1992 Movie | TV Show | Animated Series | New Buffy Movie
The 1992 Movie
Five years before there was Sarah Michelle Gellar, there was Kristy Swanson.
The original 1992 “Buffy” movie — now available in a blu-ray disc and the original DVD — divide the fan base. Some prefer only the original movie because of the lack of angst-ridden melodrama, but others — the vast majority, it seems — think that the show had better characters, plots, and themes. After all, just two episodes of the series cover as much screen time as one movie, and there is only so much that a film can do in a limited amount of time.
Regardless of one’s opinion, the “Buffy” movie sets the stage for the television series, so they are valuable as canonical lore for any die-hard fan. In the movie, Buffy starts dating a rebel (played by nineties heart-throb Luke Perry) and fights a vampire king (Rutger Hauer), his sidekick (Paul Ruebens, otherwise known as Pee-Wee Herman), and their mob of vampires.
Buffy is called to service by her watcher (played by Donald Sutherland), she begins training, and ends up burning down her Los Angeles high school’s gymnasium since it was full of vampires (an action that got her kicked out of school and forced her and her mother to move to Sunnydale, California, when the television show begins). In the first episode of the series following the original film, she tells the principal, “You don’t understand — that gym was full of vampi… asbestos.”
Still, there are similarities between the “Buffy movies” and TV show. “Buffy” is still punny and delivers one-liners while slaying (not usually dusting, in the film) vampires. True to Whedon’s theme, the supposed blond, weak, cheerleader that dies in nearly every horror movie actually ends up being the hero and saving the world. The film is more tongue-in-cheek and a reverse-take on the genre, while the television show takes that original plot and expands greatly — especially in terms of the wonderful supporting-cast.
Gellar’s portrayal of “Buffy” became more angsty and conflict-ridden as her duty and sacrifices wore her down over the seven years of the television show, but her persona in Season One was much more similar to that of Swanson’s interpretation of the character. In the span of roughly in hour-and-a-half, there was little time to mope over Buffy’s desire for a “normal life.” She just had to fight the vampires and win.
Still, the “Buffy” 1992 movie provokes a lot of controversy among the show’s fan base. A few like the movie because it is merely campy fun and not, as detractors of the TV show state, a “soap opera.” But the program’s supporters — whom, it seems, carry the day in terms of numbers — like the complexity in the supporting characters, complex plots, and darker themes. In part, this is a natural result of the medium: two episodes of the TV show consist of as much screen time as the movie, and a film can only do a little in such a small time-frame.
But whatever you may think, the “Buffy” 1992 film — and a remake, for better or worse, seems to be coming — presents the beginning of the mythology before the Gellar-starring television series, so it is very important for anyone who wants to know every part — or minute — of the story.
Now, we present the trailer:
The TV Show
When one views the entire “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series and TV show from 1997 to 2003, it first becomes apparent that the classic show transitions from a charming — if somewhat-cliched and not-always-good — first season to the seventh (and last) one that is darker and more epic and apocalyptic.
While most people will want to watch the “Buffy” series from the beginning, there are multiple so-called “entry points” that are suitable to the new viewer. The first season’s characters and themes are more black-and-white (humans, good; vampires, bad) and simplistic, but the second season is the first to deliver quality story-lines, character-development arcs, and the situational ethics that reflect the haziness of the issues in real life.
The third season of the “Buffy” TV show escapes the soap-opera theme that dominates the second half of the second season (we won’t spoil the events) and focuses more on the senior year of high school and how it affects teenagers, like our slayer and her friends, who are preparing for adulthood. The season culminates in a youth-versus-adult conflict that ends with an action that all teenagers have wished they could do to their high school.
The fourth season is a type of revamp — it sees the characters transitioning into college (with the difficulties in doing so) while becoming adults who are no longer children. The main themes are the much-discussed realization by a main character that she is a lesbian witch and the less-discussed duality and conflict between science and myth in the context of the final “Big Bad” that Buffy faces in the second half of the season.
The fifth season focuses on family as the characters grow older. Buffy “gets” a little sister (again, we won’t spoil the reasons) and then deals with the health issues of her aging mother. A couple fights over living together and finding a better place than the guy’s parental basement. The girlfriend of a main character deals with her family lack of acceptance of her “lifestyle choices.” Buffy needs to re-establish a relationship with her professional mentor in a way that accounts for the fact that she is no longer a child. The main villain is causing trouble just because she wants to “return home.” In the end, Buffy makes a choice to sacrifice more than can be understood for her family.
The sixth season deals with what can be termed today the “quarter-life crisis.” Buffy is depressed at her situation (which, when one sees the finale of the prior season, is understandable). Her sister develops a habit of stealing to compensate for self-esteem issues. Another character develops a drug habit (though, in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” it takes on a mystical component). A main character wonders whether he can truly marry another character, who is his fiance by this point. In the end, one character in the “Buffy” series saves the world by helping another with her depression.
The seventh (and final) season of the “Buffy” TV show brings the entire series full-circle. It is a combination of the humans-good-vampires-bad theme of the first season, but all of the characters have grown as people and can address the calamity as adults rather than children. The evil-to-end-all-evil finally decides to balance accounts, and the world hangs in the balance. In response, Buffy and her friends build an army of “potential” slayers to help them.
Here is the video with clips of Season One:
The Animated Series
The “Buffy” animated series was conceptualized and begun towards the end of the television show. Development began in 2001 by executive producers Joss Whedon and Jeph Loeb, and nearly all of the “Buffy” cast from the early part of the original series since the animated one would have occurred in the middle of Season One (after the arrival of Principal Snyder).
Twentieth Century Fox, the company that produced the series, was going to air the animated series on Fox Kids, but the network had stopped operations before the animated series would air. No other network purchased the series after efforts lasting through 2004 — in part because it was viewed as too “adult” for children and too childish for adults — so the project was halted.
In a 2003 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Whedon said:
We just couldn’t find a home for (it). We had a great animation director, great visuals, six or seven hilarious scripts from our own staff—and nobody wanted it. I was completely baffled. I felt like I was sitting there with bags of money and nobody would take them from me. It was a question of people either not wanting it or not being able to put up the money because it was not a cheap show. One thing I was very hard-line about was, I didn’t want people to see it if it looked like crap. I wanted it to be on a level with “Animaniacs” or “Batman: The Animated Series.” And that’s a little pricier. But I just don’t think it’s worth doing unless it’s beautiful to look at as well as fun.
Loeb said there are thirteen scripts of the animated series including:
- “A Day in the Life” (by Jeph Loeb and Joss Whedon)
- “Teeny” (by Jane Espenson)
- “Lunch is Revolting!” (by Jane Espenson)
- “The Back Room” (by Jane Espenson)
- Untitled completed episode script (by Steve DeKnight)
- Untitled completed episode script (by Drew Greenberg)
- Untitled completed episode script (by Doug Petrie)
- Untitled unstarted episode script (story set aside for Rebecca Kirshner)
- Various episodes involve a demon drivers-ed teacher and a shrunken Buffy as well
- Giselle Loren as Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar did not want to come back to the role after the series, and Loren had done voice-overs for the video games)
- Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
- Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
- Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
- Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
- Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
- Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
- Armin Shimerman as Principal Snyder
- David Boreanaz as Angel
Support From Cast Members
In 2008, Brendon said:
I know that there’s been talk about the Buffy Animated Series. Which we did, gosh, like, three years ago. You know, to be quite honest with you, I don’t know why it didn’t go further, but I know that there’s been a lot of hububaloo on the old YouTube there, and I checked it out and I almost got a little teary. You know, I hadn’t seen Xander in a while, and it was kind of neat to kind of go back into that library and that into life, and all that stuff. But, yeah. So, listen, I’ll go on the record by saying I would love to do an animated series for Buffy. That being said, I might be the only one. But, I’m not sure. I haven’t had a chance to talk to anybody about it. So, you know, keep your fingers crossed.
That same year, Loeb told MTV:
Everything still exists — the designs, the scripts. It’s such a ‘no-duh’ project, so why the hell not? All you need is to draw it. Eight years ago, there was no fascination with “Family Guy” or “Robot Chicken,” but there’s an audience now that could drive to it. You can’t stand in the way of pop culture.
In 2008, the four-minute unaired pilot was leaked to YouTube:
Personally, we think the animated series would be perfect for the Cartoon Network. After all, the network airs more “adult” cartoons later at night. Maybe one day it will happen!
The New “Buffy” Movie
Will there be a new “Buffy” movie in 2014 or beyond, as the rumors suggest? If so, it would be released a few years after the twentieth anniversary of the original “Buffy” 1992 film starring Kristy Swanson that started it all five years before the TV series that shot Sarah Michelle Gellar to fame.
Here, we will detail the latest news about the alleged film (though, be forewarned, we cannot confirm anything), but first we need to summarize the original film for those who never saw it or are young and new to the complex Buffyverse. By all accounts, the new film would be a remake of the 1992 movie without anything new in terms of plot or canon.
Buffy, a blond, cheerleading, high-school freshman in Los Angeles, meets a strange man (portrayed by actor Donald Sutherland) who informs her that she has been “chosen” to be the next “slayer,” the sole girl in the world who must save humanity from vampires.
After a certain amount of understandable disbelief, she agrees to train with her new “watcher” and fight the good fight against the local vampire-king (played by Rutger Hauer in the original) and his demon sidekicks. I do not mean to “spoil” anyone, but most “Buffy” fans know how the film ends — she kills the head vampire and burns down the high-school gym while killing all of his followers. In the original, Buffy dates a “bad boy” (originally played by Luke Perry) who helps her as well.
Below, we will post link to all news and rumors that we can find.
Buffy Film News
- The script for the new “Buffy” movie by Whit Anderson has been rejected, and the company is looking for a new writer
- Sarah Michelle Gellar said a new “Buffy” movie is the “dumbest idea ever”
- Meet Whit Anderson, the writer of the reboot
- “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon, who is not involved in the remake, said the new movie is a “sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths — just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own”
- Alumni of the “Buffy” TV series respond to the news of the forthcoming film
- The Frisky entertainment website is not too thrilled
- The Guardian of Britain finds a copy of an e-mail written by Whedon on the topic
- Some of the original news about the new movie from 2009
- A writer at Buddy TV is not that excited, either
- Perez Hilton bashes the idea behind the new “Buffy” movie