One day of Halloween goodness isn’t enough this week folks, so how about another one! That’s right, Season 27, or whatever reason, had a Halloween episode and a Treehouse of Horror. What a cavalcade of riches! And, to start off, we’re given a super weird little short film from John Kricfalusi that’s structured like a 30’s animated film, complete with a song, all about Bart, Lisa, and Maggie going through a graveyard on Halloween, only to be attacked by a group of ghosts. It’s pretty fun!
Wanted: Dead, Then Alive
Our first segment is quite strange. It begins with Bart spinning Wendell around on the playground merry-go-round, while kids are gambling on how soon it will take him to vomit. Bart’s making some pretty good money on the scam, but he puts a stop to it when he gets a text from Milhouse saying that Mr. Largo has fallen into a harp, and it’s hilarious. So, Bart marches into the music room, ready for some mockery, only to find something horrible waiting for him. Sideshow Bob! Yep, Bob has trapped Bart into a room while wielding a harpoon gun, and starts threatening Bart. Not that Bart is super worried. He points out that Bob is all talk, and that he’s never succeeded in killing him, so he’s sure it’ll all work out. Which is when Bob fires the harpoon, and kill Bart.
Yep! Bart’s dead now! Bob kind of can’t believe that he actually accomplished his goal, but decides to take Bart’s body and bring it back to his house so he can further gloat about his success. Bob just kind of cavorts around with the body, and even convinces Homer that he had nothing to do with Bart’s disappearance. But, after finally winning, Bob realizes it’s time to move on. So, he becomes a professor at Springfield University. And instantly hates it. He’s getting no satisfaction from life, and starts to figure out that the only time he’s ever been happy was when he killed Bart. So, logically, he decides he needs to do it again. Bob then begins studying biology, engineering, and magic, and ends up creating a machine that brings Bart back to life. He then starts killing Bart, over and over, exactly like that Itchy and Scratchy episode from like, twenty years ago. Bob is enjoying this new life, until Lisa happens upon his house, and sees evidence of the experiment. The Simpsons then burst into Bob’s house, and end up killing him. They then bring Bart back to life, and for his vengeance he uses the machine to turn Bob into some weird abomination.
Our middle segment is mostly a parody of the Godzilla franchise as a whole, instead of any particular entry. It takes place in a version of Springfield that’s in Japan, which means all the voice-actors are going to be doing some real cringe-worthy Japanese accents. Anyway, we see that Abe is some weird old man that everyone in town mocks, because every day of his life he drops a donut into the ocean outside the village. Bart and Lisa ask him one day why he does it, and Abe explains that it’s what their family have done for generations, and legends say that they’re appeasing some massive monster so that it won’t destroy the village. But, everyone thinks that that’s ridiculous, leaving Abe to be the only people who still does it.
So, of course, one day Grandpa dies, and the offering is not made. Which is when Homerzilla makes his appearance! The horrible monster rises from the deep, and instantly just starts destroying Springfield. Professor Frink tries to explain that biologically Homerzilla can’t be that size, but he’s crushed. And Lisa tries to talk sense into the beast, but is ignored, so that Homerzilla can destroy the whole town.
Which is when we learn that this whole thing was a movie. We see that a Hollywood studio is watching this old Homerzilla movie because they’ve decided to make a big-budget remake. And, because it’s kind a cheap and campy property, they should make it deadly serious, and put in as much product placement as possible. We then see them create a remake of Homerzilla, and it’s terrible. In fact, it’s so terrible that they pull it from release, and sink all of the prints and merchandise into the middle of the ocean. Where the real Homerzilla awakens! In a sequel!
Telepaths of Glory
Our final segment is a parody of that found-footage movie Chronicle. I never saw it, but I neither like the genre nor the director, so I figured that was for the best. Anyway! We see Bart, Milhouse, and Lisa running around in a field, recording everything, and goofing off. Which is spoiled when Milhouse falls down a weird hole, and lands in something squishy. So, obviously, Bart and Lisa dive down into the hole to save him, and find that the bottom of the pit is full of toxic waste. The kids poke around the waste, and then end up being knocked unconscious. And, when they awaken, they’re up in the field again, and they notice something odd.
They have superpowers! Well, Lisa and Milhouse do. No luck for Bart. They seem to have really potent telekinesis, and can control anything with their minds. Lisa and Milhouse decide to keep it a secret, but they quickly start using their powers for their own gain. Until Milhouse goes mad with power. He starts flying around, making himself a god. He starts smashing people together and making statues of himself, while threatening to destroy the city. Until Maggie shows up, and defeats Milhouse with her powers, because she’s been exposed to radiation too somehow. She then flies off to solve all the world’s problems, while Kang and Kodos show up to complain about the fact that they’re just cameos again this year.
This is far from my favorite Treehouse of Horror episode, but it’s still one that I thought was kind of fun. It certainly comes off a little worse when compared with yesterday’s incredibly solid Halloween episode, but there’s really nothing terribly wrong with it. It’s just a little dull. The first segment certainly has an interesting idea, even though they did do an Itchy and Scratchy gag that was the exact same idea. But, the idea of Sideshow Bob finally getting to kill Bart was kind of fun, and I’m shocked that it took them this long to realize they could accomplish it in a Treehouse of Horror episode. The Godzilla parody is probably the weirdest of the bunch, mainly because I can’t quite tell what the gag is. I feel like with all the jabs at product placement that they’re making fun of that Matthew Broderick Godzilla episode, but that’s almost twenty years out of synch. Plus, I think it’s weird that they just give a blanket statement that all Godzilla movies are campy trash, when the original film is actually quite good. And that final segment is fine. Chronicle never seemed like a story up my alley, and this parody does kind of show that there’s really just not much to talk about with it. Honestly, I would have been more into just seeing Maggie fly around with magic powers. That would have been neat. All in all it’s just a very middle of the road Treehouse of Horror episode, which is kind of all I’m expecting at this point.
Take Away: Don’t let attempted murderers be college professors, don’t make campy films serious remakes, and don’t make found-footage movies.
“Treehouse of Horror XXVI” was written by Joel H Cohen and directed by Steven Dean Moore, 2015.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons