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The First Buffy on Film: Relishing the Magic Delights of a 90s Time Capsule
Looking back at the campy original Buffy the Vampire Slayer film
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the movie 🎥 released in 1992, is pretty much considered a cult classic these days. While the movie, it has been proven, is not part of the official Buffy canon, there are still reasons to watch this delightful film that many fans hold dear. It’s camp at its core, and the eighty-six minute film is full of 90s nostalgia.
There is a lot of slayer lore told in the movie if you like to travel back in time to the Dark Ages. The movie took the light-hearted, comedy approach to vampire lore, so if the darkness of the TV series is not your thing, the movie might just be for you.
Joss Whedon always intended for the TV series to always be a sequel to his original movie script. The comic “The Origin” tells that story to the best of its ability, and Whedon has even said that he accepts the comic as Buffy canon.
Here are 5 reasons why you should pick up the remote and give the 1992 film a chance—you might just be surprised.
Paul Reubens as Amilyn 🧛♂️
Our hearts broke 💔 with the recent news of the passing of Paul Reubens. Any kid that grew up in the 80s knew Paul Reubens from Pee Wee’s Playhouse which ran until 1991. Paul must have been wanting to do something completely different when his show ended because he donned some fangs, 🧛♂️ long hair, and a goatee to play the role of Amilyn. He is pretty unrecognizable but gives one of the most memorable roles in this campy film. His background with the famous comedy troupe The Groundlings, which launched the careers of other great comedians like Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, gives context to why he was a picture perfect casting in this role.
Fun Fact: The role of Amilyn, the right hand vampire of the master Lothos, was originally supposed to be played by a woman.
Make sure you watch the credits all the way through because these vampires don’t turn to dust when staked. We’ll just leave it at that. 😆
Luke Perry as Pike 🏍
Another 90s great gone too soon. 😢 Luke Perry was living in the famous zip code 90210 on a regular basis during this time, when he traded in his Porsche for a motorcycle. 🏍 In fact, shooting was limited to 5 weeks to accommodate Luke’s schedule.
We also can’t help but picture him as a starting point for the beloved Spike, played by James Marsters, with that slicked back hair and leather jacket that he sports at the school dance. And the name? Coincidence?! 🤔
The 90s slang
Before we got Alicia Silverstone and “as if” in Clueless in 1995, we got Kristy Swanson and her band of friends which included Hilary Swank and her iconic line “Get out of my facial!” Puh-lease. The only goals that Buffy had before she found out she was the Slayer was to graduate from high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die. Not too much for a girl to ask for. Does the word “duh” mean anything to you? What planet are you from? Does Elvis talk to you?
“What’s your sitch?” is another one liner that came from the movie and if you are a fan of the TV series, then you might remember Xander using the word “sitch” in the pilot “Welcome to the Hellmouth”.
Other names you might know and one you may not
Donald Sutherland and David Arquette round out the cast of names that you definitely would recognize. Donald Sutherland played Buffy’s watcher. He’s no Giles, but we still have a soft spot for sweet Merrick, even if Joss Whedon does not. David Arquette played Benny, Pike’s sidekick who is vulnerable to Amilyn. Even as a vampire, Benny provides comic relief, and he just can’t seem to make the kill. Campy horror seems to be in Arquette’s wheelhouse 😱 but it would be a few years before he would get his own score in Scream.
Did you know that the daughter of Natalie Wood had a role in the movie? That’s right, Natasha Gregson Wagner grew up among the Hollywood lights and turned to the entertainment business herself. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was just her second acting credit. She got fanged in Buffy, and never returned Kimberly’s yellow leather jacket. Oops.
Blink and You Might Miss It
We all love Seth Green as the lovable werewolf Oz, but did you know that he was in the movie? Seth Green claimed he was cut from the movie, but he is in fact there, uncredited. If you look closely at the scene where the vampires arrive at the dance, you’ll see a red-headed vampire!
Ricki Lake plays a waitress when Buffy and Pike meet for the first time. 🤯
Ben Affleck is too afraid of a vampire and simply hands the basketball 🏀 to the vamp during the game. It would be years before Ben would become the hero himself with a black cape. 🦇 Hey, we all have to start somewhere!
Calling all Buffy fans! Would you love to attend watch parties and other events celebrating Buffy and Angel? Come join us on our discord where you can find other Scoobies just like yourself conversing daily about these shows and the Buffy movie. Check back here all month for content on your favorite slayer and vampires, and follow us on Instagram for exclusive slayer content!
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