Take a Drink: whenever Winona Ryder holds a pen.
Take a Drink: whenever Christian Slater puts his hands in his pockets
Take a Drink: everytime someone touches their own head.
Take a Drink: everytime you notice shoulder pads
Do a Shot: everytime a geek pukes milk.
By: MovieBoozer (A Toast) –
Once in a while, I bump into a movie I’ve never seen before, and am pretty embarrassed I wasn’t aware of it. This one is definitely helping me fill that quota. I can’t believe all the things this movie must have influenced, things I love. How was I so in the dark? I made sure to see Eddie & The Cruisers, Repo Man, Pee Wee. I mean I really thought I had all the 80s cult classics down pat. How did I miss this?
Fast Times meets American Psycho. Donnie Darko meets Natural Born Killers. Blah, I don’t think I can even classify it like that. I’m disappointed in myself still to this moment that I went three decades without Heathers in my life.
The year is 1988. The scene is Anytown, USA. The high school is Any High School, USA. I’ve seen this a million times before (in films that actually came out after this). This time is special, though. Special in a… “are you talking to me?” kinda way. Our main character is Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder). Veronica keeps a diary. She writes in it to let out her frustrations about the people in life she wishes she could get rid of, notably the company she keeps. She’s part of the “Heathers,” the snobby popular girls, who hook up with jocks, treat people like garbage, and generally irritate the masses. You remember these people? Don’t lie. The second you read that you thought of at least one person. I’ll do a service to the one I thought of and not name him, but it rhymes with Spike Fladigan.
A good while into the movie, and her realization that she doesn’t love the social position she’s in…Veronica meets J.D. (Christian Slater). He’s basically suave and cool, in a mysterious, dark,emo kinda light (80s though, he wears his sunglasses at night type deal). J.D. teacher her his ways of disobedience and rebellion. Before long, Veronica finds herself in a whirlwind of hidden chaos and the bodies of her classmates start dropping like flies. How did this happen? Who is she becoming? Who was she before? And more importantly… what does it matter? Isn’t it too late?
Heathers injected raw hate and all-consuming emotion in ways that only exist in the dark recesses of one’s mind. Every line is completely committed to. The cast put out as though it might be their last chance to ever act again, with totally crude language and crazy violence, in an otherwise lovable John Hughes kinda movie.
Again, a great cast pulled together to bring out the horrors that may have existed in the recesses of our teenage minds. Christian Slater, Winona Ryder, and Shannon Doherty led the way and had it down cold on what the American high school experience really is and what we all imagined it could be.
Shock and Awe
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. An awesome friend recommended this one and I told him “I’d get to it.” Well, I’m an idiot. I should have made more of a priority out of this one (and I loved Christian Slater forever already, so what was my issue putting it off?). I can’t recall if we had a discussion about it or not, but I certainly went into this expecting it to be crude 80s fluff that would have angered parents. I was expecting The Breakfast Club and got something entirely different. I wonder in fact if anyone ever enjoyed it more than I did, because of how wrong my preconceived notions were. I’m in awe to this very minute. I pride myself on being not just a librarian, but a library user. I don’t buy movies (not anymore, anyways), I get them for free at work. This one though… I’m going to need to buy myself a copy of it, I think. I just can’t think of a reason not to.
Jocks, Geeks, The Popular Crowd, The Recluses… all cliques that have been represented in every teen movie ever made, always fairly faithful to the singular representations of The Breakfast Club and later Can’t Hardly Wait. Regardless of the social identity you considered yourself a part of, you certainly had an opposition. It was high-school and we were ALL idiots. It’s fine, don’t be embarrassed. I was quietly the guy with the headphones. The groups we were in basically identified our entire lives, even if you were in the group that hated the fact the groups existed. Hell, I didn’t even have a group until the end of sophomore year, and you wouldn’t believe what it was. I can’t even say it (the religious kids).
Heathers delivered on many levels. It surprised me in every way possible. One thing really stuck with me, though.
Winona Ryder. The overwhelming realization that such terror could be carried out by oneself. In one scene, she marches into the school shower in all her clothes, almost trying to ward off the weight on her shoulders. She’s trying to wake up from a nightmare. Only this isn’t a nightmare… it’s real life, kids. Don’t follow in my misguided footsteps. See Heathers soon! It’s that important.
Wait…. We should talk about school shootings huh?
Movies like this can’t be made these days. I mean they can be, but they are met with great difficulty. People love to point the finger at films and music, video games and television programs, for the inherent difficulties that comes with growing up. Unfortunately, some individuals are forced over the edge on occasion, when real life tragedy strikes. I’m not downplaying the significance of something like school shootings, just pointing out the fact that when horror creeps into the minds of the normal folks, it usually dissipates just as quickly. Sometimes maybe we wanted to off the kids at school that terrorized us, or fly through the air after we saw a Superman movie… fleeting thoughts both, whether positive or negative.
The reality these days is that certain types of these thoughts are shunned and people fear them, or what consequences might come out of them.