Heathers, Kuffs, and Empire Records

August 18, 2012

by — Posted in Personal Writing

 Image from Wikipedia

 Over the last week I have watched the three movies that were highly rated by friends.   The first movie was Heathers.  The second movie was Kuffs.   I have seen neither of these movies before, but they had been highly rated by friends for years.   When I announced that I was watching these quite a few friends showed their support and commented on my Facebook status about it.   The movies had to live up to the hype.   The last movie I watched was Empire Records.   I’ll explain why this is linked to the other two movies below.

 Image from Wikipedia

Heathers is a movie that would difficult to make to date.   Since the main plot line of the film is that Christian Slater‘s character is homicidal.   Every time he talks Winona Ryder‘s character that the murders were an accident.  She is an accomplice because she’s told the poison will just make her friend sick.   She believes it.   She then believes when she is told the gun is filled with blanks.  She is in love, but not in love in that emo rebellion kind of way.  She is blinded by that.

The dialogue wasn’t fantastic.  It didn’t extrude any great ideals.  It was a standard revenge comedy high school movie.  Not all movies in this genre actually have death in them, but that didn’t make this one better or worse than those.  It was more of the same.   If so many people hadn’t recommended this movie to me over the past two decades I never would have watched it.

Image from Wikipedia

 Since I watched Heathers, I wanted to follow it up with the other Christian Slater movie that came highly recommended – Kuffs.   One of my friends had the movie memorized because his older sister watched the VHS tape over and over.   I loved Christian Slater’s pirate movie masterpiece Pump Up The Volume!, he should be in full stride when Kuffs was shot.

Sadly, I’m not really any more of a fan of Kuffs as I am with Heathers.  It is a low budget coming of age comedy where the screw-up needs to avenge his brother’s death.   There are a few cute take away lines.   I loved it when Slater broke the fourth wall.  The gagged seen was funny.   The plot was predictable through the movie.  Too bad Tron had to die in the beginning of the film.   I was expecting so much more.

 Image from Wikipedia

After all of this I saw Happy Rex Harrison Day! in a Facebook status.  I knew I had to watch Empire Records right away.  Thanks to the magic of Netflix I queued it right and enjoyed a day in the life of a record store.  The movie has a similar feel to Mallrats (though it has a stronger cast and weaker script).  I’m sure this adds to my unabashed love for this film.   The only thing more I could ask for is Stan Lee in the movie.

Let’s get into to the point of all of this.  Empire Records is not necessarily a better movie than Heathers or Kuffs.  The biggest difference is when I saw the movie.   I first watched Empire Records on VHS tape shortly after it was released.  It was a contemporary filmed that spoke to my generation.   I was living in the moment and I could relate to the movie.

When I watched Heathers or Kuffs, I am watching them as someone who is in his mid-thirties.  I’m no longer in the moment of life where I can directly relate to the characters.   I watched it at the wrong age.   My friends who love these films watched it during the proper time and place.   They spoked to them in the same way Empire Records spoke to me, I just missed out on the other two.

This is why (for some films) it is important at watching them at the proper time in your like.   I love On Golden Pond, but I’m sure it will speak volumes more in another twenty years.  Unfortunately you can not go back and love the films that you have outgrown.   I regret that didn’t watch these sooner.   I wish I had the love of them that the rest of my friends do.

I’ll leave you with a trailer from a Christian Slater that I feel is a classic:

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