old goat that likes a tipple. Or, maybe he’s trying to keep the bloodlust away by drinking the crimson life fluid! Where would he get blood, you ask? He’s got a room full of dead animals…
My theory – Upon moving to Santa Carla, Grandpa somehow turned into a vampire (I still haven’t figured that out yet…) But, rather than give in to his bloodlust and kill (thus turning him into a full vampire) he alleviates it by drinking animal blood. The Lost Boys lore states that you only become a full vampire after you’ve “made your first kill”. Maybe Grandpa refuses to kill people. He keeps the blood cool in the fridge to keep it fresher for longer. But, since blood has a shelf life, he has to keep replacing it. Hence, the taxidermy cover!
We never see Grandpa in front of a mirror, he doesn’t seem the church-going type and how did he know to burst through the wall in a sea of stakes anyway?! Was it just good luck? Or did his vampiric senses help him see/hear that his family were in danger?
Is the big twist of The Lost Boys ending really that Grandpa knew about vampires all along? My teenage brain couldn’t accept that. For me, Grandpa IS a vampire!
What do you think about The Lost Boys ending? Are there any points to counter Macauley’s claim? Can you think of anything else to support it?
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