A Look Back At 25 Years of “Heathers”

 

If you haven’t seen “Heathers,” it is a work to behold. This black comedy from 1988 featuring a young Winona Ryder and Christian Slater as a couple that vie for popularity and make teen suicide popular without meaning to do it. In the 25 years since its release, more and more people have been drawn to this cult classic that leads most audiences to wonder “Am I really seeing this right now?”

For comparison, “Mean Girls” (2004) features a girl tricking another into eating weight gainer bars to get skinny; “Heathers” has a girl tricking another into drinking drain cleaner as a hangover cure and then dying.  Two school bullies are gunned down and their deaths are written off as a suicide between two gay lovers, they become martyrs against homophobia. This movie predates the Columbine shooting by 11 years but includes a bomb plot to blow up the entire school.

Mean Girls Was Small Time

Mean Girls Was Small Time

What is important looking back at the 25 years since its release is the fact that teen movies had never seen anything like this. You get the feeling that Heathers was made by a committee convinced that the teen genre needed a gritty, in-your-face reboot. The box office said that they were incorrect but every teen movie that came before it looks like a sandbox by comparison.

Movies like Fast Times At Ridgemont High attempt to address the longing, the scheming and the charged immediacy of being a teenager. In High School time is an illusion, there’s only desire. But Heathers addresses the darker part of desire, the baser aspects of adolescent ego that desperately wants to be talked about and might chose death to satisfy it. The real horror of Heathers is that no one questions the suicides, everyone assumes that the dead succumbed to their internal demons and chalked their deaths up to the price of being a teenager.

John Hughes made a career in the 80s of pointing out how similar we all are and how it’s always better to know someone before you judge them. In Heathers, no one likes themselves, much less anyone else.

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It wasn’t enough to be shocking in a way that would make people look at things just a little bit differently, Heathers had to completely subvert every trope of 80s movies, and the culture of the period as a whole. Few veteran filmmakers would dare try something like this, which is why Daniel Waters and Michael Lehmann were perfect for this. After 25 years, it still doesn’t seem like something that could be written, shot, and passed by studio executives anywhere in this version of reality.

No real high school has ever been this bad, but fortunately or not, art imitates life. High school is one of the first places you encounter a hierarchy and  you learn to work through it, as crazy as it can be. This movie was a flop at the box office, but it’s found a following that it certainly deserves once you look back and see what it meant to the time, and what it means today as movies about the teen experience have found a new place in the hearts of viewers.

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John Hughes’s Teen Lessons

Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Uncle Buck. John Hughes brought us some of the movies that defined the 1980s and the way that teenagers saw life. There are plenty of movies that are about teenagers, but John Hughes found a way to channel everything that made up the individual reality that teenagers have, something that no one else has ever come close to doing.

At the end of the day, there were a few things that we learned, or forgot we knew, about being a teenager.

Adults Are Completely Useless

Hang in there Champ!

Hang in there Champ!

When you’re a teenager, there are very few things as perplexing as adults. They never understand, they don’t know what its like to be a kid, you know the drill. Granted, sometimes Hughes made them useless so that people like Ferris Bueller could get away with things that might otherwise be impossible, but by and large the adults just didn’t pay attention to the teenagers and when they did they were judging them.

Teenagers know that adults just aren’t a part of the way that they view reality. When you do something, the adults, if they are involved at all, are just the boring people standing in the way of them expressing themselves authentically.

Principals Don’t Like It When Kids Get The Upper Hand

You'll never graduate!

You’ll never graduate!

High School principals are something that could strike fear into even the strongest of us. In the 80s, they were a force to be reckoned with who would stop at nothing if it meant they would catch a student who was up to no good.

Take Principal Rooney for example. After having enough with the antics of the ever more popular Bueller, he takes matters into his own hands. Your principal might not have ever come to your house to check up on why you aren’t at school, but you can bet that they don’t like it if you try to pull the wool over their eyes.

Never Judge Your Classmates Before You Get To Know Them

They'll never get along!

They’ll never get along!

Every single teenager with at least one parent has been told that you should never judge a book by its cover. John Hughes showed us exactly why that is something you have to always keep in mind.

The Breakfast Club isn’t just about people who might not otherwise be friends getting to know each other. It’s about overcoming stereotypes, conquering years of programming about who you should be friends with, and more. When you’re a kid, it’s hard to understand that there are people who have drastically different backgrounds from you, and even harder to see that there are always reasons that people have developed into who they now are.

Things Aren’t Always Going To Be The Same

The Future...

The Future…

Being a kid is magical. The teenage years are some of the most trying, glowing, and unbelievable times that you will ever experience in your life. The friends you make, the way you feel, and the job you have seem like they are always going to be the same. There is no reason to think that you’ll ever be anything other than what you are in that moment.

What John Hughes taught us, though, is that even in a short time things can change dramatically. People you wouldn’t have talked to in the hallway before a day of detention can become lifelong friends, finding yourself means you won’t be always be the depressed loner that no one talks to. Sometimes coming out of your shell is deciding to fight mutant bikers, sometimes it’s trashing your friend’s dad’s expensive car and sometimes it’s just getting to know people.

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Win Fresh & Tasty T-Shirts!? Where do I sign?

Attention readers!

Are you tired of winning prizes that only keep for a week or two at most? Do you tire of the same spinning of a wheel? Clockwise… counter-clockwise… there has to be more to this life! Are you tired of letters or giving your answers in the form of a question? “What is Yes?”

win_fresh&tasty_shirts_2

Well fret not; Found Item Clothing is giving away a free t-shirt to the lucky winner of this contest. Take our crisp, high-octane sign up form for a spin and you could win a free, fresh awesome T-shirt.

First name: 
Last name: 
Email: 

What are you waiting for? Don’t be a chicken of the sea, simply enter your name and email for your chance to win. Stop hesitating, we’re giving you this filet on a silver platter. No bones about it. We’ve even made three separate lines so theres no room to flounder.

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We’re Back!!!

Found Item Clothing is Back! And we never really left.

Our Facebook page has returned after a brief hiatus. We hope to continue being a brief stop along the internet super highway for all your movie commentary, pop culture and t-shirt needs. We have returned to Facebook and here we’ll give you an idea of just how Back we are:

We’re back like Hulk Hogan in Wrestlemania 21

We return to give you unadulterated, straight from the gut, hard-hitting content… We’ve got a feather boa on layaway.

We'll tell you a thing or two.

We’ll tell you a thing or two.

 

We’re back like Gandalf in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

You could be forgiven for thinking that we died, but now we’re back, stronger than ever with a beard that commands respect and a demeanor that says we need a nap.

Gandalf the White? Nay Gandalf the Lite Brite

Gandalf the White? Nay Gandalf the Lite Brite

 

We’re defrosted like John Spartan & Simon Phoenix in Demolition Man

We will kick ass without any regard to language violations

Where did that haircut go?

Where did that haircut go?

 

We’re back like Magneto in X-Men 2.

We’ve escaped from our plastic tomb and we’re ready to cause metallic doom.

Ask your doctor about iron supplements today.

Ask your doctor about iron supplements today.

 

We’re back like Randy “The Ram” Robinson in The Wrestler

After a brief hiatus, we’ve returned to triumph!  Our best days are still ahead…

Hero's Triumph

Hero’s Triumph

But we’ll still bonk a head.

Bonk

Bonk

 

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Wholesome Movie Tropes that Belong to the 80s

Movies today have a certain feel. There are a lot of themes that pop up time and time again, but they usually involve entirely CGI constructed action sequences. Kids today are all about the explosions and loose women, but what happened to narrative? In the 1980s,  things got weird and we were thankful! Every big blockbuster with a new plot device was followed by a dozen more with the same device biting at its heels. Let’s take a look at some of the themes from the 1980s that didn’t quite hang around, some of which you might actually miss.

Body-Switching

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We don’t see too many of these nowadays, but body-switching movies were all the rage in that magic decade. Freaky Friday prepared audiences for it back in 1976, but it really found it’s home in the 80s.

Prime Examples:

  • Vice Versa: Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage starring in a slapstick comedy involving a magical skull? I’m in!
  • Big: Tom Hanks plays a kid transformed into a man while miraculously keeping it together as an adult.
  • Like Father Like Son: The late Dudley Moore and the now slightly eccentric Kirk Cameron switch bodies as, you guessed it, father and son.

Musical Numbers

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Ever wonder what happened to the random songs that used to take place in the middle of 80s movies? Ever wonder how everyone happened to know the song? Me too. That doesn’t mean they weren’t an often funny change of pace that, when used right, is something that is sure to give you 1980s flashbacks.

Prime Examples:

  • Back To The Future: Do I even have to mention the name of the song? Come on.
  • Risky Business: Before Tom Cruise was famous for jumping on Oprah’s couch, he was busy lip-synching Old Time Rock and Roll in his underwear.
  • Beetlejuice: Day-O has been stuck in my head for 20 years now.

Bullies

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Bullies still exist, especially in movies. But in movies where high school was the entire world, bullies had a special harrowing, sociopathic feel. Sure, there were bullies who you later realized just had a hard life, but many of them were just waiting for the chance to dismember whatever nerd they came across.

Prime Examples:

  • 3 O’Clock High: Jerry Mitchell is targeted by the bully and he tries everything to avoid the fight but eventually finds courage and he is triumphant.
  • The Karate Kid: Johnny got the skills and the girl, although apparently with a little bit of help from an elderly man you can take him on.
  • Teen Wolf: Seriously, Mick was willing to take on a warewolf if it meant he could feel superior.
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Then and Now: Famous ’90s Ladies

Pamela Anderson Then Now

Do you remember the ’90s? Of course you do. You think they happened yesterday, when in reality, 20 years have gone by. And don’t get all sappy now, but take a joyful trip down the memory isle as we remember some of the famous ’90s ladies and see what they’re up to now. Check out the gallery below, courtesy of TooFab. Continue reading

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10 ’70s Songs That Will Never Fade Away

Top 10 70s Songs

Once again, it’s time to crank up the retro vibe here at Found Item Clothing! And this time around, we’ll be bringing you our list of 10 all-time classics from the ’70s that just can’t seem to fade away, and probably never will. Check out what we got below. Continue reading

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