Release News: Heathers 30th Anniversary Special Edition Steelbook Announced For North America

"God, Veronica, drool much?" 

RLJ/Image has announced an extras-stacked 30th Anniversary special edition steelbook of the beloved cult classic Heathers, finally giving the film a long-overdue blu-ray upgrade in North America. How very!

The 1989 film, starring Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, and Shannen Doherty, still reigns as one of the best teen comedies ever - and certainly one of the darkest and most subversive - but the film has long been neglected on home media in its country of origin. Its best release in the US has until now been its 2009 Anchor Bay 20th Anniversary Edition, which has strong extras but suffers from a very dated transfer, and last year's stellar 4k restoration from Arrow Video was sadly a Region-B-locked UK exclusive. Hopefully this new 30th anniversary release will change that.

The 30th Anniversary Edition is a 2-blu-ray set, packaged in a steelbook with some pretty solid new artwork. Disc 1 will contain the film, with a commentary ported over from past releases featuring writer Daniel Waters, director Michael Lehmann, and producer Denise Di Novi. Disc 2 will contain a whole bunch of extras, some of which are ported over from the Anchor Bay 20th Anniversary Edition (including the Swatch Dogs & Diet Coke Heads doc that Arrow was unable to license for their release), with a handful of new extras as well. The new extras include apparently exclusive interviews with Michael Lehmann, Daniel Waters, composer David Newman, and Heather McNamara actress Lisanne Falk. The release does not port over the new extras that Arrow commissioned for their UK special edition, but the new interviews that RLJ has assembled (plus the inclusion of the Swatch Dogs & Diet Coke Heads doc that was sorely missing from Arrow's disc) appear to make up for it, making the releases about equivalent in the special-features department.

The big unknown, however, that will ultimately determine whether this is a truly worthy 30th Anniversary Edition or not, is that RLJ has not specified whether the blu-ray will use Arrow's new 4k restoration. That restoration is definitive, and a massive upgrade over the Anchor Bay transfer, which was good for 2009 but definitely lacking by modern standards. Especially given the release's $39.98 price point, confirmation of which transfer the disc uses will be essential to determine if this is the film's definitive North American release, or if US fans should still be advised to seek out a region-free player to import the Arrow UK disc. Between the swanky packaging and the stacked list of extras, if this release finally brings the 4k restoration to the US, it will be a must-purchase release. If it just gives us the same dated master... that would not be too very. Keep an eye out for further details, but right now this appears to be tentatively very exciting news.

--Christopher S. Jordan