Heathers – Dark comedy or social commentary?

So I was recommended the 80s film Heathers (1989 to be exact) by a friend a number of weeks ago, and finally got round to seeing it last night.

Firstly great little quirky film, but I couldn’t help but feel it may have caused some outrage (especially in America) with its overriding theme of teen suicide. It has always been (and always will be) a touchy subject, but in this case it is handled in a very dark comedic fashion.

The main plot surrounds a group of bitchy girls (all called Heather) and their tag-along ‘friend’ Veronica (Winona Ryder) who basically run this small town American High School. This is until Veronica meets JD, the quiet outsider who is basically a bit of a fruitcake after his mum killed herself.

I think I recognised one of the Heathers (there is 3) from Beverly Hills 90210 (one of the must-see shows of the early 90s by the way). Ok I’ve just looked it up on IMDB.com, and it’s Shannen Doherty. Check out the link I’m sure you’ll recognise her, apparently she was also in Charmed as well, who knew?

JD is out to show all the jocks and posers a different side of life, and along with the now besotted Veronica set off on a short killing spree and masquerade the deaths as suicides. Like I say it is quite bold, even strikes the theme of terrorism with JD’s endgame of blowing up the entire school with the pupils and staff in it.

The performances by Ryder, before her days of stealing from shops, and the completely forgotten Slater are both superb. Her as the punch-drunk teen, and him as the rebel James Dean-esque character, but in this case he’s totally off his rocker (which he plays down to a tee).

Anyways I am spoiling too much here, it really is a fantastic film, think of it as the oddball mysterious cousin of the Breakfast Club and Weird Science.

What do I know anyway, this is coming from the man who compared Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Movie to 80s gang warfare in America. Make of that what you will.

Oh and did I mention it’s £2.85 on Amazon?


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