Students have a chance to watch Buffy before she – like the vampires she stakes – bites the dust.

The Santa Barbara Film Society is sponsoring a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” farewell party tonight at 7 in Room 1004 of Girvetz Hall. The event will include a potluck dinner before the airing of the series’ finale at 8. Joe Palladino, undergraduate adviser for UCSB’s Film Studies Dept., said the bash is appropriate given the quality of the show.

“We’re sending it out right, in the tradition of ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘Dallas,'” Palladino said, referring to the large fan bases that gathered to give big goodbyes to other long-running TV series.

“Buffy,” a spinoff of a low-rated 1992 film of the same name, achieved some critical acclaim after debuting on the WB network in 1997. It received an Emmy nomination for writing in 2000 and a Golden Globe nomination in 2003 for Best Lead Actress for Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played the titular vampire fighter. Most of the show’s support, however, came from its loyal fan base.

One fan, senior biology major Sonia Martinez, said she followed the show’s transition from high school to college life because she enjoyed its translation of traditional adolescent obstacles into supernatural metaphors.

“It’s kind of funny,” she said. “It takes normal high school stuff and applies monsters to it. It’s an interesting take [on growing up].”

Palladino said the Santa Barbara Film Society sponsored the event because the show was a Film Dept. favorite.

“It’s something students could talk about with professors,” he said. “We just wanted to give it the send-off it deserves.”

Although the screening is free, those wishing to attend must get tickets, available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the film studies office in Ellison Hall, Metro Entertainment comics shop at 6 W. Anapamu St. in downtown Santa Barbara, or at the door. Door prizes include tickets to the upcoming Reel Loud Film Festival, comics, posters and autographed photos of series stars James Marsters and Emma Caulfield.