Review Detail

9.1 2 10
FanFix December 06, 2015 4162
(Updated: December 21, 2015)
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While the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series remains a groundbreaking piece of genre TV, the feature film that preceded it by a few years has not aged well. In addition to a number of points where the continuity and mythology between the two productions is different, the movie doesn't have the proper tone or style to fit with the series. Fortunately, NewSpock has brought us a version of the movie that now feels like it could air right alongside the show.

Through clever editing and adding a sound cue, the vampires now get "dusted" like they do on the series. The movie had a pointless angle about the Slayer and her Watcher being reincarnated over and over again; any references to that have been removed. The notion that Buffy can "Spidey-sense" her opponents through menstrual cramps (yes, you read that right) is also now mercifully gone.

New Spock has also added in some of the music cues from the TV series, which help to darken the tone of the story and don't stand out. For the most part, I didn't even notice the additions, and had to be told where they were after watching this.

Only one small point stood out as a little jarring to me. At 22 minutes in, I could tell that Merrick's voice had been dubbed in from the actor who plays him in the flashback in the Season 2 episode "Becoming: Part 1." But the line makes sense from a storytelling perspective, and it's one very brief moment.

What works much better is a scene involving Buffy's mother. In the original film, Buffy's mom (as yet unnamed) comes off a bit flighty. In the TV series, Joyce is a grounded, lovable character. New Spock re-cuts the scene, again using dialogue from "Becoming Part 1" and re-sculpted footage, to make this silly moment a heartbreaking one and much more in line with the later characterization.

Of course, there are some miracles that simply can't be worked. Joss' original script called for Buffy to burn down the school full of vampires (a moment referenced in the pilot for the series), but no such footage exists of that ending. Indeed, no additional footage exists outside of the movie itself, so there's less for New Spock to pick and choose from than there might be on other edits. Also, there's no way to separate audio tracks so that New Spock could completely rescore the film; he could only add bits of music here and there. This is not a complaint, but simply an acknowledgment of the lack of resources. It is what it is. Still, this version will be my go-to edit for watching the Buffy theatrical movie henceforward.

Small side note: While I understand New Spock's desire to create his own cover, I must voice my own preference for the covers presented by others in the message thread for this edit. But cover art is not one of the criteria for judging an edit, so no points are lost for that.

When I first joined the site, I had been hoping to pull off a similar edit myself, but I lacked the resources and the skills to pull it off. I can now happily retire that idea, as New Spock has given us the best possible version of this movie.

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