Release Date: March 28th, 1986 Directed by: David Seltzer Written by: David Seltzer Music by: Dave Grusin Cast: Corey Haim, Charlie Sheen, Kerri Green, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Winona Ryder, Tom Hodges, Guy Boyd, Jeremy Piven, Garrett M. Brown
Twentieth Century Fox, 100 Minutes
“You can’t ever make me quit, ever!” – Lucas
In the ’80s, coming of age teen movies, whether they be drama, comedy or both, were a dime a dozen. And while I can’t consider Lucas to be one of the better ones, it still has real heart and it’s damn near impossible to not feel for the kid, as he experiences his first heartbreak when the girl he loves, also his best friend, falls for the cool guy that is like a big brother to him.
I think that the story is something everyone can relate to regardless of gender or situation. At some point, we’ve all had to deal with heartbreak for the first time. And since this movie actually tells that story pretty well, it’s a pretty worthwhile picture.
Corey Haim was really young in this and it was only his second starring role. He showed great promise as a young actor, as did the rest of the cast, who also made this sort of hokey picture into a real human, emotional drama.
This is a strange film in that it does sort of get buried by its outdated ’80s cheese but the important stuff still gets through to the audience in an effective way.
There are certainly a dozen or more ’80s teen movies I’d recommend over this one but if you’ve seen the cream of the crop and never watched this one, it’s definitely worth your 100 minutes.
Rating: 6.75/10 Pairs well with: other coming of age high school movies of the ’80s.
Release Date: October 26th, 2007 Directed by: Barry Gray Written by: Barry Gray Music by: Don MacDonald Cast: Uwe Boll, John Carpenter, David S. Goyer, Corey Haim, John Landis, Kristanna Loken, Leonard Maltin, Cheech Marin, Greg Nicotero, Joel Schumacher, Stephen Sommers, Stuart Townsend, Stan Winston, Len Wiseman, Marv Wolfman
Insight Film Studios, Vamp Productions, 56 Minutes
This has been in my Starz queue for a long ass time, so I figured I’d give it a watch to clear out some of the stuff that’s been there for too long.
Overall, this was a pretty boring documentary with a lot of talking head interviews edited together pretty sloppily.
There didn’t seem to be a clear direction or objective about this short documentary other than having a bunch of actors and directors talking about vampire films they’ve been apart of.
Frankly, this felt random as hell and features a slew of films that no one cared about when they came out and certainly don’t care about now. While they talk about some solid films like Lost Boys, From Dusk Till Dawn and Vampires, they also spend a lot of time talking about shit movies like Van Helsing, BloodRayne and Queen of the Damned.
I wouldn’t call this informative or entertaining. It’s a pointless, shitty production that only barely scratches the surface on the history of vampire cinema and would rather showcase Uwe Boll and Stephen Sommers rambling about their atrocious movies.
Rating: 3.5/10 Pairs well with: sniffing hobo farts.
Release Date: July 27th, 1987 (New York City premiere) Directed by: Joel Scumacher Written by: Janice Fischer, James Jeremias, Jeffrey Boam Music by: Thomas Newman Cast: Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Edward Herrmann, Barnard Hughes, Dianne Wiest, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, Kelly Jo Minter
Warner Bros., 98 Minutes
“One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach; all the damn vampires.” – Grandpa
The Lost Boys might not have been the biggest film of 1987 but it was still a pretty huge deal. Every kid and teen wanted to see it. It starred the two Coreys, both of whom were really hot commodities at the time, and it was a teen vampire movie that had comedy and charm.
When I was a kid, I thought David, the vampire played by Kiefer Sutherland was the coolest guy in the film and I was cheering for the vampires to win because who didn’t want to join an undead gang that looked like an ’80s goth band?
This was directed by Joel Schumacher, years before he put nipples on Batman’s suit. Say what you will about the man’s Batman films but this came out when he was at the top of his game and it’s probably his best movie, although I also liked Flatliners and Falling Down.
Schumacher mixed all the elements together really well but the decade of the ’80s sort of had it’s own cinematic magic too. But what you have here is a film that can tap into a child’s imagination, deliver amazement, wonder and still give us something that’s very adult in a lot of respects. This has a lot of lighthearted, funny moments but it also conveys a real darkness and dread that goes beyond other teen or kid horror comedies of the decade. There’s just something primal about this movie that puts it ahead of great films like Fright Night and Monster Squad.
I can’t say that this is a film that boasts great acting but it doesn’t need to. All the actors play their parts really damn well though and they all feel authentic. Unlike a lot of ’80s films featuring young people, this doesn’t try to lump its characters into archetypes or caricatures and I think that’s why this works so much better than other films like it.
The Lost Boys truly is a magical and fantastical experience. It might not play as well for modern audiences lacking the nostalgia for it but I’d much rather watch this than something like Twilight. Full disclosure, I don’t even want to watch Twilight to review it.
Rating: 8.75/10 Pairs well with: For ’80s teen horror comedy: Fright Night, Night of the Creeps, Night of the Comet and Monster Squad. For the Coreys: License to Drive and Dream A Little Dream.
Also known as: They Live and Drive in L.A. (working title), Daddy’s Cadillac (Germany) Release Date: July 6th, 1988 Directed by: Greg Beeman Written by: Neil Tolkin Music by: Jay Ferguson Cast: Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Carol Kane, Richard Masur, Heather Graham, James Avery
Davis Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, 88 Minutes
“Les, that license in your wallet, that’s not an ordinary piece of paper, that is a driver’s license, and its not only a driver’s license, it’s an automobile license, and it’s not only an automobile license, it’s a license to live, a license to be free, a license to go wherever, whenever and with whomever you choose.” – Dean
The world and all of its cultures are diverse enough to provide us with countless types of cheese. In fact, I love cheese. Who doesn’t love cheese? So being that I am a cheese connoisseur with an incredibly diverse palate, there is still just one cheese that I have to put above all others: ’80s cheese.
License to Drive is ’80s cheese that is so robust, with a beautiful texture and a richness to it, that it’s place in history can’t be denied. Is it the best example of ’80s cheese? Well, no. But it is still a good, solid example of its flavors and characteristics.
In the late ’80s, there was a powerful union that nothing could stand against: The Two Coreys, or just simply, The Coreys. While both of them were uber popular on their own, the Earth’s gravity sort of shifted when they started teaming up to do movies. This was their second film. The first was The Lost Boys, which is considered by many to be a classic. License to Drive isn’t quite a classic but it is still a fun romp with The Coreys that doesn’t pit them against vampires but instead pits them against the fascist system that makes it hard for slackers to get their driver’s license.
Frankly, Corey Haim’s Les is quite the shithead. All he cares about is getting his license but won’t put in the work to study for it. He doesn’t even know basic stuff and completely bombs the written test. However, he lies to his family and friends but that backfires. So what does he do? He steals his grandpa’s car because all he cares about is wooing Heather Graham. The film plays on and Haim doesn’t seem to learn anything or grow up. But it’s an ’80s teen movie that puts more emphasis on materialism and being cool than it does on life itself.
It’s the wacky adventures that make this work though. Haim and Feldman are good together and both have charisma. Heather Graham is also fantastic in this, even though she is drunk and passed out for a big portion of the movie. The real highlight for me though, was the sequence of Corey Haim taking his driving test with James Avery a.k.a. Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I’ve always enjoyed Avery but this is one of the best things he’s ever done. I mean, he’s perfect in this, even if he only has a few minutes of screen time.
The Coreys were once the epitome of teenage cool and this was a cool movie, even if it was nonsensical and sort of soulless.
Plus, I loved his parents, as Carol Kane has always made me laugh and Richard Masur is just fun to watch in these sort of roles.
Rating: 7/10 Pairs well with: Other movies featuring both or just one of the Coreys: The Lost Boys, Dream a Little Dream, National Lampoon’s Last Resort, Lucas, The Goonies, The ‘Burbs.
Release Date: October 11th, 1985 Directed by: Dan Attias Written by: Stephen King Based on:Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King Music by: Jay Chattaway Cast: Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, Megan Follows, Terry O’Quinn, Lawrence Tierney, Bill Smitrovich, Kent Broadhurst, David Hart, James Gammon
Paramount Pictures, 95 Minutes
“I mean, uh, what the heck you gonna shoot a .44 bullet at anyway… made out of silver?” – Uncle Red, “How about a werewolf?” – Mac
I’ve made no secret that I’m not a big Stephen King fan but maybe there is something to be said about film adaptations of his work where he actually provides the screenplay because Silver Bullet is a pretty good picture.
It is a typical werewolf story and there were several big werewolf movies in the 1980s but this one is only eclipsed by An American Werewolf In London, which is a true classic. While The Howling is beloved by many, and I like it a lot too, Silver Bullet surpasses it.
The film stars the always insane Gary Busey, as well as Corey Haim when he was still cute and showed some promise as an actor. The film also features Everett McGill, who was great in Twin Peaks, as well as small parts by Terry O’Quinn a.k.a. John Locke from Lost and Lawrence Tierney, the boss from Reservoir Dogs.
The movie utilizes some pretty stellar practical effects. In fact, it wastes no time in showing you the werewolf in action and it isn’t afraid to keep it obscured in an effort to hide flaws in the effects. The werewolf looks damn good and seeing it rip people to shreds from the get go is a real treat. Even the transformations of the werewolf look good.
One scene that was absolutely impressive was the hallucination in the church where we see all the townspeople transforming. I can’t imagine how difficult this was to capture in the mid-80s with budgetary constraints and without CGI to fill in the blanks.
The story of Silver Bullet is initially a whodunit mystery with a werewolf twist. Once the reveal happens, midway through the film, it goes into high octane and never relents until the big finale, which may be a bit hokey but is still really awesome.
Silver Bullet is pretty underrated and fans today don’t seem to know much about it. There were a lot of Stephen King adaptations that were a lot more popular than this one but this is definitely one of the best. It is infinitely superior to that 1990 television miniseries shitfest It. In fact, it is superior to all of the television miniseries of King’s works that were super popular throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s.
And don’t be fooled by those lackluster King adaptations, this one has a great amount of blood and gore. It also has some humor, as the werewolf steals the baseball bat from an attacker and uses it against him.
Also known as: Demon Kid Release Date: 1996 Directed by: Rafe M. Portilo Written by: Jalee Bailey, Michael Edwards Music by: Robert J. Walsh Cast: Corey Haim, Mario Lopez, Bo Hopkins
ETD Distribution Company, 90 Minutes
When a film can only get one Corey, you know it must be pretty friggin’ atrocious. Granted, the Coreys were in some decent movies in the 1980s but their careers really stopped there.
Fever Lake is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I truly mean that. I mean, I have seen thousands, if not tens-of-thousands, of movies in my lifetime, thus far. This shit stain in cinematic history is on my short list of worst films ever.
The story sees a bunch of lame thirty year-olds posing as college kids hanging out in a lake house and on a dock just moping about everything but constantly reminding themselves about what a great time their having. Its like the world’s most depressing Mike’s Hard Lemonade commercial ever. Then a bunch of confusing shit happens involving a Native American dude, a wolf, a bubbling lake, a zombie lady, an axe murderer and glowing eyes.
The film is a mess, makes no sense and was a complete waste of celluloid.
How can a movie with so much shit stuffed into it, have absolutely nothing happen for the first 70 minutes of its 90 minute run time? Who wrote this chum bucket full of Corey diarrhea?
I kind of feel bad for Mario Lopez because A.C. Slater was cooler than both Coreys combined, right? Yet here he is, playing second fiddle to the least coolest Corey. While I don’t think Corey Feldman makes a lot of good decisions, staying away from this picture was probably the best decision he ever made. Maybe this is why Corey Haim had beef with him for awhile, because Feldman proved he had more sense.
I wanted to run this through the Cinespiria Shitometer but it told me that if I even tried it would transform into a Decepticon and kick my ass. So let’s just leave this film, knowing that it wasn’t even worthy of my trusty sidekick the Cinespiria Shitometer.