Editor’s Note: You may remember last year we had a series called “Cult Corner,” where we review some panned, some failed, some both movies that turned out to be cherished by one sect of society or another.
Well, hiatus is over. Cult Corner is back and one of our newest Matrices “AsthmaticHoe” is leading the charge. You know, if she can keep her breath.
July is over, August is here, and school is right around the corner.What a better way to end our summer than with a cult classic countdown!
This month I’m going to discuss 4 of my favorite cult movies about school. I may also throw in a few about summer camp. So, don’t forget to pack this in your bag. Heathers is must-see-viewing for anyone in junior or senior high. This film has everything you need for your back to school supply list.
Directed by Michael Lehmann and starring ’80s staples Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, and Shannen Doherty, the 1988 cult classic Heathers surrounds a girl who is caught up in popularity in high school. Winona Ryder plays Veronica, a wealthy teenager in the popular clique of girls named “Heather.”
There are three Heathers at this school so, keep up.
After an unfortunate incident at a college party between the main bitch Heather and Veronica, known bad-boy JD convinces Veronica to kill the lead Heather. (Slater, in the ’80s. Can you say swoon?)
Creeping into her room at night, JD gets Veronica over to Heather’s house for a “hangover cure” that consists of a covered mug full of Drano.
Veronica proceeds to give the mug to Heather who chugs the blue liquid and crashes down on her glass coffee table, shattering it. Sharp silence brings JD and Veronica to the reality of what they’ve done. Veronica forges a suicide note in Heather’s handwriting at JD’s suggestion.
The teenage suicide fad begins to take over the high school as Heathers takes some expected, but still surprisingly, dark turns. Fortunately, as the movie goes along there is humanity to be found in our heroine.
That’s all I’m going to say as far as plot goes, because you need to go watch this movie right now!
A Case Study on School Cliques
Heathers is a wonderfully satirical take on the perfect John Hughes movies of the 1980s. It really takes you back to those hormonal days of being so easily influenced by just a look or a kiss from the right person.
The cynical views of the main characters, combined with the sociopathic belief that JD is somehow better than these other teenagers, is an idea that we have sadly, all experienced and seen in American public schools.
My favorite quote when Veronica fight’s with JD is when she cries, “I am not trying to bring anyone else back except myself.”
Often times during our adolescence, we are so defined by who we hang out with and what we want to be, we ignore who we are becoming. I look back on my own teenage years and wish I had not wasted so much time and effort on others. Now to bring this back to Heathers, people do suck but that does not mean you can just kill them.
Make sense? Now, let’s talk music: The soundtrack is composed by David Newman. (Yes, related to Randy Newman of “You got a friend in me” fame.) The familiar songs lead you on with an air of comfort and humor. It’s upbeat, yet subtle and silent when necessary.
The sarcastic themes shine through when showing Veronica’s rich family, void of all personality. With the repetition, and ignorance of the parents and faculty it definitely takes you back to the days of the public school system.
The outfits totally make the movie. Winona’s dress in the shower scene is iconic, as is most of her wardrobe. The shoulder pads and accessories show you who is the main-Heather-in-charge. The larger the shoulder pads and bow, the more power.
You guys remember that part of high school, right?
If you’re into high school comedies with intense ’80s themes and bright psychotic undertones, then Heathers is right up your alley. There is some tough stuff in the movie, and some scenes have not aged well (i.e., racial slurs and gay slurs).
Always take that into consideration when you’re going into these older movies. Heathers turned 30 on March 31 of this year, and I think it still has some relevant themes that can be enjoyed by any fan of dark humor.
Heathers can be streamed on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
I am a new contributor to this site so please let me know your thoughts, and if you like doing themes each month!