Nate's DVD Collection ~ Buffy The Vampire Slayer (The Movie)
Before Joss Whedon ever envisioned a seven season show along with a spin-off series, comic books, merchandising and scores of fans with a borderline cult mentality, he was just a regular writer with a brilliant idea: What if that beautiful blond girl didn't just run away and scream when the vampire, werewolf, and/or slasher of your choice stalked her? What if she fought back?
Thus was born Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A film about a Los Angeles high school cheer leader named Buffy who is told by her watcher, Merrick, that she has been chosen to slay vampires and to stop an all out blood bath at the hands of their king, Lothos.
Donald Sutherland as Merrick
Kristy Swanson as Buffy
Luke Perry as Pike
David Arquette as Benny
Rutger Hauer as Lothos
Paul Reubens as Amilyn
Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie and series
A “Making of” Featurette
Two TV Spots
A Possible Remake in the Works?
What I Like About It
The first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer can be credited with my current love and obsession with vampires. Until someone introduced me to Anne Rice, all of the vampires in my stories were soulless blood suckers who killed without a second though, went dusty in the sun, had “game faces” beneath their human forms and usually hung around a campus very similar to my school.
So one week my mother rented the original movie and I kicked back, curious about the namesake of my favorite TV show.
As vampire movies go, Buffy is probably one of the funniest films I've ever seen. The vampires are very much in the vein of Lost Boys being that they are bad ass bloodsuckers who rule the night and know it.
There's a traditional Training Montage that fans of martial arts films are familiar with, but beyond that the story of Buffy's journey from ditzy, cliquish and self-centered socialite to compassionate and lonely fighter for a noble cause is believable, touching, and inspiring without being terribly whiny.
Though I'm not a huge fan of Luke Perry his acting in this wasn't all that bad and the character of Pike, a kind of rebellious loose cannon really speaks to the inner bad boy in everyone. Women who swooned over Han Solo in Empire Strikes Back will love Pike. In the role reversal, he's basically the “Damsel in distress” who gets saved by Buffy, yet he's also the shoulder to lean on when she needs him.
Finally, I'm just amazed at what a balance of actors we have here.
I'm not sure how big Kristy Swanson was in 1992 but both her and Hillary Swank have enjoyed immense success since Buffy. Rutger Hauer and Donald Sutherland both had very prominent careers before and after Buffy and then you get Ben Affleck who was just an unknown extra at the time of this film.
Yes, Ben Affleck has a very bit part in this. A cookie to anyone who can tell me where it is in the comments section. Plus if you can get a screen shot of it and post it on Youtube I will credit you and plug your hubs on this page in a separate capsule.
Okay, I have to Include this Bit
Hillary Swank's career since Buffy
Joss Whedon work since Buffy
What I Don't Like About It
I remember reading an interview with Joss Whedon about this movie. When he was just the writer he had literally no say in what was done to the script. Donald Sutherland joined Halle Berry (That “toad struck by lightening” line from the X-men movie was written by Joss) in the club of writers that screwed around with Joss's work and basically got away with it.
Also not a great film to get if you're looking for extras. Again, trailers and even TV spots don't interest me all that much so unless you're a fan of “That Movie Announcer Guy”I doubt they'll be all that interesting to you either.
Should You Buy This DVD?
It's been almost twenty years since this movie came out so unless they come out with some “Special Edition” or it gets re-released on BluRay, Buffy The Vampire Slayer is pretty dirt cheap.
It's a great nostalgia flick. Perfect for vampire fans and even for fans of the Series. However I should point out that the TV series is nothing like the movie. In fact the only three things that the movie and the show have in common are:
1: A girl named Buffy who slays vampires.
2: A “watcher” who trains the vampire slayer.
Even the mythology behind the Slayer and the vampires themselves were rewritten for the show so don't get the movie expecting it to be like Clueless.
Can My Kids Watch This?
Other than some faint references to a cramps and “Feeling Less than Fresh”, there's not a lot of heavy cussing in this. And even for a vampire movie there's very little actual gore. Mostly a lot of kicking and even the vampires getting “staked” is pretty tame.
I'd rank this movie along with the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie in terms of violence and language.