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 full of incredible work. Since it was announced this week that the 70-year-old comedian had passed away from complications regarding a private battle with cancer, many fans have flooded the internet to discuss their favourite words in his extensive catalog of excellent films and television appearances. One of his greatest performances lies in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is available to stream on Max.
Paul Reubens helped the 1992 film, Buffy the Vampire Slayer a cult classic with his iconic portrayal of the vampire Amilyn
Paul Reubens is often regarded as the saving grace of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, which has been critically panned due to its campy style and middling dialogue. The film boasts an egregious rating of only 36 percent on the review aggregate platform Rotten Tomatoes and mostly negative reviews from critics who saw the film when it first came out.
Still, Paul Reubens was able to elevate the writing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, making the film something of a cult classic and ultimately leading to the hit television series of the same name. Directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui and written by Joss Whedon in his very first screenwriting credit, the film follows Kristy Swanson‘s Buffy as she becomes tasked with slaying creatures of the night, in stark contrast to her plans to graduate high school and travel across Europe.
Soon after she begins exercising her newfound abilities as a vampire hunter, Buffy encounters the vampire king, Rutger Hauer’s Lothos, and his evil minion, Paul Reuben’s Amilyn. The two begin capturing and subsequently turning a number of Buffy’s friends and classmates into vampires, leaving her to put her slayer skills on full display.
Though the 1992 film lacks many of the qualities which made the show the cult hit we know it as today, Paul Reuben’s epic performance as the overly melodramatic Amilyn elevates Buffy the Vampire Slayer from a forgettable dud to a classic vampire flick, influencing such hits as 1994’s Interview With a Vampire, as well as both the film and television versions of What We Do In The Shadows.
Paul Reubens played a vampire again in “The Trial” as Season 1 episode of What We Do In The Shadows.
Paul Reubens even appeared in a spiritual reprisal of his Buffy the Vampire Slayer role in a 2019 episode of What We Do In The Shadows, as pointed out by series co-creator Jermaine Clement, who shared some behind-the-scenes stories of his time meeting Reubens in a recent post commemorating the actors’ passing. Apparently, Reubens brough his Amilyn wig from the Buffy movies, which he had kept for over 30 years, describing the look as the coolest he’d ever felt.
The wig was modeled to look like Paul Reuben’s actual grown-out hairstyle popularized by his iconic mugshot from his arrest in 1991. Before Reubens signed on to appear in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, he was arrested on public indecency charges after police reportedly found him pleasuring himself inside a pornography theater. The arrest initially served as a major scandal for the children’s entertainer but ultimately became nothing more than a footnote in a long and storied career.
Paul’s decadent performance saw him chewing the scenery like only the PeeWee actor could, delivering one of the most iconic villain performances of all time to the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer film. The performance will go down in film history as one of his best, even if it is overshadowed by career highs as PeeWee Herman in his series of absurdist adventures. Reubens also went on to perform in hundreds of credited appearances in television series and films such as Batman Returns, Matilda, and Mystery Men.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was hated by fans and critics upon release, but thanks to performances like Paul Reubens’, it’s become a cult classic.
Through his incredibly hammed-up performance, Paul Reubens somehow managed to be the most memorable part of a film that includes intense vampire slaughter, and a teenage girl backflipping her way to safety from the approaching grasp of mythical monsters. The actor’s talent is undeniable and elevated the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie to new heights.
If you’re looking for something to highlight Paul Reubens’ excellent acting talent this weekend, be sure to check out Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which is available to stream on Max now. The film may not live up to the series adaptation which followed, but Reubens’ performance surely won’t disappoint.
Original article at Giant Freakin Robot.
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