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Heathers (1988)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 31 March 1989 (USA)
In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.

Director:

Michael Lehmann

Writer:

Daniel Waters
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1,089 ( 8)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Winona Ryder ... Veronica
Christian Slater ... J.D.
Shannen Doherty ... Heather (Duke)
Lisanne Falk ... Heather (McNamara)
Kim Walker ... Heather (Chandler)
Penelope Milford ... Pauline Fleming
Glenn Shadix ... Father Ripper
Lance Fenton Lance Fenton ... Kurt Kelly
Patrick Labyorteaux ... Ram
Jeremy Applegate ... Peter Dawson
Jon Shear Jon Shear ... Rodney (as Jon Matthews)
Carrie Lynn Carrie Lynn ... Martha Dunnstock / Dumptruck
Phill Lewis ... Dennis
Renée Estevez ... Betty Finn (as Reneé Estevez)
John Zarchen ... Country Club Keith
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Storyline

A regular girl, Veronica, tries to survive the social jungle of high school by sticking with the three most popular girls at school who are all called Heather. As she meets a sociopath named JD, her life spirals into a continuous cycle of hate, unintentional murder and indifference, as she exacts revenge on her enemies, also known as her best friends. Written by Marielle <msaz.movies@gmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A killer comedy. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 March 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fatal Game See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$177,247, 2 April 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,108,462
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The closeups of Veronica's legs were filmed with a body double. See more »

Goofs

When Heather C is setting up her backswing with the croquet mallet, the positioning of Heather M behind her alternates between close and far back, depending on whether the shot shows their feet or upper bodies. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Heather McNamara: Damn. It's your turn, Heather.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also deleted was a scene right after the two Heathers interrupt Betty Finn and Veronica's croquet game, in which the two Heathers begin and play their own game of croquet, with a more social and political conversation than before. And more dialogue between Veronica and Heather McNamera. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Que Sera, Sera
Written by Jay Livingston & Ray Evans
Published by Jay Livingston Music - St. Angelo Music
Performed by Syd Straw
Arranged by Van Dyke Parks
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A disturbingly dark comedy
16 June 2016 | by Jared_AndrewsSee all my reviews

I can recall only a few times that movies have genuinely shocked me, not with a plot twist in a mystery or thriller, but with pure audacious, in-your-face moments. Those moments make an impact. They don't bruise; they scar. They brand an image or a quote into my memory that rests there forever. Heathers delivers a handful of these moments within its first 20 minutes. You can attempt to describe this movie anyway that you like, be it satirical, provocative, hilarious, wild, etc. One thing is certain about Heathers, you will not forget it.

Heathers is a disturbingly dark comedy dripping with hyperbolic satire about high school life. Every character is exaggerated. The kids are either sadistic or secretly psychotic or both. All the adults are clueless, so of course they handle each conflict with incompetence. Yet somehow the plot makes the characters appear by comparison, which is say that things get pretty crazy.

This drastically sensationalized world of high school (littered with great quotes) makes Heathers a genre-defying classic.

Boldly exploring the world of teen social life in a way for more daring and original than "16 Candles" or "The Breakfast Club" (oh, these kids are more than just their stereotypes? I never knew), Heathers takes us behind the scenes of the most popular clique in school, called the Heathers. The three founding members, all named Heather, insist on referring to each other by first name only which creates some cute confusion in the opening minutes. The film takes an abrupt dark turn shortly afterward.

The leader, Heather Chandler, needs only to utter a few sentences to reveal herself as one of the most shockingly cruel and timelessly quotable teen characters in cinema history. So shocking are her lines that they still drop jaws in 2016. I wouldn't dare spoil the great quotes from Heather or the ones from Heather or any quotes for that matter, but suffice it to say that you will never think about mineral water, brain tumors or chainsaws the same way again.

As we witness the appalling ways of Heather as she mentally mutilates the less popular, we also observe the apathy with which her actions are met. Only Veronica seems phased by how her best friend (who she hates) treats people. Since she's the only sensible character in the movie, Veronica comes up with the only sensible way to solve the Heather problem: kill her. "Accidents" ensue leading to a perceived suicide epidemic throughout the city. In death, the tormentors become martyrs celebrated for the giving lives they did not actually lead. Despite the phony praise passed onto the dead, virtually everyone's reactions to the suicides are laughably deadpan or selfish. Some seek attention by accepting blame. Others worry only about canceling school. The school's lower class students notice the glorification of suicide and view it as their best chance at popularity.

The comical take on murder/suicide is dicey. But viewers should understand it as an attempt to mock the allure some bestow on suicide. Even if this bold effort ruffles some feathers, the film presents a moral statement: all people should be treated with decency.


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