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Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 1992 American comedy horror film directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui and starring Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry, and Hilary Swank. It follows a Valley girl cheerleader named Buffy who learns that it is her fate to hunt vampires. It was a moderate success at the box office but received mixed reception from critics. The film took a different direction from that which its writer Joss Whedon intended, and five years later, he created the darker and critically acclaimed television series of the same name.


High school senior Buffy Summers (Kristy Swanson) attends Hemery High School in Los Angeles; her main concerns are shopping and spending time with her rich, snooty friends and her boyfriend, Jeffrey Kramer (Randall Batinkoff). 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, destined to kill vampires, and he is a Watcher whose duty it is to guide and train her. She initially rejects his claim but changes her mind when he vividly describes a recurring dream of hers. Additionally, 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, indifference to slaying, and sharp-tongued remarks.

After several successful outings, Buffy is drawn into conflict with Lothos (Rutger Hauer), a local vampire king and his acolyte, Amilyn (Paul Reubens). Two young men, Oliver Pike (Luke Perry) and Benny Jacks (David Arquette), who resented Buffy and her friends due to differing social circles, are out drinking when they're attacked by Amilyn. Benny is turned, but Pike is saved by Merrick. As a vampire, Benny visits Pike and tries to get him to join him. Later, when Pike and his boss are discussing Benny, Pike tells him to run if he sees him.

Amilyn also abducts Cassandra (Natasha Gregson Wagner), a studious girl from Buffy's class, to sacrifice to Lothos. When her body is found, the news spreads through Los Angeles and Hemery High, but her murder is met with indifference from Buffy's clique.

When Pike realizes there's something wrong with Benny and that he's no longer safe, he decides to leave town. His plan is thwarted, however, when he encounters Amilyn and his gang of vampires. Amilyn hitches a ride on the hood of his van, which crashes into a tree just before Amilyn loses an arm. Buffy and Merrick arrive to rescue him and Amilyn leaves the fight to talk to Lothos. After this encounter, Buffy and Pike start a friendship that eventually becomes romantic, and Pike becomes Buffy's partner in fighting the undead.

During a basketball game, Buffy discovers that one of the players, and a friend of Jeffrey's Grueller, is a vampire. After a quick chase to a parade float storage yard, Buffy confronts Lothos, shortly after she and Pike take down his gang. Lothos puts Buffy into a trance, but Merrick intervenes, breaking the trance. Lothos stabs Merrick with the stake he attempted to use on him and then leaves, saying Buffy is not ready. As Merrick dies, he tells Buffy to do things her own way rather than live by the rules of others and gives her one final clue: "Remember about the music."

Because of her new life, its responsibilities, and the heartbreak of losing her Watcher, Buffy, emotionally shocked, starts neglecting her Slayer duties. When she arrives at school, she attempts to explain things to her friends, but they refuse to understand her, as they are more concerned with an upcoming school dance. Buffy abandons them as she realizes she has outgrown their immature, selfish behavior.

At the senior dance, Buffy is dismayed to find Jeffrey has dumped her for one of her friends. She meets up with Pike, reciprocate their feelings as they dance and kiss. However, Lothos sends his army of vampire minions to the school to attack the classmates at the dance.

Buffy confronts the vampires outside, while inside the gym Pike fights and kills the vampiric Benny and everybody is able to fight back under his lead. After overpowering the vampire army, Buffy confronts Lothos inside the school and kills Amilyn. Lothos attempts to ensorcel Buffy again, but when the dance music stops, she remembers Merrick's words and defends herself.

She first tries to repel Lothos with a cross, but the vampire king is unimpressed. He grabs the cross, setting it afire, but Buffy uses her hair spray as a makeshift flamethrower and burns him before escaping to the gym. Buffy sees her classmates recovering from the vampire attack, but Lothos bursts into the gym, promising to kill everyone. The Slayer and vampire duel, a wooden flag staff versus a katana. Eventually, Buffy stakes Lothos and kills him.

As the survivors leave, Buffy and Pike decide to finish their dance. The film ends with the couple leaving the dance on a motorcycle. A skeptical news crew headed up by Liz Smith interviews the students and the principal about the vampire attack during the credits.