Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

PG-13 | 87 mins | Horror, Comedy | 31 July 1992

Director:

Fran Rubel Kuzui

Writer:

Joss Whedon

Cinematographer:

James Hayman

Production Designer:

Lawrence Miller

Production Company:

Twentieth Century Fox
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HISTORY

Buffy the Vampire Slayer marked the feature film debut of screenwriter Joss Whedon. An article in the 31 May 1992 LAT reported that producer Howard Rosenman, of Sandollar Productions, brought Whedon’s screenplay to director Fran Rubel Kuzui, hoping her husband, film producer Kaz Kuzui, would produce Buffy the Vampire Slayer and finance it through a group of Japanese investors. However, as “marketable” names such as actors Donald Sutherland and Luke Perry were cast, Twentieth Century Fox acquired the production, but Kaz Kuzai remained with the project as producer.
       An item in the 28 Jun 1991 Screen International reported that actress Alyssa Milano would portray “Buffy,” but she did not appear in the film. The 10 Jan 1992 Screen International announced that Kristy Swanson had been cast in the role. The 3 Aug 1992 Var review noted that Joan Chen was originally cast in the film, but was replaced by Paul Reubens. According to an item in the 30 Mar 1992 People, Chen declined an offer of $45,000, and Reubens was subsequently paid $150,000 to portray the same role. Although the 31 May 1992 LAT reported the film was actor Luke Perry’s first feature film, he made his theatrical debut in Terminal Bliss (1992, see entry), which filmed in 1989 and was released domestically on 6 Mar 1992. Actress Hilary Swank made her feature film debut in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
       Principal photography began on 20 Feb 1992 in Los Angeles, CA, as stated in the 3 Mar 1992 HR ... More Less

Buffy the Vampire Slayer marked the feature film debut of screenwriter Joss Whedon. An article in the 31 May 1992 LAT reported that producer Howard Rosenman, of Sandollar Productions, brought Whedon’s screenplay to director Fran Rubel Kuzui, hoping her husband, film producer Kaz Kuzui, would produce Buffy the Vampire Slayer and finance it through a group of Japanese investors. However, as “marketable” names such as actors Donald Sutherland and Luke Perry were cast, Twentieth Century Fox acquired the production, but Kaz Kuzai remained with the project as producer.
       An item in the 28 Jun 1991 Screen International reported that actress Alyssa Milano would portray “Buffy,” but she did not appear in the film. The 10 Jan 1992 Screen International announced that Kristy Swanson had been cast in the role. The 3 Aug 1992 Var review noted that Joan Chen was originally cast in the film, but was replaced by Paul Reubens. According to an item in the 30 Mar 1992 People, Chen declined an offer of $45,000, and Reubens was subsequently paid $150,000 to portray the same role. Although the 31 May 1992 LAT reported the film was actor Luke Perry’s first feature film, he made his theatrical debut in Terminal Bliss (1992, see entry), which filmed in 1989 and was released domestically on 6 Mar 1992. Actress Hilary Swank made her feature film debut in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
       Principal photography began on 20 Feb 1992 in Los Angeles, CA, as stated in the 3 Mar 1992 HR production chart. Production notes in AMPAS library files report the production filmed in the greater Los Angeles area for nine weeks, including twenty-nine nights of filming.
       The 31 May 1992 LAT stated the budget was less than $10 million, and the 3 Aug 1992 Var review reported the cost was $7 million. Despite the film’s small budget, LAT noted that Twentieth Century Fox planned an elaborate promotional campaign, including extensive billboard marketing. The billboards advertising Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured a cheerleader’s legs and the tag line “She Knows a Sucker When She Sees One.” A 19 Jul 1992 LAT article reported Fox displayed “countless” billboards in the month prior to the film’s 31 Jul 1992 opening. Controversy arose when Columbia Pictures used a similar design featuring legs for their international posters and trade advertisements marketing A League of Their Own (1992, see entry). An unnamed Fox executive claimed Columbia was impressed by the Buffy the Vampire Slayer promotion and ordered their art department to copy the concept. However, Columbia denied the accusation. Andrea Jaffe, Fox’s president of domestic marketing, refused to conjecture whether or not the “Buffy ‘legs’ campaign” was copied, and insisted she was not “bothered” by Columbia’s similar advertisement. Jaffe noted that Fox’s campaign was the first on display, and if Columbia copied the promotion, it was “a major form of a compliment.”
       An article in the 1 Sep 1992 LAT reported that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the “notable flops” of the summer. Fox chairman, Joe Roth, blamed their advertising campaign. Box-office grosses reported for Sep 1992 were a mere $14.1 million. Roth noted the film’s budget was approximately $10 million, so the studio still profited.
       According to the 1998 book, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Watcher’s Guide, Fran Rubel Kuzui wanted the film to be more broadly comedic, and worked with Joss Whedon to make his screenplay less scary. When Whedon created the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series in 1997, he returned to the vision of his original screenplay. The Kuzuis were also part of the producing team on the television series. The series debuted on the Warner Bros. (WB) network on 10 Mar 1997 and aired for five seasons. In 2001, WB canceled the show, and the United Paramount Network (UPN) picked it up. The series aired on UPN for an additional two seasons, with its finale on 20 May 2003.
       End credits include the statement: “The producers and director wish to thank: Denon/Nippon Columbia Ltd., Hidetoshi Kimura, Motoji Hiruta, and Christopher Baker, Ron Bricke, Martin Fink, Ronda Gomez, Michael Hill, Talia Jones, Lynn Roddy, Irene Speiser.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 1992
p. 7, 16.
Los Angeles Times
31 May 1992
Section C, p. 19, 25.
Los Angeles Times
19 Jul 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
31 Jul 1992
Section C, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
1 Sep 1992
Section F, p. 1, 10.
New York Times
31 Jul 1992
p. 8.
People
30 Mar 1992
p. 37.
Screen International
28 Jun 1991.
---
Screen International
10 Jan 1992.
---
Variety
3 Aug 1992
p. 40.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
1st asst dir, Addl photog unit
2d asst dir, Addl photog unit
2d unit dir, Addl photog unit
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Loader/2d asst
Steadicam op
Steadicam op
Best boy
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Rigging grip
Still photog
Grip
Grip
Dir of photog, Addl photog unit
Cam op, Addl photog unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Storyboard artist
Art dept coord
Art dept prod asst
Art dept prod asst
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
Addl film ed
Negative cutter, Addl photog unit
Negative cutter, Addl photog unit
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst props
Lead person
Const coord
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
On-set dresser
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Head scenic
2d head scenic
Head sign writer
2d sign writer
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
Scenic
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Asst cost des
Costumer
Costumer
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus score
Exec mus prod
Asst mus supv
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd mixer
Key boom
2d boom
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Asst ADR ed
Asst ADR ed
ADR mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd mixer, Addl photog unit
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Mechanical eff foreman
Spec eff asst
Main title des
Titles and opticals by
DANCE
Cheerleader choreog
MAKEUP
Key makeup
Asst makeup
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Spec eff makeup
Spec eff makeup
Makeup artist/Donald Sutherland
Key hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Unit pub
Medic
Asst to Fran Rubel Kuzui
Asst to Dennis Stuart Murphy
Martial arts trainer
Martial arts trainer
Voice casting
Video seq
Loc mgr
Asst locs
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Accounting asst
Casting assoc
Casting asst
Extras casting
Caterer
Caterer
Craft service
Office prod asst
Office prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Intern
STAND INS
"Buffy" stunts
"Buffy" stunts
"Buffy" stunts
"Buffy" stunts
"Buffy" stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Stunt coord, Addl photog unit
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer, Addl photog unit
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Keep It Comin’ (Dance ‘Til U Can’t Dance No More),” written by Robert Clivilles, David Cole, Anthony Quiles and Duran Ramos, published by TCF Music Publishing, Inc./Robi Rob Music/Duranman Music/Virgin Music (ASCAP), produced by Robert Clivilles and David Cole, performed by C&C Music Factory, courtesy of Columbia Records
“Little Heaven,” written by Dean Dinning, Randel Guss, Todd Nichols and Glen Phillips, published by TCF Music Publishing, Inc./West Sprocket Songs/Sony Tunes (ASCAP), produced by Gavin MacKillop, performed by Toad The Wet Sprocket, courtesy of Columbia Records
“I Fought The Law,” written by Sonny Curtis, published by Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. (BMI), produced by Ralph Sall, performed by Mary’s Danish, courtesy of Morgan Creek Music Group
+
SONGS
“Keep It Comin’ (Dance ‘Til U Can’t Dance No More),” written by Robert Clivilles, David Cole, Anthony Quiles and Duran Ramos, published by TCF Music Publishing, Inc./Robi Rob Music/Duranman Music/Virgin Music (ASCAP), produced by Robert Clivilles and David Cole, performed by C&C Music Factory, courtesy of Columbia Records
“Little Heaven,” written by Dean Dinning, Randel Guss, Todd Nichols and Glen Phillips, published by TCF Music Publishing, Inc./West Sprocket Songs/Sony Tunes (ASCAP), produced by Gavin MacKillop, performed by Toad The Wet Sprocket, courtesy of Columbia Records
“I Fought The Law,” written by Sonny Curtis, published by Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. (BMI), produced by Ralph Sall, performed by Mary’s Danish, courtesy of Morgan Creek Music Group
“Silent City,” written by Matthew Sweet, published by Fox Film Music Corp./Charm Trap Music/EMI Blackwood Music (BMI), produced by Ralph Sall, performed by Matthew Sweet, courtesy of Zoo Records
“Light Comes Out Of Black,” written and produced by Rob Halford, published by TCF Music Publishing, Inc./Ebonytree, Ltd. (ASCAP), performed by Rob Halford with Pantera, courtesy of Columbia Records and Atco/East West Records
“Zap City,” written by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy, published by Warner Chappell Music, Ltd., produced by Steve Brown, performed by The Cult, courtesy of Beggars Banquet Records, Ltd.
“Party With The Animals,” written by Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde and Randy Castillo, published by Virgin Music/Virgin Songs (ASCAP/BMI), produced by Duane Baron and John Purdell, performed by Ozzy Osbourne, courtesy of Epic Records
“I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore,” written by Pam Sawyer and Laurie Burton, published by Web IV Music (BMI), produced by Ralph Sall, performed by The DiVinyls, courtesy of Virgin Records
“Man Smart, Woman Smarter,” written by King Radio, published by MCA Music (ASCAP), performed by Dream Warriors, courtesy of 4th & B’way
“We Close Our Eyes,” written by Danny Elfman, published by Little Maestro Music (BMI), produced by Fred Maher, performed by Susanna Hoffs, courtesy of Columbia Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
31 July 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 31 July 1992
New York opening: week of 31 July 1992
Production Date:
20 February--late April 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
29 July 1992
Copyright Number:
PA576029
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® Cameras & Lenses
Duration(in mins):
87
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Buffy, a high school senior at Hemery High School in California’s San Fernando Valley, is devoted to cheerleading and shopping. Her life takes a surprising turn when an older man named Merrick arrives and informs Buffy she is the vampire “Slayer” of her generation, the latest in a long line of young women to inherit this power. Although Merrick declares he must train her to kill vampires, Buffy does not believe him. However, she accompanies him to a graveyard, and when they are attacked by vampires, Buffy discovers her natural skills at slaying the creatures with wooden stakes. Buffy continues to focus most of her attention on cheerleading until it becomes clear that vampire king Lothos, his henchman, Amilyn, and their vampire crew plan to take over Los Angeles, California, and kill the slayer. Buffy recognizes the seriousness of the threat, and works with Merrick to sharpen her vampire slaying skills. As Buffy becomes engrossed in her training, her friends get annoyed and distance themselves. Buffy finds an unusual ally and potential boyfriend in Pike, a rebellious teenager who is impressed with her newfound skills. When Lothos and his minions attack the high school senior prom, Buffy leads the battle to save the prom, her town, and Los Angeles from the ... +


Buffy, a high school senior at Hemery High School in California’s San Fernando Valley, is devoted to cheerleading and shopping. Her life takes a surprising turn when an older man named Merrick arrives and informs Buffy she is the vampire “Slayer” of her generation, the latest in a long line of young women to inherit this power. Although Merrick declares he must train her to kill vampires, Buffy does not believe him. However, she accompanies him to a graveyard, and when they are attacked by vampires, Buffy discovers her natural skills at slaying the creatures with wooden stakes. Buffy continues to focus most of her attention on cheerleading until it becomes clear that vampire king Lothos, his henchman, Amilyn, and their vampire crew plan to take over Los Angeles, California, and kill the slayer. Buffy recognizes the seriousness of the threat, and works with Merrick to sharpen her vampire slaying skills. As Buffy becomes engrossed in her training, her friends get annoyed and distance themselves. Buffy finds an unusual ally and potential boyfriend in Pike, a rebellious teenager who is impressed with her newfound skills. When Lothos and his minions attack the high school senior prom, Buffy leads the battle to save the prom, her town, and Los Angeles from the vampires. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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