Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys almost had a post-credits scene that would have taken viewers back to lair of the vampires. Post-credits scenes in modern cinema have become quite common, in big part thanks to superhero films including one or more extra scenes mid-credits or after they finish rolling. But back in the '80s these post-credits scenes were not a common addition to films, especially horror ones.
The 1987 film The Lost Boys follows teenage brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) who, after moving to a small town with their mother, come face to face with a local gang of vampires. This film, at times more a comedy than a horror one, has one of the most memorable endings thanks to Grandpa’s final line, but originally the ending was going to be different, as revealed in the book Lost in the Shadows: The Story of The Lost Boys.
Paul Davis, author of the book, shares that the original script of The Lost Boys had a very different ending than the one that made it to the big screen. Said ending was later moved to the end of the credits. In it, once the credits would have rolled, the audience would have been taken back to the underground vampire lair, where the camera would have pan to an old mural depicting vampire leader Max in the early 1900s, smiling and talking to a group of young boys.
An excerpt of the script is included in the book, as well as an illustrated interpretation of the scene by artist Gary Smart. The scene reads as follows:
INT. LOBBY/CAVE - NIGHT
Deserted, the CAMERA PROWLS through the Rock ‘n’ Roll ruins.
Eventually the CAMERA pushes toward the old mural painted on the lobby wall. The mural depicts a typical day on the boardwalk in the year 1900.
CAMERA MOVES CLOVER AND CLOSER TO THE MURAL
And HOLD TIGHT on one painting figure in particular. A man in a straw hat. He’s grinning broadly...and he’s most definitely Max. He’s talking to a group of young men.
This scene was never shot because, as production designer Bo Welch explains, the film already had a great ending, filming the tag was never a priority; and with Warner Bros. cutting the film’s budget by 35 percent before it began shooting, the scene was taken out. The film ends with Grandpa delivering the line “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach: all the damn vampires.”
The meaning of this final scene is up to interpretation: while some believe this is just further proof that Max had been the leader of the vampires in Santa Carla for decades, others speculate that this mural could suggest that Max is an unkillable figure who will eventually come back. Whether this extra scene would have strengthened the final fight or diminished it is up to the viewer. What is undeniable is that Grandpa’s legendary last line was a perfect ending to the film, bringing both levity and an element of surprise.