Friday, November 25, 2005

Corey Haim - The Lost Boy

I’m flipping through my TIVO suggestions screen the other day, and what do I see that Tivo thinks I might like to watch? The E True Hollywood Story on Corey Haim. This is why Tivo has a special place in my heart, I mean, Corey Haim? I LOVED Corey Haim when I was a wee bitty pre-teena. He was one of the Teen Beaters that wallpapered my bedroom walls for most of my adolescence. I had this one particular poster mounted on a foam board, of Corey sitting on a motorcycle wearing a leather jacket that I loved…I actually think I have a picture of me holding that poster the day I received it. Man I crushed on Corey!
It all started with "The Lost Boys", I must have seen that movie 40 times when it came out on video. And then I began watching all of his movies, Lucas, Silver Bullet, License to Drive, Dream a Little Dream; I was enthralled by the Corey machine (because most of these movies involved the two Coreys, Mr. Haim, and Corey Feldman).
At one point Corey was definitely overshadowed by the New Kids on the Block, and my interested began changing from actors to musicians. And I was pretty naïve and innocent back then, so when the story broke that Corey was addicted to drugs, and couldn’t get sober, well, I was extremely disappointed in him, and no longer held him in such high regard. I think the last movie I ever saw him in was "Blown Away" with Corey Feldman and Nicole Eggert, but by then, I was no longer naïve and innocent, and I saw this semi-porn flick for what it was, a desperate attempt by an actor to hold onto his career.
I hadn’t thought about my Corey crush in decades. Unlike the Wahlberg’s (Donnie and Mark) whose careers I’ve followed as they’ve ventured from music to movies, and Kirk Cameron, who has freaked me out a bit with his transformation from Mike Seaver, ladies man, to Christian fanatic father of five (four? Three? Whatever), Corey Haim hasn’t been very prevalent in the public eye, so he was, for the most part, forgotten. I did grab a copy of the DVD of "The Lost Boys" the instant I saw it, but not so much for Corey, as for the movie. After all, this movie also marks the beginning of my love affair with all things Vampire.
So, the other night I watch the E True Hollywood Story on Corey Haim, and it breaks my heart. It wasn’t just the story of a young actor with so much potential falling from the Hollywood graces that saddened me, it was the back story (or maybe the main story), of Corey’s inability to control his addictions. The fact that because of his addictions, he destroyed a career that was heading in all the right directions, which could have made him a serious actor. Instead, at the end of the show, in 2003, Corey Haim was living in a small apartment with his mother, not able to find work, battling his demons, and painting, to let out his aggressions.
I’ve discussed before how I FEEL too much of other’s pain, so this may explain why this story really affected me, but it’s more than that. I was watching the clips of his early movies, and then interviews with the young actor, and then the later clips, when he was quite obviously high, desperate, disillusioned, and it was like I was seeing that point in my life where I stopped being a naïve kid, and learned about the harsh reality of the world. First Corey Haim was a drug addict, then the New Kids were having orgies in their hotel rooms, and finally River Phoenix died of an overdose. These were kids I worshiped as a kid, when they became adults, did adult things, fought adult demons, and in River’s case, lost the battle, they took a piece of my childhood with them.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that the "Hollywood world" has influenced my life in this major way over the years. I’ve dealt with enough of my own adult issues that these other things are mere blips on the chronology of what has shaped me. But when I watch something like "The Lost Boys", I’m transported back to that time when I was so ignorant of just how tough things could get. These actors, and the characters they played are supposed to represent that time for me. Instead, when I watch Stand By Me, I cry, not only because of the plot line, but because that cute little boy really never did make it in the world. And how will I feel watching License to Drive next time, when I know that in real life, Corey Haim, who is now about my age, is probably still struggling with his inner addiction demons? Will I still be able to laugh at the jokes with the same carefree and lighthearted emotion?
A quick search for Mr. Haim on the internet leads to a video interview with the "after" shot above that took place in April of this year. Corey is sober now, and that is a good thing, but where is the hottie I had such a crush on? Oh Corey, when did we all get so old?