You don’t know you’re making a cult classic in the making until its picked up later, still referenced, quoted and appears nowadays in pop culture art on Etsy, which is no bad thing when you’re a big fan and you need a card or stickers or patch to express your love for the film. The film had a preview at BFI this week and it was everything I had hoped for. Resisting the urge to rewatch it a few times just so I could savour the sweet moment when I could hear the words ‘Fuck me gentle with a chainsaw. Do I look like Mother Teresa?’ on the big screen. The preview audience, made up mostly of long time fans but had a good response from newcomers too as Lisanne Falk said in the Q & A. Joined by director Michael Lehmann the two talked enthusiastically and at ease about the making of the film, how its becomes a cult hit and offering anecdotes from the set. It was great to have the room laughing once again at some of the funny comments made by Falk and Lehmann.
Much of the credit for all the quirks of the film was passed to Daniel Waters who wrote the screenplay. The dialogue in particular is an aspect of the film that I’ve always loved. Words and phrases made up just for the characters that inhabit the world of Heathers. It reminds me of films that came later from Mean Girls (the more obvious) to Brick for the use of dialogue. The story is a perfect mix of reality, fantasy and dreams, paying homage to cult references such as the dream like funeral where everyone is wearing paper 3D glasses, similar to a famous 1950s photograph. Now the film itself is cult classic where other films pay homage to, whether its a quote (the film is very quotable) or a hint to an outfit or the same formation of characters appear.
A film like Heathers is rarely seen today. With its satirical wit and daring attitude, the film approaches teen suicide from the darkest realms of comedy. And even manages to stare murderous teenagers in the face. There would be little to no chance of making a film in the same vein no matter what your intentions are, except of course a remake. The misguided and not wanted or needed remake of Heathers was made into a TV show with a now cancelled broadcast date. It seems to have been ejected from the US and skipped the UK. But you never know, it might end up on E4 one late night. Remakes are a problem and this TV show reboot is no different. But a musical inspired by the film? That seemed even less unlikely, except its so very. A amazing soundtrack and a hit off broadway, it has now made its way to the UK to sold shows. This is the kind of show I can get behind.
With several questions about what would have happened after the credits rolled and was there anything cut from the film, I, like Lehmann had a regret. To not bring the original ending of a prom in heaven to the screen. This decision was made by the ‘money’ and with that there would be no film. But now knowing there was another end, I can’t help but wish we the fans had been given the gift in the form of an ‘extra’ but we can only dream.
Heathers is back in cinemas now, so if you haven’t booked your tickets yet, what’s your damage??