"Dear diary. My teenage-angst bullshit has a body count."
- Veronica (WYNONA RYDER)
Rolling Stone - 05/18/1989
"...[A] seductive blend of fun and fright..."
New York Times - 03/31/1989
"...HEATHERS is legitimately startling....Ryder, in particular, manages to be both stunning and sympathetic..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/23/2003
"...Lethally black, hilariously nasty, and brutally honest..."
Total Film - 08/01/2003
"...[A] ruthless satire....A murderous plot plays out, spiked with vicious one-liners..."
Uncut - 02/01/2005
"HEATHERS' durability is down to Dan Waters' deliciously mischievous script..."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2005
"The best and blackest of the high-school-is-hell comedies of the 1980s still comes up fresh as a daisy..."
Wall Street Journal - 03/29/2012
"Three queen-bee bullies -- all of them named Heather -- get their comeuppance and then some in this now-classic dark comedy about the cruelties of high-school life."
Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) has sacrificed everything in order to preserve her place in Westerburg High's most impenetrable social clique, the HEATHERS. As the only member of the group not named "Heather," Veronica has to work extra hard just to stay afloat. Going against her own morals and intelligence, Veronica succumbs to peer pressure on a daily basis, faking her delight in the humiliation of the school's less popular students. Bored of the frat parties and cow tipping so popular among her friends, Veronica's curiosity is peaked when a mysterious new guy named JD comes to town. The dark, brooding JD (Christian Slater at his best) observes Veronica among her pack in the lunchroom (where social hierarchy is most clearly displayed), concluding that Veronica is not a Heather at heart. When Veronica confides in JD that she hates her friends and wishes Heather #1 was dead, she never expects her words will have such dire consequences. Before she knows what's happening, JD is dragging Veronica on a killing spree staged as a teen suicide outbreak. But as Veronica soon learns, even death cannot stop the Heathers. As one Heather dies, her red scrunchee (the symbol of all power) gets passed on to the next Heather in line, and the clique that was the Heathers starts to feel like an inescapable social disease. How far will this war for popularity go'
By far the darkest of teen comedies, HEATHERS invented a vocabulary of teen-speak all its own, asking questions like "What's your damage'" and introducing phrases like "How very." Director Michael Lehmann successfully blends the horror, comedy, and teen-movie genres, creating a truly original film. Full of dark humor and deeply sardonic messages, HEATHERS takes a fresh look at the often-sugarcoated cinematic world of high school. Set in the 1980s, the film feels timeless in its relevance because of the daring nature of its themes. Filled with great performances, a candy-colored set design, and an infectious soundtrack, murder has never been so much fun!
Veronica, a student at Westerburg High, belongs to the school's most powerful clique, the Heathers. Then she and her boyfriend, new kid in town and teen-rebel J. D., accidentally kill Heather No. 1. Veronica is horrified, but J.D. is pleased, and soon he's plotting to eliminate more of Westerburg's elite -- with Veronica's unwitting help.
Black Comedy |
Campus Life |
Cult Film |
Essential Cinema |
The Starmaker Entertainment "Collector's Edition" of "Heathers" carries the catalog ID# 99101 and features 14 minutes worth of supplementary material. Included in this package are Coming Attractions and a long preview that features interviews with Christian Slater and Winona Ryder. The film itself runs 105 minutes.
Lumivision Laserdisc version is a widescreen transfer, including theatrical trailer and interviews.
Directorial debut for Michael Lehmann.
Daniel Walters screenplay won the 1989 Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Screenplay.
Filming began July 1988 in Studio City, California. Color by DeLuxe. Budget estimate $5 million.
Nine minutes were cut from versions released to theaters in the state of Utah.
First shown in Milan, Italy at MIFED October, 1988. Also shown at the 1989 United States, Houston International, Seattle International, and Deauville Film Festivals.
Released theatrically in New York City and Los Angeles March 31, 1989.
Released on video July 6, 1989.
Rated BBFC 18 by the British Board of Film Classification.
Introduced phrases that almost entered the common parlance, such as "How very," and "Fuck me gently with a chainsaw!"