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Fran Rubel Kuzui
Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry, Donald Sutherland
Writing Credits:
Joss Whedon

Flighty teenage girl Buffy Summers learns that she is her generation's destined battler of vampires.

Box Office:
$7 million.
Opening Weekend
$4,515,541 on 1959 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Dolby 2.0
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 85 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 10/3/2017

• Featurette
• Trailer
• TV Spots


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Blu-Ray] (1992)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 21, 2021)

Usually when a movie gets adapted into a TV series, the former remains the more famous. Even in instances where the television show earned major popularity – such as with Alice or M*A*S*H - the films remained noteworthy.

Then there’s 1992’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A box office dud, the movie would translate into a popular TV shows five years later, one that left the film borderline forgotten.

Southern California teen Buffy Summers (Kristy Swanson) loves her life. A cheerleader, she dates hunky basketball star Jeffrey (Randall Batinkoff) and she gets to enjoy multiple shopping trips to the mall.

However, when a mysterious figure named Merrick (Donald Sutherland) pops up, Buffy learns she must follow a different path as the preordained “chosen one” intended to fight vampires. Against her will and aided by mechanic Pike (Luke Perry), Buffy goes from flighty high schooler to the potential savior of humanity.

Despite its popularity, I don’t think I ever watched the Slayer TV series, and nearly 30 years after its release, I can’t recall if I saw the movie either. Who can remember all the way back to 1992?

If I did check out Slayer in 1992, I can now say why I don’t remember: it’s an eminently forgettable film. Though it shows the bones of a fun ride, the end result seems spotty and lackluster.

At its core, Slayer offers real promise. As a mashup of comedy, horror and action, we find a project with a lot of positives at the outset.

Slayer also involves a lot of talent. Granted, Fran Rubel Kuzui never directed another movie, but the film came with the debut script from Joss Whedon, a screenwriter who would hit it big three years later with Toy Story and then solidify his career with the Slayer TV series and later hits like 2012’s Avengers.

Whedon never can figure out where he wants to go with Slayer, so the script feels all over the place. Whedon doesn’t commit in any direction, so the movie leans toward half-hearted stabs at horror, comedy and action.

Whedon seems afraid to push too hard down one particular path, so each of these genres comes across as lackluster. The comedy only sporadically seems funny, the horror fails to deliver scares, and the action doesn’t pack much punch.

As our lead, Swanson looks gorgeous – she really was hot back in her prime – but she demonstrates iffy acting chops and not much charisma. Then high on his 90210 fame, Perry demonstrates that his skills fell into the “brooding bad boy” vein and not much else, so he brings little charm or substance to his role.

Slayer does boast a supporting cast packed with actors who would later gain fame, though. We find Hilary Swank in her film debut along with David Arquette, Stephen Root, Thomas Jane and a “blink and you’ll miss him” turn from Ben Affleck. Other than Root, none do a lot with their parts, but it’s still fun to see them,

Of the entire cast, only Paul Reubens scores points. Cast as the second in command under vampire leader Lothos (Rutger Hauer), Slayer found Reubens in career salvage mode, as he still needed to work his way back after his porn theater scandal of 1991.

Reubens seems to be the only actor who comprehends the mix of camp and terror Slayer should offer. Okay, he leans toward comedy, but Reubens makes Amilyn creepy enough to add some scares to the proceedings, and he livens up the screen whenever he appears.

Unfortunately, Reubens doesn’t show up enough to redeem Slayer. At a brisk 85 minutes, the movie rushes by quickly enough that it remains watchable, but it never quite clicks.

Footnote: stick around for a tag in the middle of the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus D

Buffy the Vampire Slayer appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. A product of its era, this was an inconsistent presentation.

Sharpness was generally good but erratic. Daylight shots seemed concise, but nighttime and interior elements could feel a bit tentative.

I saw no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and both edge haloes and print flaws remained absent. Slayer did seem abnormally grainy, likely a product of the era’s film stocks.

In terms of palette, the film went with a mostly natural feel that occasionally leaned a bit blue. The colors tended to feel a little heavy – not unusual for the era – but they were more than acceptable.

Blacks seemed deep and dark, and shadows displayed nice smoothness and detail, even though we did get some softness in those low-light shots. This was a watchable presentation but not one that impressed.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, it worked okay for its vintage. Despite the movie’s action orientation, the mix didn’t shoot for much, but it added a little zest to the proceedings.

Music showed good stereo presence, and the various channels contributed reasonable engagement to the side and rear. Nothing excelled, but the soundscape gave us a bit of breadth, particularly in some of the vampire scenes.

Audio quality also seemed fine. Speech was reasonably natural and concise, while music showed nice pep and clarity.

Effects brought us accurate enough material. This was never a memorable track, but it felt fine given the movie’s era and ambitions.

In addition to a trailer and two TV spots, the disc includes a featurette. It runs four minutes, one second and presents notes from director Fran Rubel Kuzui and actors Luke Perry, Donald Sutherland, Kristy Swanson, and Rutger Hauer.

The featurette offers a few minor production notes. However, it exists to sell the movie, so it doesn’t tell us much of substance.

Despite its immense genre-busting potential, Buffy the Vampire Slayer never quite hits the mark. While it occasionally entertains, it lacks consistency and doesn’t manage to connect as well as one might hope. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture and audio but it includes only minor supplements. The movie feels like a disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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