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. As you have been reading (24-21 is here, 20-16 is here, 15-11 is here and 10-6 is here) here are the rules one last time. First, I did consider some of my favourite episodes within the anthology but it certainly is not the deciding factor. Second, I don’t consider the opening sequences or wraparound episodes within an episode because let’s face it Guillermo Del Toro’s recent opening of the 24th edition would trump anything like the graveyard openings from the first four seasons. Here are the final five:
The first episode that started it all. Marge comes out and warns parents that this week’s episode was going to be scary and not suitable. This is funny because (a) the episode itself was not very scary and (b) I’m sure it was a bit of a knock on the nay-sayers that said The Simpsons were not appropriate for children. First up we have Bad Dream House, a generic haunted house movie taking samples from Poltergeist and The Amityville Horror. In the second one, Hungry are the Damned, The Simpsons are abducted by aliens and they may or may not be trying to eat them depending on how much space dust is on the book, and finally The Raven, a delightful recreation of the classic Poe story. This is from 1990 but still holds with its humour.
In Attack of the 50 foot Eyesores, ads from around Springfield come to life and wreak havoc but we are saved thanks to Paul Anka! Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace, the long coming Nightmare on Elm Street homage which stands out for me because of the exchange featuring Lunch lady Doris wheeling a dead Martin into the Kindergarten classroom. The finally we have Homer3, The Simpsons in 3D! The 3D was pretty bad but I guess a big deal back in 1995 when this was released.
In this episode we get The Shinning, a knock on The Shining but don’t tell Stephen King or else we’ll get sued. Next is Time and Punishment where Homer becomes the second non-Brazilian to travel through time and Nightmare Cafeteria where the teachers at Springfield Elementary beginning eating the kids in detention. The whole episode features quotable lines and funny scenes.
In Clown without Pity, Homer is terrorized by a murderous Krusty Doll which features Homer running through the kitchen naked and having Patty and Selma swear off men was fantastic and perhaps a little foreshadowing about 20 years ahead. Next is King Homer, a King Kong homage and killed the pacing a little from the first episode and finally Dial Z for Zombies where the dead rise from the grave thanks to Bart using the wrong kind of spell. This one episode is probably my favourite thanks to scenes like Homer killing zombie Flanders not thinking it he was a zombie and the confusion of the John Smith’s returning to their graves.
While I did say that my favourite episodes would not be a factor, conveniently this episode contains three of my top 5 of the entire series. The Devil and Homer Simpson addresses what happens when Homer sells his soul to the devil for a donut. The episode features a great cameo by Lionel Hutz. Next is Terror at 5 ½ Feet a take-off of the William Shatner starring, Twilight Zone episode Nightmare at 20,000 feet but instead of a plane the gremlin is trying to crash the school bus. Finally, Bart Simpson’s Dracula which was an episode “thrown together with Vampires.”
The Treehouse of Horror episodes are a great departure from the regular series and certainly provided me with a lot of great moments and lines that I find myself still quoting to this day. I hope that when it is all said and done that FOX releases the Treehouse of Horrors as a separate release. Well everyone that is it! Hit the comments below to tell me where I may be wrong or even if you agree with me. As always be sure to check out my friends on Nerditis and keep your eyes open for upcoming Weekly Time Waster, The Northern Dead and another great installment of Tales of the Northside.