Michael Lehmann’s seminal teen angst movie makes its 30th birthday victory lap with this exquisite 4K restoration. The tale of Veronica (Winona Ryder) and psycho sociopath bad-boy, JD’s (Christian Slater) journey through the high school class system is just as shocking and deliciously dark-humoured as it was three decades ago. Filled with sharp-edged dialogue and utterly believable performances, Veronica’s slide into anarchy as she and JD plan to topple the three most popular bitches in the school - Heather (Kim Walker), Heather (Shannen Doherty) and Heather (Lisanne Falk) resonates in ways that the filmmakers never would have thought possible back in 1988. Forget Mean Girls and just about every John Hughes movie, this nails the ‘80s high-school experience, then blows it up for good measure. More fun than a game of strip croquet. Now that’s deep.
The bonus material is a fascinating watch for anyone who wants to dig a little deeper into the film’s background. If, however, you were hoping to see stars Ryder, Slater, and Doherty reminiscing about their time on this cult classic, you’ll be sorely disappointed. They’re nowhere to be seen.
Lehmann’s Terms is a recent walk down memory lane by director Michael Lehmann as he discusses his background at Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope and what lead him towards the film that would break him.
David Newman’s beautiful synth score is discussed in Pizzicato Croquet by the man himself, while How Very: The Art and Design of Heathers does just that, discussing the overtly ‘80s style that was almost a character in itself. Casting Westerburg High gives a little background via the Casting Director, although it’s a shame we don’t see any casting videos or (again) Slater et al discussing this. That said, Lisanne Falk does make an appearance in Poor Little Heather wherein she discusses her journey towards being one of the iconic Heathers. Scott and Larry and Dan and Heathers features the screenwriting team of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski interviewing Heathers screenwriter Daniel Waters which makes for a light-hearted yet enlightening chat amongst friends.
The Big Bowie Theory has writer, actor and comedian John Ross Bowie discussing the cultural and historic sentiments surrounding the movie and its messages. Finally, Return to Westerburg High gives a well-rounded (and slightly older) summation of the production and its challenges. Rounding off the selection are some nice oddities, including the trailer for Lethal Attraction (a less ‘very’ name for Heathers) and Lehmann’s film school final film The Beaver Gets a Boner. 30th Anniversary Rerelease Trailer and an Image Gallery are also included.
Perhaps one of the biggest highlights of this must-own release (in spite of its shortcomings) is the Audio Commentary by Lehmann, Waters and producer Denise Di Novi where you pick up plenty of interesting titbits about the project and the film’s origins.
HEATHERS (1988) / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: MICHAEL LEHMANN / SCREENPLAY: DANIEL WATERS / STARRING: WINONA RYDER, CHRISTIAN SLATER, SHANNEN DOHERTY, LISANNE FALK / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 10TH