Film: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (PG-13)
Directed by: Fran Rubel Kuzui
Written by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Kristy Swanson as Buffy
Luke Perry as Pike
Donald Sutherland as Merrick
Paul Reubens as Amilyn
Rutger Hauer as Lothos
One of the first things I remembered from Buffy the Vampire Slayer was that vampires were getting their asses kicked and I freakin’ loved it. It was an added bonus that all of the damage was being done by a highly capable female. That was the cherry on top of the pile of dead vampires. This flick is the first movie I saw that had a lead female role doing all the butt kicking and saving the day, which is another reason why it stands out to me even after all these years. She wasn’t the damsel in distress needing to be saved. Luke Perry was the damsel needing saved this time, and I loved it.
I wanted to be like Buffy, a strong female saving all the men from vampires. Of course, my skill and coordination at the time had other ideas, but I was still a little sad when I never got to try to protect my school from the undead. Oh well. Other than that, I didn’t remember much else from the movie.
There was one scene that stuck with me throughout the years, though. It was at the end where Buffy is at the dance. The vampires are trying to come in and, naturally, suck everybody’s blood. Everyone is screaming in terror, even the boys, when Buffy grabs a bag of stakes, the frilly part of her dress gets ripped off and she goes outside to face the vampires alone. That scene is the embodiment of the Buffy character for me. She wasn’t afraid, she was on an vampire ass-kicking mission and everyone else was content to hide behind her. What more can you ask for?
New memories: After watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer again, it was somewhat different from what I remembered as a little kid. So it was not nearly as full of action as I thought it was; however, it was a lot more focused on empowering women that I’d ever realized. For instance, there’s a part where a guy grabs Buffy’s butt in the hallway at school and she totally takes him to the floor and tells him to not ever do that again. He was shaking in his awful 90’s sweater. How many times has this happened in a movie and the woman wasn’t able to do anything about it? There were a lot of little things like that that I really enjoyed this time around.
Overall, even though this flick is not as full of action as I remembered, it’s got so many other aspects that keeps it on my list of favorite movies.
Download the Buffy the Vampire Slayer podcast here
or unearth out media player and listen on the site:
Our featured guests: Dennis Murphy, Hank Carlson
Dennis Murphy: Dennis has produced features and television for over 20 years. Fans of this site might recognize such titles as Friday the 13th Part 2 (with our buddy, Stu Charno!), Re-Animator, Dolls, Powder and Blind Fury among others.
On television he served as producer for the pilot episode of a little hospital drama known as ER, as well as the long-running family drama Wildfire.
He has shot all over the U.S. including New Mexico, California, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, Washington, Connecticut, Florida, Puerto Rico and New York. Outside of the U.S., he has shot in Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and Italy.
He is a member of the Directors’ Guild of America (as Unit Production Manager and Director).
Awards include the Humanitas Award for “Wildflower”, the George Peabody Award, Norman Felton Producer of the Year Award, and an Emmy nomination for “E.R.” (the pilot episode).
Hank Carlson: Hank was the man who literally added bite to all the background characters in Buffy, as we was responsible for vamp-ing up the cast at a lightning speed. It is a skill he has honed over the years in various independent films, such as Doppelganger with Drew Barrymore, Mindwarp with Bruce Campbell, Jigsaw, and has several other works wrapped and ready for a distribution deal (including Wicked Wood, pictured).
Carlson’s prowess for prosthetics took his career on a different trajectory of late. To find out just what it is, I guess you will have to listen to the podcast, now, won’t you?
A big Natsukashi thanks to both Buffy backers who returned to the set in their mind and recalled their time making the film that started an industry.