Saturday, November 5, 2016

Cinema with Comestible Accompaniments: Heathers

A safe place for lovers of movies and pun-based food recipes with a fondness for TBS's Dinner and A Movie.  Oh yeah, and all the classic Dinner and A Movie recipes will be veganized. 

From 1995 to 2011, TBS provided recipes to compliment the movies they aired on a show hosted by Paul Gilmartin, Claud Mann (the chef), and what AV Club calls "a succession of female hosts" Annabelle Gurwitch being my favorite.

With two cookbooks and the vast internet, I plan on veganizing every Dinner and a Movie recipe I can get my hands on because this show deserves to live on in my cold dark vegan heart.

The Movie

Heathers (1989)
Leonard Maltin Review:  **1/2 D: Michael Lehmann.  Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, Kim Walker, Penelope Milford, Glenn Shadix, Lance Fenton.  Sharp, somewhat smug satire of high school social strata, with Ryder in a terrific performance as a girl who hangs out with the school's bitch-queens but doesn't feel quite comfortable about their reign of terror.  Outrageous black humor works at first, but isn't sustained; uneven script goes far astray.  Slater is commanding in his Jack Nicholson-esque performance.  Feature debut for director Lehmann and writer Daniel Waters, with many virtues as well as flaws. [R]

Spoiler Alert:  There may be spoilers peppered though the movie portion of this post, consider yourself warned.

The movie that answers the age old question: Are we going to prom or to hell?

Corn nuts...  

High school was hard for most of us, but for Veronica, her "teen angst bullshit has a body count."  (That sounds like the beginning to the trailer, right?)  I remember thinking people in high school talked the way they did in this movie.  Needless to say, I was very disappointed.  (Side note: Dawson's Creek came out when I was in high school and none of my friends used half as many SAT words.  That was very disappointing as well.  I still want to marry Pacey, though.)

"...bulimia is so '87"

This movie has a special place in my heart (which is why I started with it) because it validated my disdain for the popular crowd and at the time I first saw it I wanted to be Winona Ryder.  She was fresh off of Beetlejuice playing strip croquet with a pre-baboon heart Christian Slater.  What's not to love?  The movie is visually stunning as well.  All the Heathers are color coded, presumably not to mix them up, but the use of color definitely adds to the story.  First, we have Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) in red (power color), the Regina George of the group.  Then there is Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty) in green... with jealously?  which is established during the croquet game at the beginning of the movie and later when she gains possession of the red scrunchie.  Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk) in yellow, the weakest in the group, only because she's the realest person in the group who has real people feelings when people around her start dying.  Veronica (Winona Ryder) wears lots of blacks and blues and she happens to be the one to introduce all the death and mayhem that follows.

"I gotta motor"

Both the Veronica and J.D. character have weird relationships with their fathers.  Veronica's dad will throw out a rhetorical question as to why he does something and Veronica responds with, "...because you're an idiot."  J.D. and his father, however, have this banter where they switch roles and J.D. refers to his dad as son.  I'm struggling right now to think of a teen movie where the parent is shown as anything other than to create a conflict or completely pointless.

"...that the answers can be found in the MTV video games."  

 Something I just recently noticed is that Veronica uses a monocle throughout the movie and they never call attention to it.  I need to get myself a monocle.

Another observation is Heather Chandler's coffee table contains a Cliffs Notes for The Bell Jar and Info Magazine with the cover article being "The Fall of the American Teen" which helps J.D. concocted the suicide idea.

My favorite character, hands down, is Martha 'Dumptruck' Dunnstock with her Big Fun t-shirt and her plans to rent some new releases and pop some popcorn with Veronica on prom night.  That would have made a great spin off or sequel.

My favorite scene is the Heather Duke funeral-dream sequence where everyone is wearing 3-D glasses and white gowns.  This just help to prove that the 80's were superior in every way.

More quotes I love:
"Our love is God. Let's go get a slushie." - J.D.

"Chaos is what killed the dinosaur, darling." - J.D.

"I don't patronize bunny rabbits." - Veronica's Dad

"If you were happy every day of your life, you wouldn't be a human being you would be a game show host." - Veronica


  • Heathers was filmed in 32 days in July and August of 1988.  
  • The Veronica role was originally intended for Jennifer Connelly, who turned it down. 
  • Justine Bateman was also considered for the lead.  
  • Brad Pitt auditioned for the role of J.D. but was considered "too nice."  Thelma and Louise era Brad Pitt... he was too nice.  Actually, Ocean 1000 era Brad Pitt still too nice.
  • Westerberg High was named after Paul Westerberg from The Replacements, Winona's favorite band at the time.
  • Ich Luge is German for "I'm Lying" - the bullet J.D. tells Veronica they are using for Kurt and Ram.
  • Ram - if you are a fan of the movie Summer School, he also plays a jock in that movie.  The actor's name is Patrick Labyorteaux.
  • Something I learned from listening to the podcast Sweet Teen Club, the version of Que Sera, Sera in the movie is not the Doris Day version because she wouldn't let her vocals be used on any project that used profanity. 
  • Soon there will be a TV series on TVLand based on Heathers.  (Here's an article on Jezebel which is where I get all my news.)
  • Heathers: An oral history (courtesy of Entertainment Weekly)

The Recipe
Heathers 'Killer Pasta w/ Oregano'
(for original recipe click here)

For Pasta:
(I used the pasta recipe from Vegan Dad here)
2 cups flour (1 cup all purpose and 1 cup semolina)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
about 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

For Sauce:
1 yellow onion, diced
1 lb ripe plum tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 fist full of fresh oregano and basil (optional)
1 copy of Moby Dick
Mineral Water
Big Red Scrunchie
(The original recipe had cheese in the sauce, I took it out, get over it.  Just add extra scrunchies.)

 I advise following the Vegan Dad recipe for the pasta as I am a fresh pasta novice and used a humorously tiny rolling pin to roll out my pasta which took forever.  I added the fresh oregano when combining the flours and salt.

The drying the pasta on the kitchen cabinet doors trick courtesy of the Vegan Dad blog.

Preheat over to 350F.

Combine the red wine, olive oil and tomato paste.
(My first attempt at this recipe I forgot to pick up wine and used balsamic vinegar instead.  Turned out pretty good.)

Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange on a cookie sheet cut side up. 
Drizzle the wine mixture over the tomatoes then top with the diced onions, garlic, salt and pepper.  Bake for 30 minutes.
Post oven photo.

Put everything on the pan into the blender, minus the parchment paper.  (What did we do before parchment paper?)  When the sauce looks nice and smooth, add a fistful of oregano and/or basil and give it a few quick pulses to just roughly chop the herbs up.  

And there you have it Veronica's favorite dinner Spaghetti with lots of oregano.  Can you tell which one is from the movie and which one I made?  Probably.

The next movie will be announce shortly.  I was going to do The 'Burbs, but Netflix rudely removed it from streaming.