Though Paul Reubens is likely best known for his groundbreaking work as the children’s character PeeWee Herman, the actor and comedian holds a deep legacy…
The eponymous heroine of the late ’90s/early ’00s television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her Scooby Gang have faced innumerable monsters that made their way from various myths into popular culture.
This includes but isn’t limited to dangerous humans, undead, ghosts and spirits, vampires (of course), wizards and witches, and demons, as well as half-demons and “Old Ones” (Cthullu for all intents and purposes). Some of them were forgettable vampire henchmen, while others stuck with the audience to this day.
Drew Goddard’s 2011 horror/comedy “The Cabin in the Woods” is a fun, self-aware deconstruction of cabin-in-the-woods horror movies, a subgenre that has been lampooned more often than it has been presented earnestly. The film has an incredibly elaborate setup: A group of college kids is preparing for a vacation in the titular cabin. Each one of the kids fulfils a notable cinematic/literary archetype: The athlete, the fool, the scholar, etc, though they’re not full-on cliches, at least not yet. While they pack their bags and hit the road, the college kids are being secretly watched by a group of white-collar lab workers who have been covertly feeding them drugs and manipulating their behavior and their personality traits.
The Vampire Slayer made Willow Rosenberg the titular undead hunter, but recent developments hint that Buffy will get her title back soon.
f you ask a hundred TV show fans to name their favorite TV show of all time, I would bet that many of them would say Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s one of the most beloved TV shows around the globe. Many even consider it one of the greatest TV shows of all time. People love Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. However, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie doesn’t receive the same glowing endorsements.
Over my lifetime, I have had many different reactions to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. As a child, it terrified me. The vampires were just too weird. As a teen, I felt neutral about it. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. Later, because I loved the show so much, the movie felt like a disappointment. Then I went back to having no opinions on it.
Feeling nostalgic, I decided to rewatch the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, and once again I formed a new opinion on it. Rewatching the film made me realize it’s far from perfect, but definitely has a charisma and charm of its own. I also had a few other thoughts. Let me share.
Since Disney acquired Fox in 2019 they’ve been working to breathe some life into the Buffy the Vampire Slayer with new canon material. Instead of jumping into movie or television mediums, they’re currently sticking with books ad the first two youth novels are out now. In January we picked up on the current timeline following a new vampire slayer, Frankie, and now, we’re heading way back to the 1900s to follow Spike, his girlfriend (and sire) Drusilla and Darla the vampire who brought them all together.
In recent decades, it’s become increasingly necessary to understand the existence and importance of a Heroine’s journey. Maureen Murdock, a student of Campbell, tried her hand at devising what mysteries lie in this quest. But I, and many others, find her vision lack. Focusing on spiritual aspects of a woman’s inherent nature and the idea of a masculine identity coming together with a feminine one is just so… dated. That was 1990.
Just two years later, the story of a flighty, teenage cheerleader who’s put upon by destiny to fight the vampires, demons and forces of darkness was introduced into the world. And it is in her journey that we find a template. Perhaps vague, in its earliest phase, but ready for GenX and generations to come.
I know what you mat be thinking: “Buffy is 25 years old earlier this year, the first episode aired in 1997!” And you would be absolutely correct. However, that is not the Buffy I’mm discussing today. No, we’re going back to 1992 (with this review timed exactly for the 30th anniversary), when 20th Century Fox first haphazardly attempted to marry comedy and horror, frustrating a young Joss Whedon in the process and forever condemning a film as the “black sheep” that fandom does its best to ignore. Does this initial attempt at a vampire-killing cheerleader really deserve such scorn and dismissal? Well, yes and no. Let me try to explain.
“ALL I WANT TO DO IS GRADUATE from high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die.” That line, from the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, may have been spoken by a teenager, but they were the words of a child. That’s why it stood out to me as a prepubescent girl – before I got my period, before I got existential, before I stopped caring about vampires (if I ever did). The line captured the glib effervescence of a bubblegum B-movie in which a cheerleader discovers her destiny as an assassin. Of monsters.