Whilst you could (reasonably) argue that the best teen movies were produced in the 1990 (Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, Scream etc), the most iconic ones definitely appeared the decade before. The 1980s gave the world The Breakfast Club, Stand by Me, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused, Pretty in Pink and many more. Arguably the most intelligent and interesting entrant into the genre was Michael Lehmann’s Heathers.
Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) is a member of the most popular clique in Westerburg High School along with the three Heathers (Chandler – Kim Walker, Duke – Shannen Doherty and McNamara – Lisanne Falk). Despite their popularity, they’re also feared and hated by most of the student population. Veronica begins to have misgivings about some of their actions. Enter the new boy J.D. Dean (Christian Slater), who teams up with her to implement his plan to rid the school of the scourge of popularity.
Whilst Heathers bombed at the Box Office on release, it subsequently became a huge cult favourite. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, what’s so striking about the incisive and Machiavellian comedy is how fresh it feels. Indeed, Daniel Waters’ script is as sharp today as it was on release. It remains the high point of Ryder’s career and launched the wise-cracking and Nicholsonesque Slater on an unsuspecting world. Heathers is a gloriously dark, deadly and irreverent teen comedy full of intelligent barbs and devilish deviousness.
Heathers 30th Anniversary 4K Restoration is released in UK cinemas from 8th August and on digital and on demand from 20th August.