Starring: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, Kim Walker
Directed By: Michael Lehmann
Written By: Daniel Waters
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 43 min
Heathers is the high school experience exaggerated and exposed, with the usual pranks, cliques and immature cruelty played out to great comic effect, and deadly results. And it still resonates decades after its initial release as a deep, yet very dark look at a generation of lost kids seemingly ignored by their parents looking to shake up the status quo. Winona Ryder and Christian Slater play Veronica and J.D., who inadvertently become twisted modern-day versions of Bonnie and Clyde. Arranging neat suicides for the most reviled, yet ‘popular’ kids in school. This is however, J.D’s deadly game, as his teen-angst finds an explosive way to express itself, and Veronica becomes the unwitting accomplice.
Did I mention Heathers is also really funny? Accessorizing this surprising deep and dark story, like Heathers’ bright red scrunchie (and symbol of ultimate power at school), is some wickedly clever and funny dialog. Daniel Waters’ satirical look at the high school experience is over the top, but as J.D says “The extreme always seems to make an impression.” This film certainly does that, as do our two young leads, though I do find Mr. Slater’s Jack Nicholson impersonation a little odd to watch.
In this post 9/11, and several mass shootings at schools world, Heathers simply wouldn’t see a green light if it were pitched to studio executives today. The subject matter includes teen suicide, and explosives, so If you think you’ll be sensitive to that, then stay clear of this movie. If you enjoy a good dark comedy, then by all means check Heathers out.
I think this film will be effectively served with a regular rental or streaming show on your TV, laptop, tablet or phone.
Best Moment: << spoiler! >>
Near the end of the film, Veronica catches J.D with a bomb in the boiler room under the school. After a struggle, she manages to get his gun, and then tries to get him to disarm the device. Their conversation gets a little heated, and he gives her ‘the finger’ along with a nice loud ‘f-bomb’ for good measure. So she shoots his middle finger off!