Flicks From The Past!

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

The original Buffy, not necessarily the best though…

Written By: Andrew Lowe

Date: 31st December, 2014

In 1992 this original version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out. Years before Sarah Michelle Gellar starred as Buffy, Kirsty Swanson first played the title role as the vampire slayer.

Buffy 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 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, who knows very well the terrors that have arisen. Together, they combat the forces of the old and powerful vampire, Lothos, who has his eyes set on Buffy.

This version was a bit of a disappointment in the box office mainly because it was so different. The story is very interesting by reversing the standard horror films by having the blonde teenager girl being the hero rather than the one being rescued. But really is it any good? Well the answer is yes and no…

There are aspects of the film that is really entertaining. There is some good humour within some of the scenes. The acting from Donald Sutherland and Kirsty Swanson is actually quite good.

Sutherland plays the watcher role very straight and with his typical charm. Swanson plays the typical nineties LA teenager that is vapid and brainless, but when confronted with vampires her character changes completely. She becomes the hero, brave and strong.

The bad points are that the whole execution of the film doesn’t really work that well. None of the story seems to be taken seriously at all. The humour, which works in some places, can be so cheesy and very hammy (Rutger Hauer is the worst for this). It also has just about every cliché going. Paul Reubens’ death scene is the worst for this.

It is also very easy when this film was made. The dialogue is full of nineties California slang, along with the clothes worn. For some reason Luke Perry was cast, other than he was popular at the time thanks to Beverly Hills 90210 (which definitely dates the film incredibly badly). Everything just seems that little bit cheesy.

From what I have read Joss Wheadon originally wrote the whole script with a much darker tone, which in turn would have made the whole film more serious. But the filmmakers and the studio wanted a more lighter tone film that was more marketable. So many changes were made; so much that Wheadon had nothing further to do with the project.

What we have here is a film that has some very good ideas that just didn’t quite work and was ripe for a remake. This is why the TV series in the end of the nineties was so popular. It showed really what this could have been. It was dark, but kept a good balance of humour; although nothing that would undermine the story that was happening.

Most people don’t even remember this film unless they are hardcore Buffy fans. I think everyone who enjoyed the TV series should watch it and see how bad it could have been.

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