Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy (Kristy Swanson) is a valley cheerleader who only wants to "graduate high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater and die." Now some old dude, played by Donald Sutherland with the resigned look of an actor who's landed a role he'll never live down, tells her she's been chosen to slay vampires. Though Buffy hates chasing monsters, on school nights yet, she gets the hang of it She even saves the rebel neck of Pike – 90210 's Luke Perry making a slight change in ZIP Codes.

Swanson (Hot Shots) takes on the rampant silliness in Joss Whedon's script with becoming charm. Director Fran Rubel Kuzui (Tokyo Pop) may think she's crafting a comic romance about a mall doll who finds more to life than shopping, but her pacing is deadly. And the film's clichéd heart deserves the stake. Repetitive gags defang initially sly turns from Rutger Hauer and a post-Pee-wee Paul Reubens as hissing bloodsuckers. Buffy isn't heinous, just disposable. As a friend tells Buffy while she eyes a fashion purchase, "It's so five minutes ago."

From The Archives Issue 638: September 3, 1992