Fox Video | Release Date: July 31, 1992 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Mixed or average reviews based on 17 Critics
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Buffy The Vampire Slayer should be a mess, but it's not. It's a mini-comic triumph, and although it's technically a teen movie, it's in the tiny genre of sophisticated, darkly funny teen films such as Heathers and Pump Up the Volume. [4 Aug 1992, p.C1]
Christian Science MonitorStaff (Not Credited)
Moving from the Dark Ages of old Europe to the Lite Ages of new California, this brash comedy pits a Valley Girl against a vampire. Kristy Swanson heads the likable cast, with Donald Sutherland and Paul Reubens in standout supporting performances. [31 Jul 1992].
Actress Kristy Swanson provides the ideal combination of energy and comic disdain that characterize a most unlikely savior. While it would be a mistake to oversell Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the sad and/or happy truth is that you could do worse on a warm summer night. A lot worse. [31 Jul 1992, p.1]
In short, when Buffy starts getting fangy, it stops being tangy. It gets all serious and earnest and flops as a teen-age love story and as a vampire thriller and even as a parody. It's not even a "Fright Night," much less a "Near Dark," and only hints at a "Lost Boys" ambience. [31 Jul 1992, p.38]
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]
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer is lightweight and fun -- not great fun, but it has its moments. The high school satire angle is both authentic and good-natured. [31 Jul 1992, p.D1]
Chicago Sun-TimesErnest Tucker
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]
Director Fran Rubel Kuzui ("Tokyo Pop") cannot begin to find the style that would give some unity and originality to this mess. The result is a grindingly dull horror comedy and an unnecessary satire of Valley Girls - a full decade after that phenomenon has come and gone. [31 Jul 1992, p.12]