This article is about the film. For other uses, see Buffy.
Btvs.png The subject of this article is non-canonical.
While created as part of licensed material, it has not been confirmed as part of the "real" Buffyverse continuity.
Angelwings.png

Buffy the Vampire Slayer film poster.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a film with the first manifestation of the story that would become the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series. Written by Joss Whedon and directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui, it was originally released on July 31, 1992.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Blonde, bouncy Buffy is your typical high school cheerleader — her goal is to "marry Christian Slater and die" and nothing gets in her way when it's time to shop. But all that changes when a strange man informs her she's been chosen by fate to kill vampires. With the help of a romantic rebel, Buffy is soon spending school nights protecting L.A. from Lothos, the Vampire King, his sidekick, Lefty, and their determined gang of bloodsuckers. It's everything you'd expect from a teen queen in the Valley.

Summary[edit | edit source]

High school senior Buffy Summers is a cheerleader at Hemery High School in Los Angeles. She is a carefree popular girl whose main concerns are shopping and spending time with her rich, snooty friends and her boyfriend, Jeffrey. While at school one day, she is approached by a man who calls himself Merrick. He informs her that she is the Slayer, the Chosen One, destined to kill vampires, and he is a Watcher, whose duty it is to guide and train her. She initially rebukes his claims, but she's convinced that he is right when he is able to describe a recurring dream of hers in detail. In addition, Buffy is exhibiting uncanny abilities not known to her, including heightened agility, senses, and endurance, yet she repeatedly tries Merrick's patience with her frivolous nature, indifference to slaying, and sharp-tongued remarks.

After several successful outings, Buffy is drawn into conflict with Lothos, a local vampire king, and his acolyte, Amilyn. Two young men, Pike and best friend Benny Jacks, who resented Buffy and her friends due to differing social circles, are out drinking when they are attacked by Amilyn. Benny is turned, but Pike is saved by Merrick. As a vampire, Benny visits Pike and tries to get him to join him. Later, when Pike and his boss are discussing Benny, Pike tells him to run if he sees him. Meanwhile, a studious girl from Buffy's class, Cassandra, is abducted one night by Amilyn and sacrificed to Lothos. When her body is found, the news spreads through LA and Hemery High, but her murder is met with indifference from Buffy's clique.

When Pike realizes there is something wrong with Benny and that he is no longer safe, he decides to leave town. His plan is thwarted, however, when he encounters Amilyn and his tribe of vampires. Amilyn hitches a ride on the hood of Pike's van, which crashes into a tree just before Amilyn loses an arm. Buffy and Merrick arrive to rescue him, and Amilyn flees the fight to talk to Lothos. After this encounter, Buffy and Pike start a friendship, which eventually becomes romantic, and Pike becomes Buffy's partner in fighting the undead.

During a basketball game, Buffy finds out that Grueller, one of the players (who also happens to be a friend of Jeffrey's), is a vampire. After a quick chase to a parade float storage yard, Buffy finally confronts Lothos, shortly after she and Pike take down his gang. Lothos puts Buffy in a hypnotic trance, which is broken due to Merrick's intervention. Lothos turns on Merrick and stabs him with the stake he attempted to use on him. Lothos leaves, saying that Buffy is not ready. As Merrick dies, he tells Buffy to do things her own way rather than live by the rules of others, while adding for her to "remember about the music." Because of her new life, responsibilities, and heartbreak, Buffy becomes emotionally shocked and starts dropping her Slayer duties. When she arrives at school, she attempts to explain everything to her friends, but they refuse to understand her as they are more concerned with their upcoming school dance, and Buffy falls out with them as she realizes she is outgrowing their immature, selfish behavior.

At the senior dance, Buffy tries to patch things up with her friends but they turn against her, and she is dismayed to find that besides dumping her (by leaving her a message on her answering machine instead of telling her in person), Jeffrey went to the dance with her friend Jennifer. As a result, while the other students are dancing to a slow song on the dance floor, Buffy is all by herself without a dance partner. However, she meets up with Pike and, as they start to dance and kiss, Lothos leads the remainder of his minions to the school and attacks the students and the attending faculty.

Buffy confronts the vampires outside, while Pike fights the vampiric Benny. After overpowering the vampires, she confronts Lothos inside the school and kills Amilyn. Lothos hypnotizes Buffy again and, when the dance music stops, she remembers Merrick's words (and realizes what he meant), and is ready to defend herself. Lothos ignites her cross, but she uses hairspray to create a makeshift flamethrower and burns him before escaping back into the gym. Buffy sees everybody recover from the attack, but Lothos emerges again getting into a fight with Buffy, who then stakes him.

As all of the survivors leave, Buffy and Pike decide to finish their dance. The two then leave the dance on a motorcycle, and a news crew interviews the students and the principal about the attack.

Continuity[edit | edit source]

  • The comic miniseries The Origin is considered the canon story that replaces the events of this movie, adapted from Joss Whedon's original script and the TV series' chronology.
  • Buffy's age and history are dissimilar, as she is a senior in high school in the film and the series starts with her as a sophomore.
  • Pike, despite being a major character in the film, never appears in the TV series, nor is he even mentioned. He does, however, return in the expanded universe in non-canon publications.
  • Besides Buffy herself, characters from the film who do go on to appear in the TV series include Merrick, who appears in a flashback in "Becoming, Part One," as well as Buffy's Mom (Candy Clark) and Dad (James Paradise), who both remain nameless in the film. Buffy's surname is also never referred to in the film.
  • In this movie, Buffy defines her life goals as "graduate, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die." Through the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, she achieves all items except the marriage (respectively in "Graduation Day, Part Two," The Long Way Home, Part One, and "Prophecy Girl"/"The Gift").
  • Robert Berman has the distinction of being her first slay ever.
  • There are numerous differences in the mythology of the movie:
    • vampires cannot transform their faces, can fly or at least levitate, and do not crumble into dust when killed;
    • Buffy's ability to detect vampires gives her cramps and each Slayer has a distinctive birthmark;
    • Merrick referres to be hundreds of years old, having lived many lives training many slayers, whereas in the series watchers are mortal.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Buffyverse.png The Buffy the Vampire Slayer (film) article has a Photo Gallery.


Original script[edit | edit source]

See Buffy the Vampire Slayer (film)/Original Script

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer_trailer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer trailer

Production[edit | edit source]

  • According to writer and creator Joss Whedon, "the idea for the film came from seeing too many blondes walking into alleyways and being killed. I wanted, just once, for her to fight back when the monster attacked, and kick his ass. It was a simple thing for me to write because I knew exactly how I wanted things to work. I have special powers and I thought it would be great to have vampires as the villains. She wouldn't be able to fit into normal society because she had these powers and this job that kept her from being what she wanted to be."[1]
  • Director Fran Rubel Kuzui had said that Buffy "isn't a vampire movie, but a pop culture comedy about what people think of vampires."[1]
  • Whedon has said about his dissatisfaction with the final result of the film: "The director ruined it. What I started with was a horror action comedy. It had fright, it had camera movement, it had acting — all kinds of interesting things that weren't in the final film apart of the jokes — and there were a lot more of them [in my script] and all of my favorite ones got cut — it was supposed to have a little more edge to it. It was supposed to be a visceral entertainment rather than a glorified sitcom where everyone pretty much stands in front of the camera, says the joke, and exits. I wasn't happy about anything. I had one advantage from it: the direction was so bland that the jokes kind of stood out, because they were the only things to latch on to. In a way, that kind of worked for me because it got people to notice it. But that was a big disappointment to me. It was crushing. I had written this scary film about an empowered woman, and they turned it into a broad comedy. It was terrible and a great lesson for me. I knew in the future that I would find a way to do things in a different way."[1]
  • Seth Green appeared as a vampire in a deleted scene which nonetheless featured on the original video cover. Along with Chi Muoi Lo, he is one of only two actors to appear in both the film and the television series.

Distribution[edit | edit source]

  • The film debuted at #5 at the North American box office. With an estimated budget of $7,000,000, it had a domestic total gross of $16,624,456.[2]
  • It was publicized under the following taglines:
    • "Pert. Wholesome. Way Lethal."
    • "Sometimes it takes more than just good looks to kill."
    • "She knows a sucker when she sees one."
    • "Homework. Cheerleading practice. Killing vampires. No one said high school would be easy."

Pop culture references[edit | edit source]

Music[edit | edit source]

International tiles[edit | edit source]

  • Arabic: بافي قاتلة مصاصي الدماء
  • Armenian: Բաֆֆի, վամպիրների բնաջնջողը
  • Bulgarian: Бъфи, убийцата на вампири
  • Czech: Buffy, zabíječka upírů
  • Danish: Buffy — vampyrernes skræk
  • Finnish: Buffy — vampyyrintappaja
  • French (Canada): Bichette la Terreur
  • French (France): Buffy, Tueuse de Vampires
  • German: Buffy, der Vampirkiller
  • Greek: Μπάφι, η βαμπιροφόνισσα
  • Hungarian: Buffy, a vámpírok réme
  • Italian: Buffy — L'ammazzavampiri
  • Japanese: バッフィ/ザ・バンパイア・キラー
  • Korean: 뱀파이어 해결사
  • Latvian: Bafija pret vampīriem
  • Persian: بافی قاتل خون‌آشام‌ه
  • Polish: Buffy — postrach wampirów
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Buffy, a Caça-Vampiros
  • Portuguese (Portugal): Buffy, Caçadora de Vampiros
  • Romanian: Buffy, vanatoarea de vampiri
  • Russian: Баффи — истребительница вампиров
  • Serbian: Bafi, ubica vampira
  • Spanish (Latin America): Buffy, la Caza Vampiros
  • Spanish (Spain): Buffy, la Cazavampiros
  • Swedish: Buffy vampyrdödaren
  • Turkish: Vampir avcisi Buffy
  • Ukranian: Баффі — винищувачка вампірів

Adaptations[edit | edit source]

  • The movie soundtrack was released in the album Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
  • The book Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a novelization of the movie, based on Whedon's original screenplay.
  • The film was released on VHS and Laserdisc in the U.S. in 1992 by Fox Video, then re-released in 1995 under the Twentieth Century Fox Selections banner. It was released on DVD in the U.S. in 2001 and on Blu-ray in 2011.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Candace Havens, Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy. BenBella Books, May 2003.
  2. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
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