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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times

    Neither funny nor scary, Buffy ends up as little more than a bunch of stereotypes (Reubens excepted) squaring off with each other as true love triumphs. Maybe it should have been called "Pee-wee's Big Denture," and given people something to sink their teeth into. But for now, Buffy remains lifeless. [31 Jul 1992, p.43]

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    Kuzui has imposed a heavily block-lettered feminist message on the movie, suggesting that Buffy discovers her empowerment as a woman by driving huge, phallic stakes through the hearts of her enemies. In this case, having it all means being feminine and bloodthirsty, too. [31 Jul 1992, p.B]

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Flippant horror comedy that birthed the TV show.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this forerunner of the classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series has a much different, less serious flavor (and a different cast) than the program. There is mild swearing and verbal sexual innuendo. Though violence is frequent, it's also cartoon-like and almost entirely bloodless, even when people are killed and vampires are being speared or, in one case, deprived of an arm. Except for supernatural mentors (master vampires and vampire-hunters) adults appear either idiotic or inconsequential, and a man in his 50s is considered disgustingly old.

  • Families can talk about the different ways that popular-culture storytellers have handled vampires, from Dracula to Twilight. They have symbolized pure evil but also romance and sexuality. Here vampires -- who look kind of like a marauding gang from a rival high school -- serve as a sort of catalyst for Buffy to grow up and realize there is more to life than classroom popularity. What do you think of this Buffy compared to the revamped TV version?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The title character has become something of an icon of teenage female empowerment, even though she's kind of an airhead here (though she matures over the story). Except for supernatural mentor-figures, parents, elders, and teachers are barely visible buffoons.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Many, many vampires get skewered on stakes, but blood (ironically) is rare, even when one of the undead has his arm torn off. Martial arts-style kicking and punching, reckless motorcycling and driving stunts. One vampire singed with a flame-thrower-like burst of ignited hairspray.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Push-up bras and corsets, some skimpy clothing. Male students say they would enjoy sex with the heroine, without going into much detail (except for praising Buffy's "yobbles," apparently a euphemism for breasts).

  • language false3

    Language: Prominent use of "bitch," "ass," and the s-word uttered once.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Buffy's superior "fashion sense" is a strong component of the plot, and there's a natural tie-in to the TV series and comics spin-offs.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Mainly one gag monologue in which a pompous school administrator, suspecting Buffy of abusing drugs, speaks fondly of his 1960s narcotics experimentation and LSD trips.