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Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 1992 American comedy horror film by 20th Century Fox. It was released on July 31, 1992.

The film is about a Valley girl cheerleader named Buffy (Kristy Swanson) who learns that it is her fate to hunt vampires.

Even though it was a moderate success at the box office, it received mixed reception from critics.

The film was taken in a different direction from the one that its writer, Joss Whedon intended it to be. Five years later he created the darker and acclaimed TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (starring Sarah Michelle Gellar).


Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

High school senior Buffy Summers is introduced as a stereotypical, shallow cheerleader at Hemery High School in Los Angeles. She is a carefree, popular, mean girl whose main concerns are shopping and spending time with her rich, snooty friends and her boyfriend, Jeffrey.

While at school one day, she is approached by a man who calls himself Merrick (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 rebukes his claims, but finally becomes convinced that he is right when he is able to describe a recurring dream of hers in detail.

In addition, Buffy is exhibiting uncanny abilities not known to her, including heightened agility, senses, and endurance, yet she repeatedly tries Merrick's patience with her frivolous nature and sharp-tongued remarks.

Meanwhile Oliver Pike (Luke Perry) and best friend Benny (David Arquette), who resented Buffy and her friends due to differing 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.

Later, when Oliver and his boss are discussing Benny, Oliver tells him to run if he sees him. Not only this, but a studious girl from Buffy's class, Cassandra is abducted one night by Lothos' acolyte, Amilyn (Paul Reubens) and sacrificed to Lothos. When her body is found, the news spreads through LA and Hemery High, but her murder is met with indifference from Buffy's clique.

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 Amilyn and his tribe 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 realizes Buffy is the slayer. 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 a parade float storage yard, Buffy finally confronts Lothos, shortly after she and Oliver take down his gang.

Lothos puts 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. Because of her new life, responsibilities, and heartbreak, Buffy becomes emotionally shocked and starts dropping her Slayer duties.

When she arrives at school, she attempts to explain everything to her friends, but they refuse to understand her as they are more concerned with their upcoming school dance and Buffy falls out with them as she realizes she is outgrowing their immature, selfish behavior.

At the senior dance, Buffy tries to patch things up with her friends, but they turn against her and she is dismayed to find Jeffrey has dumped her for one of her friends. However, she 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 dance 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/Lefty
  • 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 Grueller
  • Ben Affleck (uncredited) as Basketball Player #10
  • Ricki Lake (uncredited) as Charlotte
  • Seth Green (uncredited) as a vampire


The film debuted at #5 at the North American box office and eventually grossed $16,624,456 against a $7 million production budget.

Theatrical Trailer


Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) Trailer