Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992) – Episode 20 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“OOH! HEE! HAA! EEEEH!” Amilyn (Paul Reubens) has some pretty elongated death rows. All thanks to the titular vampire killer Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Kristy Swanson), who has to stake vamps ON A SCHOOL NIGHT?! Yes, instead of attending the senior dance, Buffy must contend with the dark forces of blood sucking evil. With the help of Merrick (Donald Sutherland), a Watcher who is sent to help train the young girl in the ways of destroying evil. Said evil includes Amilyn’s master Lothos (Rutger Hauer), a vampire out to destroy all Slayers. How can young Buffy juggle her new responsibilities and still have time to be with the young hunk Pike (Luke Perry)? Decades of Horror is here to fill you in!

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 20 – Buffy (1992)

Buffy is a bit of a sore spot for writer Joss Whedon. After getting his start writing sitcoms, Whedon’s script about a high school cheerleader fighting vampires was picked up by 20th Century Fox. Unfortunately, he was not a fan of the final result. Claiming it took his dark script and turned it into too fluffy a comedy, Whedon went on to turn sequelize his script into a TV show that started in 1997. That show became a massive cult success, creating the cult fame that would lead to Whedon getting gigs making Avengers movies. Yet, seeds of that style are sewed into the fabric of this early work. For example, the valley girl talk would segue into Buffy Speak, the awkward vernacular everyone in Whedon’s writing talks in.

Here to talk all things Buffy in their own vernacular are Thomas and his own Scooby Gang Jordan Cobb and Caitlin Turner. All being fans of the TV show, rewatching the movie is a bit rough. There are questions about many changes. Why is Buffy‘s mom so distant? What is up with the lazy wardrobe? Did Donald Sutherland give a single damn about anything? Still, there’s plenty of things to praise, mainly surprising turns from Kristy Swanson & Luke Perry and the comedic highlights of Paul Reubens and Stephen Root. Of course, the show and its spin off Angel are also discussed in detail as the three mention their favorite episodes, biggest tear jerking moments and reasonings why Joss Whedon is so damned beloved as a creator. Don’t worry. They get back to the movie… eventually.

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The intro and outro is “Suck City” by Black Math. Look for more of their music via Free Music Archive.

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The Dark Half (1993)



Scream (1996) – Episode 5 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“My Mom and Dad are gonna be so mad at me!” The squeals of Stuart (Matthew Lillard) sounded the sirens of satire and scares inherent in Wes Craven’s Scream. Celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this month, this tale of teenagers who are aware of horror film tropes changed the dwindling landscape of mainstream horror at the time of release. It also signaled more than a few flimsy copycats that tried and failed to bring that same spirit of satiric anarchy to the world of the slasher. Was Scream a good or bad thing for horror? Thomas Mariani and his special guest have a lot to say on that matter.

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 05 – Scream (1996)

Featuring a solid roster of young talent for the time and an awareness of the tropes everyone became all too familiar with in the post-80s boom of the slasher genre, Scream spoke to the Blockbuster generation that became too aware to be scared. Now, with a killer who was just as ahead of the game as those he was trying to kill, all bets were off. Right from the moment Drew Barrymore gets slashed in the prologue, no one was safe. Everyone’s a suspect. Everyone’s a potential victim. All of this is unveiled in a story that features the young and capable Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), lovable oaf of a police officer Dewey (David Arquette) and the opportunistic Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) at the center. Throw in a few familiar faces to the decade and the longest party scene in cinematic history and you’ve got yourself a recipe for mayhem and references to classic horror.

Joining Thomas on this post-modern journey is his Decades of Horror 1980s co-host and award winning filmmaker Christopher G. Moore. Together, this pair discuss the unique stamp Scream brought to a genre that seemed to be dying with the final traditional breaths of the 80s slashers. There’s talk of how negative the impact Scream had on the genre, what the line is between a reference & smugness and just how many of these cast members peaked here. What? Everyone knows Jamie Kennedy didn’t peak until Son of the Mask, right? It’s a tantalizing discussion that can’t be missed!

We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1990s podcast hosts at or tweet Thomas @NotTheWhosTommy.