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Provocative for its time, this black comedy about an intelligent teen who teams up with a sociopath to kill the cruel, cool kids barely brought in half of what it cost to make the film at the box office. But thanks to the rising stardom of protagonist Winona Ryder, and screenwriter Daniel Waters’s brilliant one-liners (“Dear diary, my teen angst bull--- has a body count”), Heathers has become a classic.
Four girls in an Ohio high school – three of them named Heather – make fun of socially unacceptable students and carry out a reign of psychic terror. The fourth, the ‘good’ Veronica, is appalled by the behaviour of the sadistic clique she belongs to, but doesn’t do anything about it until she falls for the young rebel J.D. Together the two embark on a killing spree to exact revenge on behalf of the nerds, disguising murder as suicide.
Director Michael Lehmann and screenwriter Daniel Waters have produced a sharp message about the way we treat each other, not only in high school but in the world. Heathers portrays the cost of the pursuit of popularity, tackling issues of bullying and teen suicide. We can’t help but enjoy the growing body count, savouring revenge against the bullies – murder most sweet.
With Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and Shannon Doherty.
Dir: Michael Lehmann / 1989 / 14A / 1h 43min