Run time: 135 mins
The wicked comedy Heathers (1989) has not mellowed with age. To the contrary, the film’s caustic depiction of deception, murder and high school cliques feels even more apt now.
As in the film, nice-girl Veronica (Ailsa Davidson) enjoys a brief alliance with a trio of queen bees all named Heather and led by the imperial Heather Chandler (Maddison Firth) — they get the best number, the brilliantly glam-pop “Candy Store.” Eventually Veronica joins forces with J.D. (Simon Gordon), the manipulative loner who is the musical’s biggest casualty. Vivian Panka, on the other hand, easily commands centre stage as a robotically intense Heather Duke, and nails her solo, “Never Shut Up Again.”
Heathers plays down the 80s setting, opting for a more universal sense of teenage life, with all its bullying and neuroses. This musical justifies its existence best when it goes to weird extremes. In these moments, Heathers nails what made the original so great, and goes even deeper. While it doesn’t fully embrace the film’s darkness, it is still an upbeat and fun romp with plenty of, ahem, killer tunes.