Buffy, you’re the guy. You are the chosen guy.
Right. I’m the chosen one. And I choose to be shopping.
So I’m sure a lot of you are surprised. What Buffy the Vampire Slayer is this? Well before we had this:
We had this:
In 1992, Joss Whedon’s idea of a Californian cheerleader finding out she was actually the vampire slayer of her generation, came to theaters. Only one problem, Whedon HATED it.
In fact he hated it so much, that he was reported to walk off set one day and never come back.
Five years later, Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series came out, one that stayed true to his “vision”.
So What Went Wrong?
Apparently the screenwriters felt that Whedon’s story was too dark and depressing. They wanted it to be more of a horror-parody comedy, kind of like Heathers with vampires instead of a homicidal maniac. Whedon wasn’t interested in that, as you can tell with his much darker TV series.
So Is this Film Bad?
Let’s get down to the review and find out:
The film starts out with a historical piece. A medieval woman who has the birthmark (a mole), proving she is the Vampire Slayer of this generation. We switch from a very serious moment of her asking to “become the blade”.
And fighting Vampires.
And then we switch to Los Angeles and a group of cheerleaders chanting.
And Miss Buffy Summers, cheerleader extraordinaire, fashionista, and a total valley girl.
Yeah, that is pretty much the essence of the movie. They try to pin together opposites. And is it horrible? No. I love it. It is so quirky and funny. And come on, a cheerleader by day and vampire slayer ay night? That’s awesome.
So as I’m reading the credits and as I have seen this movie before I didn’t think think I would see anything important, but then Paul Reubens…wait, what?!
Pee-Wee is in a teen film? Pee-Wee Herman is in a vampire film? PEE-WEE?!!! PEE-WEE??!!! PEE-WEE HERMAN is in a TEEN VAMPIRE FILM?
How could I have missed that? Huh. And Hilary Swank? Ugh! I hate her. Ever since she ruined the Karate Kid series.
This was supposed to be her first film, so maybe she won’t be too bad. So Buffy and the gang go to the mall, shopping!
And there is something you might notice in this scene. While this movie came out in 1992, we hadn’t completely crossed over from the ’80s. You can kind of see it in the stonewash, abundance of leather, and in the “gothic” clothes of the vampire and “uncool” crowd, but most of it looks like this:
And I LOVE IT!
Anyways, so at the mall the girls are shopping when Buffy spots this totally rad jacket. And let me tell you, Buffy has a great sense of style
Her friend Kimberly (Hilary Swank), and let me just stop her and say that unless you are a pink ranger, having the name Kimberly means you are EVIL. I don’t know why, it just seems to be a trait that carries on with a name.
Anyways, she convinces her that the jacket is ugly and so yesterday.
When she is not shopping, she spends her time out with her jocky boyfriend, Jeffrey.
Jeffery is on the basketball team and one day after practice, his group splits up. Jeffery is heading over to hang out with Buffy, while two of the other guys go about town, and the last one, Robert heads home. And the route he chooses goes right through an abandoned amusement park.
Come on dude! You are going to go through an abandoned AMUSEMENT PARK????!!!!!! You are just asking to be killed.
And of course, he gets attacked by a Vampire and turned. Good-bye Robert.
So Jeffery is alright, but not altogether that interesting and handsome. Sorry dude, Luke Perry of the “uncoolness squad” is much better looking.
Luke Perry plays Pike, a leather wearing, motorcycle driving, mechanic. He lies above the garage that he works at. He is very dissatisfied with life him, only having one friend, Bennie (wonder if it is a nickname after the drugs, wouldn’t be surprised if it was), played by David Arquette (aw David, just can’t keep you out of Horrorfest). The boys spend most of their time drinking and making fun of those richer than them.
We then jump back to historical times so that we can get more of a background of Lothos. Lothos is the head Vampire that has destroyed every prior slayer. He is over 800 years old and has the power to hypnotize his enemies.
So for Buffy everything is going as usual. The only thing she has to worry about is the senior dance.
Buffy: [Trying to come up with an issues-related theme for their school dance] The environment.
Nicole: The homelesses?
Kimberly: [to Nicole] Oh, please.
Jennifer: Are there any good sicknesses that aren’t too depressing?
Buffy: Guys. The environment. I’m telling you, it’s totally key. The earth is in terrible shape, we could all die, and besides, Sting’s doing it.
You know that actually sounds difficult. From being on my high school’s prom comittee, I know that it is already hard enough trying to get the committee to come up with a theme and work on decorations and such. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to throw a “socially conscious” dance.
Buffy & co run into the uncoolness squad and there is definitely one thing this movie did wrong, they made the “undesirable” guys, undesirable. I mean come on, there is a formula to this thing! They are supposed to be secretly charming and adorable. Not pigs and boring because they have zero character development!
Both Pike and Bennie are super drunk and start hitting on the girls, incredibly gross style. Bennie even acts as if he is going to whip out his junk, and Buffy slices it.
Turns out it was just a hotdog, but it just goes to show you that Buffy is intense. I would not want to mess with her.
So one night as Benny is going home, he gets attacked by a vampire and turned. He goes to the window and tries to get Pike to come out and join him, but even in his alcohol induced state, Pike can tell something is not right.
Benny: Let me in, Pike. I’m *hungry*!
Pike: Go home, Ben.
Benny: [whining] C’mon I’m hungry.
Pike: You’re floating! C’mon, man, get away from here!
Pike can tell that things aren’t right and tries to leave the city, thinking anywhere is better than here. As he is fleeing town, he luckily is saved by a creepy dude.
So life is going good for Buffy, until the same perverted-looking, old, creep comes to kidnap her.
Nah, it’s actually Donald Sutherland who is Buffy’s watcher, Merrick. But he looks like a pervert and sounds UBER CREEPY. He tells her that he can show her “the birthmark mole of slayer, if he can look on her body”, and “Come with me to the graveyard”.
Apparently Sutherland thought decided to rewrite his dialogue, I’m not sure which lines but I’m guessing these ones as they suck. He’s creepier than Nicholas Cage in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
I mean did he not hear himself? Did he not hear how creepy he SOUNDS?!!!!!!!
The idea to update to a kindly, well-dressed, English, librarian was just perfect.
Buffy still doesn’t believe him. To prove it, Merrick tosses a knife at her and Buffy catches it.
Buffy: You threw a knife at my head!
Merrick: Yes, I had to show you.
Buffy: But… you *threw* a *knife* at my *head.*
Merrick: And you caught it. Only the chosen one could have caught it.
This scene is amazing. This is some Aragorn-awesomness right here.
So Buffy agrees to go down to the graveyard and wait for Robert to come out so she can kill him. Say what you want about this movie, but you have to admit this Buffy is pretty awesome. She’s tough, intense, and extremely brave.
While they are waiting, Buffy gets bored and asks him for gum.I don’t know why, but that line just cracks me up.
I think it is because Merrick is all super serious and trying to get Buffy to understand what’s happening, but Buffy is just bored.
Robert awakes and Buffy has to fight and take him down.
Buffy may come off as a a stupid, silly cheerleader, but she can seriously kick butt. When Merrick gets attacked, Buffy takes out, not one but two Vampires.
Afterwards, Buffy heads home for some serious relaxing with her boyfriend Jeffrey. There we meet her parents who are so out of it. Like in the film, Heathers, they are just selfish and only into themselves.
Buffy’s Mom: Bye-Bye Bobby!
Jeffrey: Bye! She thinks my name is Bobby?
Buffy: It’s possible she thinks *my* name’s Bobby.
I’m not sure which is worse, to have parents who completely ignore you and don’t seem to care a whit, OR a parent that ignores you most of the time, while punishing you the rest (Joyce Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series).
So her parents go on their merry way, an Buffy + Jeffery spend the night together.
Later that night Buffy awakes to a strange man in her bed.
As Lothos is wakening, the past lives of Slayers are flooding into her and crossing over to her world. It is a very weird scene and for a while keeps you guessing as to what is real and what is all in her head.
So Buffy and Merrick begin her training. Merrick is really hard on her as they have to make up their years of training. I just wonder who’s fault is that?
They never explain why Merrick is just approaching Buffy now either. And since we are on the topic, Merrick sucks! He’s creepy, rude, and mean. He keeps pushing Buffy and blaming her, when she’s still trying to get her head around the fact that her life is completely different.
Buffy: All I want to do is graduate from high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die. Now it may not sound too great to a sconehead like you, but I think it’s swell. And you come along and tell me I’m a member of the hairy mole club so you can *throw* things at me?
Oh ’90s. When everyone was in love with Christian Slater. I know I was.
Sorry for that, moving back on track.
So Buffy is upset with Merrick as he is pushing her too hard and punches him out.
Buffy is a total knockout, literally as it only took one punch to take Merrick down.
Buffy: Oh, wow. I-I never hit anybody before.
Merrick: Really? Well you did it perfectly.
Buffy: I didn’t even break a nail.
Yep, Buffy is awesome!
Merrick gives her some background information on Slayers and Watchers. A slayer is born every generation, being reincarnated when killed (so if you watch the beginning again you’ll notice that Kristy Swanson plays the historical slayer). Merrick trains the girls, watches them die, and then when his life is up he is reincarnated into Merrick the watcher again. A very sad existence if you ask me.
After this we get a training montage, Rocky style.
Yep you always need a montage .
Buffy has accepted everything and gets super into her training. You know it’s actually not that far-fetched that a cheerleader could be this totally awesome fighter. To be a cheerleader you have to do gymnastics, lift weights; it can be INTENSE. And with Buffy, she works hard.
She’s also been hunting at night with Merrick, and one night runs into Pike.
So because of all her training, she’s been missing practices and dance committee meetings. As always in a teen movie, the principal assumes it’s drugs.
Gary: [Thinking Buffy is doing drugs] Hey, there’s nothing to be afraid of! I know where you’re coming from. Believe me. I’ll tell you the truth. I’ve had my drug experiences, too. I did a lot – I did some acid in the Sixties. Well, the late Seventies, actually. It was at a Doobie Brother’s concert… and I could see the music flowing into me, it was bright red and electric, and I felt like a big toaster, and I thought, maybe I am a toaster, we’re all molecules, and my friend Melissa, her head looked like a big party balloon, and that scared me, I started to freak out…
The sad thing is that this is probably the only thing in a teen film that actually resembles reality. When people in power act as if they are a “pal”. Ugh.
So Buffy is really starting to feel the pressure of everything. She has Merrick constantly pushing her to do more and more; otherwise she won’t be ready and die. She has her boyfriend tired of the fact that she can’t spend her time with him, constantly getting mad at her. And she has her friends who don’t understand at all.
Kimberly: Buffy? What’s your sitch? You’re acting like the thing from another tax bracket. It’s too weird.
Buffy: Listen, a lot’s been going on you guys, okay? And I really wanted to talk to you guys about it. See, um, a couple of weeks ago, I met this guy-…
Kimberly: Oh my god, you’re having an affair?
Jennifer: Does Jeffrey know?
Buffy: It’s not about that. He’s, like, old. He’s fifty.
Kimberly, Nicole, Jennifer: Ewwwww!
Buffy: Haven’t you guys noticed what’s been going on here? The strange things? Have you noticed people disappearing, turning up dead?
Nicole: What are you talking about?
Kimberly: Weird? You mean like hanging around with that homeless Poke?
Nicole: [gasp] Eww, you’re having an affair with him?
Jennifer: He doesn’t look fifty.
Buffy: Guys, I think reality stepped out of here about five minutes ago.
Yep, the pressure is mounting and to combat it, she goes Shawn Spencer on Merrick, quipping right and left.
Buffy: Does the word “duh” mean anything to you?
I love how sassy she is.
To make everything worse, it looks like Buffy’s period has come.
but it turns out that it is just her Slayer sense.
Man that would suck.
Merrick: And you’re going to be able to use that to track them.
Buffy: Great. My secret weapon is PMS. That’s just terrific. Thanks for telling me.
Merrick: It’s not a weapon. It’s an alert system.
Buffy: Well, aren’t we kung fu? I don’t see you out there killing any vampires.
Merrick: I play my part.
Buffy: You can play with your part all you want, but it’s my neck on the block.
That night Pike is wandering around inebriated. And let me tell you I am totally not digging Luke Perry. He’s cute but that’s not enough. All we’ve seen so far is him getting high, drunk, and be nasty.
Now this is where the TV did a better job. Every person had a backstory. I mean when they brought Angel on to the show, they started him mysterious and cool, and then revealed his tragic backstory. We need MORE! We NEED a backstory! We NEED development!
One night Pike is drunk, AGAIN, and gets attacked by vampires. Luckily Merrick and Buffy are there. They save his life, AGAIN. As you have probably figured out, with Buffy being the totally awesome Slayer, Pike is her damsel in distress. I mean it’s not like he doesn’t do anything, he helps Buffy fight, becoming her partner, but still gets into trouble a lot. He’s the Sam Winchester to her Dean.
After the help him, they defeat Lothos’ right hand man Amilyn, by pulling a Star Wars and cutting off his arm. Amilyn returns to the vampire lair, with the knowledge of Buffy being the Slayer.
Meanwhile, Buffy takes Pike to her home. Pike is homeless (hence the fact that he was working as a mechanic for a home). The thing that really bothers me is that we never find out why. Were his parents horrible and he emancipated himself? Did they die? Is he an orphan? WHAT IS HIS BACKSTORY!!!!!!!!
Sorry about that. Back to the film.
So at Buffy’s home, Pike starts going on how awesome she is, but Buffy is having a hard time keeping it together. She breaks down on and lets out all her feelings.
And while we haven’t had too much development other than he’s from “the wrong side of town” and a drunk, he just listens to everything she has to say. He doesn’t try to take advantage of her, put the moves on her-nope. All he does is listen.
So the next day, Buffy is back to doing what she normally does. She is trying to hang out with her friends but the spawn of Satan, Kimberly (I’m telling you, don’t name your children that.)
Has turned them agaist her. Her boyfriend is also mad and avoiding her.
And some football player grabs her for fun.
But Buffy is not having any of that. She totally takes him down, making him learn his lesson.
Not kidding, after doing that this is what he says with a straight face: “I see the errors of my ways.” Hilarious & awesome!!!!
So something you might have noticed, is that there a quite a few people who have been turned into vampires. It is mostly those on the low side of the totem pole, you know the unpopulars. But there are a few popular kids too. I just wonder how no one has noticed. Well…I guess they do look pretty normal most of the time.
So Buffy is going back to her regular schedule as there is a basketball game.
They do the cheer “how funky is your chicken, how loose is your goose”. Now years back when I was in middle school and only a select few had cellphones that could not get on the internet, and you couldn’t get on the school computers unless for schoolwork, people came to me with their movie questions. Now I know what you’re thinking:
But it wasn’t like that. Although how AWESOME would that be?????!!!! SUPER AWESOME!!!!!
Anyways you all know how much I love film,
Well everyone at school did too. So one of the girls was a cheerleader and they were bringing back the “how funky is your chicken, how loose is your goose” cheer. She knew it was a famous cheer and came to to find out which film it was from. I couldn’t remember the film it was first in, and when I saw this film years later i was like “of course, duh.” Oh well.
Anyways, back to the game. So Buffy is cheerleading when she notices something weird. One of the players looks completely different. It turns out that one of the guys has been turned, and as the adreneline starts pumping he starts vamping out.
And as he does so, he also starts becoming an awesome basketball player. I guess like in Teen Wolf, becoming something not human increases basketball skills?
Buffy is the only one to realize that he’s a vampire and ends up chasing him down. She finds herself in some weird place which is Lothos hideout. This is the worse place for a lair. I’m not kidding. Like there is a giant horse plant structure, and the whole place is just too obvious to be a secret hideout. Then again this is the most flamboyant Vampire I have ever seen, and he doesn’t care what others think of him.
Buffy meets Lothos and begins fighting with him, when he puts her in a trance and is about to kill her.
Merrick can’t stand that and interferes. A big watcher NO-NO. Watchers are supposed to train and then watch, no interfering.
And Lothos can’t have that. So he kills him.
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT?????????!!!!!!!!! THEY JUST KILLED THE WATCHER!!!!! CAN THEY DO THAT???
He’s not really dead is he? Is he? He is! He is DEAD???!!! WHAT??!!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED???!!!
Lothos and his horde leave, while Buffy hears Merrick’s dying words. He tells her she’s special and to d things HER way.
Buffy is shocked at the death and completely heartbroken.
She sufferes from shock of everything and wants to be done slaying. It scares her and hurts her and she just wants out.
She tries to hang out with her friends, but just finds them shallow and vapid. They are also selfish as they don’t want to invite every senior to the dance. Just the cool ones. She yells at them and takes off.
Her boyfriend is still ignoring her as well. She decides she is just going to be a “normal” girl and goes shopping for a dress. While she is searching for the perfect gown, she runs into Pike. The two have a huge fight as Pike can’t believe she is backing out and letting the world down.
Pike: Buffy, you’re the guy. You are the chosen guy.
Buffy: Right. I’m the chosen one. And I choose to be shopping.
Buffy just wants to be in denial as she is too scared. If she fights she will get hypnotized and die, maybe causing the death of others. If she doesn’t fight then Lothos and his group might kill a ton of people. What’s a girl to do.
After the two storm off, we discover that Benny has been hiding in the phone booth. He overheard everything and returns to the master to tell him all about it. When the master hears, he is estatic about the party and chooses it to be the best final moment of Buffy’s life.
So while Buffy is getting ready for the dance, Pike has decided to step up to the plate. He returns to his home above the mechanic shop, and grabs every bit of wood he can find, turning them into stakes.
So while I have complained about his lack of background (and it still bothers me) every scene after the one when he listened to Buffy he has risen up and up in my esteem.
So Buffy goes to the dance and I absolutely love her outfit. She has her hair back in a no-nonsense bun, a beautiful puffy white dress, and boots. Yes boots.
It’s awesome how hardcore she is.
So she goes over to her boyfriend, to ask why he didn’t pick her up for the dance. And it turns out that since she wasn’t around to give him what he wanted, he broke up with her on her machine and started dating her friend.
Buffy: You left me a message?
Jeffrey: You weren’t home! Like always.
Buffy: You broke up with my machine?
What a loser.
Come on, really? That’s so wrong. He’s a loser to the max. And how could her friend date him? That’s breaking the code!
The two leave to have sex in the parking lot and Buffy is left all alone. But not for long as Pike comes to the dance, dressed up in a button up shirt, slacks, and his leather jacket.
He brings Buffy flowers and asks her to dance with him.
Okay, just gained 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 points! That was so sweet of him coming to the dance, especially since he’s not into that sort of thing but did it because he knew it would make her happy!
The Vampires come to the dance. Pike gives Buffy all his stakes and his jacket, while she rips her dress so it is shorter and doesn’t constrict movement. She runs to warn everyone to close the doors, as if we don’t invite them in they are unable to come. One problem, she forgot about an earlier conversation.
Buffy: Don’t worry. They can’t come in unless they’re invited.
Kimberly: I already invited ’em. [Buffy looks at her] They’re seniors!
Yes, Buffy was being a good person telling her friends to invite all seniors, and unknowingly just caused one huge problem.
Now when the Vampires come in we really reach a horror/comedy pinnacle. A Com-Ror as I like to say. It’s cheesy, but fun.
Except for the Vampire DJ, that was dumb.
So the fight begins. Some parts are silly, others creepy. I still haven’t gotten over seeing Pee-Wee Herman as a vicious vampire. It’s just does not compute that this is the same guy.
Benny tries to convince Pike to turn vampire, and in a bizarre way, channels Christian Slater’s character J.D from Heathers. Talking about people being sheep and this chaos is better, etc. That makes Pike his Winona/Veronica. The only problem is that Benny is nowhere near as hot.
So they kids inside are following Pike and Buffy’s lead trying to take down the vampires, while Buffy heads out to do a throwdown with Lothos.
She takes down Pee-Wee, his right hand man (horrible death scene) and heads down to Lothos. The two fight, with Buffy surprising him with a flame torch made out of hairspray and a cross.
She then stakes him! BUFFY ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She and Pike ride off on his motorcycle, as the dumb principal hands out detention slips to the dead vampires:
Gary: [Throwing detention slips on the dead vampires] Detention [Walks to another body]… detention [Walks to another body]… detention. [Throws 2 more slips on the same body. Says quickly]Detention, detention.
And the rest of the group is interviewed about what happened.
So How Does It Hold Up?
Some parts of it seem a bit underdeveloped, mainly backstories of the characters. And at times it can be cheesy or silly, but on a whole I loved it.
Yes, I LOVED IT!!!!! The series on a whole is better, as it has more time to devote to the characters, but this movie was awesome. Buffy is incredible.
It’s a great film if you are looking for something funny and silly, but with a horror twist.
To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
For the previous post, go to Psycho Strangers: The Girl He Met Online (2014)
For more on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, go to Heaven on Earth
For more on vampires, go to Monster Movie: Supernatural (2008)
For more Com-Rors, go to Someone Very Special: The Addams Family Values (1993)
For more David Arquette, go to Don’t F*** with the Original: Scre4m (2011)