I saw this movie at a pivotal time in my life. The year was 1994 and I was 11 years old. My daily TV fix was Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and FX's reruns of old action shows like Wonder Woman, Green Hornet, and The Bionic Woman. I was just beginning to enjoy reading and had read Anne Rice's Interview With The Vampire, mainly because I wanted to know what happened before I saw the film. On a lazy Saturday afternoon I turned on TBS and some weird movie was coming on. Buffy The Vampire Slayer?
I was immediately in love with this movie. I watched it so many times I could turn down the sound and quote the whole thing. Naturally, I had seen female heroes before. But no one was as cool or as strong as Buffy. She was a heroine for the modern age and best of all she was young. Few children can express it but one reason kids want to grow up is because we are so dependent on adults and often view adults as heroes or saviors. Buffy was taking back the night and yet she was still a kid, with the same worries and problems of a kid.
The plot of this film is stock. Bad guy comes to town(or in this case is awakened in town) and good guy kills the bad guy. Its clear that Joss Whedon has seen the 80's horror-comedies, such as Fright Night and Lost Boys, and tried to carry over the same charm and realism. But I suspect something was lost in translation. I didn't like Buffy's friends or Luke Perry's Pike at all. There was no point where I cared if they died or not. The best characters were Rutger Hauer's Lothos, Paul Reubens' Amilyn, and Donald Sutherland's Merrick! Those guys were awesomely hammy and over the top.
Nothing really happened in the movie that is worth talking about. There are tons of funny things that occur but they're all unintentional(maybe?) pokes at genre tropes. My favorite part is the climax at the prom. When I went to my own prom I was thankful that badly dressed 90's vampires didn't ruin it and also that we didn't have to have it at school!
Making any comparisons to the show is just plain unfair. All they really share is the title character. Honestly, if you've watched the show and haven't seen the movie you don't need to see it. For people like me its a delightful time capsule that harkens back to days past(see the scene with the "Light" Doritos!) and a reminder of where the queen of nerddom was born.