The Only Review of The Simpsons Halloween Specials 3 & 4 That You’ll Ever Need
This time it’s Homer warning us, reminiscent of the classic Alfred Hitchcock Presents from the 1960s.
This year’s gravestones are Drexell’s Class, I’m With Stupid, R Buckminster Fuller, and American Workmanship
The set up this year is a Halloween party at the Simpsons’ house. They start off playing the game where you close your eyes and touch food, claiming it’s body parts. Homer ends up eating the assorted foods, so they result to story telling. Lisa is up first with a story.
A Clown Without Pity
It’s Bart’s birthday, and Homer has forgotten to get him a present. He heads out immediately to find him something, deciding to stop at the Shop of Evil. Inside, he gets himself a talking Krusty doll that has the unfortunate side-effect of being cursed. However it comes with a free Frogurt, so, the good & bad cancel each other out.
The doll is immediately out to kill Homer, including trying to harpoon him in the bathtub, causing him to run around the house naked, killing the last lingering threat of Patty’s heterosexuality. Homer puts Krusty in a bag of his socks, chains him in a briefcase, and throws him in a bottomless pit, which also reject a box of nude Whoopi Goldberg photos. Unfortunately, Krusty shows back up and proceeds to finish the job he started. A rep from Krusty Co shows up, and it turns out the doll was set to evil. After setting it to good, Krusty & Homer are now pals. Too bad things didn’t end up that good for Telly Savalas.
It’s a tough call between Homer and the shop-keeper going back and forth between the “that’s good/bad”, and Patty’s heterosexuality being put to rest, but I’m going to have to go with the potassium benzoate. That’s bad.
A retelling of King Kong, in which we find out Smithers thinks that women and Sea Men don’t mix. Marge is set up to be sacrificed, but Homer digs her action. They try to put Homer out with a gas bomb, and take him back to civilization. Once there, he breaks out of captivity, he eats Shirley Temple, then kidnaps Marge and attempts to climb Springfield’s tallest building. He makes it about a story before collapsing in the street. Although his career is dead, Marge still loves him and they get married.
It happens when a reporter asks what Mr. Burns has planned for the show, and he responds with “Well, the ape is going to stand around for 3 hours or so, and then we’ll close with the ethnic comedy of Doogan & Durchawhitz”. I always found that hysterical because every time I saw King Kong I’d wonder what their plan was. Like, how long was everyone going to just sit there and watch him? Of course, I have to give props to the exchange between Lenny and Carl about their destination.
Carl: I wish we were going to Candy Apple Island.
Lenny: What’s there?
Carl: Apes. But they’re not as big.
Dial “Z” For Zombies
Bart is told he has to do his book report on a book other than Baby’s First Pop-Up Book, and he selects a spell book from the school library’s Occult Section. In an attempt to bring back Lisa’s cat Snowball, they accidentally raise human zombies. They start taking over Springfield, and the family decides to head back to the school library to see if there’s a second volume in order to cast a reverse spell. Once at the school, Homer starts blasting historical figures such as George Washington and Einstein. Honestly, a Walking Dead style show, Simpsons style, would be awesome. Well, 20 years ago it would be. They finally get to the library, and the spell Bart casts is “Ramsey, Trojan, Magnum, Sheik”, which for the initiated, are all condom brands. The zombies head back to their respective graves, and all is well.
Again, another moment from these specials that’s become an all-time great that everyone quotes. As Homer is headed to the car to drive the family to the library, Flanders shows up and asks if he can nibble on Homer’s ear. In response, he blasts Flander’s with his shot-gun, causing Bart to remark “You shot the zombie Flanders!” to which Homer inquires “He was a zombie?”. Man, remember when the show was this good?
Rating: ****3/4. Arguably the greatest one out of the entire run, as every story was fucking awesome and contained some of the Simpsons funniest moments. It’s just heartbreaking sometimes to see how great the show once was compared to that unrecognizable crap they’re producing now.
Treehouse of Horror IV
Our gravestones this time around are Elvis, a Balanced Budget, and Subtle Political Satire, and TV Violence.
This year Bart is hosting the episode, in the style of the 1960’s TV series hosted by Rod Sterling, Night Gallery.
The Devil & Homer Simpson
Homer is out of doughnuts at work, and arranges to sell his soul to the devil in exchange for one. It’s funny for a number of reasons, most of all, why the hell wouldn’t he sign his soul for an infinite amount? I mean, one freaking doughnut? Brilliant. Better yet is the fact he leaves it in the fridge. I mean, why not just throw it away? He eats the doughnut, and for some reason is given a fair trial, even though I think the whole procedure was pretty even stevens.
Homer has to stay in hell for the 24 hours before his trial, and while there he’s force fed an almost infinite amount of doughnuts, which is actually one of the coolest toys I’ve ever seen.
Once the trial is on, the devil gets to pick the jurors; Benedict Arnold, Lizzie Borden, Richard Nixon, , Jon Wilkes Booth, Blackbeard, John Dillinger, and the starting line-up of the 1976 Flyers. Homer’s lawyer, Mr. Hutz, flees the scene, requiring Marge to pick-up his slack. She shows a picture of Homer in the hospital, since he ate the entire wedding cake himself, and has written on the back that he pledges his soul to Marge. Homer wins the case, but unfortunately his head is now a giant doughnut.
Funniest Moment: Homer finding nothing but joy in Hell’s Ironic Punishment Labs is one of the greatest moments of the series.
Terror At 5 1&2 Feet
This one is of course a parody of the Twilight Zone episode as well as Twilight Zone Movie piece, Terror at 50,000 Feet. Bart has a nightmare involving crappy trading cards, and the bus he’s riding crashing. Once he wakes up and gets on his way to school, his nightmare starts to come true as a monster attaches itself to the side of the bus, and starts ripping it apart. Bart warns Otto about the Gremlin on the side of the bus, which he takes care of by side-swiping Hans Moleman’s AMC Gremlin. As a kid, I thought the joke was that Hans looked like a Gremlin, I knew nothing of America’s crappy automobile history.
He’s finally able to take out the Gremlin with an emergency flare, which sends him into the streets ablaze, only to be rescued by Flanders. Once the bus arrives at school, it turns out Bart was right, however he has to spend the rest of his life in a mad house in order to teach him some manners.
Funniest Moment: When Bart tries to plead with Principal Skinner and tell him there’s a monster on the side of the bus, Skinner tells him that the only monster here is the lack of proper respect for the rules.
Bart Simpson’s Dracula
Man, this is about 1000x more interesting & entertaining than that bloated sack of crap with Gary Oldman, you know, Air Force One. People are turning up dead, drained of blood with teeth marks in their neck, and at one scene a black cape with “Dracula” written on it was found. I like the idea that Dracula is heavy into self promotion. It reminds me of those lame-ass costumes from when I was a kid that would feature said person you were dressing up as on the front, as if Superman’s costume was him wearing a shirt of himself on the front.
The family is invited to Mr. Burns’ country house in Pennsylvania. They sit down for a meal that consists of free blood, in which Lisa makes a mess of herself & Bart in order to explore the castle. They find Mr. Burns’ lair, along with his book, Yes I Am A Vampire, and end up running into a group of vampires. Lisa escapes, but Bart can’t resist hitting a lever that turns the stairs he’s running on into a slide. At the bottom, he’s attacked by Mr. Burns and turned into a vampire.
Later, Bart attacks Lisa, but before he can turn her, he’s confronted by the family and flees. Lisa says the only way to get him back is to kill Mr. Burns. They go back to his place, where Homer drives the steak right into Burns’ crotch, and then soon follows with his heart. They think everything is fine, however it turns out that Burns wasn’t the head vamp, Marge is. But before anything too sinister can happen, they start singing. Makes sense.
Funniest Moment: Once again, not just the funniest moment of the piece, but one of the funniest moments out of the entire series. Homer driving the steak into Burns with a fury, as Lisa informs him that he’s attacking his crotch. Brilliant, brilliant stuff.
Rating: ****3/4. On par with the previous year, Homer & The Devil has arguably become the most well known, and liked entry out of the Treehouse series. Honestly, I think that story is probably the most perfect representation of what the Simpsons use to be.