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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

3.8 out of 5 stars 303 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Sep 04, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Blonde, bouncy Buffy (Kristy Swanson) 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 (Donald Sutherland) informs her she's been chosen by fate to kill vampires. With the help of a romantic rebel (Luke Perry), Buffy is soon spending school nights protecting L.A. from Lothos, the Vampire King (Rutger Hauer), his sidekick. Lefty (Paul Ruebens) and their determined gang of bloodsuckers. It's everything you'd expect from a teen queen in the Valley.

Special Features

  • Featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry
  • Directors: Fran Rubel Kuzui
  • Writers: Joss Whedon
  • Producers: Fran Rubel Kuzui, Alex Butler, Carol Baum, Dennis Stuart Murphy, Howard Rosenman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 4.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: September 4, 2001
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005LIRA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,027 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 19, 2003
Format: DVD
Joss Whedon was so upset with the way things were going on the set of the movie, for which he wrote the screenplay but over which he exercised no artistic control, that he walked off the set. Indeed, this is a very hard movie to watch today after the TV series. I did, in fact, moderately enjoy the movie when it first came out. I actually appreciated and enjoyed the absurd tension contained in the title, an airhead bimbo cheerleader called upon to be her generation's vampire slayer. But viewed today, the movie isn't terribly successful, and is in fact made much worse by the genius of the television series. It isn't just a question of Sarah Michelle Gellar being more appealing in the title role than Kristy Swanson (though SMG's much smaller stature increases the paradox of a tiny girl beating up large, supernaturally strong vampires) or the movie missing all the familiar characters of the show; the movie is almost completely devoid of its own style, look, and feel. Although the TV series started off on a tiny budget, it instantly had a compelling look and visual style that the movie completely lacks. Furthermore, on TV they managed a coolness and hipness that the movie never comes close to. Unfortunately, the series has pretty much reduced the movie to a curio.
Many talk of the movie falling short of Joss Whedon's vision in writing the original script. Actually, overall the plot isn't too terribly different. Buffy doesn't burn down the gym at the end in the movie as Whedon wrote, but while there are many stylistic differences, many of the main plot elements were retained. I find the main difference between the movie and the series to be in the "how" they tell the story rather than the "what" in the story.
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2 Comments 162 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This movie is funny. Unfortunately, it is dissected by the hardcore Buffy fans that were lured in by their love of the television series, and subsequently bashed.

I liked this movie back in the day, and I still enjoy it. I never watched Buffy the Vampire slayer on TV, so I don't hold a grudge against this movie as its predecessor.

If you watch this movie expecting what you saw on TV, you will be disappointed, but it's unfair to drag this movie into the mud just because it's not the same thing as the TV show.

Overall, it's a funny movie that will give you a few laughs and that you'll enjoy, as long as you don't watch it expecting Buffy from the WB series.
3 Comments 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
Pity poor Buffy (Kristy Swanson). She just wants to enjoy her life as a cheerleader/Valley girl when some scruffy old guy (Donald Sutherland) shows up and tells her she is "the Chosen One." You cannot believe how being a Vampire Slayer puts a crimp in a young girl's lifestyle. But when vampires (Rutger Hauer & Paul Reubens) are snacking on your classmates, what's a girl to do but grab some stakes and get down to some serious slaying. Fortunately, there is a cute guy (Luke Perry) as a bonus.
For fans of the hit television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the original movie is certainly a mixed bag. The strengths of the film come from Joss Whedon's script, which takes the ...idea of the blonde bimbo being chased by the monster and reverses it so that she end's up kicking the monster's butt. The weaknesses of the film come from director Fran Rubel Kuzui, who plays the whole thing for camp, personified by Paul Reubens over the top turn as "Lefty" and his agonizingly long death scene. But if you listen past the deliver to the actual lines, you can clearly find the foundation for the Buffy character on television.
Donald Sutherland lends a certain amount of weight to the proceedings as Buffy's Watcher, but Rutger Hauer's considerable presence is lost in his campy Vampire King. What looks the most out of place is the fighting style of Kristy Swanson as Buffy, which combines martial arts with gymnastics and cheerleading, which, again, fits more into the camp style of the film. Ultimately the direction overwhelms the promise of the script and we are left with basically a one-joke film that does not get too far off the ground. But if you compare this to the pilot for the television series, you certainly get a better feel for how Joss Whedon refined his vision of the Slayer.
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Format: DVD
Long before the public was provided the television series: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," there was the film of the same name. Both are the brainchildren of writer/creator Joss Whedon, but Whedon has said that the film was NOT his vision of the story he had written. That is why he created the television series - which, although at times humorous, is far more dark and serious than the film that started it all.
The film tells the story of valley girl cheerleader Buffy Summers and how she is led to the dubious career of vampire slaying. Buffy is head bimbo among the group of her vacuous friends in their high school. With little more than what the latest fashion trends are to toil her brain, Buffy is anything but concerned about anyone other than herself. Enter Donald Sutherland as Merrick, her soon to be Watcher (an individual who teaches slayers their craft). Merrick must not only convince Buffy that she is a slayer by birthrite, but also convince her that vampires exist - no small feat.
The story is told in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Buffy, the film, never seems to engage the viewer to the action, as though the director didn't quite know how to present the subject matter. It's not that the film isn't watchable - because it is - it's just that it loses steam when it isn't funny - and it is often funny. The valley girl schtick works well in this film.
The actors are up to the task and seem to have fun doing it.
Used as a reference for the television series, the film is surreal on an entirely different level. Watch it as a standalone and enjoy it. Don't try to compare it to the series.
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