Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Film: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Director: Fran Rubel Kuzui
Writer: Joss Whedon
Starring: Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland and Paul Reubens
This film starts informing us that there is a slayer that is born every generation. She is a woman and does battle with vampires. She has a mole that is the mark of this. We get images of this from the Middle Ages and she is played by Kristy Swanson.
We then shift to what the film calls the Lite Ages. Swanson is a popular cheerleader. She hangs out with Michele Abrams, Hilary Swank and Paris Vaughan. Swanson is dating a popular guy played by Randall Batinkoff. He is best friends with Andrew Lowery and Sasha Jenson. They are on the basketball team together. Jenson goes off on his own and he is attacked by Paul Reubens. He is a vampire. There are other deaths that are happening that are vampire related and the bodies disappear.
The girls go to the mall where they run into Donald Sutherland. He freaks them out as he stares at Swanson. They go to a movie where we meet Luke Perry and David Arquette. They are bothered that they are talking throughout the film. Afterwards, Swanson and Batinkoff go back to her place. Her parents are going out of town and he is going to stay over. That night, she has a nightmare about someone who looks like her fighting vampires in the past. There is a master vampire that shows up, played by Rutger Hauer. She cannot defeat him.
These two groups of friends run into each other at a local shop. They are rude back and forth before they separate. Perry and Arquette are walking along a road when Reubens attacks Arquette. Sutherland arrives and takes Perry home.
Sutherland visits Swanson after cheerleading practice. She is struggling with history and is supposed to study with a friend, played by Natasha Gregson Wagner. He arrives and tells her that she needs to come train with him as she is the chosen one. She doesn’t believe it though. He brings up a dream that she has had and she is shocked because she hasn’t told anyone about them. She does go to the cemetery with her and waits for someone who was killed by a vampire to come back to life. He does as well as a woman. She ends up killing both with a stakes. He tells her that the following day she needs to actually start her training.
She doesn’t and he meets with her in the girl’s locker room. He throws a knife at her head and she catches it. He did this to prove that she is the one. She doesn’t want it though. She wants to continue living her life and stabs the knife into a bench between his legs. She follows this up with a punch to his face. She realizes that she is stronger than most and more athletic. She goes to start training with him.
Perry is visited by Arquette and this freaks him out. Perry’s room is on the second floor and Arquette floats outside of his window. He decides to fix up his van and skip town. The night that he tries it, he is attacked by Reubens and two other vampires. Reubens ends up losing an arm when he tries to get to Perry while he is driving. Perry crashes his van and gets out to fight them. Swanson and Sutherland show up to dispatch the other two as Reubens fled.
Reubens is trying is raise an army for Hauer. He is upset that Reubens would leave the two new vampires to fight the slayer. Reubens is bothered that he lost an arm. Hauer needs to defeat the slayer, which he has done throughout the ages. They are trying to figure out who she is as well to lure her to them.
Can she be the one to defeat Hauer? Even though she hasn’t had the amount of training as the ones in the past? Will Perry leave town or will he stay around to help Swanson? Will she realize that he is the one for her?
I used to watch this film a lot when I was growing up and it is kind of funny to watch it now as an adult. I found it interesting that Joss Whedon wrote this film; as he would go on to do the first Avenger film and other blockbusters like that. I personally felt that this film is definitely a satire on how life was at the time this was made. Swanson herself realizes that wasn’t doing anything important until she became a slayer, but she is still torn between saving the world from the vampires or just living her normal life. You get the high school drama of being superficial and things to this effect. The film does have the message of not judging a book by its cover, with her ending up with Perry. He is slightly unbelievable in the role he plays in this film, but I won’t knock that too much. I found Hauer’s character to be great as he is a solid horror film actor. He did tame himself or this film though. I also wanted to bring up Reubens, who I thought was absolutely hilarious. It is also interesting to see all of the cameos by people who go on to be very famous actors like Swank and Ben Affleck.
This film is hampered by being a comedy though. It is a comedy with horror elements so the tone is as such. I do think that this could have taken a darker feel, but I don’t know how it would have played out. I am curious to see how it would have. This film feels similar to that of Scream, in that this one is mocking teenagers and society where that one is mocking the slasher genre. That one is darker though and it played well. This film does suspend disbelief as well. You have people killing the vampires and they just accept it. I do think that they realize during the climax that they really are monsters so that does explain a bit, but I still don’t know if it would be accepted on the level that it is.
With that said, I would recommend seeing this film. It is a fun, teenage vampire film. It doesn’t stand up that great to the times and I will admit that. If you are into films from this era, you will definitely like this one. The acting is good, but is slightly over the top. The writing of the film is well done and gives a satirical look at the time period. The vampires look good and it is fun to watch a cheerleader take them out. Not the best vampire film out there, but it is entertaining and worth a viewing.
My Rating: 7 out of 10