Terribly Awesome!: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Just another Manic Monday? Wish it was Sunday? Nothing beats a case of the Mondays like a camp-out. And we ain't talkin' s'mores, sing-a-longs and psycho killers. We're talking about getting in touch with your guilty pleasure zone. That's right, every Monday we'll be bringing you the best of the worst. It's gonna be awesome - and terrible! - all at the same time.

Photo: Movieposter.com

Vamps are everywhere these days. Unfortunately, with their overexposed pale skin and fawned-over-fangs comes super-annoying counterparts: sappy, submissive fang-girlfriends. As The Twilight Saga: Eclipse opens this week, we are going to inundated with my least favourite vamp lover, Edward Cullen's accident-prone awkwardly hair-touching obsessed soul mate, Bella Swan. Before Bella and her alabaster beau made it big, girls didn't just run - and make nice photo ops - with vampires. They ran at them. And killed them. A lot.

In 90s, my personal brand of vamp heroine was born: Buffy, slayer of the vampires. While most people associate the Buffster with Sarah Michelle Gellar and the wicked smart TV series, girlie truly made her debut in a failed 1992 teen flick of the same name.

The original Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry and a crapload of neon-coloured clothes. Unlike the show, which got pretty spooky with it's storylines (hello, Gentlemen!), this flick is pure cinematic cotton candy: pink, sugary and really, really bad for you. There's no obscure pop culture references, genuine conflict or remotely terrifying kills here. Just cheerleading, cheesy quips, loud leather jackets and nail-breaking breakdowns. They might as well have called it Fluffy the Vampire Slayer - and sent it straight-to-VHS.

Cheap puns aside, this Buffy doesn't totally suck. It's actually kind of rocks. In a it's-the-early-90s-and-nothing-is-meant-to-be-serious kind of way. Plus, there's always some light-hearted comedy before the semi-dark series, right?

Why it's terrible:

- Buffy detects the vamp kind with her cramps. Seriously.

- According to the awkward opening sequence, all slayers have a special trademark - and awkwardly large mole on their left shoulder blade.

(Ye Olde Mole.)

- Her rents are no Joyce Summers. We see them for like 5 seconds as they make "kiss noises" and yell goodbye to their spoiled little rich girl before leaving her alone in bloodsucker city for the weekend. Assholes.

- Buffy's dance dress goes from long and flowy to conveniently kick-accessible with one clean rip. I know the gal's got supernatural strength, but that's just impossible.

(From this...)

(To this?)

- The movie's Giles, Merrick (played by Donald Sutherland), is really socially awkward. And not in an adorable bookwormy British way. He follows her around in the mall, but is at a loss for words when he gets face to face with her at an elevator (although, his speechlessness may be a result of her calling him "a homeless"). Then he just shows up at her cheerleading practice creepily. Oh, and he totally turns up in the change room later and throws a knife at her face. She totes catches it, but he could have given her a "Heads up!" or something.

- Buffy's dream sequences with the movie's Big Bad Vamp, Lothos, are mighty creepers. Me thinks the dude likes jailbait bit too much. Ick.

(Lothos: creature of the nasty night-terrors.)

- It gets worse. Lothos can stop Buffy in her tracks - with some creepy violin playing.

- The flashback scenes to slayers gone by are ridonk. The costumes are straight out of a community college production of the Scottish play.

- Speaking of terrible costumes, as Buffy gets tougher, she starts dressing butch-er. It's embarrassing, dated and un-PC. But then again, so was the 90s.

(Pretty, helpless, feminine Buffy.)

(Tough, self-sufficient, manly Buffy.)

- The opening credits say the script was written by Joss Whedon, when clearly, they took his idea and ran to the mall with it.

(Pale pink really isn't Joss' colour.)
Why it's awesome:

- Buffy detects the vamp kind with her cramps. Seriously!

- The story is legit awesome. Mall rat valley girl becomes ass-kicking demon killer just in time to save her school from one hell of a sucky dance. No wonder they decided to make this into a series...

- Buffy asks Merrick if he "has any gum" during their first graveyard training session.

- Merrick REALLY loves his moustache and likes to play with it randomly.

(Merrick's not-so-secret stache.)

- Kristy Swanson is actually hilarious as Buffy. She's like Cher Horowitz gone badass. Actually, you could say Amy Heckerling borrowed a whole lot of her awesomely clueless heroine from the original slayer. Think about it: they both love shopping, tight red dresses, bleached locks and mispronouncing foreign locales. And they even have the same motto: "All I want to do is graduate from high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die." Spooky.

- Speaking of eerie similarities, Perry's character, Pike, is almost identical to Spike from the series. He's wears a long trench, carries a flask, slicks his hair back like a gel-happy greaser, rocks a battered leather jacket and loves to berate Buffy with semi-disses. All he's missing is some fangs, a British accent and an S.

(Cool and the doppleganger.)

- Luke Perry is a stone fox. But you already knew that, didn't you?

- The casting director on this movie may want to double as a psychic. Many of the minor stars she cast have gone big places since
Buffy. See: Hilary Swank as Buff's airheaded girlfriend, David Arquette as Pike's vampy friend, Benny, and Ben Affleck as a random b-baller. Don't see: all of the headlining cast members.

("I'm gonna win an Oscar someday. I'm gonna win an Oscar someday. I'm gonna win an Oscar SOMEDAY.")

(Who needs to tan when you know you're gonna land a super hot girlfriend and a big part in a cheesy slasher series?)

("Do I really have to grow up and do Gigli?!")

- One news reporter on a vamp wound: "One bystander said it resembled a 'really gross hickey.'"

- When Merrick asks the Buffster where her magic mole is, she says, "That big ol' hairy mole! Eww! I had that thing removed." Excellent.

- Pee Wee Herman (er, Paul Reubens) plays Lothos' second-in-command vamp - and comes in on an abandoned merry-go-round. Brilliantly creepy.

(Guess someone took a wrong turn on his way to the Playhouse.)

- Can you say outdated training montage!?!

("Eat Stake!")

- The soundtrack is way awesome. The finale song, Toad the Wet Sprocket's "Little Heaven", is well, 90s alterna-pop ballad heaven (Don't tell anyone but it's defs on my Top 25 Played Songs on my iTunes. I mean...) and the Divinyls' "Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" is just too sassy-titled to resist.

- The principal tries to give the prom-crashing vamps detentions slips.

- The said supposedly badass vamps look like the Jersey Shore cast - if they stopped tanning.

("Check this situation. We just wanna fist-pump - your jugulars!")

- Random dude at the dance: "This party
sucks, man." (Sorry, but I'm a sucker, for a good vamp pun.)

- This badass vamp.

(Big vamps DO cry.)

- The opening sequence. Pom poms. Purple spandex. C & C Music Factory. (Excuse the lack of video. Apparently, nobody has been cool enough to put this epic dance scene on YouTube. What A. Travesty.)

(Those leggings are the real chosen ones.)

All photos (except Spike) screencaps from the DVD. Spike photo from MSN.com.


  1. Luke Perry (Pike) is mine. I sound like a teenager don't I?

  2. This movie will always be number one. No movie can top this. NEVER EVER.