The original Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry and a crapload of neon-coloured clothes. Unlike the show, which got pretty spooky with it’s storylines (hello, Gentlemen!), this flick is pure cinematic cotton candy: pink, sugary and really, really bad for you. There’s no obscure pop culture references, genuine conflict or remotely terrifying kills here. Just cheerleading, cheesy quips, loud leather jackets and nail-breaking breakdowns. They might as well have called it Fluffy the Vampire Slayer – and sent it straight-to-VHS. Cheap puns aside, this Buffy doesn’t totally suck. It’s actually kind of rocks. In a it’s-the-early-90s-and-nothing-is-meant-to-be-serious kind of way. Plus, there’s always some light-hearted comedy before the semi-dark series, right?
WHY IT’S TERRIBLE:
– Buffy detects the vamp kind with her cramps. Seriously.- According to the awkward opening sequence, all slayers have a special trademark – and awkwardly large mole on their left shoulder blade.
– Her rents are no Joyce Summers. We see them for like 5 seconds as they make “kiss noises” and yell goodbye to their spoiled little rich girl before leaving her alone in bloodsucker city for the weekend. Assholes.
– Buffy’s dance dress goes from long and flowy to conveniently kick-accessible with one clean rip. I know the gal’s got supernatural strength, but that’s just impossible.
– The movie’s Giles, Merrick (played by Donald Sutherland), is really socially awkward. And not in an adorable bookwormy British way. He follows her around in the mall, but is at a loss for words when he gets face to face with her at an elevator (although, his speechlessness may be a result of her calling him “a homeless”). Then he just shows up at her cheerleading practice creepily. Oh, and he totally turns up in the change room later and throws a knife at her face. She totes catches it, but he could have given her a “Heads up!” or something.
– Buffy’s dream sequences with the movie’s Big Bad Vamp, Lothos, are mighty creepers. Me thinks the dude likes jailbait bit too much. Ick.
– It gets worse. Lothos can stop Buffy in her tracks – with some creepy violin playing.
– The flashback scenes to slayers gone by are ridonk. The costumes are straight out of a community college production of the Scottish play.
– Speaking of terrible costumes, as Buffy gets tougher, she starts dressing butch-er. It’s embarrassing, dated and un-PC. But then again, so was the 90s.
– The opening credits say the script was written by Joss Whedon, when clearly, they took his idea and ran to the mall with it.
WHY IT’S AWESOME:
– Buffy detects the vamp kind with her cramps. Seriously!
– The story is legit awesome. Mall rat valley girl becomes ass-kicking demon killer just in time to save her school from one hell of a sucky dance. No wonder they decided to make this into a series…
– Buffy asks Merrick if he “has any gum” during their first graveyard training session.
– Merrick REALLY loves his moustache and likes to play with it randomly.
– Kristy Swanson is actually hilariousas Buffy. She’s like Cher Horowitz gone badass. Actually, you could say Amy Heckerling borrowed a whole lot of her awesomely clueless heroine from the original slayer. Think about it: they both love shopping, tight red dresses, bleached locks and mispronouncing foreign locales. And they even have the same motto: “All I want to do is graduate from high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die.” Spooky.
– Speaking of eerie similarities, Perry’s character, Pike, is almost identical to Spike from the series. He’s wears a long trench, carries a flask, slicks his hair back like a gel-happy greaser, rocks a battered leather jacket and loves to berate Buffy with semi-disses. All he’s missing is some fangs, a British accent and an S.
– Luke Perry is a stone fox. But you already knew that, didn’t you?
– The casting director on this movie may want to double as a psychic. Many of the minor stars she cast have gone big places since Buffy. See: Hilary Swank as Buff’s airheaded girlfriend, David Arquette as Pike’s vampy friend, Benny, and Ben Affleck as a random b-baller. Don’t see: all of the headlining cast members.
(Who needs to tan when you know you’re gonna land a super hot girlfriend and a big part in a cheesy slasher series?)
– Pee Wee Herman (er, Paul Reubens) plays Lothos’ second-in-command vamp – and comes in on an abandoned merry-go-round. Brilliantly creepy.
– Can you say outdated training montage!?!
– The soundtrack is way awesome. The finale song, Toad the Wet Sprocket’s “Little Heaven”, is well, 90s alterna-pop ballad heaven (Don’t tell anyone but it’s defs on my Top 25 Played Songs on my iTunes. I mean…) and the Divinyls’ “Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” is just too sassy-titled to resist.
– The principal tries to give the prom-crashing vamps detentions slips.
– The said supposedly badass vamps look like the Jersey Shore cast – if they stopped tanning.
– Random dude at the dance: “This party sucks, man.” (Sorry, but I’m a sucker, for a good vamp pun.)
– This badass vamp.
– The opening sequence. Pom poms. Purple spandex. C & C Music Factory. (Excuse the lack of video. Apparently, nobody has been cool enough to put this epic dance scene on YouTube. What A. Travesty.)