Hello everyone and welcome to the best episode of the week! That’s not really a high bar to jump, but you’d better believe that a Treehouse of Horror could do it. Because this is a pretty weird and fun little episode. We obviously don’t get any sort of frame story, but we do start off the episode with a funny little segment where we see Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and the Wolfman meeting up on Halloween so that they can wander the streets without people realizing who they really are. Which ends up getting them mocked for having such old fashioned costumes. But after buying some tacky ones at a store they’re all set, and go to the Simpson’s house for a Halloween party where they start getting lucky with all of the drunk ladies there. That is until their wives show up and beat them up, causing Homer to get killed in the process. And then the stories begin!
Dial M For Murder
Our first segment maybe doesn’t completely qualify as horror, but it’s still pretty great. It’s one huge Hitchcock parody, all in black and white, and it’s a lot of fun. It begins with Lisa learning that she didn’t get the highest grade on an assignment, causing her to have a huge freak-out where she yells at Ms. Hoover, claiming the other kid cheated by being tutored. This outburst causes Lisa to be sent to detention, which she goes to sullenly. And while she’s in there she begins talking to Bart, who has been sent to detention by Mrs. Krabappel. He then suggests that Lisa and he work together to get even with their teachers. He’ll prank Hoover if Lisa pranks Krabappel. Lisa agrees, and heads of to get Krabappel while Bart creates an alibi at a tennis match. Lisa then just ding-dong ditches Krabappel and returns home, proud that she accomplished her task.
However, when she gets home she finds that Bart did something a little more extreme. He murdered Ms. Hoover and has her head in a backpack. Turns out that he thought they were both agreeing to murder, and now that he’s taken care of his end of the bargain he insists that Lisa kill Krabappel, otherwise he’ll tell the police it was all her idea. Lisa heads back to the school, terrified of killing Krabappel. She has a perfect chance, but decides that she can’t do it. Bart then arrives, trying to pressure her into committing murder, and she decides that the only way out is to kill Bart. So she chases him around the playground, knocking out about a dozen Hitchcock references, until Bart tries to hide on a crowded carousel. But when he’s cornered she decides she still can’t do it, and tosses the knife into the air. It then lands on Bart’s head, killing him. We then leave the segment with the implication that this was all Krabappel’s idea, and that she wanted Lisa to kill Bart.
Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind
Our second segment is a loose parody of 28 Days Later, and begins with Kent Brockman reporting on a new burger that Krusty Burger is selling. It’s made from cows that were also fed beef, which instantly raises some fears in Lisa. But no one else apparently, because they make the burger and Kent Brockman gets to eat the first one. And he promptly succumbs to mad cow disease, turning into a slobbering zombie. He bites Krusty, and thus begins a zombie apocalypse. We then skip ahead a couple of weeks, and find that Springfield is mostly destroyed. The Simpsons have managed to barricade themselves in their house and are doing mostly fine. Except for the fact that they’ve run out of food. Bart is horribly hungry, and begins using his telescope to survey the neighborhood for food. And, shockingly, he finds some. There’s a burger left behind at a nearby Krusty Burger. So he races out in the world, grabs the burger, and eats it at the house.
The family finds Bart eating the burger, and obviously freak out, assuming that he’s going to turn into a zombie. However, he doesn’t, and remains normal. Lisa decides that this means Bart’s DNA holds the secret of a cure, and after confirming this with a call to Dr. Hibbert, they decide they need to make it out to a safe zone outside Springfield. The family packs up, hoping to flee the house, but they’re quickly overrun by zombies. Luckily Apu is driving by in a goddamn tank, and he offers them a ride to the safe zone. They rip through Springfield and end up getting stuck on a wall that barricades Springfield from the rest of the world. Apu gets out to push, and he family abandon him to get eaten. However, they pretty quickly then run out of gas, and have to start heading to the safe zone on foot. Homer ends up getting bitten by a zombie on the way, but they keep him with them, in the hope that Bart will be able to cure them. And shortly after they get to the safe zone, and proudly proclaim Bart as the chosen one. Time then passes and we see that Bart has saved all of humanity. And all it took was letting Bart bathe in everyone’s food, making it safe to eat.
There’s No Business Like Moe Business
Our final segment of the episode is certainly the weirdest of them all. It’s structured as if it were a stage musical, with Homer, Moe, and Marge just acting out parts in front of an audience, but this is never really mentioned and it’s honestly not necessary in the slightest. But despite that, its still interesting. The segment begins with Moe singing about how lonely he is, and how he wishes he had a woman in his life while watching Marge and Homer hanging out at the bar. Moe ends up having to go down below the bar where the kegs are to sort out a problem. And while he’s down there Homer starts to snoop, and ends up slipping down the stairs and being impaled on some pipes attached to the keg containing Moe’s special microbrew. Moe then decides not to do anything about this, and tries to convince Marge that Homer ran out on her.
And this is helped when we see that some of Homer’s blood has gotten into the beer, and when Marge drinks it she starts to fall in love with Moe. Moe continues working the situation, saying that he got a letter from Homer that says he left Marge because he’s realized he’s gay, leading to Homer having a big song about having all sorts of sex. This is about to push Marge over the edge, and stay with Moe forever, but there’s a slight problem. Moe’s secret ingredient is running out, and he has to go down to the basement to figure out what’s going on. Homer’s all dried and shriveled, but has just enough juice for one more beer. However, as Moe is attempted to convince Marge to marry him Homer comes back to life, and starts singing to Marge. She ends up crying when she tastes the blood beer, and the tear lands on Homer’s head, revitalizing him. He then rips himself out of the keg, marches upstairs, and gets back together with Marge, fixing everything.
This is an incredibly strange Treehouse of Horror episode, but I liked it quite a bit. Treehouse of Horror episodes are always pretty bonkers, but this one takes it much further than normal, and I really appreciated that. The first segment is probably the strongest, tossing out a bunch of pitch perfect Hitchcock references that really came together in a great way. The Strangers on a Train premise worked out great with Bart and Lisa, and the segment where they just tossed as many images from Hitchcock movies as they could was fantastic. The second segment is probably the weakest, mainly because it didn’t really do anything interesting with the idea of sticking the Simpsons in 28 Days Later. It’s basically just the exact same plot and just kind of went through the motions of a zombie story. And then there’s that last part. I don’t know what the hell they were thinking with it, but it was a lot of fun. Honestly the idea of Moe having evil beer made from Homer’s blood that can woo Marge is weird enough on its own, but adding in the bizarre musical element, and the idea that it was all a stage play, is so weird and needless, and yet I loved it. All in all it was a good Treehouse of Horror episode, especially compared to the sea of mediocrity we’ve been navigating the last couple of episodes.
Take Away: Don’t make murder pacts, don’t trust burgers sold by clowns, and don’t drink red beer.
“Treehouse of Horror XX” was written by Daniel Chun and directed by Mike B Anderson and Matthew Schofield, 2009.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons