St Elmo’s Fire (1985) Film Review

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What happens when college is over and you are in the real world, facing debt and joblessness, growing up, having to take responsibility for your life? In the current era, this is a question dealt with in Girls and the answer is: inappropriate sex and relationships, poor life choices and drugs and alcohol. What about the mid-eighties? Actually, it’s pretty much the same. But with bigger hair, and the ability to be a star playing saxophone in a college bar (and jeepers, playing the saxophone makes you sexy to all the chicks and really, really sweaty).

It was a classic tale with many members of the “brat pack” of the eighties: Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy. Friends from college being forced to face their demons. And there is not a single character that I did not want to slap. For me, this doesn’t hold up at all… but I think that if I had loved it in the way I loved Young Guns and The Lost Boys, I would probably be ranting and raving about it here. I can see what people would love, I just can’t love it myself.

 

The Lost Boys (1987) Film Review

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Michael (Jason Patrick) and Sam (Corey Haim) move in with their grandfather (Barnard Hughes) in Santa Carla, California, with their mother (Dianne Wiest) after she is divorced. Michael falls in love with Star (Jami Gertz), but she is already involved with David (Kiefer Sutherland). David spots the attraction and challenges David to a motorcycle race against him and his gang. Meantime, Sam meets the Frog brothers (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) who tell him of the vampires that roam through the area. Sam doesn’t believe them until he discovers that David has turned his own brother Michael into a vampire. Only one this is left to do  – kill the leader of the vampires before the half-vampires Michael, Star and her young son, Laddie, make their first kill. But who is the leader?

This film was awesome when it was released in 1987 and is still awesome. Sure, the effects are a bit average, but the vampires did look pretty scary. Films these days really don’t have the same element of the kooky sidekicks that films of the 80s enjoyed – no wonder Corey and Corey have so little work.

Researching this today, I discovered that the film was directed by Joel Schumacher, who has made a number of films I enjoyed (including Falling Down, Flatliners and St Elmo’s Fire). I’ve also just discovered that Corey Haim passed away in 2010. Far too young to die. But, if you want to reminisce on Corey Feldman’s career, there is a place in Melbourne where you can do just this – and eat some magnificent pizza at the same time. Feldman’s in Fitzroy. Check it out.