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Movie of the Day: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

Check out Bundler's guide on where to watch.

Why Watch It Now? This is the Movie, Right? Not the TV Show?The first incarnation of the California cheerleader turned vampire hunter was considered a disappointment by pretty much everyone, particularly writer Joss Whedon who championed it into the beloved small screen and comic book cousins. That said, the movie has enough of Whedon's witty quips and sardonic observations about the inanity of high school life among affluent Californians. While Whedon may have envisioned it as a supernatural horror twist on Heathers, it could actually be considered a bloodier precursor to Clueless (Bundler's unofficial revised Best Picture of 1995) -- the similarities between Kristy Swanson's Buffy and Alicia Silverstone's Cher are more than superficial, which is also true of their characters' shared arcs. For the most part, though, it's a case of what might have been if the movie had been made in a different time. Made by a female director, Fran Rubel Kuzui, and sporting overtly feminist themes, the film runs less than 90 minutes in an era when 2 hours was the norm, and you can almost see the studio's tight leash at the edge of each frame. The film was also considered a big disappointment for the career of its heartthrob male lead, though his weird grunge performance may have been the most groundbreaking aspect of the movie. This is as good a reminder as any Dylan McKay moment as to why fans already miss the late Luke Perry.

Don't Take Our Word For It?

On the Other Hand...Joss Whedon stormed off the set in the middle of production.

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