Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Corey Haim and Corey Feldman

Having watched pretty much every teen comedy brat pack movie churned out in the 80s I spent much of my tweenties watching the more obscure movies made by the stars of these films, as their careers took different paths.

I've read two fascinating (to me) books recently.  Corey Feldman's autobiography, and a biography of Corey Haim.  A tragic premature death means Haim and unable to tell his own story.  Corny, but I still clearly remember the shock at hearing of his death while I was driving through Skye in 2010.

I was a big fan of many of their films including a lot of their more obscure releases which never made to cinemas where I live in Scotland, so I had to catch on video release - Blown Away, Just One of The Girls, Bordello of Blood, Dream Machine, Prayer of The Rollerboys and Dream a Little Dream 1 & 2.

Feldman's book reads like a pretty honest account of his life.  He comes across as a clever, artistic, kind and thoughtful person. He talks about the wild times when he was a very big star in films like Goonies, Stand By Me, Lost Boys, Gremlins, Friday 13th and Licence to Drive. He cleaned up his act, and continues to make 2 or 3 films a year, as well as enjoying making music with his band and being a dad.  Feldman is a great actor! What we need is some inspired casting from Tarantino or someone similar to bring Corey's talents to a wider audience once more.  His music is also great.  Track down earworm Ascension Millennium!

The pages on his friendship with Michael Jackson are a good read too.  "I've got your number in my Little Black Book now Corey."  - thanks for that Michael! The sexual abuse, alcohol and drugs young actors appear to be exposed too is all pretty grim stuff.  It's nice to read of the few older, wiser hands, who did try to help these young guys through some of their tough times.  Richard Donner and Stephen Speilberg for Feldman, and Joel Schumacher for Haim.

Unlike Feldman, Corey Haim couldn't survive it all.  Decline in popularity, worsening drug addiction and numerous failed rehab punctuated his life.  And then sadly and unexpectedly he died so young (of natural causes)

A raft of co-stars speak very highly of his talent and potential throughout his short lived career.  But an inability to stay drug free was in some part his undoing career wise.

Some ten years after he directed Corey Haim in Lost Boys, Joel Schumacher called him in to audition with George Clooney for the role of Robin in Batman and Robin.  Joel knew Corey was struggling with drugs but hoped he could clean up his act and live up to his potential. I think Haim's slack jawed wise cracking improvisational style would have made an ideal Boy Wonder, but it was not to be.  Corey was out of it for his audition and there was no way the part could be his. Clooney firmly agreed.  Schumacher took Corey out for dinner that night to talk to him, but over the meal Haim suffered a grand mal seizure and had to be taken to hospital.

I was always a fan of Feldman back in the day but warmed to him even more after reading his book.

If you believe the Corey Haim book, the later years of his life were filled with tales of excess and resulting ill health. Thankfully he did get it together before he saddly died Feldman confirmed.

A sad book but also a thrill to re-live some of the old obscure b-movies he made.    I'll always be a Haim fan but his career is really now sadly long forgotten by most.  He should be remembered as comic book fan Sam Emerson in Lost Boys filled with wide eyed wonder, boundless energy and playful enthusiasm, and not for his bloated cameo in spin off Lost Boys 2 The Tribe and some of his other late 90s work. It really is a shame he never managed to get it together.  He could have been more than just one half of what was viewed by some as novelty pairing.  But novelty pairings don't gross over $500M in movies together and have a successful TV show like these guys.

If you buy one of these 2 books - BUY FELDMAN'S.  He was there and he lived it.  The other book is of interest but is a bit of a cash in by a journalist.

A young Corey Haim
An older Corey Haim

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