(This is an extended preview of the PopRox column that will appear in Sunday’s Pocono Record.)
To grow up in the 80s, perhaps more than any other era, was to fall under the spell of some very questionable phenomena.
Wearing clothes with soda brand names on them. Mr. T. Hair bands.
But perhaps no other pop culture brutality feels the same way as that of being obsessed with the Coreys — Feldman and Haim. If you’re not familiar with their work, they were … wait, of course you’re familiar with their work! They were the Coreys!
While Corey Haim died in 2010, the other half of the Coreys, Corey Feldman, lives on and will be in Stroudsburg on Aug. 24 to promote his locally filmed new horror movie, 6 Degrees of Hell, written by Kunkletown’s Harrison Smith.
The movie premieres at the Sherman Theater with a red carpet ceremony and the movie starts at 7:10 p.m. All proceeds benefit the United Way of Monroe County.
Just in case you have somehow forgotten the kind of actor Corey Feldman was back in the 80s and 90s, consider this the essential Feldman primer:
TV GUEST STAR
Feldman might be the king of before-they-were-famous guest-starring TV roles. Before he broke out in 1984, he had guest-starring roles in Cheers, Family Ties, Love Boat (of course), Eight is Enough, One Day at a Time and Mork and Mindy. The Cheers episode was probably his most prominent, but none of them are that memorable. Although I think he might have been Schnieder’s illegitimate kid or something on One Day at a Time, I can’t remember. FELDMAN GRADE: N/A
Now we’re talking. Feldman set the stage for his future personal life — being real-life close friends with Michael Jackson — by playing a 12-year-old in Gremlins who for some reason was best friends with a 20-year-old bank teller. They hung out in the attic together and everything, just playing with weird little animals that multiply when you get them wet. Wait, whaaaatttt??? How did we just gloss over this at the time? Can we call social services now, or is the statute of limitations up? Feldman was there to be cute and wink at Gizmo, that’s pretty much it. FELDMAN GRADE: B-
THE GOONIES (1985)
As good as all the kids were in Goonies, Feldman acted circles around all of them. No, seriously, he did. Go back and watch it sometime. He’s the funniest, he’s got a little boy-girl thing going on and he gets all the best lines. Well, maybe all the best lines aren’t his. He just makes it seem that way. FELDMAN GRADE: A+
STAND BY ME (1986)
Nothing like peaking at 15, right? Feldman’s best overall movie, both from a personal standpoint and from the overall movie. We saw big things for him as the soldier-obsessed son of a “loony.” Unfortunately, it just never worked out that way. FELDMAN GRADE: A+
THE LOST BOYS (1986)
And here it is — the advent of the Coreys. Feldman and Haim are minor characters here as junior vampire hunters. We remember it as the movie where Feldman’s voice changed, Jack Bauer jumped off a bridge and not much else. FELDMAN GRADE: C+
LICENSE TO DRIVE (1987)
Christopher Walken wants more cowbell, but America in 1987 clearly wanted more Corey. And we got it in the only Coreys movie that’s still semi-watchable today. The coming-of-age romp was a starring vehicle for Haim, Feldman was relegated to “Best Friend #1″ status. He never was quite able to break though into a topline role after that. FELDMAN GRADE: B+
THE BURBS (1989)
Say good-bye, mainstream. This is the last time we saw Feldman in starring role in a widely released movie, an unbelievable 23 years ago. Unless you count the Tales from the Crypt Bordello of Blood thing, which I don’t. Unfortuntely, I never liked The Burbs. It was a point of contention between my brothers and I growing up, they loved it. I believe we actually came to blows over it once. FELDMAN GRADE: D
DREAM A LITTLE DREAM (1989)
When the whole body-switching sub-genre of the 80s is discussed, somehow this never makes the list. Perhaps it’s because we’re all trying to forget we’ve ever seen it. This is an absolutely unwatchable movie with a twisted plot that makes no sense, a love story that makes less sense and … well, none of it makes any sense. Don’t believe me? Then read the plot summaries, I dare you. So why have I seen it, like, 15 times? I had a lot of time on my hands back then. Or maybe I was just trying to figure this movie out. This was Feldman’s one and only chance with the Coreys to take the lead role. Needless to say, it didn’t work out so well. And I know what you’re thinking. No way they can make this POS into a sequel, right? WRONG!!! DALD 2 came out in 1995, direct-to-video, of course. FELDMAN GRADE: C-. Hey, at least he was finally the star.
BLOWN AWAY (1993)
When the Coreys went all Skinemax on us. The bright side was they brought Nicole Eggert along for the ride, answering the pubescent prayers of a certain Charles in Charge fanatic who shall remain nameless. Screw it, it was me. GRADE: A++++++. Just kidding. This movie sucks out loud underwater. And yeah, I own it. On VHS and DVD. And I just Googled “blown away blu-ray eggert” to see if a release date is forthcoming. Booooo. It is not. Do we need to start an online petition or something? The sad part is this movie might actually be better than the real Blown Away, the Jeff Bridges-Tommy Lee Jones terrorist revenge movie that came out in 1994. At least Feldman doesn’t bother trying to butcher an Irish accent in what I like to call The Real Blown Away. FELDMAN GRADE: D-.
LOADED WEAPON 1 (1993), MAVERICK (1994)
Uh oh. We’re headed into dark territory, as Feldman’s credits in these movies are “Young Cop” and “Bank Robber,” respectively. I remember watching Maverick at the drive-in and saying, “Wait, was that just Corey Feldman???” and no one else even seeing it in time to judge. That’s how quick it was. Great movie though. FELDMAN GRADES: Incomplete.
TALES FROM THE CRYPT: BORDELLO OF BLOOD (1996)
Comeback alert! It fell a little short, as the movie bombed and now it’s lumped in with what could be called the worst summer movie month ever, August 1996. It’s tough to argue that claim. FELDMAN GRADE: D. And Dennis Miller would have gotten an F. Minus. For cheating.
THE SURREAL LIFE, SEASON 1 (2003)
This whole celebreality thing VH1 still has going? Yeah, Feldman helped start it. That’s probably not anything to throw on a resume. But for the most part, he showed he’s a pretty normal and surprisingly smart guy who was just beaten down pretty badly by the Hollywood child star machine. Let’s hope there is a couple more chapters to this story. FELDMAN GRADE: B