Hey everybody! It’s Halloween time! This week kind of runs the gamut on Simpsons episode, like a perfect little sample size. We get a Treehouse of Horror, a sweet flashback one, and episode most people hate, and things are just going to get better the next two days. So here we go with the eighth Treehouse of Horror episode, which gets going right after we see the Fox censor get brutally stabbed to death by the little TV-G sign in the top corner of the screen. And since we’re past the point of where we got wrap-around stories and tombstone puns, let’s dive right in.
The Homega Man
Our first segment is a parody of the crazy Charlton Heston flick, Omega Man, and starts off with the family sitting around watching the news while learning about a hippo that’s been deputized by the Springfield police force. But we also learn that Mayor Quimby has apparently said some rather inflammatory things about the nation of France, which has caused tensions between the two governments. And when Quimby stands by his ethnic slur, the family starts to get worried about the threat of nuclear war with France, so Homer heads off to Herman’s to see about buying a bomb shelter. Herman shows off a fancy one that can take six mega-tons, no more, no less, and Homer starts checking it out. And as he’s in there the French decide that the only logical recourse is to nuke Springfield, and fire a rocket to destroy this pathetic town. It flies around the world, narrowly passing Kang and Kodos for their obligatory cameo, and strikes Comic Book Guy, who has an amazing line “But Aquaman, you cannot marry a woman without gills. You’re from two different worlds! Oh, I’ve wasted my life.” And the ensuing explosion kills everyone in Springfield, except Homer, who was in that bomb shelter. So he starts wandering the town, enjoying being the last man alive. He decides to do everything he always wanted to do, like watch a Chris Farley/David Spade movie in the theater, and dance nude in the church. But in the middle of his nude dancing he’s horrified to learn that he wasn’t the only person who survived. A lot of the townsfolk were simply turned into murderous, cloak-wearing mutants, who want to eat Homer’s skin. So they chase him around town in their crazy supped up hot-rod, and finally get him to his house. He runs in, shocked to find the rest of his family, alive and well. Apparently the lead-paint on their house protected them from the blast, and they’re fine. The mutants show up, and end up having a heartfelt conversation with the surviving Simpsons where they decide to live together in harmony and peace. At which point Marge and the kids bring out shotguns and murder the mutants! Long live humanity!
Fly vs Fly
Next up we got a parody of the Fly, kind of a mix of the 50s original and the 80s remake. It starts off with the family going over to Professor Frink’s house to check out his crazy garage sale. They look at all his crazy inventions, including Floyd the robot which tries to escape his janitorial life, and the only thing that catches their fancy is a matter transporter. Homer finds it mildly interesting, and buys it for 35 cents. They drag the thing home and Homer starts using this miracle of science for such grand things as climbing the stairs, drinking cat-ear medicine, and peeing in the living room. But when Bart requests the opportunity to do some shenanigans with the transporter Homer refuses and give a crazy speech about responsibility, before accidently throwing his fist through the transporter and punching Lisa. Which is weird because he was about to pee in the thing, and I suppose would have peed on Lisa.
But that night Bart decides to ignore his father’s warnings and experiment with the transporter. He tries to send Snowball II in just to check if it works, and things go wrong when Santa’s Little Helper also jumps in, causing the transporter to freak out, and combine their DNA. This results in an animal coming out with both Santa’s Little Helper and Snowball II’s heads, like Catdog, while also creating one that’s two butts. This gives Bart a brilliant idea, and he jumps in the machine with a fly, hoping to get super powers. But what really happens is Bart’s head getting put on a fly body, while the fly’s head getting his body. Bart then flies out in the world while the family deal with the weird fly headed Bart they have now, since they assume it still has Bart’s consciousness in it. Although it does have a great moment when Lisa asks where Bart’s head went, and Homer responds with “Eh, it’ll turn up someplace.” So the family starts to love the Fly-boy, while Bart starts to get jealous, but is unable to get their attention. So he manages to communicate with Lisa, after flying in her saxophone to amplify his voice, and they come up with a plan to best the fly monster. Which doesn’t go well, since he was listening, and just eats Bart. But Lisa is able to knock him into the transporter, and since Bart’s in his mouth, it still works, and they get separated into their right bodies.
Our last segment takes place in Sprynge-Fielde in the year 1649, where the ignorant ancestors of our beloved characters and deep in a witch hunt. And after burning some random ladies doesn’t help with their crop problems, they have a town hall meeting where they throw the floor open to wild accusations. And after some random yelling, people decide that Marge is logically the witch, since her clothes are always whiter than everyone else’s. So they take her to a cliff, deciding that they’re going to push her off, and if she dies she’ll have died an honorable Christian death, and if she’s a witch she’ll be fine and report back for execution. So they huck her off, and it turns out they were right, and Marge actually is a witch. She flies up, turns Chief Wiggum, Eddie, and Lou into a gopher, a snowman, and the tooth fairy respectively. So Marge flies off to a cave in the woods where Patty and Selma are living as witches while the rest of the town starts to get terrified. The three sisters hang out for a bit, and spy on the Flanders, who are worried that the witches are going to eat their kids. The witches decide this sounds like a great idea, and head out to eat Rod and Todd. But as Ned and Maude start to beg for their children’s lives, they decide to offer the witches gingerbread men instead. And they love it! So they go door to door, blackmailing the townsfolk with treats like candy apples and caramel cods. Which logically started the tradition of trick or treating, as told to us by Captain McCallister, who was apparently the narrator.
This is a pretty solid Treehouse of Horror episode. None of the segments really stand out to me and don’t really rank among the best segments of all time, but they’re all pretty good. A lot of these Treehouse of Horror episodes will have one or two amazing segments and a real stinker thrown in, but this one just kind of pulled three good segments. Nothing too great, but nothing too bad. In the first segment, seeing Homer survive as the last man alive in Springfield while parodying that ridiculous adaptation of I Am Legend was pretty great and has some classic moments. And the fly one is pretty good, but the thing that really works for me in that one is Homer’s weird affection for the fly-headed Bart, especially when he kisses it and leaves a gross string of drool on its head. The witch one is probably the weakest of the segments, although I really love Chief Wiggum’s line of “the Bible says a lot of thing,” when Lisa tries to use scripture to explain why killing innocent women is a bad thing. It’s definitely not my favorite Treehouse of Horror, but it’s really enjoyable.
Take Away: Don’t mess with the French, don’t buy experimental matter transporters, and don’t push women off cliffs because you think they’re witches, because if they are, they’re gonna get you.
Treehouse of Horror VIII was written by Mike Scully, David S. Cohen, Ned Goldreyer and directed by Mark Kirkland, 1997.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons