Hello everyone and welcome to Tales from the Northside! My name is Scott or Canadian Scott if you prefer and my area of nerd love comes from watching horror movies. This column is going to be bringing you reviews of some of the latest, greatest and lackluster horror movies from every era. A lot of what you’re about to read will contain some spoilers but I will try my best to keep you in suspense just like your favourite movies and shows!
To help kick off our Halloween Week here at Nerditis, I have decided to take a little lighter look at Halloween. I could continue to talk about my favourite slasher films, or zombie films but there will be plenty of time for that next year or even within the coming months. At 25 seasons, The Simpsons have been given the title of longest running comedy scripted show of all time. Their Treehouse of Horror anthologies have been a staple to the show since its very beginning, even now when people talk about he Simpsons having lost a step, I look to the Treehouse of Horror as my one bright spot in an otherwise useless season.
Before I begin let me throw out some notes in what helped me shape the list. First, I could go through each mini-epsiode and rank them from 1-75 and as much fun as that is I don’t know if you would want to read all of it. Secondly, I did consider some of my favourite episodes within the anthology but it certainly is not he deciding factor. Third, I don’t consider the opening sequences or wraparound episodes within an episode because let’s face it Guilleirmo Del Toro’s recent opening of the 24th edition would trump anything like the graveyard openings from the first four seasons. Fourth, I have given some brief descriptions but nothing to intensive. And finally in the interest of space and time, I have broken down the list and you’ll be able to see the full list on Halloween! So without further delay, here is Numbers 24-21:
One of the dangers of the later seasons of Treehouse of Horror is they can veer away from “horror” and instead focus on stuff that is pretty popular in the pop culture at the time of publication. The opening episode is called The Diving Bell and the Butterball. When Homer is paralyzed following a bite from a black widow spider the family realizes he can only communicate through farts. Fart jokes? Really? The second one is called Dial D for Diddly and tells the story of Ned Flanders going on a killing spree as told to him by “god” and the final story is called In the Na’vi which is a rip on Avatar. This episode ranks low for a lot of people and some even use it as a reason why the show should be cancelled.
In the opening number, War and Pieces, Bart and Milhouse unleash all pieces of game boards onto the real world with deadly results; to me this is the highlight of the night but only because of the nostalgia aspect looking at the games pieces. Our second story, Master and Cadeaver is a rip on Dead Calm with Homer and Marge out on a boat for a second honeymoon but then stumble across a stranger who may have killed people on his ship. Finally we end up with Tweenlight which as the name implies is a bad rip-off of Twilight franchise. Overall this episode was sloppy and poorly written but was saved by the game pieces on a killing spree.
Surprisingly it took this long for the writers to get to but up first we have E.T., Go Home with Bart trying to get Kodos back to his mother ship but does Kodos have plans of his own. Mr and Mrs Simpson is a parody of Mr and Mrs Smith which makes zero sense as it is neither a scary movie nor even Halloween related. In the final segment, Heck House, Ned Flanders shows the kids of Springfield the seven deadly sins in horrifying and shocking ways. Ned eventually becomes the devil which is a great callback to earlier Treehouse of Horror’s which portrayed Ned as the Devil.
The newest entry on the list as it aired only a couple weeks ago. The real buzz behind this episode was the Guellarmo Del Toro opening segment which did not disappoint with its callbacks to a lot of horror flicks and even to Del Toro’s own movies. Unfortunately the rest of it did not hold up to the strong opening. The opening segment was called Oh the Places you’ll D’oh. Did you ever wonder what Halloween would be like as told via Dr. Seuss? No. Okay moving on. The second installment was Dead and Shoulders. After Bart suffers a kite accident (don’t ask) his head is transplanted onto Lisa’s. I’m pretty sure this is like the third or fourth time someone from the Simpsons has had their head transplanted onto someone elses. Finally, the saving grace of this episode is Freaks No Geeks. Homage to the movie Freaks and as indicated by the ending How I Met Your Mother.
Do you like what you see so far? Disagree with some placement; want to tell me where you think your favourite episode will end up? Leave me a comment below. In the meantime, be sure to check out my friends on Nerditis and keep your eyes open for my Weekly Time Waster, The Northern Dead and another great installment of Tales of the Northside. Coming up tomorrow we continue our list with numbers 20-16!