EVERY. TREEHOUSE OF HORROR. EVER. [REVIEW] (Pt. 2)

Have you read Pt. 1 of this series? NO? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING. Read “EVERY. TREEHOUSE OF HORROR. EVER. [REVIEW] (Pt. 1).” Oh, hello there! Glad you’re back. I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about these upcoming episodes. Season 5 through 10 were “my jam,” as annoying people are known to stupidly say. I own the DVDs (not to brag) and quote them often, so this is gonna be great. Are you guys excited? Can’t respond because you’re reading something and will look like a crazy person for talking out loud? GREAT. LET’S GET TO IT!

treehouse of horror vi simpsons homer3

Treehouse of Horror VI (Season 7, Ep. 6)

Funniest Credits Nickname: Matt “Funk Lord of USA” Groening

Attack of the 50ft. Eyesores” – Homer, a man obsessed with donuts, seeks a colossal donut from Lard Lad. Learning that the donut isn’t actually colossal, Homer steals the metallic donut from a statue, causing the statue to come to life! A bunch of other large advertisements come to life to destroy Springfield, and even when Homer gives Lard Lad the donut back, it doesn’t end there. Lisa has to get Paul Anka to sing a jingle to distract people from the mascots, claiming that ignoring advertising is what really hurts it. This was a cool segment visually, but not super funny. My favorite joke was Wiggum shooting a really tall guy, thinking he was a mascot, only to learn he killed the captain of the high school basketball team. DEATH TO TALL PEOPLE!

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Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” – Bart has a nightmare where Groundskeeper Willie scratches him with a rake and other kids at school reveal similar nightmares and injuries caused by janitorial equipment. Marge explains that at a P.T.A. meeting, the adults accidentally let Groundskeeper Willie burn to death in the boiler room because they vetoed spending money on virtually everything that could have spared Willie. Bart and Lisa realize they need to kill Willie in their dreams because it’s your classic Freddy Krueger scenario, with less child molestation. The climax isn’t very funny but is true to the spirit of A Nightmare on Elm Street, so who cares if you don’t laugh? We also got to hear Homer say, “Lousy Smarch weather,” which is one of the best lines from the show ever.

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Homer3″ – With Patty and Selma on their way over, Bart, Lisa, and Homer scramble for hiding places and Homer uncovers a portal behind the bookcase that he describes as, “…like something out of that Twilight-y show about that zone.” He teleports to a 3D universe, which was super wild for 1995. Marge calls in for help and even sends Bart in after him, but when a 3D cone pokes Homer, he throws it and creates a black hole in the universe which he gets sucked into before Bart can save him. Homer crash-lands in a dumpster in a live-action world and finds shelter in an erotic cake store. The episode mostly seemed like a reaction to how “advanced” other forms of animation were at the time and how The Simpsons stuck with 2D. There are some cool Poltergeist effects when Homer calls out to his family, so that’s really the only connection it has to anything horror.

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Overall Thoughts – Possibly the most ambitious “Treehouse of Horror” installment to date, so good for them! Even if there aren’t many super funny jokes, the 3D segment alone seems embedded in most people’s memories of the show attempting some really cool stuff. Once Homer walks into the erotic cake store in the last segment, the credits just roll over footage of the street Homer walked down, so you get this feeling of the episode never truly ending and that just never really sits that well with me.

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treehouse of horror vii simspsons citizen kang

Treehouse of Horror VII (Season 8, Ep. 1)

Funniest Credits Nickname: Brad “To The Bone” Bird

The Thing and I” – Bart and Lisa question their parents about strange noises they hear in the attic, and despite denying anything weird going on, Homer still responds with, “I work my butt off to feed you 4 kids…” before Marge reminds him they have only three kids, to which he says, “Yeah, three NOSY kids.” HOMER, YOU GOOFED UP. Marge reveals that Bart was a conjoined twin and when Dr. Hibbert separated the siblings, he knew one was evil and one was good, so the evil one, named “Hugo,” lived in the attic while Bart roamed free. When Dr. Hibbert confronts Hugo, he notices the scar is on the wrong side of his body and Bart is actually the good one! This means Bart has to live in the attic and eat fish heads once a week. Poor guy. Thinking of someone living inside your house genuinely creeps me out, so this segment resonated deeply with me. You could say it “spooked my bones,” if you’d like. Homer has some good lines and there’s a joke about twisted, solitary misfits hanging out at RadioShack, which was maybe a popular opinion in 1996? I don’t know, I was only 12.

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The Genesis Tub” – When a tooth falls out, Lisa decides to start a science experiment to see what happens to a tooth in a bowl full of soda. Bart zaps her with static electricity, causing her to accidentally zap the tooth, creating life! Bart notices she’s created life and decide to mess with the civilization, which is evolving quickly, and the citizens strike back against Bart with miniature spaceships. The creatures shrink Lisa down to thank her for creating them, but unfortunately don’t have the technology to bring her back to actual size, so she’s stuck there. I liked the setup of this episode because it seems like something Lisa would actually do. Plus, you get to have Bart being destructive Bart, which is one of the best types of Bart! Oh yeah, and when he finds the bowl, he asks her, “Are you trying to grow a friend?” Haha, classic Bart!

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Citizen Kang” – Kang and Kodos abduct Homer and threaten to replace the world’s leader. Homer mentions an election is about to take place, so Kang and Kodos replace Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. That’s when hilarity ensues! The aliens pretend to be politicians, yet have no idea what human society is like, so they say lots of hilarious things. It’s hard to believe that the lines, “Abortions for some, miniature american flags for others,” “Forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom,” and, “Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos,” all came from the same seven minutes! Despite how funny this segment is, it felt more like an opportunity to do some heavy political jokes shrouded in an alien replacement plot. For as hilarious as it is, I think these jokes could have been worked into any other episode and done something even wilder with Kang and Kodos.

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Overall Thoughts – Hard to top that first sequence and how well it blended horror with classic Simpson tomfoolery, but this was definitely a solid installment. I blame Lisa for dragging the whole thing down though, because, well, who the hell likes Lisa Simpson? NO ONE. GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE, LISA. At least none of these segments involved Bleeding Gums Murphy. Yikes, remember those? This episode was definitely better than those.

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Treehouse of Horror VIII (Season 9, Ep. 4)

Funniest Credits Nickname: Richard “I Wish I Was Dead” Sakai

The Homega Man” – Wish tensions rising between Springfield and France, Homer reminds the family they don’t have to worry because he built his own bomb shelter, which is actually just a refrigerator box with “USA #1” painted on it. Homer decides to buy a new bomb shelter regardless, and while eating the rations inside one, nuclear winter kills everyone in Springfield. Now that Homer has the town to himself, he goes to church, changes the sign to read “Homer Rocks!,” and dances naked inside to “War” by Edwin Starr. Homer’s world comes crumbling down when mutated survivors of the nuclear winter interrupt him, hoping to eat his face. Homer goes to his house where he finds his family alive, protected from the radiation by the house’s layer of lead paint, and the happy family kills the mutants and drive Ferraris. OH MY GOD. THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD JOKES IN THIS EPISODE. When a missile rockets down Springfield’s sidewalks, Comic Book Guy says, “Oh I’ve wasted my life,” immediately before impact. Homer punches a bad driver after the nuclear blast, causing their head to shatter, to which he replies with, “Still got it!” THE SEGMENT ALSO MAKES FUN OF GARY LARSON BECAUSE HE WAS SUPER POPULAR IN THE MID-90’s! THE BEST.

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Fly vs. Fly” – While rummaging through mad scientist Frink’s garage sale, Homer buys a matter transporter. It makes his life much easier, because now he can get to the top of the stairs without walking. While testing conveniences of his new machine, Homer tries grabbing a beer, but without being able to see what he’s grabbing, instead takes a big swig for a can labeled, “CAT EAR MEDICINE,” followed by, “Oh MAN that’s good.” When Bart uses the machine, a fly sneaks in and the two switch bodies. With Lisa’s help, Bart is able to get back in the transporter with the fly, after wacky shenanigans of course, and all is right once again in the Simpson household. Guys. This is another amazing sequence. Homer gets to say insane things and act crazy, Lisa is barely in it, and it’s a parody of The Fly. WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR?! Okay, how about Homer saying things like, “Ka-blammo!” when he accidentally sends his fist through the teleporter and punches Lisa in the face. What about overhearing the end of Homer telling a story that involves, “…so then Lenny says, as if! Don’t even go there, sister!” And then the segment ends with Homer grabbing an ax, implying he’ll smash the teleporter, only to chase Bart around threatening to kill him. Man…this was real good. I loved it!

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Easy Bake-Coven” – Uh-oh, a period piece? This one could be terrible! It’s set during the Salem Witch Trials and Marge is accused of being a witch. The only way to test the theory is to throw Marge off a cliff to see if she survives, which she does! Bart exclaims, “Well I’ll be a son of a witch,” because he is. Get it? Marge meets up with Patty and Selma and the three decide to eat all the children in town. When Flanders offers a gingerbread child, the witches realize maybe they should just go around town demanding treats, and the tradition of trick-or-treating begins! With this segment focusing so heavily on Marge, it left the entire town free to just throw in one-liners, making it super funny. The two previous segments might have been funnier than this one, but what it lacked in jokes it made up for in Halloween spirit, so I loved it. I LOVED IT A LOT.

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Overall Thoughts: GUYS. THIS IS IT. THIS IS THE BEST ONE SO FAR. Holy cow. When I started thinking of watching all these episodes, the segments all just kind of blended together. I had no idea that three of the best segments were all in the same episode. It was a fantastic mix of movie parodies and Halloween fun. The first two segments were funnier than the last, but we got more Halloween spirit in the final segment. This is it, Simpsons creators, you’ve found the perfect formula. Please do this like 15 more times and I’ll be a happy guy. I’m sure the’re all this good, right? Right? HELLO?

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treehouse of horror ix simpsons hell toupee

Treehouse of Horror IX (Season 10, Ep. 4)

Funniest Credits Nickname: “Sheer Terror Claws-Son”

Hell Toupee” – Famous Springfield criminal Snake is given the death sentence for robbing the Kwik-E-Mart, but his hair is salvaged for a transplant. Hmmm…I wonder which character will get the hair? IT’S HOMER! HOMER GETS SNAKE’S HAIR! The hair starts to control Homer’s actions, and remembering that Bart was a witness to Snake’s crimes, the hair makes Homer try to kill his son. When Homer realizes what’s happening, he rips the hair from his head and the police shoot it dead. Since we’ve seen Sideshow Mel attempt to kill Bart multiples times, this episode didn’t seem much different from one of those. The highlight was Homer ripping his hair off to battle it, when the hair latches on to Bart’s face, causing Homer to repeatedly punch his son directly in the face. Haha, stupid Bart.

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The Terror of Tiny Toon” – When the batteries in the TV remote die, Bart and Lisa replace them with plutonium they found in Homer’s work gear. While arguing over control of the remote, the kids get sucked into an episode of Itchy & Scratchy, with the mouse and cat proceeding to kill them. It’s weird watching cartoons get attacked by different cartoons and expect an audience to at all be invested in what’s going on. I just felt like I was watching a poor man’s Stay Tuned, a movie that I’m sure everyone had forgotten about by the time this episode aired. Luckily, there’s a Poochie cameo! Unfortunately, there’s also a Regis and Kathie Lee cameo. I don’t get it.

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Starship Poopers” – Haha, it says poop right in the title! It’s gotta be funny! When Maggie loses her baby teeth, along with her “baby legs,” the family gets suspicious. Because, ya know, tentacles come out of her. Marge reveals that Kang impregnated her and he’s the real father, so the whole family goes on Jerry Springer to argue about it. WHAT. WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING. When Homer first sees Maggie on the ceiling, which she can climb because of her tentacles, it’s funny that all he can say is, “She’s entering her terrible twos alright.” Luckily we were spared from seeing Kang have sex with Marge, since he impregnated her with some ray gun or something, but I was getting reallllll nervous thinking we might see the two of them have sex. Now I’ll just have to picture it, much like I am right now. Gotta go!

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Overall Thoughts – I’m sure part of my reaction to this episode is based off of how good the previous year’s episode was, but it was also really frustrating to know how good the show could be and then see an episode like this just a year later. There was too strong of a pop culture influence this year, and I’m sure if you asked most younger people who Jerry Springer, Regis Philbin, or Kathie Lee Gifford were, they’d probably have no idea. Oh well, at least we got to see Poochie again!

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Treehouse of Horror X (Season 11, Ep. 4)

Funniest Credits Nickname: Uh, An Ogre?

I Know What You Diddiliy-iddly-did” – You guys remember the “I Know What You Did Last Summer” franchise? Maybe? Kind of? Either way, this is kind of a riff on those movies! Marge accidentally kills Flanders with her car and the Simpson family disposes of the body. Shortly after, the family begins to receive threatening messages that imply someone knows they killed Flanders. The reveal? Why, it’s Flanders himself! He’s still alive because he’s actually a werewolf. Who saw THAT coming?! Not you! Despite my trepidation over an homage to a not-so-classic horror series, I thought this segment was pretty good. Homer wasn’t the main focus so he just got to chime in with hilarious things, often to incriminate Marge. I laughed hardest at Homer using Ned’s body to pull off Weekend at Bernie’s style gags, but Homer is very rarely blameless in murder-related shenanigans so he got to hold that over Marge’s head. Consider me entertained! Much like Joaquin Phoenix in the movie Inventing the Abbotts.

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Desperately Xeeking Xena” – After a horrible accident with an x-ray machine, Bart gains the powers of being stretchy and Lisa becomes super strong. Comic Book Guy captures Lucy Lawless at a convention and places her in a giant Mylar bag to preserve her forever in his collection of famous sci-fi personalities. Bart and Lisa, as the super duo “Stretch Dude and Power Girl,” help save her. That’s really it. I don’t know what the hell this had to do with Halloween, but I assume Lucy Lawless agreed to do a role and they just vaguely modeled this one around her. I guess Xena: Warrior Princess must have been popular at the time?

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Life’s a Glitch, Then You Die” – WORDPLAY! You’re chuckling at the title already, aren’t you? I’ll bet you are. One thing to keep in mind is that this episode aired in 1999, a time when people thought Y2K would ruin the world. Can’t remember what Y2K was? READ A BOOK, MILLENNIAL! The town of Springfield prepares for the year 2000, but unfortunately Homer didn’t do his job correctly so when midnight strikes, all electronics go haywire. The family seeks out help in the chaos and find Krusty dying and they steal a letter from his pocket. There’s a rocket ship going to Mars! Only Lisa and Marge are allowed in and Homer and Bart get on another rocket that doesn’t have tight security. Tom Arnold, Spike Lee, and a whole bunch of losers are also on the rocket, which gets launched into the Sun. Hmmm…Y2K…that was uneventful, wasn’t it? At the time, everyone was going nuts about it, so maybe this was a commentary on how nuts people got? Or a long setup to make fun of Tom Arnold? Either way, it wasn’t that fulfilling.

 

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Overall Thoughts – The opening couch gag had references to previous Treehouse of Horror segments, which seemed to have promise that they’d be following their tried and true formula for success, but the dated segments didn’t really hold up. That first segment was solid, which also got my hopes up, but the Lucy Lawless segment could have been worked into virtually any episode and dealing with Y2K felt more like an obligation to discuss a big pop culture event instead of an opportunity to make some interesting jokes. Even though other episodes involved scenes taking place during the day, but it was the first segment that made me realize how un-Halloween-y the segments look when in brightly lit environments. I genuinely think if every scene of this episode took place at night, I would have enjoyed them more because they would have been more spooky.

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Stay tuned all this week for reviews on the rest of the episodes! Don’t miss any updates by following @TheWolfman on Twitter or liking “The Wolfman Cometh” on Facebook. You don’t want to miss updates, do you?

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