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Heathers (1988)

R | | Comedy | 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.

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3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lance Fenton ...
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Ram
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Jon Shear ...
Rodney (as Jon Matthews)
Carrie Lynn ...
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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

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

31 March 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fatal Game  »

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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 »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Quoted from the American Film Institute: "According to the 23 Mar 1989 [Los Angeles Times], [Daniel] Waters based the script on the high school experiences of his sister and her friends, as well as a chapter about the cultivation of female identity in Simone de Beauvoir's 1949 book, 'The Second Sex.' He also told LAT that he had grown tired of Hollywood's romanticization of suicide, and that he believed most people actually harbor an "ultimate fantasy" of attending their own funeral." See more »

Goofs

When talking about the Lunchtime Poll question, Heather Chandler tells her friends she had just come up with it in study hall. However, when Veronica asks if it is what Heather Chandler was talking to her on the phone about the night before, Heather says yes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Heather McNamara: Damn. It's your turn, Heather.
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Connections

Referenced in Robot Chicken: Suck It (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Teenage Suicide Don't Do It
Performed by Big Fun
Produced and Written by Don Dixon
Published by Lava Head Music / La Rana Music
Courtesy of Enigma Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A disturbingly dark comedy
16 June 2016 | by See 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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