Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 3, Episode 2

Dead Man's Party (6 Oct. 1998)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,118 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

A Nigerian mask reanimates the dead, forcing Buffy to battle a horde of zombies.



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Title: Dead Man's Party (06 Oct 1998)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Paul Morgan Stetler ...
Young Doctor
Stoner #1


Buffy is back home, to her mother Joyce's great relief, which calls for a dinner invitation for the while gang, but the mood remains gloomy, despite her resuming the main slaying tasks although for the others things can't just return to their former state, not in the least because the obviously amused principal Snyder pays no attention to pleas to take Buffy back (mother's threat to take the case to the mayor even has an inverse effect), while Buffy still dreams of Angel. After a dead cat found in the Summers bookcase, other stinking corpses come to life again, a phenomenon which must have something to do with a the mysterious Nigerian mask with lighting red eyes mother Joyce bought, fortunately no secret to Giles... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 October 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Pat mentions to Buffy that Joyce read "The Deep End of the Ocean" while Buffy was gone. It is a 1996 novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard about a suburban middle-class family much like Buffy's that is torn apart when the youngest son disappears, only to reappear at the front doorstep years later. See more »


In the last scene before Willow and Buffy are talking in the café, the first shot shows a stream of cars going down the main street. However, on the left hand side of the screen it appears that the cars are coming from a prop wall. See more »


[last lines]
Buffy Summers: Fine. Okay. I'm the bad. I can take my lumps... for a while.
Willow Rosenberg: Alright. I'll stop giving you a hard time... runaway.
Buffy Summers: Will!
Willow Rosenberg: I'm sorry... quitter.
Buffy Summers: Whiner.
Willow Rosenberg: Bailer.
Buffy Summers: Harpy.
Willow Rosenberg: Delinquent.
Buffy Summers: Tramp.
See more »


Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Revelations (1998) See more »


The Mask theme
Performed by Christophe Beck
See more »

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User Reviews

An excellent episode
5 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Being brutally honest this isn't the best episode ever of Buffy but having said that it still ranks alongside the greats like "Chosen", "Intervention" and "Lies My Parents Told Me." This is mainly due to the lightning fast dialogue and the total destruction of the Summers' living room. Giles imitating Joyce "Don't you like my mask? Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead? Americans!" and his confusing phone conversation with a stoner are the comedic high points.

On a more sombre note the episode is driven by the reaction of Buffy's family and friends to her summer spent away. Tension grows between Willow and Buffy, to the extent that Willow blows off a coffee meeting with Buffy. The arguments between Xander and Buffy turn violent to the point of Oz having to step between them to avoid them coming to blows (though Oz himself, ever the neutral guy gives Buffy a rather nasty look when she first meets the gang.) Another high point that deserves mentioning is anything that involves Principal Snyder. Okay sure he a meglomaniacal fascist with a huge superiority complex but it's just so great to see him, as Armin Shimerman is just such a foil to Buffy. Another thing is the noticeable lack of Angel (he only appears in a dream sequence) which i can say (I'm sorry) is only an improvement. I think Spike might have been an interesting investment in this episode but i don't see how they could've have fitted him in. But hey, that's up to the writers not me.

An excellent episode with only a couple of minor flaws.

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