22 October 2012 1:34 PM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

Halloween is a month for the macabre, and you know what that means: I'm thinking about Winona Ryder's career. I still have the feathers in my mouth from her traumatizing Black Swan appearance. Shivers. Remember when Natalie Portman won an Oscar for playing a one-dimensional lunatic in what amounted to an overcooked, below-average Bjork video? I'm traumatized by that too.

But more importantly I'm thinking about Heathers, which I proclaim the definitive high school black comedy of all time -- so take that, uh, John Tucker Must Die! In retrospect, the unabashed kookiness of Ryder, Christian Slater, and the titular croquet-loving trio was sort of a slap in the face to the humdrum, half-snarling teens of John Hughes films. With Heathers came a refreshing burst of real cynicism. Smugness. Droopy anarchy. And not the kind that involves punching the air because you locked lips with Molly Ringwald in Saturday detention. »

- virtel

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