Heathers

Heathers

4.6 26
Director: Michael Lehmann

Cast: Michael Lehmann, Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty

     
 

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This biting satire was ahead of its time in depicting teen cynicism and in making light of the media's obsession with teen angst. The DVD, which allows all of the humor to rear its head, isn't really the greatest home presentation of Heathers. Yes, the 1.85:1 widescreen transfer allows director Michael Lehman's low-budget visuals to make their impact, but theSee more details below

Overview

This biting satire was ahead of its time in depicting teen cynicism and in making light of the media's obsession with teen angst. The DVD, which allows all of the humor to rear its head, isn't really the greatest home presentation of Heathers. Yes, the 1.85:1 widescreen transfer allows director Michael Lehman's low-budget visuals to make their impact, but the actual digital transfer isn't that good. For starters, the DVD doesn't present the movie at a high resolution. Skin tones are blotchy, and the picture occasionally shakes and appears cloudy. Colors are appropriately bright, but not as fully realized as they were in the cinema. The sound is another somewhat sour point. The dialogue, sound effects, and score are too high-pitched and somewhat grating at times. This flaw gives the impression of slight sound washes or rustling papers throughout the DVD's running time. Fans of the movie might overlook these problems, but remastered sound and a better compression job would have done wonders. The "Chapter Selections" menu allows instant access to the DVD's 26 chapters. The theatrical trailer, in the full-frame format, doesn't provide much entertainment due in part to boring narration. The featurette is a 12-minute mixed bag of interviews, movie clips, and critical blurbs, best serving ardent fans of Winona Ryder and/or Christian Slater. This DVD isn't a respectful presentation technically, but the satirical edge of the movie isn't dulled, and fans should be somewhat pleased.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Chas Turner
John Hughes minted the gold standard for '80s teen movies with such heartfelt profiles in angst as Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. But when Heathers arrived in 1989, it heralded a new age. A black comedy with a brutally witty script (by Daniel Waters and director Michael Lehmann), Heathers mixed satire, nihilism, and madcap horror into a bubbling, critic-pleasing brew. It also helped propel Winona Ryder to prominence, portraying Veronica, the offbeat outsider who joins the sadistic, school-ruling clique known as the Heathers (Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, and Kim Walker) only to grow intensely dissatisfied with their antics. Expelled from the group, she takes up with new kid, J. D. (Christian Slater, channeling Jack Nicholson), whose misanthropy trumps even her own repulsion at phony adolescent hierarchies. Soon, Heather bodies begin piling up, Veronica realizes that J. D. is a homicidal maniac, and it's clear that teen movies will never be the same. A colorful pop paean to teen alienation, Heathers attacks the status obsession of American teens with glee -- a strain that informs such '90s hits as Clueless and American Beauty, as well as the poignant 2001 entry Ghost World. The DVD editions -- either the Limited Edition tin or the more conventional Special Edition -- sport audio commentary and "Swatch Dogs and Diet Coke Heads," a featurette, bearing the Heathers working title, that reunites the cast and crew. Also unearthed and presented for the first time -- alas, only in script form -- is the original ending (with Veronica aiding rather than hindering J. D.'s final spree).
All Movie Guide
A more scathing and trenchant teen movie has rarely been made than Heathers. Packaged and sold as a film about a group of wanna-be Valley Girls, it turned out to be a deadly examination of cliques and teenage vengeance, a black comedy comparable in its own way to Lord of the Flies. Screenwriter Daniel Waters and writer-director Michael Lehmann took audiences by surprise with smart, telling dialogue and a diabolical plot. Playing the only member of an Ohio high school's ruling clique not named Heather, Winona Ryder did much to launch herself into stardom. The film also cemented the bad-girl reputation of TV star Shannen Doherty and featured Christian Slater in his first major starring role. Heathers was too dark to be as popular with mass audiences as it was with many viewers and critics.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2001
UPC:
0013131140590
Original Release:
1989
Rating:
R
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital]
Time:
1:43:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Widescreen presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs; Audio commentary with director Michael Lehmann, producer Denise Di Novi and writer Daniel Waters; "Swatch Dogs and Diet Coke Heads": an all new 30-minute documentary featuring interviews with stars Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, director Michael Lehmann, writer Daniel Waters, producer Denise Di Novi, director of photography Francis Kenny and editor Norman Hollyn; Theatrical trailer; Screenplay excerpt: original ending; Talent bios

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Winona Ryder Veronica Sawyer
Christian Slater J.D.
Shannen Doherty Heather Duke
Lisanne Falk Heather McNamara
Kim Walker Heather Chandler
Penelope Milford Pauline Fleming
Glenn Shadix Father Ripper
Lance Fenton Kurt Kelly
Jeremy Applegate Peter Dawson
Carrie Lynn Martha "Dumptruck" Dunnstock
Ursula Martin Featured
Jon Mathews Rodney
Patrick Laborteaux Ram
Phill Lewis Dennis
Renée Estevez Betty Finn
John Zarchen Country Club Keith
Sherrie Wills Country Club Courtney
Andy David Fat Cynic
Kevin Hardesty 1st Heavy Metaller in Parking Lot
Josh Richman 2nd Heavy Metaller in Parking Lot
Bess Meyer Female Stoner
Jennifer Rhodes Veronica's Mom
Bill Cort Veronica's Dad
Larry Cox David
Kent Stoddard Brad
John Ingle Principal Gowan
Stuart Mabray Counselor Paul Hyde
Aaron Mendelson Nerd in Pauline's Class
Kirk Scott Big Bud Dean
Mark Bringelson Officer McCord
Chuck La Font Officer Milner
Mark Carlton Kurt's Dad

Technical Credits
Michael Lehmann Director
Denise Di Novi Producer
Sally Dennison Casting
Rudy Dillon Costumes/Costume Designer
Julie Hewett Makeup
Norman D. Hollyn Editor
Jon Hutman Production Designer
Francis Kenny Cinematographer
Iya Labunka Associate Producer,Production Manager
Kara Lindstrom Art Director
David Newman Score Composer
Julie Selzer Casting
Daniel Waters Screenwriter
Christopher Webster Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Program Start - Main Titles
2. Queen and Her Court
3. Lunchtime Poll
4. Jason Dean
5. Killer Croquet
6. Frat Party Fiasco
7. Paid in Puke
8. A Little Hangover Cure
9. A Suicide Thing
10. Profound Sensitivity
11. Heather Chandler's Funeral
12. Double Date
13. Nasty Gossip
14. Hunting for Jocks
15. "I Love My Dead Gay Son"
16. Pauline's Love-In
17. Break-Up
18. New Queen on Campus
19. Parental Guidance
20. Poor Little Heather
21. Sign the Petition
22. Psycho
23. Funeral Nightmare
24. Veronica's Suicide
25. Demolition Day
26. "May I See Your Hall Pass?"
27. J.D.'s Last Rant
28. Ka-Boom!
29. End Credits

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