Tales from the Northside

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!

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 (numbers 24-21 are here) and you’ll be able to see the full list on Halloween!  So without further delay, here is Numbers 20-16:

20.  XIV.

Is it coincidence that the bottom five happens to be from the last ten years?  I’m not really sure if that speaks to the quality of the show or maybe just my nostalgia for the early years.  In Reaper Madness, Death is killed so Homer, trying on death’s cloak turns into Death himself.  Could this be a case where Family Guy did it first?  Frinkenstein is about how Professor Frink re-animates the corpse of his dead father so he can see how successful he has become by winning a nobel prize, like Frankestein’s monster things go amok.  Finally we finish with Stop the World I want to Goof Off!  Bart and Milhouse purchase a stop watch that stops time leaving them to run around with out being effected.  The ending is a little strange with Bart being grown up and no one seeming to care except Lisa.  Bart and Milhouse aging when they could’ve taken only 8 hours to solve the problem and God telling us he’s “getting too old for this.” saved this entry from going lower.

19.  XX.

In our first series, Alfred Hitchcock receives some love with Dial M for Murder or Press # to Return to the Main Menu as Bart, without really consulting Lisa, decides to kill each others teachers.  The whole thing is in black and white and features a lot of Hitchcock references.  Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind tells the tale of how tainted meat from a Krusty Burger makes everyone rabid killing machines, the story was good but lost me in the eat food bathed in Bart ending.  Finally we have There’s No Business like Moe’s Business, an apparent homage to the “dark” musicals like Sweeny Todd.  Homer is killed by accident at Moe’s and his blood makes the beer popular so Moe keeps him dying in the basement.  There are points of singing and everything is told like a stage play which was confusing.

18.  XIX.

In, Untitled Robot Parody, The kids’ toys “transform” into robots which eventually leads to the entire town having things transform.  I will admit seeing Homer and Ned’s car battle while they are inside is pretty good.  How to Get Ahead in Dead-vertising features a great recreation of the Mad Men theme but instead of hard drinking and advertising pitches, Homer becomes an assassin and kills celebrities in order to generate ad firms more money.  Seeing John Wayne and Prince riding together to seek revenge is pretty cool.  It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse is a great homage to the Peanuts universe.  The music and animation all are great throwbacks to the Peanuts gang.  I would rank this a little higher just for this last segment which I felt was the best in the last little while but the rest of it really dragged it down for me.  And I don’t want to see Abraham Lincoln make out with anyone thank you very much.

17.  XVI.

First we have B.I: Bartificial Intelligence, when Bart falls into a coma with no chance of waking the Simpsons decide to purchase a robot to replace him and when Bart wakes up, hijinxs ensue.  The second entry is a take on the book and movie The Most Dangerous Game as Mr. Burns has gathered some men from Springfield onto an island to hunt for sport in Survival of the Fattest, I give them props because I enjoyed seeing Homer using Barney as a puppet to distract Mr. Burns.  Finally we see what it’s like to be what your costume is in I’ve Grown a Costume on your Face.

16.  X.

I know what you Diddily-Iddily-Did tells the story of the Simpsons covering up for running over and murdering Ned Flanders…or did they? The answer definitely surprises you and “I’m making record time on this fog walk” is instantly quotable.  Desperately Seeking Xena tells us about Bart and Lisa who get super powers and must save Lucy Lawless from The Collector played by Comic Book Guy.  And finally we have Life’s a Glitch and Then You Die which is about how the Y2K bug destroys the planet and The Simpsons are trying to get off the Earth.  Seeing Lisa make the tough decision of saving her mom and Maggie instead of Bart and Homer is pretty funny.

That’s it for today!  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.  Next up is numbers 15-11!

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