Oh, the fucking humanity.
Jawbreaker. Mean Girls. The Sleepover. The Craft. Every bad girl subplot on Gossip Girl. None even come close to the dark surreality of Heathers, a movie that, to this day, no one will watch with me. Because at one point in my life — let’s say 1992 for convenience — I seriously watched this movie at least twice a week. It was in constant rotation for a while, along with Grease, Rock n’ Roll High School, and Barton Fink. Make of that what you will, and join me as I revisit a film that deserves a revival. (But, please, sweet baby Jesus, not a wretched remake.) Here then are 33 reasons why we love said film (arranged, conveniently enough, in the order they appear on screen, with one exception…).
1. SCRUNCHIES!!!! Nuff’ said.
2. Serious contouring blush. Look at Shannen Doherty in that opening croquet scene.
3. Why did “you’re beautiful” as an insult never catch on? It’s sort of spectacular (at 3:25).
4. Winona Ryder can’t act for shit, but her eye rolling is pretty epic. See clip above. Or this montage below, which demonstrates that she carries this proclivity with, from role to role.
5. This great slogan tee, which is glimpsed oh so fleetingly. Feeling inadequate? (Click to enlarge)
Sighted at :13 in.
6. Remington University (calling to mind Reynholm Industries of the IT Crowd, and also sounding like an off-brand razor blade).
7. “Greetings and salutations” as an introduction in Christian Slater’s mouth turns that whole E.B. White Charlotte’s Web thing into something wonderfully filthy. Yeowch.
8. “Keggers with kids”– if that hasn’t been a band name yet, it needs to be now (editor’s note: agreed, wholeheartedly!).
Skip forward to 5:55.
9. Cornnuts. Remember the ranch ones? Amazing. And yet terrifying.
10. This bitter kiss-off: “You were a bluebird. You were a brownie. You were a Girl Scout cookie.” Burn, baby, burn.
Watch it at 3:48.
11. The bizarre twangy music that plays whenever CS goes into ‘bad boy mode.’
Editor’s note: not to be confused with:
12. Oh, a teachers’ meeting where everyone is smoking? Awesome. (Skip ahead to the 6:35 marker.)
13. Swatches. Like that would help you accessorize for shit? Right.
14. Dougherty is just reveling in getting to play the head bitch. I mean, she is downright gleeful.
15. The MTV-Video-Games. And that righteous dude in heaven.
16. Cow tipping. I’m entirely sure that this is what teenagers in bumfuck Ohio do, even now.
17. “Sorry, I’m just feeling a little superior tonight.”
18. Mineral water = being gay. At least in 1991, it seems.
19. Who has a three way at dawn in the woods? Can’t you at least rent a motel room or something?
20. Okay, I kind of only now realized that WR wears a monocle when she writes in her diary. Where do you even get a monocle in central Ohio in 1991, in the days before the interwebs and Amazon? And what kind of an asshole do you have to be to wear it?
21. Actually, maybe Madonna’s Express Yourself video inspired that monocle. That would make sense.
22. Very true-to-life representation of Midwesterners’ addiction to 64-ounce beverages. So, so true.
23. “Adults? You want to be treated like adults, little miss voice-of-a-generation? Just how exactly do you think adults act with other adults? Do you think it’s all just a game of doubles tennis? When teenagers complain that they want to be treated like they’re human beings, it’s usually because they are being treated like human beings.” (Veronica’s mom, voice of reason, yo.)
Editor’s note: found at the 6:00 minute mark, yo.
24. Hot Probs. I would so listen to that shit. (7:45)
25. Good lord, how big is Westerberg High? Getting those signatures must have taken ages. (Fun fact: so-named for Paul Westerberg, legendary troubadour for the equally legendary 80’s punk-rock icons, The Replacements. Also: absolutely LOVE that the school’s mascot are… Rottweilers? How unconventional, and befitting of a world class fad.)
26. “I’ve already started underlining meaningful passages in her copy of Moby Dick, if you know what I mean.” (Slater’s delivery at 4:31 just fucking slays me.)
27. Es. ki. mo.
28. Noose too loose. Wasn’t that a rejected Dr. Seuss spin-off series?
29. No one ever enjoyed a pep rally that much and that sincerely. This is severely lacking in verisimilitude. I take back every good thing I have ever said about this movie.
30. Whoa, what’s with that totally out-of-character move to a belief in heaven? No.
31. Reading comments on YouTube is almost always a bad idea. But this whole generation who hasn’t seen Heathers astounds me. This movie was such an integral (read: intensely formative) part of my early teen years that I can’t imagine not having mental access to it. Poor kids. No one got blown up in Mean Girls.
32. Slater’s death is pretty vile, but ultimately worth it for the gorgeous pull-back shot of Veronica all charred like a piece of kindling and smoking on the concrete gym steps. HAWT!
On screen at 4:26.
Whew. That was a mouthful…
Read more of Erin’s assorted musings at her blog, Up By Noon!