In The Words of Joss Whedon: "It was funny when I wrote it."
Pat Shand | Freeport, NY USA | 12/15/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer the television series know, this movie from 1992 does not function as a prequel to the series. Creator Joss Whedon did write the script, but all the freshness and creativity was sucked out by the director, lines were read badly or completely misread, and the entire production team just didn't get what Whedon was trying to say. After this introduction, comparisons between the movie and the series will cease, but I just thought I should warn anyone who might be new to Joss Whedon's work that this movie is nothing like Joss's vision of Buffy. That can all be found in the TV series and, currently, the comics. But as for this movie...
One would think that this could be an adorable, cheesy movie. One would think the bittersweetness of a bad director messing up Joss Whedon's vision would fade once the film started. One would think that the movie might be so cheesy that it, like all of the corniest films, would be entertaining because of the overt cheesiness. But... no. The scenes that are supposed to be hilarious--the extra long death of Paul Reubens's character--was so awfully unfunny that I seriously debated turning off the movie, even though there was only ten minutes left. The scenes that are supposed to be dramatic--Buffy's "big win" at the end, as well as the major death scene--fell entirely flat, due to out of place dramatic pauses, bad readings of good lines, and the--sorry, all--bad acting of Kristy Swanson.
While the movie is devoid of quirk or real understanding of the feminist message Whedon wove into the script, it's not all bad. As a reviewer said, it did indeed pave the way for things to come, because without the movie, there would never have been the show. Also, Luke Perry gave a nice performance as Pike, and Hilary Swank's talent was able to shine through the badness of this movie, despite how small her role was. But aside from those actors, some gems in the script, and a hilariously random cameo from then no body Ben Affleck, this movie isn't worth seeing, no matter how much you love the REAL "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."