Monday, December 10, 2007


"Dear Diary, my teen-angst bullshit now has a body count"

This movie is a long way off from the 80s high school movies I've seen from the earlier part of the decade. Made in '89, this isn't your typical teen angst movie, because for once drastic action is taken against the cruel rulers of the school. With a talented young cast including Winonna Ryder, Christian Slater, and Shannon Doherty this is an extremely dark comedy, which is disturbingly good.

Ryder is Veronica, a newer member of the in crowd known as "The Heathers", because the other three members happen to share that name. Already the dark horse because of her different name, she doesn't completely fit into the group. She doesn't want to be a cruel bitch to the rest of the school, but goes along to remain in the popular group. Her life is shook up when she meets new bad-boy J.D., played by Slater. At first she takes him to be a harmless rebel with whom she is able to stop pretending to like her so called "friends". Harmless she learns is not the word to describe J.D. She unknowingly helps him to poison the head Heather, and then assists him in writing a note to make it look like a suicide. While she on one level wanted Heather dead, this action shows the contrast between wanting something to happen and actually having it happen. While Veronica is upset by the event, she is able to forgive J.D. and continues to date him. J.D. proves to be out for vengeance, though and next plots a plan to take out two asshole jocks. At this point Veronica says no, but gives in when J.D. feeds her a bullshit story about how they will use "special bullets" which will only tranquilize the jocks. Veronica falls for it and the school has two more "suicides" to deal with. She now realizes that J.D. can't be stopped and breaks up with him. A break-up can't stop him either and he threatens to kill her when she reuses his advances, knowing this she fakes her own suicide and when he finds her he reveals his plan to blow up the school to her seemingly dead body. The next day, to his surprise, she is there to stop him. While the school doesn't blow up the ending is certainly explosive.

This movie was extremely well made, and even though the material was dark and twisted there were some cleverly funny moments. One of my favorite scenes is the football players funeral. Through the suicide note they were made out to have been gay and killed themselves because they couldn't reveal their true feelings There is a very funny moment where one of their dad's is coming to terms with this and says, "I love my dead gay son", to which J.D. responds to Veronica, "Wonder how he'd react if his son had a limp wrist with a pulse?" While awful, it's funny.

I definitely recommend this movie to everyone. It's a different kind of comedy that looks at the social hierarchy of high schools in a dangerous way.

click here for a link to a video which pretty much sums up the entire movie

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