Wow, hard to believe that this is my 100th post since I started this blog.
So I just saw one of my favorite bands, AFI, being interviewed on Distortion (Steven Smith‘s show on the music channel FUSE). They had a new album come out last month called “Crash Love” and one of the songs on it is called “Veronica Sawyer Smokes” (it’s my favorite song on the CD). Turns out, the title is a reference to Winona Ryder’s character in the movie “Heathers”. I hadn’t watched this movie in a while so it didn’t click as to where the name came from.
By the way, this is not the first time Davey (singer/lyricist for AFI) has made a reference to one of Winona’s characters. On their “Art of Drowning” CD from 2000, there is a song called “The Despair Factor” that has one of her lines from the movie “Beetlejuice” (“My whole life is a dark room, one big dark room”).
Anyway, after hearing them talk about the movie, I decided it was time I watched it again. This is a terrific dark comedy from 1989. The setting is Westerburg High School. The most powerful (and downright mean) group at the school consists of three girls named Heather and one girl named Veronica. I would say they are equally worshiped and hated by their fellow classmates.
Heather McNamara (aka Heather #1) is the leader of the group. She doesn’t care about anyone but herself. She is equally as mean to her supposed friends as she is to others at the school. Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) is a more recent addition to the group, however, she is already getting frustrated with Heather #1 and how she treats others. Her attempts to make changes to the way the group operates are quickly squashed.
Veronica becomes intrigued by the new guy at school, Jason Dean (Christian Slater) and he seems to be watching her just as intently. When she finds out how he handled a couple of jocks at school that were hassling him, she is both amused and impressed by him. It doesn’t take very long before they hook up and become an item.
Heather #1 has been invited to a college party and decides that Veronica should go with her. Veronica really isn’t happy at being pawed over by the college guys and whatever she had to drink really didn’t agree with her. She ends up getting sick, which, just makes Heather #1 pissed off. Heather #1 then threatens to ruin her by telling everyone at school what happened.
By the time Veronica finally gets home she is livid. As she is ranting in her journal about what happened, Jason unexpectedly shows up at her bedroom window. They decided that Heather #1 is due for some payback. So they head over to Heather #1′s house and prepare a “hangover remedy” for her, however, the actual goal is to make her throw up.
Unbeknownst to Veronica, Jason slips Heather #1 a mug with some type of cleaner in it instead of what she had mixed up. Of course, this leads to a very dead Heather #1. After a brief moment of freaking out, they quickly come up with a plan to make it look like a suicide; complete with a suicide note (luckily Veronica can copy Heather #1′s writing perfectly).
You would think that with what just happened Veronica would want to steer clear of Jason; but instead she is just as smitten with him as before. However, as the story progresses, things get even more complicated and twisted. Leading to Veronica finally realizing that Jason’s idea of right and wrong and hers are completely different.
I really enjoyed this film; both Winona and Christian were amazing. It’s from 1989, which means it was quite early in both of their careers. However, you wouldn’t know that by watching it. They are both very skilled and have incredible chemistry together.
Some of my favorite quotes:
Veronica – “What is your damage Heather.”
Heather McNamara – “F*ck me gently with a chainsaw.”
Veronica – “Does it not bother you that everyone at this school thinks you’re a piranha?”
Veronica – “How very.”
Veronica – “Really. That thing you pulled in the caf today was pretty severe.”
Jason – “Yeah, well, the extreme always seems to make an impression.”
Veronica – “No, my life’s not perfect. I don’t really like my friends.”
Jason – “Yeah, I uh, really don’t like your friends either.”
Veronica – “It’s just like they’re people I work with and our job is being popular and sh*t.”
Jason – “Maybe it’s time to take a vacation.”
Veronica – “I can’t believe it; I just killed my best friend.”
Jason – “And your worst enemy.”
Veronica – “Same difference.”
Jason – “What are we gonna tell the cops? F*ck it if she can’t take a joke Sarg?”
Jason – “This is the last thing she’ll ever write, she’s gonna want to cash in on as many fifty cent words as possible.”
Jason – “Seven schools in seven states and the only thing different is my locker combination.”
Veronica – “So we killed them didn’t we?”
Jason – “Of course.”
Jason – “Your true feelings were too gross and icky for you to face.”
Veronica – “Are we going to prom or to hell?”
Veronica – “If you were happy every day of your life, you wouldn’t be a human being; you’d be a game show host.”
I swear, Winona just doesn’t seem to age. She is just as beautiful now as she was back then.
You might get the feeling that Christian is channeling Jack Nicholson in this movie. However, Christian probably put it best when he said “I’m not doing it on purpose, that’s just the way I talk”.
“Swatch Dogs and Diet Coke Heads” is an extra that was filmed in 2001. It has interviews with some of the cast and crew. It’s interesting to hear what they have to say about their experiences so many years later.
Following is additional information about the show that contains spoilers. If you don’t want to be spoiled don’t read any further.
I loved the ending, I think it’s better than the original one they had planned (they talk about it in the extra mentioned above). It’s very suspenseful and you really don’t know how far it will go. Will the entire school get blown up or will Veronica save the day? I was shocked when Jason flips her off and she shoots off his finger. Where did she learn to shoot like that?
It was great when Veronica took the red bow off of Heather Duke, thereby, taking the leadership for herself. Then she proceeds to make plans with Martha (the very overweight and unpopular girl) to hang out and watch movies together on prom night.