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Little Darlings run amok

  • Apr 12, 2009
  • by
The Heathers are the darlings of Westerburg High, the "in" girls who hang out with the jocks, garnering the envy of all. But these ultra-snobby girls do what most 80's teens do, drink, party and make the oddballs feel bad. Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) is on the edge of the group, drawn to their cool chic but turned off by their childish and mean-spirited pranks. When Veronica finds herself attracted to Jason Dean (Christian Slater), bad things happen: the lead Heather "commits" suicide, two jocks kill each other in a parody of gay bashing. But JD, the misfit personified, has even bigger plans for Veronica and himself. Overcome with self-disgust for assisting in JD's murderous machinations, Veronica turns on him and they do battle.

This movie was immediately successful but has enjoyed more popularity as a cult classic, but its post-Columbine humor pales a bit in the light of events. There is also rampant homophobia, which may have been funny pre-AIDS, but also loses its edge with a quick reality check. On the upside, Ryder is at her sneering and mocking best, especially when teamed up with Christian Slater, who channels Jack Nicholson throughout. The costumes are equally over-the-top, giving the piece a very period look, although Slater's ubiquitous black trench coat is a bit jarring (again Columbine). Viewed in the perspective of the times, Heathers is a sharply tuned satire on teenaged class-consciousness. It is almost eerie to consider the cheerful cynicism of 1989, when the film was released. To remain a cult classic it is necessary to ignore the blatant disregard of gays and escalating school violence. Heathers is an example of the good old days, before the world got more complicated and attitudes more sensitive. If nothing else, this film clarifies what we've known all along: Shannon Doherty really is a Heather. Luan Gaines.


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More Heathers reviews
Quick Tip by . October 07, 2010
posted in Cult Cinema
Best dark comedy about high school, period. I am not a fan of any of the actors, but the movie is brilliant beyond their limitations.
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie is wrong in so many ways, but I can never seem to turn away from the screen if it is on.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Slater shows that even at a young age he could pull of a very complex role. Ryder is amazing and so is Dougherty.
Quick Tip by . July 08, 2010
WINONA FOREVER. "Well, F*** me gently with a chainsaw."
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This is one of my favorite movies! I think for its time it was pretty shocking, and I find it to be hilarious yet quite sad as well.
review by . October 23, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: ......     Cons: ......     The Bottom Line: ......        Well, yeah, but, for sure, narly, FINISHED – that’s the best thing I can say about this movie.      Certainly there had to be some social comment deemed from this movie but I’ll be kicked in the fanny if I can figure it out. Stay away from psycho guys in school? Watch out for the new guy in the lunchroom that pulls a gun on you – …
About the reviewer
Luan Gaines ()
Ranked #155
An artist/writer, I have traveled the world, walked on the moon and learned the complicated language of humanity, the enormity of the universe... all through the written word. My first passport was a … more
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Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) has sacrificed everything in order to preserve her place in Westerburg High's most impenetrable social clique, the HEATHERS. As the only member of the group not named "Heather," Veronica has to work extra hard just to stay afloat. Going against her own morals and intelligence, Veronica succumbs to peer pressure on a daily basis, faking her delight in the humiliation of the school's less popular students. Bored of the frat parties and cow tipping so popular among her friends, Veronica's curiosity is peaked when a mysterious new guy named JD comes to town. The dark, brooding JD (Christian Slater at his best) observes Veronica among her pack in the lunchroom (where social hierarchy is most clearly displayed), concluding that Veronica is not a Heather at heart. When Veronica confides in JD that she hates her friends and wishes Heather #1 was dead, she never expects her words will have such dire consequences. Before she knows what's happening, JD is dragging Veronica on a killin...
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"Heathers 1989"
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