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It’s opening weekend at the 5th Ave

“Heathers” and “Dementia 13”
5th Avenue Cinemas
Friday and Saturday
7 and 9:15 p.m.

This Friday and Saturday, the Portland State Film Committee will be showing two classic favorites, “Heathers” and “Dementia 13” at 5th Avenue Cinemas. Both of these films can be classified as horror, “Heathers” for its portrayal of the callous behavior of high school kids and “Dementia 13” for its classic blood and gore.

“Heathers” is the story of a girl named Veronica, played by the richest shoplifter in America, Winona Ryder. Veronica and her three friends named Heather are the most popular girls in school. They are led by the bitchiest and blondest Heather of the group.

Veronica is satisfied with her status in the Heather group until the arrival of a mysterious Jack Nicholson-ish boy named Jason Dean, played by Christian Slater. Veronica confides in Dean her secret hatred of the Heathers and unwittingly becomes an accomplice to the faux suicide/murder of the leader of the pack. So begins a chain of events that cause the bodies to pile up in and around the high school.

The film is told John Waters style and delivers a sometimes-gruesome message about the nature of popularity. “Heathers” is a cult classic partially because the people in high school who bore the brunt of the abuse by assholes like Heather want to see their deepest darkest fantasies of revenge played out. The film also stars a pre-90210 Shannen Doherty as the bulimic Heather in her finest role to date.

“Dementia 13” is the directorial debut of Francis Ford Coppola. This black and white horror film has a great film noir look that shows Coppola’s grand visual style. The film also incorporates Hitchcock type suspense.

“Dementia 13” centers on wealthy Irish family the Halorans, who reunite every year to reenact the funeral of a long-dead 8-year-old daughter. Oldest son John Haloran has a fatal heart attack, but his conniving wife Louise won’t be added to the will by Lady Haloran if he is dead. Louise forges a letter from John to convince the rest of his family he’s been called to New York on important business, and goes to his Irish ancestral home, Castle Haloran, to meet the family.

Secrets shroud the sister’s demise, and soon the family and guests start mysteriously disappearing. The themes in the film are familiar to Coppola’s masterpiece “Godfather” series. The idea of family being first and foremost is evident with the ritualistic behavior of mother and children.

This is not actually Coppola’s first film, but it is his first non-adult-themed picture. He shows promise as a storyteller without falling into the typical blood and gore tricks used in most horror films.

Both “Heathers” and “Dementia 13” will show at the 5th Avenue Cinemas this Friday and Saturday. Show times are 7 and 9:15 p.m. The cost of admittance is $2 for PSU students with ID, $3 for seniors and $4 for the general public. Come out and support the PSU owned and operated theater before classwork makes it impossible to have any fun.