How did it take so long to get a Lifetime movie about the Coreys? A Tale of Two Coreys is a tragic Hollywood rise-and-fall saga: two teen actors who make it big in the Eighties, complete with fire-hazard hair, drugs, groupies and pastel blazers. Corey Haim and Corey Feldman first paired up in the 1986 vampire classic The Lost Boys, and became inseparable BFFs, only to crash hard. In other words, it’s a story made to order for a lurid low-budget Lifetime biopic, with a cast full of unknowns. But unlike some other Lifetime flicks we could mention (cough Aaliyah, cough Whitney), this one has a pedigree, with Feldman himself on board as executive producer. (Haim died of pneumonia in 2010, only 38.)
A Tale of Two Coreys tells the story of how these two lost boys got thrown together in Tinseltown, blew up in the era of Bop magazine and 1-900 numbers, got horribly exploited and hooked on drugs, partied hard with Hef and Sam Kinison. They made zany comedies like License to Drive (starring a very young Heather Graham) and Dream a Little Dream. Their story has been told before, as in the “Haimster and Feldog” documentary included on the Lost Boys DVD. Feldman wrote the brave 2013 memoir Coreyography, revealing the sexual abuse both he and Haim suffered from industry insiders, and has remained active in the crusade against Hollywood predators. (His allegations are currently being investigated by the LAPD.)
Feldman has kept admirably busy lately, dropping his art-rock opus Angelic 2 The Core, featuring Snoop Dogg, Fred Durst and the world’s weirdest version of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero.” As he told me in 2016, “I guess I’m kind of like a disease. I just won’t go away.” And he never should – as Stranger Things proved, Coreymania lives. As you’d expect from any Lifetime celebrity flick, A Tale of Two Coreys is loaded with WTF moments. These are the 10 absolute WTF-est.
1. Stage parents really suck.
Over the opening credits, John Waite belts his fantastic 1982 fallen-angel anthem “Change,” warning us all that we are about to witness a story of Fortune and Fame Leading to Heartbreak. Ashley Scott (from Unreal) is deliciously trashy as Feldman’s stage mom from hell, raging at him for practicing his Michael Jackson dance moves instead of memorizing lines. “That’s the problem – you think you’re too cute!” Meanwhile, Haim sits alone in his room, lighting up a pot pipe next to his boombox and a keytar. He gets his big break in the high-school football tearjerker Lucas, which has the best slow-clap finale of any 1980s teen flick. (If you can watch A Tale of Two Coreys without instantly YouTubing that slow clap, you have officially failed Coreyology.) You can tell it’s a low-budget Lifetime version of a fancy Hollywood gala because we see about a dozen extras crowding around a red carpet under a marquee that says, “WORLD PREMIERE: LUCAS.”
2. The Lost Boys find each other.
The Coreys hang out for the first time, in a Top Gun-worthy game of beach football with their dads – a tres Eighties summer-fun montage set to perky synth-pop. “It felt like we’d known each other forever,” Feldman muses. “We had the same sense of humor, the same crazy ambition, the same quest for adventure.” They almost even share the same lucky number – Feldman’s is 22, while Haim wears 222 on a chain around his neck. (“You can, like, divide it by anything – it’s infinite!”) They bond with a super-soaker fight in the backyard; Haim loans him Steve Martin’s LP Comedy Is Not Pretty and asks, “Feldog, how much ass are you getting?” Before you know it, they’re doing bong hits on the set of The Lost Boys while blasting the movie’s theme “Cry Little Sister.” “Thou shalt not fall,” indeed.
Weirdest casting: Haim’s dad is comedian Brian Huskey, known for playing deranged creeps on Childrens Hospital and Veep. Yet this might be the most disturbing role he’s ever played.
3. The Feldog meets Michael Jackson.
Feldman finally meets his hero at a Hollywood party, where Michael’s just standing alone by the pool, in his shades. He introduces himself (“I’m Corey – I’m a Goonie”) and asks what must have been a fairly rare question: “Are you Michael Jackson?” But it turns out MJ is already a fan. “You’re that kid from the Gremlins, aren’t you? I must’ve seen that movie a dozen times!” It turns out “Stephen” has been raving about this kid’s MJ dance moves, so he requests a demonstration. A long, precious and chaste friendship is born.
4. And then the cocaine happens.
Feldman gets introduced to sex and hard drugs by a groupie who picks him up late at night, a hardcore Goonies fan. She has the best line in the movie: “I can’t believe I’m doing coke with Mouth!” Shockingly, he shows up late for work the next day. Lost Boys director Joel Schumacher (the boys call him “Chewbacca”) takes about five seconds to figure out why. “Are you on drugs? Get the hell off my set!”
5. Their first fight!
At a diner after a long night of partying, Feldog confronts Haimster over behavior he just can’t tolerate – one thing he won’t stand for is Haim mocking Michael Jackson. Nobody is allowed to call him “Mike” in Feldman’s presence. Nobody
6. The Eighties club scene.
Where would any Lifetime movie set in the Eighties be without the decadent nightclub scene? There seem to be about a dozen people partying in this club, probably the same extras who showed up for the Lucas premiere. Bring on the rolled-up hundred-dollar bills, the loud snorting and the most hilariously agonized “cocaine is a hell of a drug” faces since Vinyl. Bittersweet moment: When the DJ spins Jermaine Stewart’s mall-disco classic “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off” (“to have a good time”), Haim yells, “Feldog, you gotta show us some moves!” But after Feldman hits the dance floor, he notices his entourage is too wasted to watch him moonwalk. He feels so alone. Time for more drugs!
7. Carrie Fisher tries to do an intervention.
Although the boys pose on the cover of (fictional) magazines like Tiger Rag, Teen Ent and Super 16, Feldman yearns to be taken seriously, telling his manager/dad, “I wanna go for that John Hughes thing I was talking about.” At Neverland, MJ gives Corey a pep talk about human nature, but the Coreys’ career is about to crash. Haim parties with his groupies, bowling with champagne bottles in a hotel hallway. During the auditions for License to Drive, he utters the ultimate Lifetime-movie question: “What could possibly go wrong?”
On the set of The Burbs, Feldman gets a little advice from his co-star Carrie Fisher (played by Jennifer Peo). She’s been there. She was a child star who got hooked on drugs. She knows what he’s going through. But all he says is, “I’ve heard the stories. You’re no angel yourself, Princess Leia.” (On his way to rehab a few scenes later, he sighs, “Carrie was right.” Never doubt the Force, dude.)
8. The Feldog hits rock bottom.
A bonus detail for Lost Boys fanatics: Jamison Newlander, who played the other Frog Brother, has a cameo as the cop who busts Feldman for DUI. It’s surreal to see the long-lost Alan Frog shine a flashlight in the eyes of his former fellow vampire hunter, asking about the baggie of blow stashed in the glovebox. Corey has a moment of clarity in his jail cell, when he sees a Michael Jackson interview on the prison TV. Maybe it’s a sign, Feldog – maybe it’s time to take a look at the man in the mirror. Make that change.
9. The Nineties happen.
And they’re not much fun if you’re a Corey. The adult Feldman watches an “Entertainment TV” reporter crack mean jokes about his career decline. “The Two Coreys? More like the ‘Who?’ Coreys!” Cue the movie’s most poignant dialogue. Feldman: “I was in one of the biggest independent films of the Nineties!” His agent: “The voice of a turtle puppet doesn’t count.”
10. The farewell hug.
Sober and goateed, Feldman goes on VH1’s 2002 “celeb-reality” hit The Surreal Life, with a televised wedding officiated by his housemate MC Hammer. He hasn’t spoken to Haim in years, but he travels to Toronto to drop in on his long-unemployed pal by surprise, pitching him a reality show where they move in together. Haim replies, “I honestly thought you came up here to talk about Lost Boys 2.”
The Two Coreys runs two seasons, but sadly, it’s not so great and Haim still has drug problems. Feldman offers to drive him to rehab, but they stop for margaritas on the way, as you do, and have a nasty break-up fight over nachos. Three years later, they meet in a random encounter at the Playboy Mansion. (Okay, maybe not that random. Where else would they be?) For old times’s sake, the Coreys take a sentimental road trip back to the beach where they first met, watching the sun rise. Feldman muses, “We were pretty good together.” Haim grins. “I was pretty good – you were all right.” Cue the heartwarming chuckles. Hug it out one last time, boys.
Not mentioned in this movie: Winona Ryder, Charlie Sheen, Alyssa Milano, Heather Graham, Batman #14, Raphael, Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Snowboard Academy, the stripey trench coat Haim wears in The Lost Boys, Nicole Eggert or Corey Hart. R.I.P., Corey Haim. And shine on, Feldog.