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'Heathers': An oral history

“Do you think there’s ever been another movie like Heathers?” Winona Ryder asks in her tiny, forever-a-kid voice, and then listens quietly. She’s genuinely curious. Your brain races through the obvious choices. Mean Girls, Clueless, Jawbreaker—teen-girl comedies with a drop of caustic in their lip gloss. But in 25 years, no high school movie has ever come close to the bloodthirsty wit and sweet-faced nihilism of Heathers, the 1989 satire about an Ohio high school where suicide becomes a scrunchie-level fad. “I looove this movie—to the point where I talk about it like I’m not even in it,” says Ryder. “If it’s on TV, I watch it. I’ve probably seen it 50 times. Like, I can do it by heart.”

She isn’t the only one who feels that way; fans have turned the box office flop (total gross: $1.1 million) into a cult hit on home video and TV—and even into a tongue-in-cheek musical, now playing Off Broadway. But long before that, a 24-year-old video-store clerk named Daniel Waters had a ­brilliantly ludicrous idea: “What if Stanley Kubrick made a teen film?” READ FULL STORY

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