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  • Gareth Crook

Heathers (1988) - 3/10

I’ve never seen Heathers, it passed me by on release and I’ve never felt the need to correct that. However, I’m being dragged to see the musical theatre adaptation and although I’m sure it’ll be a very different production, it seemed sensible to have watched this first. It’s the 80s. White America is affluent and obnoxious. No change there. It’s also incapable of imagination it seems, as three high school girls all called Heather (one being Shannon Doherty) try to indoctrinate Veronica (Winona Ryder) who wants to be as popular/obnoxious as them, well sort of. That America grew up on films like this perhaps explains why it’s so screwed up today. I’m only half kidding, you can’t blame teen flicks like this for the state of a country. It’s really just a TV Movie after all, now that would’ve been a real slur in the 80s. Veronica is an unpleasant character, doing the tawdry high school bullying dirty work of the Heathers, but is there redemption for her and this film. Meeting Jason (Christian Slater) might help. He’s something of an anarchist, not exactly a role model but at least unafraid to put the elite scum in their place. Okay, time to let go of my social pigeonholing. Heathers isn’t that smart a film. Switch your brain off though and… no, I was trying to lead somewhere positive, but it’s going to be very difficult. Let’s try Slater, he reminds me of a young Jack Nicholson with better hair. He’s certainly entertaining here as Jason and he gives Veronica a different path to walk. It’s not exactly a redemption though and although the pair are less caricatured and irritating than the rest of the cast, there’s really no one to like in this film. Maybe that’s the point, a satire celebrating vacuous morons disappearing into a troublesome murderous suicide cult, but it’s dated very badly. Ryder and Slater are good, it’s not surprising they went on to bigger and better things. Well maybe not Slater, but there’s little to salvage here and I struggled to get to the end. I’ll report back as to whether the musical is any better.



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