Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 1992 action-comedy-horror film about "valley girl" cheerleader Buffy (Kristy Swanson) chosen by fate to fight and kill vampires. The movie is a light parody which plays on the clichés of typical horror films. It also led to the darker and much more popular TV series of the same name, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and was created and executive produced by screenwriter Joss Whedon. Whedon often detailed how the TV series was a much closer rendering of his vision than the movie, which was compromised by commercial concerns and differences in interpretation. The film is now considered a relatively minor chapter in the broader Buffy legacy. When the film was first released, it was moderately successful and received mixed reviews from critics.
) is a popular cheerleader at Hemery High School in Los Angeles
when she is approached by a man named Merrick Jamison-Smythe
). He informs her that she is The Slayer
- a young woman chosen to have uncommon strength and skills and a destiny to fight vampires. She admits that she has dreams of past Slayers and eventually accepts that she is one. She runs into Pike (Luke Perry
), who is a basic loser who becomes the "damsel in distress", being rescued by Buffy many times, and her new love interest, despite her basketball player boyfriend.
After a brief training, she is drawn into conflict with a local vampire king called Lothos (Rutger Hauer), who has killed a number of past Slayers. Lothos kills Merrick. In a climactic battle set at the senior dance, Buffy defeats the vampire and his minions, primarily by being true to her own contemporary style and ignoring the conventions and limitations of previous Slayers. This is an early version of the allegory of female empowerment which would form the cornerstone of later versions of Buffy.
Many of the details given in the film differ from the continuity
of the later television series. For example, Buffy's history is dissimilar, and both vampires' and the Slayer
's abilities are depicted differently. Joss Whedon has also expressed disapproval with the movie's interpretation of the script, stating
I finally sat down and had written it and somebody had made it into a movie, and I felt like -- well, that's not quite her. It's a start, but it's not quite the girl.
VHS and DVD releases
The movie was released on VHS
in the U.S. in 1993 from Fox Video
and re-released in 1995 under the "Twentieth Century Fox Selections" banner from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
. The movie was released on DVD
in the U.S. in 2001.
The soundtrack was released on July 28, 1992.
- C+C Music Factory featuring Deborah Cooper and Q-Unique – "Keep It Comin' (Dance Till You Can't Dance No More!)"
- Dream Warriors – "Man Smart (Woman Smarter)"
- Matthew Sweet – "Silent City"
- Susanna Hoffs – "We Close Our Eyes" (originally by Oingo Boingo)
- Toad the Wet Sprocket – "Little Heaven"
- The Divinyls – "Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore"
- Ozzy Osbourne – "Party With the Animals"
- The Cult – "Zap City"
- Mary's Danish – "I Fought the Law"
- Rob Halford and Pantera – "Light Comes Out of Black"
Additionally, Lothos plays on his violin the theme from the 2nd part of Schumann's Piano Quintet Es-dur op. 44.
- The Origin, comic book reinterpretation of movie script