Sunday, September 16, 2012

Movie Review: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

If you thought 80's teen films were cheesy, the teen films from the early 90's would surely hold a candle to it, with it's colorful fashions and over-the-top dance music.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer pretty much glorifies this to the end.
I loved the TV series(only the first three seasons, season five was okay) and when I first watched this, I was only a wee eight-years-old. Yes, people I watched Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV series since I was seven years old which lead me to this. Crazy, right? Back then, I actually enjoyed it and didn't see how cheesy was and as a kid I pretty much had fun watching it. Nowadays, I see how incredibly campy it is though still fun in a way. For instance, just compare it to the television series and see how different in tone they are. And you see how the TV series is better in terms of quality.
So you all know the story by now: A vapid valley girl named Buffy soon learns that she is the chosen one, slayer of the vampires, and with the help of a mysterious master is trained in for battle. Meanwhile, the evil lord of vampires and his army is planning on invading the school dance. It is only up to Buffy to stop the awakening of these blood-sucking fiends.
I would say Kristy Swanson was terrific. You can see why she was so memorable in this role, playing the characters in two parallels: The ditzy, valley girl type and the kickass, action girl heroine. She also parallels into the comedy and seriousness of the character, which was also done well by Sarah Michelle Gellar in the TV show.
Luke Perry was also fun to watch. At first, I thought his character showed no purpose other than just being the heroine's love interest but then I saw how much flexibility he put into the character and saw how likeable he was. You would think an acclaimed actor like Donald Sutherland would give off a hammy performance but he was profoundly low-key, providing his character with a dry sense of humor which made his presence all the more enjoyable. Paul Rubens AkA Pee Wee Herman, on the other hand, gives us a top-notch campy performance as the villain's flamboyant right hand man. It was pretty jarring to see him in a role like this and ever since then he's been taking quirky roles like this. Probably it had something to do with that incident that sort of changed his image a bit....okay, moving on. I will totally not end this segment without mentioning Hillary Swanks' performance or even David Arquette's before his Scream heyday. I pretty much have to say that Hilary gave it all even though it was a relatively small role. David Arquette takes a ride down the campy, hammy train as one of the villain's henchmen. This one too is a small role but memorable at best. And without further ado, You can catch a young Ben Affleck in a blink it or miss it role.
Although the movie is mainstream, it still has that b-movie feel, giving the notion it really isn't taking itself too seriously, which in my opinion, kind of works. I would like to point out a particular scene where Buffy steals a biker's motorcycle while chasing a vampire in pursuit. The biker calls her the d-word just for that. Just to let you know it was still fresh for female action heros to take the lead in film, since this was ongoing from the 70s to the 80s, it was still interesting and fresh. But I have to call out on the movie's script though, just because a woman is empowered, doesn't make her lesbian. But this was film in Los Angeles back in the early nineties. So yeah, it holds the message that women Especially valley girls can't hold their own sword on their own. However, Unfortunate Implications aside, it's still an enjoyable(though unsuccessful) 90's gem.
Final word: It may not hold a candle to the TV show but it's a cult classic in it's own right.

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