I went to see the film because the hot actor of the time was Winona Ryder and I was in love with her after seeing her in "Lucas" and "Beetlejuice" and "1969". In each movie she played a version of a Goth chick - very smart, very pretty, but with a monotone delivery and moody attitude.
I also wanted to catch Christian Slater. I remembered him from his role as Binx in "The Legend of Billie Jean" and in the film "Tucker: The Man and His Dream"
"Heathers" is great satire of teen life back in the 1980's. It picks apart every teen angst and cliche and spins it in a goofy plot of rebellion and revenge gone amuck.
Ryder, playing Veronica, is on the fringe of the popular clic run by 3 girls names Heather. Each Heather is abusive, dumb, and pretty. For any teen who wanted to fit in the popular crowd but couldn't make it completely will identify with Veronica.
She meets a new student, J.D., played by Slater who is the complete opposite of the popular crowd. He wants nothing to do with them or the school. Veronica finds this interesting and soon she falls under the expert manipulation of J.D. Due to what starts as an accidental death, the two start a chain of events that looks like a teen suicide epidemic that was the common fear of adults back then.
Slater steals the movie from Ryder with his sly Jack Nicholson line delivery and James Dean attitude. Ryder is good but she can't stop Slater from chewing up the scenes.
The adults in the movie are classic clueless parental units that teen movies seem to always need. The best one is the guidance counselor that says "Whether or not a teenager decides to kill themselves is the biggest decision of their life. "
Watching this movie I kept saying to myself "They just did not do that?" or "They just did not say that?" I never laughed so hard in my life at that time.
A special treat was the Heather played by Shannen Doherty. Besides Ryder and Slater, she was the only other actor that I knew (except for Patrick Labyorteaux, who played the jock "Ram" who can now be seen on JAG as Ens. Roberts). Before Heathers, Shannen had played good girl roles and had just ended a series called "Our House" where she wanted to become a pilot. Her role became more interesting after finding out she turned out like her "Heather" character in real life.
The only thing that bothers me about this film today is that it could never be made today. The suicide epidemics (that still happen from time to time) has been replaced by killing one's classmates at school. I just don't think the studios would have the guts to film a satire like "Heathers" today.
As a side note: I read some of the previous comments from users who have only seen this movie on TV. All I can say is see the uncut version either on a movie channel or rent the DVD. The language and satire will only work in its uncensored format.