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Heathers
DVD disk
04.28.2008 By: Jason Adams
Heathers order
Director:
Michael Lehmann

Actors:
Winona Ryder
Christian Slater
Shannen Doherty

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Veronica recently joined a clique of popular girls at her high school (all of whom are named Heather) but is growing tired of the required cruelty and elitism that come with the territory. When she meets a rebellious new student with a killer Jack Nicholson impression, she sees her chance to have some fun and turn the tables on the Heathers. Unfortunately for Veronica that soon leads to multiple counts of first degree murder and a seriously stressful road to prom.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I love a good dark comedy and HEATHERS is one of the darkest ever made. I even hesitate to label it as such. As funny as it consistently is, one could sell it as drama with little absurdist twinges sprinkled throughout and they wouldn’t be wrong.

Daniel Waters’ script is the main sell here, an impressive and highly original work of its time. All the hipster nihilism and teenage violence may not be as shocking or taboo as it once was in the 1980s, but there is a sad amount of truth in the exaggeration. I wasn’t even in grade school when HEATHERS came out, but the high school politics and social ideology depicted sure hadn’t changed much by the time I got there. The balancing act between the serious and the ridiculous also works well thanks to the ironic tone of the flick and helps the film age surprisingly well (costumes included). HEATHERS also boasts an insane number of great lines. The dialogue alone is worth a watch if you haven’t experienced such one liners as “F*ck me gently with a chainsaw!”

Winona Ryder and Christian Slater both do solid work as the two leads, especially Ryder who brings a welcome sympathy to a lead character who we should probably be repulsed by. I think the film misses a few opportunities that keep it from being a real classic (especially with one or two of the title characters), but it’s still an effectively serious comedy (or a flippant drama) and a movie that anybody who went through high school and wasn't a Heather can appreciate.
THE EXTRAS
As far as I can tell this is just a re-issue of the 2001 DVD release, complete with a new slipcover branding it #2 in Anchor Bay’s Cult Classics Film Series.

Commentary by director Michael Lehmann, writer Daniel Waters and producer Denise Di Novi: The three engage in a frank and honest discussion of the film’s meaning, controversy and eventual success. Waters’ dry humor comes through quite a bit which was nice.

Swatch Dogs and Diet Coke Heads (29:29): A nice retrospective documentary featuring the majority of the cast and crew reminiscing. Winona Ryder really seems to love HEATHERS and keeps pushing for a sequel. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing what Veronica was up to 20 years later.

Screenplay Excerpt: Here you can read Waters’ original, more bizarre ending. (Part of it takes place in heaven.) It’s a cool feature made a little frustrating by the on screen format.

Trailers and Bios
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
HEATHERS is a black comedy that still has bite and a high school satire that remains relevant decades later. Also, Winona Ryder is absolutely adorable even whilst straight up murdering bitches.

Extra Tidbit: Daniel Waters' brother Mark would later go on to direct the HEATHERS pseudo-ripoff MEAN GIRLS.
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