Oh sh*t, Corey Haim 1971-2010

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corey haim comic store
OK, I am about to spoil the shit out of the (vampire) movie The Lost Boys, in case you haven't seen it. Well it was out in 1987, so come on.

So. Reports are in that Canadian actor Corey Haim has passed away from a suspected drug overdose. This is not surprising given his public history of meds addiction. 

Everyone has people they associate with a certain time of their lives and for me teens = Corey Haim because of the movie The Lost Boys. That and he's just 18 months older than me.

It's funny - and this is going to be divisive for others around my age, not to mention film fans - because practically every other famous 80's American studio pic that people get misty eyed about seems terrible to me when I revisit it. The movies of John Hughes, who also passed lately, are awful on so many levels especially the ones I loved. I can't watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off without wanting to hurt someone. I want to brick the TV when I hear the down here, it's our time speech from The Goonies. Raiders of the Lost Ark is borderline racist and the action sequences often make no sense.

lost boys
But The Lost Boys holds up - because it is an outstanding piece of film making.

No ... really. Every set piece and every beat that a big movie like that should hit is nailed with extreme prejudice.

The setting is perfect, a seaside fairground town, seen mainly by night. The first 30 minutes are a relentless barrage of perfectly judged scenes. Perhaps one of the greatest first acts in commercial cinema.

Flying in over the night ocean.
The boys on the carousel at night.
The People Are Strange montage of the town and the freaks and geeks who populate it.
The rock concert at the beach at night.
The comic book store.
The motorbike race out to the cliffs.
Michael drinking the blood in the underground lair.
The you are one of us scene on the railway bridge.

Another thing it gets dead right (pardon the pun) is the use of horror. This is one of those movies in which the horror is second to the other genre elements. Like the monster to Frankenstein or the Zombies in the mainly comedy Shaun of the Dead. When it does bring in the horror - it does it 300%.

The big reveal is not that the boys are vampires, we know that. The surprise is that they show Michael "who you are" by revealing what kind of vampires they are - the kind with monster faces that rend the flesh from their victims, bite their skulls open, spray the scene with gore and then toss the bodies onto a pyre.

When David (Keifer Sutherland) walks up from that scene and says "you will never grow old and you will never die ... but you must feed" ... I'm telling you ... fuck bullshit movies like Twilight. The Lost Boys is an unabashed entertainment pic but other true vampire pics like, say, Interview With The Vampire, don't get close to moments like that one.

In the middle of it all was little Corey Haim. As Sam, Micheal's little brother and observer to his journey to and from the dark side, Corey is supposed to be a kind of comic relief. But he was so much more than that. And it made him a star.

Read around the net, the articles, the blogs and the comments. See how many times you read this one:

"Death by stereo!"

R.I.P., bud.

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more of a 'feldman' guy myself....
nah seriously, RIP one of the coreys

While I'm a good ten years younger than Mr. Haim and didn't grow up with his flicks or the wide swath he painted across pop culture, it's a bummer whenever anyone, whether a public figure or an anonymous nobody, falls victim to addiction.

With that said, I thought "The Lost Boys" could have been a better flick with a better screenplay, simply to tease out the grandfather character's "Is he or is he not a vampire?" subplot even further.

I know they tried hinting at it, but I think it flew over the heads of most audiences, myself included, until I spent some time clicking around IMDB.

I'm only aware of this intention because I screened it for my students in my teaching days (Note: NEVER do a lesson on this film unless you're prepared to watch it 10-12 times in one week.)

Feldman was good in Stand By Me, although again, the voiceover in that movie makes it hard for me despite it being one of the bunch that stands out for sure.


Yeah, Lost Boys is one of those movies where you think what it would be like were it done as a 'proper' movie and not a commercial one. But I think it works, somehow, because of it's approach, not in spite of it. I can't justify that right now cos we'd need pages.

My fave 80's teen movie came right at the end and was a satire on the whole thing - Heathers.

That, and Cry Little Sister, which was one of the greatest songs of my youth...

I know, Archie, I know.

Despite my rock and metal leanings, I thought that song ruled.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on March 11, 2010 1:59 AM.

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