I have no idea why Star (Jami Gertz) is featured so prominently in promotional pictures for this movie. She has about three lines and no discernible personality. Because: vagina. Aaanyway...
1. Has anyone ever looked cool roaming around a moving carousel? Particularly a moving carousel they don't work on? The answer is no, David (Kiefer Sutherland), the answer is no. Even when you've got Bill, from Bill & Ted, in a mullet wig behind you. Get off the horsie ride, already.
2. David, Bill and what appears to be 50% of LA Guns fight with a blonde metal girl and her be-coiffed surfer boyfriend. Let’s face it, none of these people would be caught dead on this fucking carousel.
3. A moustachioed security guard puts a billy club to David's neck, telling him: “I told you to stay off the boardwalk.” For those uninitiated in Northern California fun, he’s talking about “The Santa Cruz beach boardwalk — in the warm California sun. BOARDWALK!” Here’s a terrible fucking commercial to explain that joke:
5. “Smells like someone died,” Sam (Corey Haim) tells his brother, Michael (Jason Patric), on entering Santa Carla. FORESHADOWING!
6. A girl licks a rat. Kids are dumpster-diving. It’s possible that spending my childhood watching this movie a lot influenced ALL OF MY FUCKING TWENTIES.
7. The family arrives at Grandpa’s house and he’s playing dead on the porch. “If he’s dead,” says Corey Haim, “Can we go back to Phoenix?” WAIT. Someone WANTS to go back to Phoenix? No offense, but this is less believable than the vampire-related storyline we’ve got coming.
8. Sam is upset that there’s “no TV” and therefore “no MTV.” I feel you buddy. You should see the fuckin’ state of it now.
9. “We got rules around here,” says Grandpa gesturing to the fridge. “The second shelf is mine. That’s where I keep my root beers and double-stuffed Oreo Cookies.” PRODUCT PLACEMENT IS SO SUBTLE ALWAYS.
10. Corey Haim dresses like me when I was 6. I would pay a million dollars to see what he looks like standing up in this:
11. Sweaty Tina Turner saxophonist is playing a show at the boardwalk and the kids are loving his be-mulleted, chain-wearing awesomeness. (Fun fact! I saw Tina Turner in the ’90s and he was still playing with her and I nearly died.)
12. Star is at the show with a random small child (Laddie). She brushes her permed hair with her hand and stares Michael down, using a lot of seductive ‘80s arm waving to “accidentally” get his attention.
13. People are head banging. I feel like kids now think that this was a thing made up by movies. It isn’t and it wasn’t. One time in 1992, I headbanged so hard at a Pantera show, something in my head made a clicking sound for literally a year afterwards.
14. Sam and Michael’s mom, Lucy, goes into the local video store. The owner Max spots David, Bill and LA Guns. “I told you not to come in here anymore,” Max says. CAN THE VAMPIRES NOT JUST FIND A BAR INSTEAD OF HANGING AROUND ON CAROUSELS AND IN VIDEO STORES? THEY ARE CLEARLY ALL 25.
15. Watching Corey Feldman watch Corey Haim look at comic books actually breaks my heart a little bit. (#CharlieSheenIsARapist) (See: Young Gunsfor details.)
16. Star gets on the back of David’s motorcycle and tries real hard to rub Michael’s nose in it. Is Star David's girlfriend or not? It is literally NEVER COVERED IN THIS MOVIE.
17. Blonde metal girl and surfer dude get murdered by the vampires. Seems really unreasonable payback for carousel-related infractions.
18. Words cannot express how fucking weird Corey Haim’s wardrobe is in this thing. I say that as someone who was alive and conscious at the time. It was weird even then. My sisters and I had endless conversations about it. The passage of time has not assisted matters. I mean...
19. Michael tries to pick up Star. David and vampires show up and put a stop to it because... boyfriend, maybe? Possibly? Anyone? David immediately challenges Michael to a race. Because 1987 Santa Cruz is apparently actually 1954.
20. “SAIL OUT TOO-NITE! LOST IN THE SHAD-OWES!” So many mullets flying in the wind.
21. When the vampires enter their cave, they all “WOO!” a lot. I don’t think I’ve ever “WOO”ed while entering a room. Being a vampire must be very exciting.
22. Sam cannot sleep with the closet doors open. Sam makes his mom close them, while he lounges in bed. Sam is such a privileged asshole, he can’t close his own wardrobes.
23. Sam has a large poster of Rob Lowe wearing a cropped top on his wardrobe door. When he comes out to his mom in 4 years, she’s gonna be like “Dude, I know, it’s fine.”
24. The vampires try to feed Michael LITERALLY PLAIN WHITE RICE and LITERALLY PLAIN BROWN NOODLES. Vampires really do hate vegetables. Also meat, which is more surprising.
25. Michael drinks blood. Which, with the incredibly bland food options on offer, feels totally justifiable. Michael makes an orgasm face, proving that yes, everything does taste amazing after those shitty brown festival food truck noodles.
26. The parental saying “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” is taken to really literal, and un-self-conscious heights in this movie. You already know what I'm talking about:
27. Singing Corey Haim is so tiny in his bathtub. I wish I could be that tiny in a bathtub.
28. “My own brother! A goddamn shit-sucking vampire! Well, you wait ’til mom finds out buddy!” It is this line and this line alone that makes this movie, to this day, a modern classic.
29. Michael wakes up on the ceiling. I feel like there’s a solid Lionel Richie soundtrack opportunity that has been lost here.
30. Lucy is wearing white mid-level heels and blue ankle socks. Lucy is HELLA Bushwick.
31. Michael goes to the bat cave, runs past Laddie, and asks Star what’s happening to him. “I can’t tell you Michael,” she says, “I can’t.” Then they bone. EVEN THOUGH LADDIE IS RIGHT THERE. WHO'S THE REAL MONSTER NOW, STAR-MICHAEL? YOU PROUD OF YOURSELVES?
32. Lucy tries to talk to Michael. He is evasive and weird because he is a half-vampire now. Wait. Is this whole thing a metaphor for being a teenager? I just blew my own mind.
33. “Looks like I wasn’t the only one who got lucky last night,” Grandpa says to Sam, about Michael. Sam has no response because THAT’S A REALLY CREEPY THING TO SAY TO A 15-YEAR-OLD, GRANDPA.
34. Michael keeps lit candles in his room now and has a jerry curl thing going on, because... I really can't even hazard a guess, actually.
35. Max is invited over for dinner. Max cannot visibly tell the difference between grated parmesan and grated raw garlic. Max deserves everything he gets.
36. Michael finds David and asks where Star is. So, naturally, David and the crew take Michael to a surfer barbecue where they EAT EVERYONE’S AEROSMITH-LOVING FACES.
37. David emerges from a sand dune. “Now you know what we are, now you know what you are. But you must feed.” Everyone laughs. Wait. Why is that funny? LA Guns have shit senses of humor.
38. Sam, the Frog brothers and Michael go to the vampire lair. Michael retrieves Star and Laddie. Star has to be carried like a child because: GIRL.
39. The others go find the REAL vampires who are all hanging upside down, which, it turns out, really enhances crimped mullets.
40. When Kiefer Sutherland is a vampire, he has really excellent cheekbones and really terrible eyebrows.
41. Everyone’s plan to stop the vampires from killing them involves closing and locking the windows. Also: water pistols. Good luck with that, kids.
42. “They’ll be coming for Laddie and me, won’t they?” Star asks. UM. THEY’RE YOUR BROS, BITCH. HOW DO YOU KNOW LESS THAN THE NEW KIDS?
43. In the course of all the What-About-The-Vampires-Coming-To-Kill-Us, Sam has forgotten that his beloved dog is tied up, on a VERY short leash, I might add, to the FRONT FUCKING GATE. There is a melee as Sam retrieves the dog, but FUCK YOU, YOU SHIT DOG OWNER.
44. Zero explanation given for how a vampire getting impaled by an arrow prompts a cassette of “Good Times” by Jimmy Barnes and INXS to start playing without the tape getting mangled. (Happy that Death By Stereo got a band name out of this though.)
45. Michael’s sneakers make realistically squeaky noises as he fights David. I own some 1980s Adidas and can testify that the struggle is real. Every time I go to Whole Foods, I sound like LeBron James.
46. Michael impales David on some animal horns Grandpa had lying around, and kills him. David rocks back and forth on the horns for a bit. Is this a metaphor for virginity loss? Loss of childhood? I might be reading too much into this...
47. Lucy arrives home. She has no questions about the ambient red lighting that has taken over the formerly bright home. I have many.
48. Grandpa drives his car through the front of the house at THE EXACT RIGHT MOMENT and KILLS THE ONE GUY THAT NEEDS TO DIE. Grandpa is magic.