Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry, Michele Abrams, Hilary Swank, Paris Vaughan, David Arquette, Randall Batinkoff, Andrew Lowery, Sasha Jenson, Stephen Root, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Candy Clark
Written by: Joss Whedon
Directed by: Fran Rubel Kuzui
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for comic vampire violence and drug references
Running Time: 86
Date: 07/31/1992

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

3 Stars (out of 4)

What's at Stake

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie never got even a nibble of the love that the TV series had -- perhaps because its spoofy comedy didn't hit as hard as the moody emotions of the show -- but it has its own weird, "B" movie charms. (The whole comic idea behind the title, originally, was the juxtaposition between the brain-dead cheerleader image and the slayer's vicious skill.) Kristy Swanson was the original Buffy, with Donald Sutherland as her "trainer," Luke Perry as her potential beau, Rutger Hauer as the bad bloodsucker and Paul Reubens as his Renfield-like underling. It has some pretty funny, early-90s-era dialogue, but the scene that keeps me laughing is Reubens' extended, exaggerated death scene. It's like something out of some dark, lost episode of "Pee-wee's Playhouse." Hilary Swank makes her movie debut. Joss Whedon scripted, and Fran Rubel Kuzui directed.

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