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Then & Now: Buffy (Kristy Swanson)

10.18.2013by: Salacious Crumb
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Time: the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. Seasons screamings, my pretties! The government shutdown is finally over, which means Halloween in the U.S. will go forward as planned, and not be interrupted by an FBI-organized zombie outbreak. It also means I can dedicate this "Then & Now" to another hottie from the horror world. Well, we did Elvira, the girl from THE RING, and the gingerlicious Angie Everhart already. Why not see how Buffy's doing these days. Yeah, Buffy, as in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Although, she supposedly also goes by the name Kristy Swanson!

Kristy Swanson (born December 19th, 1969 in Mission Viejo, California) had one hell of a vast introduction into film before she was known as the "Slayer". Her first major gig was in John Hughes film PRETTY IN PINK, in which she didn't speak. That was followed by her quick appearance in John Hughes' FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF (1986), in which she coined the phrase "Um, he's sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going out with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious."

Well things started getting pretty serious for Kristy after that. Sure, she may have been the original Buffy, but Kristy practically launched her career with a package of cheesy and bizarre sci-fi/horror movies. In 1986, she starred in the Wes Craven-directed DEADLY FRIEND (1986), in which she played the girl next door, who happens to be (you guessed it) dead. If that isn't creepy enough, do you remember that movie MANNEQUIN, where a clothing display statue comes to life and must be tought the ways of the modern world? Well, they did a sequel to it, which starred kristy Swanson, and it had a totally hip poster.

Their license plate says "Hollywood"! I wonder what sort of mishaps they create in that tidy land of orderliness!

The premise of MANNEQUIN TWO: ON THE MOVE (1991) is almost identical to the first film, only with Swanson in Kim Cattral's place as the mannequin. Also in '91', Kristy continued her quest to be in as many weird films as possible, by starring in HIGHWAY TO HELL. I've never seem this whole film, but I know it features Gilbet Gottfried  as Hitler, so that has to make it watchable by default, right? This same year, Swanson made an appearance in HOT SHOTS!, in which she gave quite the memorable performance.

This brings us to the Buff-meister. Before I decided to do this column on Kristy, I had never seen BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1992). I haven't even seen the celebrated musical episode of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series. I did once catch a very uncomfortable 5 minutes of an episode of "Buffy", when she finds her (I presume) mother has died. A stunned Sara Michelle Gellar walks around the house for a bit, and they tease that the body somehow revives itself, but it is indeed just Buffy daydreaming. I was surprised, because it never struck me as that serious or tragic of a show. So after seeing that, I was sure the original BUFFY movie would contain the same dramatic edge. Boy, was I wrong.

The first thing I noticed during the opening credits was Josh Whedon's name, where he's credited as the writer. I felt dumb for not knowing that already, seeing as his name was also attached to the series, but it makes sense. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER really feels like the early works of Whedon. There's a lot of witty and clever dialogue, lots of suburban satire, and lots of poking fun at the way other movies are written. There's also the characters. Kristy Swanson plays Buffy, of course, and she starts out as a completely superficial cheerleader with the popular jock boyfriend, whose friends will all probably wind up in porno. One day a strange older man named Merrick (played by Donald Sutherland) approaches Buffy and tells her she is the "Slayer", and is destined to fight vampires and such and such. After a 2-minute training montage, Buffy becomes an acrobatic vampire-killing machine, and seems to have no trouble killing them off on a nightly basis. 

Then there's this vampire lord who runs all the vampires in the city named Lothos (Rutger Hauer), who doesn't take kindly to Buffy killing off all his minions, the most notable of which is Amilyn, played by Paul Reubens. Yes, Pee-wee Herman is a vampire in this film. A vampire with a beard! Then there's Oliver (played by Luke Perry), who goes from being the drunk in the film to the hunk in the film (sadly, they're both sporting a soul patch). Then there's his best friend Benny (David Arquette), who turns into a vampire. Holy shit, there's also Hilary f*cking Swank as Buffy's nagging friend Kimberly, plus Seth Green plays a vampire, and Ben Affleck is a basketball player! All those big name celebrities hiding in the shadows of this chick...

I'd like to be hiding in those shadows.

Knowing that the mind of Joss Whedon is behind the script makes Buffy a fairly fun watch, but it drags in many parts, even with an 86 minute runtime. My personal issue is when I watch a movie about vampires, I expect blood, and lots of it. Not only was this film lacking in gore... it was lacking in vampires! Maybe I'm desensitized by other humorous vampire flicks from with the late '80's, like FRIGHT NIGHT. Whatever the case, it was worth checking out, although I wouldn't recommend it as a movie to watch on Halloween night, hiding from the kids while they ring your disabled doorbell.

In 1994, Kristy decided to join 7-gram rock king Charlie Sheen in the action film THE CHASE. The beginning of the film mostly involves Sheen kidnapping her, followed by a progression of scenes in which she slowly falls in love with him. Some doctors would call this "Stockholm Syndrome", but Hollywood simply defines it as "movie magic". Toward the end, there's a scene where Kristy climbs on top of Sheen, WHILE he's driving to Mexico from the cops, and the full-on fornicate during a high-speed chase! Now, I'm not saying that's not awesome, but it's f*ckin' dangerous!

Throughout the late '90's, Swanson kept herself busy, but didn't quite continue to escelate her career. In 1996, she starred in THE PHANTOM alongside Billy Zane and Catherine Zeta-Jones. In 1997, she starred in the black comedy 8 HEADS IN A DUFFEL BAG. In 1999, she had a part in BIG DADDY, as Sonny's ex-girlfriend. The role wasn't major, but we did get to see her in a red bra, as well as a Hooters waitress outfit. And surely, some of you must remember Kristy's role as "Christie Boner" in tha Academy Award-winning DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR? (2000).

As if Ashton Kutcher wasn't getting lucky enough in show biz.

Kristy continued her acting voyage throughout the 2000's, mainly in TV-movies and straight-to-video flicks. Hey, whatever pays the bills! At least she's a working actress. But is Kristy being kept out of the Hollywood limelight because she's become shockingly hideous? Did Buffy become morbidly obese? Does she now carry around a steak instead of a stake? (See what I did there?). Well, let's cut the shite and find out what the modern-day Kristy Swanson is up to...

Cupcakes, of course! Actually, this is a promo for a recent TV-movie Kristy did called OPERATION CUPCAKE, and Kristy's looking pretty sweet and scrumptious herself. Some of you may remember that after the turn of the millenium, Christy joined the show "Skating with Celebrities", where she met her current husband, Canadian pair-skater Lloyd Eisler. She's also made guest appearances on countless TV shows, including a recurring role on "Psych". Let's take a look at some more pics of Kristy from recent history...

So there you have it, Buffy is still doable. Not that anyone was questioning to begin with, but I'm glad I could be the one to clear the air. I hope you guys enjoyed this little reminiscence of Kristy Swanson's long-lasting hotness. And if you find that you've been bit by a vampire, and enter a downward spiral into depression, just remember, some hot, blonde cheerleader in yoga pants just might come put you out of your misery! Fangs for the memories, Kristy!

Extra Tidbit: Which Buffy do you prefer, Swanson or Michelle Gellar?

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10:19AM on 10/20/2013
Was wondering what happened to her. Yeah, she's still hot. I remember how confused I was when I first saw the Buffy TV show and how "serious" its tone was.
Was wondering what happened to her. Yeah, she's still hot. I remember how confused I was when I first saw the Buffy TV show and how "serious" its tone was.
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12:36PM on 10/19/2013
still hot i broke my vhs tape of buffy i watched it so many times
still hot i broke my vhs tape of buffy i watched it so many times
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2:38PM on 10/18/2013
She also posed for Playboy some time ago.
She also posed for Playboy some time ago.
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12:10PM on 10/18/2013

Extra Tidbit

As a hottie: Swanson, as a character: Gellar
As a hottie: Swanson, as a character: Gellar
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12:11PM on 10/19/2013
Was just about to write the same thing. Only was a fan of the flick as a child because i lusted after Swanson, Geller never really did for me in the later years (too skinny!), although she was cute in the begining.
Was just about to write the same thing. Only was a fan of the flick as a child because i lusted after Swanson, Geller never really did for me in the later years (too skinny!), although she was cute in the begining.
12:09PM on 10/18/2013
She's aged very gracefully. Sarah Michelle Gellar's take on the character is probably far more ingrained in pop culture, though.
She's aged very gracefully. Sarah Michelle Gellar's take on the character is probably far more ingrained in pop culture, though.
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