Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Synopsis: Blonde, bouncy Buffy (Kristy Swanson) is your typical high school cheerleader – her goal is to “marry Christian Slater and die” and nothing gets in her way when it’s time to shop. But all that changes when a strange man (Donald Sutherland) informs her she’s been chosen by fate to kill vampires. With the help of a romantic rebel (Luke Perry), Buffy is soon spending school nights protecting L.A. from Lothos, the Vampire King (Rutger Hauer), his sidekick, Lefty (Paul Reubens), and their determined gang of bloodsuckers. It’s everything you’d expect from a teen queen in the Valley.
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer 6.0

Many will recognize the name, but will not know that, prior to the cult television phenomenon, there was a big-screen motion picture incarnation of the same character. A low-budget affair with a notable b-level cast, it was only a big deal at the time because it featured Luke Perry in one of his first roles since hitting the big time with ‘Beverley Hills 90210’. Otherwise, it was pretty much discarded by critics and the public alike.

It’s hardly surprising. In essence, ‘Buffy’ is nothing more than a weak, early ’90s low-budget comedy: the writing is so-so (aside for its satirical take on girly teen flicks), the acting is middling at best, the production quality is only passable, …etc. Especially hard to watch are the action pieces, in which we find noticeably fake stakes being planted into the vampires fist first, and a Buffy whose acrobatics are evidently being done by a stunt person.

Sigh…

But it’s not all bad if you like this type of comedy. And there are some intriguing casting choices. In particular, it’s wholly unexpected to find the likes of Paul Reubens (a.k.a. Pee-Wee Herman) playing a rocker-style vampire, as well as Donald Sutherland and Rutger Hauer (who, to be blunt, are both going through the motions here) in a film such as this one. And it was amusing to see David Arquette and Hilary Swank in early film roles.

Either way, this is the movie that started it all and, if only as a curiosity, it’s worth the detour. Be sure to set your expectations low beforehand, is all.

Nota bene: a remake/reboot is currently being planned for 2012

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