Retro Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

A few months ago, we ranked the entire Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series since it is its 20th anniversary.  I got the chance to break out my 15 year old DVD of the movie to show the kids and realized, wow, the movie is 25 years old.  It has been so long, so it was time to check this one out.  I know, some would keep this out of the horror section, but come on, it is a horror comedy for sure.

 

Synopsis:

“Since the dawn of man, the vampires have walked among us, killing and feeding. The only one with the strength or skill to stop their heinous evil is the slayer, she who bears the birthmark, the mark of the coven. Trained by the watcher, one slayer dies and the next is chosen.”

In 1992 Los Angeles, the new vampire slayer is cheerleader Buffy [Kristy Swanson]. Three bodies have been found with “really gross hickies” on their necks. It takes Merrick the Watcher [Donald Sutherland] some time, but he finally convinces Buffy that she is indeed the chosen one. When Merrick is killed by the master Lothos [Rutger Hauer] and Buffy links up with nerdy Pike [Luke Perry], she realizes how serious the vampire business really is. Things come to a head when vampires crash the senior prom.

I really like this movie, but it is so dated, it is almost cartoon like.  The bright colors of the early 1990’s really shine through, but the thing I love the most, well it would be the ditsy “valley girl”, that Kristy Swanson plays.  Buffy before the show and at the beginning of the movies was a stereo-typical air-head cheerleader.  So much fun to watch and when Merrick Buffy’s original watcher shows up, the very quick character arc is pretty fun.  Of course we get a fantastic training montage of Buffy training with a stake and doing different obstacles.  It is totally from the 1990’s.

The main villains, vampires are pretty lame honestly.  I mean, the dread isn’t there, like in the television series, again, shouldn’t compare.  Lothos, played by Rutger Hauer is an old time fancy boy vampire with one devote follower Amilyn.  Amilyn is played by Pee Wee Herman and is so damned silly and under used in the movie.  Lothos, I mean , I like Rutger Hauer, but he has to be the lamest vampire of all, no wait, the random crony vamps week.  The rando crony vamps barely have any make-up on and just look plain.

The final battle at the High School dance is a lot of fun to watch as the teenie bops fight off and dance with a couple of the vamps.  Buffy then does get to fight Amilyn and eventually Lothos, well…kind of a fight.  I do like the extended death scene given to us by Paul Reubens.  God, the princapal giving out detention slips to all the dead vampires, silly shit.  Between the ending and the rest of the movie, we see some future Hollywood big shots.  Stephen Root, David Arquette, Hilary Swank and even Ben Affleck pop up in the film.

IMDB.com has a rating of 5.6

I give this one a 6.0 rating.

The movie is a lot of fun, but extremely out dated, even for the 1990’s.  It suffers because it is extremely over shadowed by the television series which ran for 144 episodes over 7 seasons and well, it is pretty legendary.

One last thing, is it me or does Luke Perry look a little like James Marsters?

About Ray Marek III 252 Articles
I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor. Freddy's Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with you...my blood...horror. I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.