Ugh, vampires. They've been everywhere for the past few years, and now the Twilight brand is hitting Red Rocks tonight for Film on the Rocks. To coincide with the modern sparkle vamps, the Denver FilmCenter is also showing the original, campy Buffy the Vampire Slayer film (tonight at 9:30 p.m. though Sunday) that inspired Joss Whedon's epic seven-season series of the same title starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. As Buffy TV geeks and begrudging Twilight-watchers, we decided to break down the characters in both franchises and declare a winner (and yes, we're biased toward smart, feminist TV shows).
The heroines: Buffy vs. Bella
While Buffy has the supernatural powers of being a slayer, Bella has, um, her love for Edward? Buffy both stakes and falls in love with vampires, while Bella simply pines away for them and thinks it's a sign of love that they watch her while she's sleeping. There's really no competition here. Buffy is a powerful, badass lady who doesn't take guff from anyone (and even is willing to stake her love interest vamp when he gets evil), while Bella is a simpering sycophant with no interests other than her vampire love.
Winner: BuffyBuffy: 1 Twilight: 0
The vampire love interests: Angel vs. Edward
Both of these swarthy dudes have the vampire-turned-good thing going for them, as well as the acting range of a mattress. And they both do that lame "I'm leaving for your own good" schtick to their ladies. But where Angel comes out on top is that he's not a stalker. Edward peeks in Bella's window, follows her around, and, as this Fanpop blog pointed out, displays many of the signs of an abusive partner. Angel is only creepy when he loses his soul multiple times throughout the series. And that wasn't his fault, okay? It was the gypsy curse!
Winner: AngelBuffy: 2 Twilight: 0
The werewolves: Oz vs. Jacob
Here we're gonna have to side with Team Jake. And it's not just Taylor Lautner's killer abs (though those don't hurt). Lautner's Jacob is a sweet, well-rounded character with actual interests. Yeah, he loves Bella, but he also cares about his family, works on motorcycles, and is an all around good dude. Oz, who played boyfriend to Willow for a while, always rubbed us the wrong way. Maybe it was because of Seth Green's spiked hair, or maybe it was just that he was in a lame band called Dingoes Ate My Baby, but Oz always seemed like a weak link on Buffy. We were stoked when her love interest became Tara, the shy, supportive witch.
Winner: JacobBuffy: 2 Twilight: 1
The evil power couples: Spike & Drusilla vs. James & Victoria
James and Victoria from Twilight are the evil, completely unsympathetic vamp couple who constantly try to kill Bella. They're bad, but there's nothing fun about it. Spike and Drusilla, on the other hand, are perfect villains. They're totally bad in a comical, ridiculous way. Modeled after famous rock couple Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen, they're punk vampires with attitude. Drusilla is totally insane and moony, while Spike, despite being an evil vampire, is totally devoted to his nutty lover. Plus, this couple gets something the villains from Twilight never get: transformation. Throughout the series, Spike goes from a vindictive vampire obsessed with killing slayers to a sympathetic man fighting for good rather than evil.
Winner: Spike & DrusillaBuffy: 3 Twilight: 1
What it really comes down to is that Buffy was about a lot of things: it was about feminism and good vs. evil and friendship and humor and responsibility and yes, love. It was a rich universe full of people we loved and hated and, most of all, cared about. But Twilight deals only with the surface level love triangle of Bella, Edward, and Jacob. We don't know Bella like we knew Buffy. What does she like to do (other than think about Edward)? Who does she care about (other than Edward)? Buffy wouldn't put up with Edward's crap. She was too strong and self-assured for that, as is brilliantly executed in Jonathan McIntosh's "Buffy vs. Edward" video. McIntosh splices clips of Buffy and Twilight together to make them interact and ultimately has Buffy stake the abusive sparkle vamp. Buffy sums it up in this video when she says "being stalked isn't really a big turn on for girls."
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