Friday, August 6, 2010

Episode 4: Treehouse of Horror XX

Is there such a thing as a bad Treehouse of Horror? The answer, no. Even though terrible writing has plagued this series as of late, it always seems like the Halloween special is immune to this disease that has afflicted countless episodes. Before we move on I'd like to make the statement that I am a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan and if you haven't seen his work, see it. His work is some of the most magnificent things ever to hit the big screen. Let's begin our review.

Even though the opening is sorta like a couch gag, I count this as part of my review because it really isn't that bad; plus, it has more to do with the episodes than many couch gags do. Our opening segment is "Dial "M" for Murder or Press '#' to Return to Main Menu" *stupidly long name but whatever* and it is essentially the plot from "Strangers on a Train" mixed in with other Hitchcock movies (I will note them out) *Note this segment is in black and white*. Our first Hitchcock references come in the title *Dial "M" for Murder" and the theme from "Psycho" *Hitchcock references: 2* Moving back to the story, Lisa is enraged when Ms. Hoover doesn't choose her for some school competition and gets detention for lashing out. Lisa then meets Bart in detention, and Bart gives her the idea to swap pranks to get revenge (Plot to Strangers on a Train). When she accepts, she ding-dong ditches Mrs. Krabappel as Bart sets up his alibi at the tennis match (Strangers on a Train and Psycho music again) *Hitchcock references: 5*. Lisa comes back happy about her part - until Bart reveals that he meant 'kill Mrs. K.', shocking Lisa (Bart's explanation for kill is very weak and not funny)(I thought she was more shocked by the sight of Ms. Hoover's head....).
No, no, no, I wanted you to get me a head of LETTUCE. How did you mix that up?
Bart says she has to hold up her end or else (Strangers on a Train much?). As Lisa goes to find Mrs. K, Krabappel drops her old lighter (Strangers on a Train again plus the music as well) *Hitchcock references: 8* and Lisa cannot bring herself to kill her. Bart then blackmails Lisa in the bathroom to kill Mrs. K but then Lisa decides that he must dies and we cut to our montage of Hitchcock's work (Vertigo: the vertigo scenes, North by Northwest: music and Mount Rushmore scene, Psycho: Bate's house, Spellbound: entire dream sequence, Strangers on a Train: Ferris Wheel, Alfred Hitchcock himself).
Get back here Bart. I want to help you with your vertigo and fear of knives
The segment ends with Lisa accidentally killing Bart (Seriously she chases him around with a knife just to end the chase with the statement: "I'm not a murderer and I never will be." It just seems like someone in editing didn't have their coffee) and she walks off with Mrs. K with a silhouette of Mr. Hitchcock ending it *Alfred Hitchcock references: 16*.

Our second segment is called "Don't Have a Cow Mankind" which is essentially an homage to "28 Days Later" (Which I have never seen so I'm sorry if I miss something) and "Children of Men" (Yet again no clue so I'll miss these references). The segment begins with Krusty unveiling a burger which turns out to infect people and turn them into zombies (They call them "Munchers" but I'm calling them zombies). 28 days later *weak laugh* we see basically all of Springfield has become zombies except the Simpsons (Really nobody bothered to attack them in the span of 28 days? It's not like their house is a fortress or anything.) Bart eats one of the burgers and doesn't become a zombie, making the family believe that he has something in his body that makes him immune (Yet again they call him "The Chosen One" but the payoff for that pisses me off so I just will say he has the "B-Antivirus"). After the terminator fails to save the family, Apu saves them and is later abandoned by the family. The car runs out of gas and they have to get to the safe zone by walking (What Lisa does to Bart brings back the nostalgic feeling when she poked the area of his tattoo in the first episode).
Sure why not have the savior of mankind within biting distance of a zombie. What could possibly happen?
As the Simpsons approach the safe zone, Homer becomes a zombie and is kept alive because they can cure him when they get there (Sure, why not keep someone who could be a potential threat to you if he were to bite you?). The Simpsons get to the safe zone where they are told that Bart needs to be killed in order to make a vaccine but Marge asks: "What kind of civilized people eat the body and blood of their savior?"... One minute *SCREAMS* Moving on, Bart decides that he can bathe in their food and that'll pass on the B-antivirus and the segment ends with Bart giving Lisa and a group of others Bart Soup.

Our final segment is called "There's no Business Like Moe Business" which is just a satire of "Sweeny Todd". I could sum up this entire segment in a sentence but I shouldn't so let's move onto the *Shudders* Halloween Musical (I can't believe I typed that). The segment begins with Moe singing about how ugly he is and nobody likes him. The tap isn't working which makes Moe go down to fix it which leads to Homer falling onto some pipes that lead to the beer tap. Moe uses the rest of the segment to seduce Marge by convincing her that Homer left her to be gay (Stupid musical).
Run for your lives! It's the attack of the pipe monsters!!!
As Homer's friends drink his blood beer Marge becomes sad and her tears raise him from the dead. Homer beats up "Moe" (well, a ragdoll version), and our Treehouse of Horror ends on the entire cast thanking the audience to which Kang (or Kodos) falls asleep.

Final Judgment: The opening segment is probably the strongest Treehouse of Horror segment in years while the final was one of the weakest. The 2nd segment was all right but the Jesus joke was really in poor taste and soured my mood a little. Altogether though the first segment strengthens my opinion of this and I like it altogether.

Final Grade: 7.8/10 Watch some of Hitchcock's works to see what I'm talking about, it makes watching that part even better.


  1. Forgiving that I haven't seen any of Hitchcock's works, I enjoyed the second segment the most, but that's probably because I'm a huge fan of the Zombie Apocalypse theme.

  2. I think the initial reason for why I said I liked it was because I turned it more into a "Spot the reference" game. And in all honesty, I shouldn't have based my opinion on that, I should have based it on how well it held on its own (Need to re-watch with a more open mind)