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According to Clare Connors' scathing rebuke, Heathers reveals that conflict as arising within the heart of the American high school: On one hand, the high school serves as an icon of American democracy and longing for social justice and equality, one place in American life where every young citizen can access equal opportunity and upward mobility.On the other hand, the cultural life of high school operates as the central training ground in the ruthlessly competitive values and viciously hierarchical social structure of American capitalism.Through a series of homologies, Westerberg High School becomes a metaphor for American life and culture during the Reagan and George Herbert Bush administrations.The conflict between democratic values and the social brutalities of 1980s consumer culture resides not just at the heart of the high school experience, but at the heart of 1980s American life.
Heathers ends with Veronica’s establishment, not of a school social structure devoid of hierarchy, but of a kinder, gentler monarchy with the protagonist in charge.If movies were food, Heathers would be a cynic's chocolate binge." Roger Ebert gave the film 2.5 stars out of 4 and wrote that the film "..a morbid comedy about peer pressure in high school, about teenage suicide and about the deadliness of cliques that not only exclude but also maim and kill." Heathers screenwriter Daniel Waters has stated that he had not seen Massacre at Central High at the time he wrote Heathers, but that he had read a review of it in Danny Peary's book Cult Movies, and that the earlier film may have been "rattling around somewhere in my subconscious".It was released again on Laser Disc on September 16, 1996, with restored stereo sound.The DVD features a new documentary, Return to Westerburg High.On November 18, 2008, Anchor Bay released a Blu-ray with all the special features from the 20th anniversary DVD and a soundtrack in Dolby True HD 5.1.