Cert: 12 Runtime: 86 mins Director: Fran Rubel Kuzui Cast: Kristy Swanson, Paul Reubens, Luke Perry, Hilary Swank, Rutger Hauer, David Arquette and Donald Sutherland
Great. My secret weapon is PMS. That’s just terrific. Thanks for telling me
One wintery evening in January, myself and my better half started re-watching an old TV series. So we decided on Joss Whedon’s brilliant Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Since then we have been watching it non stop since then. In the 90’s every Thursday night me and my sister would go swimming with my dad, when we got home mum would make chicken pie and then at 7 pm we would watch Buffy. This show has a fond place in my heart and possibly my first ever real crush in Sarah Michelle Gellar. But before the success of the show we had a movie in 1992. So this week guys my blast from the past is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy Summers (Kristy Swanson) has the lifestyle any young woman could want. Cheerleading, dating the captain of the basketball team, and copious amounts of time spent shopping with friends. She had no idea of her true calling until a mysterious man named Merrick (Donald Sutherland) approached her and told her that she is the Slayer; one woman called to defend the world from vampires. Reluctant to concede to the fact, Buffy soon learns that Merrick speaks the truth and so begins to take her new life seriously while trying to maintain the sense of normality her life had once been. With her best friends slowly abandoning her, Buffy finds solace in the town outcast, Pike (Luke Perry), who knows very well the terrors that have arisen. Together, they combat the forces of the old and powerful vampire, Lothos (Rutger Hauer), who has his eyes set on Buffy. The reason the movie works is because it is supposed to be viewed tongue-in-cheek.It also serves as a very effective parody of the vampire and overall horror movie genre. There are some genuinely funny moments in the movie, and if one delves just a bit below the surface, he/she will see that there is a deeper message at work. Vampirism in this movie serves as a metaphor to all the ills of society, and, not unlike the culture of 1992, and even today, many people, especially the “popular crowd” and budding debutantes refuse to acknowledge that there is any larger issue in the world than their own little meaningless concerns of fashion and popularity.
Just as the planners of the dance have no clue as to what a socially conscious theme should ensconce, they also take little notice of the current trend of classmates being found mutilated with drained blood (refer to the “Yellow leather jacket” scene for a good dose of dark humour and to further my point).As for the performances, Swanson really takes the spotlight away from Luke Perry, who at the time was sizzling with his role of Dylan on 90210. She is well cast as a ditzy slayer, though I doubt she could do much more. Her less-than-stellar follow up career has been disgusting as best, though I once thought she might actually have the talent to become a budding Hollywood starlet. Sutherland shines in his brief role as Merrick, slayer trainer. Rip Torn is initially funny as the guidance counselor (love the whole “it’s drugs, isn’t it?” routine), though at the end his role delivers of the most unfunny lines of the script (the horrible “detention” gag and the “Well, I saw Platoon” line as the credits scroll). And, of course, I cannot forget Paul Reubens (a.k.a. Pee Wee Herman) in his first role, I believe, after the whole “Adult Theater” scandal. His character provides some of the greatest humor, and I must admit his death scene still makes me chuckle after all these years.At any rate, the long of the short of it is, the TV show has corrupted most people’s initial view of the movie. One has to remember when approaching this that it is not meant to be a serious drama like the series. It is a parody, an over-the-top spoof of the vacuousness and self-absorbed malady that was sweeping over the youth of 1992. Many of the TV fans were not yet ripe enough to remember just how Reagan-esque this era was. It is more than a movie; it is a Rosetta Stone with which I can measure my formative years, and, for that reason among others, I have developed an appreciation for this much-maligned flick.