Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Buffy Week: Classic Monsters Buffy Style

Sunnydale, California is home to a cornucopia of demons and other-worldly things that go bump in the night. Given the title of the show and our heroine's job title, there is most noticeably an unending horde of one of the most classic monsters in horror history - the vampire. But we soon learn that the Hellmouth attracts many different kinds of beasts, those both made up by the show's writers and those which have been made famous by Hollywood. So here I give a list of these classic monsters, represented in true Buffy style.

Classic Monster: Dracula

Buffy Style Dracula

The King of Vampires gets a bad ass update in the first episode of season five, titled "Buffy vs. Dracula." However, the show stays steadfast to Dracula's classic story, including all the elements of the original film. Dracula arrives to his mansion in Sunnydale in a coffin of dirt; he has his vampiric female concubines (or as Riley refers to them, "Dracu-babes"); he makes Xander his "spider-eating man bitch"; he can turn into a bat ("showy Gypsy stuff"); and he majestically enters Buffy's room one night to bite her and she lets him. The Buffy Dracula has all the mystique and charm that you would expect him to have, made all the more entertaining when you add in the classic Buffy wit.

Classic Monster: The Mummy

Buffy Style Mummy

For most of this season 2 episode, "Inca Mummy Girl," the mummy known as Ampata actually looks human and is not a corpse wrapped in bandages. The story is that she can keep her human form for a while until she starts to revert back to a mummy so she has to suck out other people's life force or soul or whatever. She almost kills one of the show's best characters, Jonathan (this is his first appearance on the show), but thankfully is interrupted and he lives on.

Classic Monster: Frankenstein/
Bride of Frankenstein

Buffy Style Frankenstein

"Some Assembly Required" (season 2) gives a modern spin on the tale of Frankenstein's monster and also the Bride of Frankenstein. Two teenage boys at Sunnydale High use the body parts of recently dead girls in order to create a mate for one boy's dead brother (the Frankenstein monster) who is very lonely being all dead and stuff. They plan to use Cordelia's head to complete the Bride, whom we sadly never get to see, but everybody comes in to save the day at the end, and the Frankenstein and his Bride go up in a fiery blaze.  

Classic Monster: Creature from the Black Lagoon

Buffy Style Creature from the Black Lagoon

We're back in season 2 again with the episode "Go Fish," where members of the high school swim team start turning into horrific sea monsters after being given drugs by the coach to make them better swimmers. The creature that was created for the show bears a very strong resemblance to the original Creature from the Black Lagoon, so it's more than obvious that that was the inspiration for the episode.

Classic Monster: The Invisible Man

Buffy Syle Invisible (Wo)Man

I've always loved the concept for this episode. In season one's "Out of Mind, Out of Sight," teenager Marci Ross (played by Clea Duvall, whom I LOVE) is a loner who after probably years of not being noticed by others actually becomes completely invisible. Letting the power of her new condition warp her mind, she starts to attack the people at Sunnydale High who were mean to her; namely, Cordelia and her friends. The ending to this episode is great, as well.

Classic Monster: Werewolf

Buffy Style Werewolf

The werewolf shows up several times throughout the seasons on Buffy, seeing as how one of the main characters, Oz, is a werewolf. The first appearance is in season 2 (noticing a pattern here?) in "Phases" when Oz's transformation takes place. The werewolf lore in the Buffyverse is pretty much the same standard fare we all know, so nothing new here. There's also a great episode in season 5 of Angel, when newly turned werewolf Nina almost becomes a meal for people who like to dine on werewolf meat. 

Classic Monster: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Buffy Style Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Okay, we're out of season 2 now. This Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde spinoff is featured in the season 3 episode "Beauty and the Beasts." A high school boy takes a potion to make him more manly for his girlfriend. But soon the potion turns him into the animal seen above, and he's unable to control his rage. There's some nice makeup and effects work in this episode. 

Classic Monster: Witches

Buffy Style Witch

In season 2 Willow starts to dabble in witchcraft and the rest is history. She uses her powers throughout the show on the side of the good guys (well, except when she goes evil and kills people) but witches weren't always that way on Buffy. The season 1 episode "The Witch" introduces us to Amy, whom Buffy and the others suspect of using witchcraft to attack the girls on the cheerleading squad. It is later learned that Amy's mother is the real witch, who switched her body with Amy's in order to relive her glory days as a high school student.

Classic Monster: Zombies

Buffy Style Zombies

During Buffy's not-so-welcome welcome home party in the season 3 episode "Dead Man's Party," a Nigerian mask that Joyce brings home from her art gallery causes the dead to rise from their graves. They crash the party at Buffy's home and chaos ensues. Very funny episode and quite emotional, as well. Another form of the zombie monster also appears in the season 3 episode "The Zeppo."

There's always a way to put a new spin on a classic story and I think Buffy, the Vampire Slayer succeeded in that task with these and many other episodes during the show's seven-year run.


  1. Thank you, Fatally Yours! Glad someone appreciates it, this is one of my favorite posts that I've done!

  2. I feel like I've said this so many times before: WHY HAVE I NEVER WATCHED THIS SHOW?!

    These episodes in particular look pretty awesome.