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 the 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 20-16 are here) and you’ll be able to see the full list on Halloween!
The entirety of the episode, if I’m not mistaken is homage to Twilight Zone episodes and is told as nightmares from each of the Simpson kids and Homer following a binge eating of Halloween candy. First is The Monkey’s Paw, which tells us about what happens when the Simpsons get ahold of a magical monkey paw that grants wishes but with consequences. The Bart Zone is when Bart has the ability to control people with his thoughts and how he turns Homer into a jack-in-a-box. Finally we end with If I only had a Brain which tells us what happens when Homer’s brain is transferred into a robot as Mr. Burns feels it would make the plant a better place.
The Homega Man tells us how Homer survives a nuclear strike from France. You need to suspend disbelief when it comes time to explain why the Simpson family is still alive and I give props to the writers for the one-off line from Comic Book Guy as the missile heads towards him. In Fly vs Fly, playing with the laws of physics and science thanks to a garage sale purchase of a teleportation station, Bart crosses his DNA with a fly in hopes of getting fly like powers. Easy Bake Coven gives us a little origin story of caramel covered cod, I mean Halloween.
I didn’t mean for this to happen I swear. First is Send in the Clones which tells the story of a hammock purchased by Homer that can make clones which features a great sight gag by having Peter Griffin as one of the clones. The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms is about Billy the Kid rising from the grave and terrorizing Springfield after they get rid of all the guns thanks to Lisa’s misinterpretation of a tombstone. And in the end we get The Island of Dr. Hibbert which is a retelling of The Island of Dr. Moreau. What I enjoy about this section is how well the characters from Springfield sync with their animal representations.
This Treehouse of Horror featured G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad which is Homer trying to do one great deed so he can get into heaven. Scary Tales can come True reminds us that a lot of children’s fairy tales were not always light and fluffy affairs but pretty dark and scary and we end with one of my personal favourites Night of the Dolphin which is about dolphins rising up from the sea to reclaim the earth. The introduction of Snorky to the town of Springfield still makes me laugh to this day.
Finishing outside the top ten but only just so we have Married to the Blob, Homer eats some space goo and becomes a giant blob that eventually eats homeless people (a dark ending if you ask me to this one). You Gotta Know When to Golem is about Bart and his Golem and finally we have The Day the Earth Looked Stupid, everyone knows that when War of the Worlds was first broadcast on radio people went bananas because they believed it was real, how did Springfield take it? And how does Springfield react following an actual attack. This is another ending that was little dark as it leaves Springfield “occupied” by the aliens, which is a commentary on the US’s invasion of Iraq.
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. Tomorrow we crack the top 10 with numbers 10-6.