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Heathers (THX Version)
This dark comedy from 1989 was a good showcase for Winona Ryder, playing a high school girl brought into a clique of bitchy classmates (all named Heather), and Christian Slater, doing his early Jack Nicholson thing. While Ryder's character mulls over the consequences of giving up one set of friends for another, her association with a new boy (Slater) in school turns out to have deadly consequences. Director Michael Lehmann turned this unusual film into something more than another teen-death flick. There is real wit and sharp satire afoot, and the very fusion of horror and comedy is provocative in itself. Heathers remains a kind of benchmark in contemporary cinema for bringing surreal intelligence into Hollywood films. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The 3 Heathers rule the school of Westerburg High and Heather Chandler (#1) is the dominant red wearing queen. Veronica Sawyer (Ryder) her best friend is dressed mainly in blue - for truth? She is our perspective for the most part and her diary entries (where she pours out all her true feelings) are perfect. Heather Duke - dressed in green for envy of Heather Chandler's power. And Heather MacNamara dressed in yellow for her fear of - everything. They walk the halls of Westerburg secure in their popularity and the fear the instill in their peers.
Enter Jason Dean (Slater) the "black horse in the running". He attracts Veronica mainly because he's an outsider too cool for anyone else and she's sick of the Heathers. He is seen in black for a very good reason. He is ultimately the protagonist for the killings (which are all too believable)
The movie is great, showing without remorse the absolute solitude that HS can be. The stereotypes, while exaggerated are suspiciously close to the truth. Arrogent teachers, clueless parents, heartless peers... Ahhh High School.
Heathers is also has great quotes. BVS is the only other thing I can think of that perfected it's own slang so well. It makes the movie timeless.
"F*** me gently with a chainsaw. Do I look like mother Theresa?" - Heather C.
"I just killed my bestfriend." - Veronica "And your worst enemy." - JD "Same difference." - Veronica
"Did you have a brain-tumer for breakfast?" Heather C.
Winona, here as Veronica Sawyer, was formerly the best gal pal of dorky yet insanely innocent and kind Betty Finn (both character names are derived from the Archie comic strip). Now, she's taken it up with three girls by the name of Heather. Duke and Chandler may or may not be genuinely evil, while McNamara is just plain pathetically insecure. The thing is, Veronica hates her new so-called friends. It's just their "job to be popular and s***," that's all.
Christian Slater, to my utter dismay, seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth since this booming debut. Here, his performance mimicks that of witty and humorous Jack Nicolson.
"Greetings and salutations." :)
J.D. and Veronica make the ideal couple. Both are witty, bright, and loathe the existence of the high school world. Only J.D. is insanely violent as well, and his actions are bringing about vast repercussions for not only himself, but for Veronica as well. And Veronica is beginning to wise up and realize that J.D., despite his charms and wit, isn't worth all his trouble(s) and excess baggage. Besides, he's got an unhealthy fascination with guns.
After the demise of the leading Heather - their doing through liquid bleach - a second Heather takes her place as leader, even more aggressive and bratty than her predecessor.
Veronica ponders what to do over old and new friendships and accidental deaths in her diary. She and hunky J.D. manage to kill a Heather and two dim-witted jocks but escape suspicion for murder because they leave behind suicide notes. Veronica can perfectly imitate handwriting styles, as we find out during the first 5 minutes of the film when the three Heathers coerce her into writing a love note to high school outcast Martha "Dumptruck" Dunstock and signing a popular jock's signature to it. She approaches him at his lunch table and uproarious laughter ensues.
Teenage suicide seems to be all the rage in the world of Westerburg High, despite the popularity of fictional band Big Fun's hit single, "Teenage Suicide (Don't Do It)." Even though Veronica has left J.D. behind, he still has conjured up his own evil plans concerning the future of Westerburg. And the Heather in control is abusing her privileges - Veronica knows she wants out.
HEATHERS is so much more than a screwball comedy. Since its release, no other film has managed to live up to the same wit and dark humor and charm found throughout, making this film a genuine benchmark in the history of movies - and the 80s, for that matter. HEATHERS takes one glimpse at the work of ultra-cool 80s director/writer John Hughes and laughs in his face, making his Molly Ringwald flicks look like garbage in comparison.
Could this be why Winona is still alive in Hollywood and Molly is not?