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Buffy The Vampire SlayerFeatured Filmmaker : Joss Whedon
Thursday 26 June 2003, by Webmaster
A look at the career of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator.
NUMBER OF FILMS WRITTEN: 7+
BIOGRAPHY: If you’ve been living in a cave (and you know who you are), then you’ll be completely in the dark as to who Joss Whedon is. Otherwise, you’ll know him as the creator/producer/poobah behind one of the largest "cult classics" to grace TV screens - Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Add to that the Buffy spin-off Angel, and the cancelled-but-not-forgotten sci-fi series Firefly, and you’ve got a bit of a cottage industry. For the longest time, though, Whedon was best known as one of the most sought-after script doctors in Hollywood. If a script needed a fix, you called Joss Whedon - on everything from Toy Story to X-Men. Do I also need to remind you that Buffy started out as a feature film? While Buffy: The TV Series may be over, Angel continues to thrive, and plans are currently afoot for a Firefly feature film.
MUST-SEE FILM: Toy Story: Of all of the films that have employed Whedon as a fix-it man, none of benefited from his input more than this tale of a bunch of toys with a secret world of their own. A tough story to crack, Toy Story languished for years at Pixar as they attempted to overcome some serious story issues. Co-writer Andrew Stanton credits Whedon for helping to get the film into shape, and we all know what the end result was... okay, I’ll tell you - a classic. Toy Story is currently available on DVD from Walt Disney Home Video.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV): When all of the cylinders were firing (seasons 2 - 5), this show absolutely blew away the competition. Not preachy, saccharine, or content to be placed in a box, Buffy was simply one of the finest shows to ever hit the glass teat - all steered by the vision of creator/producer Joss Whedon. Even when a script didn’t bear his name, his presence (and often many a line of dialogue) was felt. The show began to fray at the edges during its sixth season (although the Whedon penned, directed, and composed musical episode was a work of genius) and fell apart during the seventh, but while it was in its prime, it was a masterpiece of storytelling. Seasons 1 - 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer are currently available on DVD from Fox Home Video.
Speed: Despite being uncredited, you can’t watch this film without recognizing Whedon’s input - usually in the dialogue. Whedon is a writer of one-liners par excellence. Speed is currently available on DVD from Fox Home Video.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the film): Yes, I know that the original feature film version of Buffy bears very little resemblance - in tone or style - to the show that we would all come to know and love. Even so, I still get a kick out of the film as both a wacky genre flick and an evolutionary launchpad for TV greatness to come. And who couldn’t love a vampiric Paul Reubens? Buffy the Vampire Slayer is currently available on DVD from Fox Home Video.
MISFIRE: Alien Resurrection: Okay, even Joss vehemently disowns this moving violation. Heavily rewritten from Whedon’s original take, the end result was a whimper of an end for a once-great franchise already hobbled by a disappointing third outing. Alien Resurrection is currently available on DVD from Fox Home Video.
QUOTES: "But nowadays I’m really cranky about comics. Because most of them are just really, really poorly written soft-core. And I miss good old storytelling. And you know what else I miss? Super powers. Why is it now that everybody’s like ’I can reverse the polarity of your ions!’ Like in one big flash everybody’s Doctor Strange. I like the guys that can stick to walls and change into sand and stuff. I don’t understand anything anymore. And all the girls are wearing nothing, and they all look like they have implants. Well, I sound like a very old man, and a cranky one, but it’s true."