Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 1992 American action/comedy film about a Valley girl cheerleader named Buffy (Kristy Swanson) who learns that it is her fate to hunt vampires. The film starred Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry and Hilary Swank. It was a moderate success at the box office, but received mixed reception from critics. The film was taken in a different direction than its writer, Joss Whedon, intended, but several years later he was able to create the darker and acclaimed TV series of the same name.
Buffy Summers (Kristy Swanson) is introduced as a stereotypical cheerleader at Hemery High School in Los Angeles. She is a carefree popular girl whose main concerns are shopping and spending time with her friends. While at school one day, she is approached by a man named Merrick Jamison-Smythe (Donald Sutherland). He informs her that she is The Slayer, or chosen one, and he is a Watcher whose duty it is to guide and train her. She initially refuses to believe his claims, but finally becomes convinced that he is right when he is able to describe a recurring dream of hers in detail.
Meanwhile Oliver Pike (Luke Perry), and best friend Benny, who resented Buffy and her friends due to their social circles, are out drinking when they are attacked by vampires. Benny is turned but Oliver is saved by Merrick. As a vampire, Benny visits Oliver and tries to get him to join him. When Oliver and his boss are discussing Benny, Oliver tells him to run if he sees him.
After several successful outings, Buffy is drawn into conflict with a local vampire king named Lothos (Rutger Hauer), who has killed a number of past Slayers. During an encounter with Lothos' main minion Amilyn (Paul Reubens) and his gang of vampires, Buffy, Oliver and Merrick fight against them in the forest as Amilyn loses his arm. Amilyn flees the fight to talk to Lothos who now has his focus on Buffy. After this encounter, Buffy and Oliver start a friendship, which eventually becomes romantic and Oliver becomes Buffy's partner in fighting the undead.
During a basketball game, Buffy and Oliver find out that one of the players is a minion of Lothos. After a quick chase to an amusement park, Buffy finally confronts Lothos, shortly after she and Oliver take down his gang. Lothos catches Buffy in a hypnotic trance, which is broken due to Merrick's intervention. Lothos turns on Merrick and impales him with the stake he attempted to use on him. Lothos leaves, saying that Buffy is not ready. As Merrick dies, he tells Buffy to do things her own way, rather than live by the rules of others. Buffy becomes emotionally shocked, has a falling out with her friends and starts dropping her Slayer responsibilities.
At the senior dance, Buffy meets up with Oliver and as they start to dance and eventually kiss, Lothos leads the remainder of his minions to the school and attacks the students and the attending faculty. Buffy confronts the vampires outside while Oliver fights the vampiric Benny. After overpowering the vampires, she confronts Lothos inside the school and stabs Amilyn. Lothos hypnotises Buffy again but she uses a cross and hairspray to create a makeshift flame-thrower and burns Lothos before heading back into the gym. Buffy sees everybody recover from the attack, but Lothos emerges again getting into a fight with Buffy, who then stakes him.
The film ends with Buffy and Oliver leaving the prom on a motorcycle, and a news crew interviewing the students and the principal about the attack during the credits.
- Kristy Swanson as Buffy Summers
- Donald Sutherland as Merrick Jamison-Smythe
- Paul Reubens as Amilyn
- Rutger Hauer as Lothos
- Luke Perry as Oliver Pike
- Hilary Swank as Kimberly Hannah
- David Arquette as Benny Jacks
- Stephen Root as Gary Murray
- Natasha Gregson Wagner as Cassandra
- Tom Jane as Zeph
- Candy Clark as Joyce Summers
- Randall Batinkoff as Jeffrey Kramer
- Sasha Jenson as Gruell
- Ben Affleck (uncredited) as Basketball Player #10
- Ricki Lake (uncredited) as Charlotte
- Seth Green (uncredited) as a vampire
The soundtrack was released on July 28, 1992.
- C+C Music Factory featuring Deborah Cooper and Q-Unique – "Keep It Comin' (Dance Till You Can't Dance No More)"
- Dream Warriors – "Man Smart, Woman Smarter"
- Matthew Sweet – "Silent City"
- Susanna Hoffs – "We Close Our Eyes" (originally by Oingo Boingo)
- Toad the Wet Sprocket – "Little Heaven"
- diVINYLS – "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore"
- Ozzy Osbourne – "Party with the Animals"
- The Cult – "Zap City"
- Mary's Danish – "I Fought the Law"
- Rob Halford and Pantera – "Light Comes Out of Black"