15. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Fran Rubel Kuzui, 1992)
Though it has been eclipsed by its hornier smash hit television counterpart, the original “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” 1992 movie remains an undisputed classic in its own right. After all, you don’t reach the darker WB version’s cult status without a little divine — or shall we say demonic — inspiration.
With a script by Joss Whedon himself, the movie hewed closer to comedy than Whedon initially intended, which inspired him to eventually pitch the darker TV series. Boasting a grab bag of a cast that includes Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry, David Arquette, and Hilary Swank, the movie introduced the now iconic ditzy teenage vampire hunter with a mix of “Heathers” darkness and a pre-“Clueless” Cher Horowitz.
Though the film was mostly panned by critics, it performed fairly well at the box office and has since fared better in the short memory of cultural discourse. Talks of a remake have been floating for years, but it is prophesied that only one slayer can rule them all.
Stream on Hulu via Starz; stream on Amazon via Starz; rent or buy on Amazon.