The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
TW: Heathers includes depictions of school gun violence, suicide, sexual harassment/assault, and homophobia.
As Halloween quickly approaches, what may be scarier than ghosts and goblins is my sleep schedule. This semester has really been draining, from more all-nighters writing to just getting used to being around people again. There’s something to be said about the renewed energy of Comm. Ave., but it’s been a bit much for me as of late to push through the crowds in a rush to class or have people push me in the crowd when I’m trying to avoid being run over in the crosswalk. Anyway (I know, I digress!), the long weekend forced me to give myself a break, and I hope you got a bit of one, too. While I was finally cleaning my room, I got into the spooky spirit by watching Heathers, so here’s the Bitchin’ Bio.
Release Date: March 31, 1989
Synopsis: Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) hates her friends, the popular Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty), and Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk). When brooding, new student J.D. (Christian Slater) comes into Veronica’s life, things get out of hand as she is roped into his plans to kill the Heathers, the popular students, and all of Westerburg High.
How I Watched It: Amazon Prime. I believe it is also available on Hulu.
Degrees of Kevin Bacon: 1. Christian Slater and Kevin Bacon star in Murder in the First (1995) together.
Come For: Winona! I’m biased because I’m such a huge fan of hers, but she gets to say some completely wild lines in this movie.
Stay For: Fabulous ‘80s fashion — we could all play more croquet with our friends in coordinated blazers. Also, Christian Slater’s constant Jack Nicholson impression. I happened to watch The Shining (1980) for the first time on the same day I watched Heathers, and I was trying to figure out who Jack Torrance (Nicholson) reminded me of for about half of the movie. Then, I remembered reading somewhere that Slater was said to be doing a Jack Nicholson impression, and everything fell into place. Given that Jack Nicholson was reminding me of Christian Slater imitating Jack Nicholson, I guess it’s a pretty good impression!
Had I Seen It? Yes, a few times. I’ve also watched the musical adaptation.
Do I Like It? There are certainly a lot of sensitive issues in the film that are handled in not-so-sensitive ways, which I am 100% able to recognize as a problem, especially given our ongoing climate of gun violence and attacks on schools. At the same time, and not glossing over that fact, I think that Heathers effectively satirizes both pop culture’s glamorization of suicide and the American complacency to tragic events, as well as some people’s exploitation of these tragic events to gain attention. It is a controversial movie, but I do enjoy it.