Monday, April 26, 2010

Ryan Watches a Motion Picture #21: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)

Cheerleading at its best.

Believe it or not, as a highschooler I was never keen on the television shows that were very clearly geared to my age group. If it dealt with teenagers in hishschool situations at all it was very likely filled with characters I didn't like, doing things I never really did. They were just dull soap operas, and you'd think a show like the famed Joss Whedon's Buffy, whose first incarnation was in the '92 film I've just watched, would have fed me with a little extra something - vampires and demons all crazy-go-nuts on a quiet town. But I found that even there I couldn't shake the feeling that these characters were people I didn't like, know or understand very well. Or maybe my tolerance for teeny romance stuff is just on the low side. Or maybe I just really don't like ol' Sarah Gellar.

I wasn't too sure what to expect from the movie, but I had a hunch it would give me a much campier serving of vampire killing than the series did, and that's pretty much what happened. The plot's thin and has a mostly inexplicable, lightly addressed twist part-way through, but the film has some interesting characterisation, particularly in Kristy Swanson's transformation from shallow to genuine, teen to adult. The film also has a lot of retro flavour going for it, and that always entertains me. The early 90s wardrobe and Luke Perry probably had a lot to do with that, and Paul Reubens of Peewee Herman infamy is a favourite of mine. Seeing him as a cheeky vampire thug is a pretty big treat. Donald Sutherland, who's pretty much built to be mysterious and sage old men in films, does his thang. Oh, and Rutger fucking Hauer as a crazy vampire lord? I'd watch Rutger Hauer in anything. I'd watch him throw children out of helicopters. I think I might have before, even. In a beautiful dream?

Speaking of beautiful dreams, it seems there's a Buffy remake listed on imdb for a 2012 film. Curious.

So: Kristy Swanson kicking wooden stakes into vampire chests? Sure.


  1. okay this film was my entire world during my formative years. paul reubens' never ending death scene is definitely among my nearest and dearest film scenes.

    o and donald sutherland owns me.

    o - it's sarah

  2. All I know is this kicked off one of the best TV shows I have ever enjoyed. Buffy is great watching and even this movie deserves a little credit for launching a franchise.