80s teen movies were amazing – there was an arc-load of awful, but there were a huge number of really successful movies. Yes, we all know John Hughes and his perfectly placed finger on the pulse of the 80s teen, but I’m talking about Heathers. Released in 1988, it follows Veronica as she tries to get in with the most popular girls in school – the Heathers. Think Mean Girls, just darker. Much darker. And better. I’m not knocking Mean Girls. It’s super enjoyable, but Heathers won my heart when I was young and in my I ❤ Christian Slater phase. I would watch everything he was in – even Kuffs.
So, the movie evolves from bitchy friends into Veronica meeting bad boy J.D. – who clearly needs a metric ton of therapy – and the two of them deciding to get back at the mean girls by offing them. I do not mean this metaphorically. They literally kill the head Heather by feeding her a glass of draino. Then they off some football jocks. And they stage them all as suicides. Suddenly, suicide is the new cool thing and everyone is trying it. There’s even a song. Eventually, they have to take the next step – bombing the school. Sounds heavy, right? The underlying content absolutely is, but the movie itself is extremely funny.
It’s full of great outfits, weird music, and a whole bunch of shit they’d never get into a movie with today’s standards. The whole thing would be too offensive. School shootings/attacks are too close to the surface–These are terrible, awful things. They should not happen. But by using humour in a serious way, the movie actually opens doors for conversation. Slater did this again with Pump Up The Volume. It was kind of his niche for a while.
How this movie weighs up if you don’t have the nostalgia factor, I don’t know. But you should just go ahead and watch it. If for no other reason than to spark you love of croquet.