31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – TREEHOUSE OF HORROR 1-5

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Dan Castellaneta (Fantastic Four)
Julie Kavner (Dr. Dolittle)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Yeardley Smith (As Good as It Gets)
Harry Shearer (Godzilla)
Maggie Roswell (Pretty In Pink)
Hank Azaria (Mystery Men)

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GUEST CAST

James Earl Jones (Star Wars)
Marcia Wallace (Full House)
Frank Welker (Transformers)

TREEHOUSE OF HORROR

On Halloween, Bart, Lisa and Maggie sit in the treehouse and tell scary stories, while Homer eavesdrops on them.
Bad Dream House
The Simpsons move into an old house, wondering at its low cost. Their questions are answered when the walls begin to bleed and objects begin to fly through the air, and Lisa senses an evil presence in the house. There is also a portal to another dimension in the kitchen. Marge expresses the desire to leave, but Homer asks her to sleep on it, due to the cost of buying the house. That night, the house possesses Homer and the children, manipulating their minds and making them chase each other with axes and knives. Marge intervenes, breaking the trance. Afterwards, Bart discovers the source of the haunting – a Native American burial ground hidden in the basement. After the Spirit of The House threatens them again, Marge loses her patience and confronts the house, demanding that it treat them with respect during their stay. The house thinks it over, and eventually opts to destroy itself rather than live with the Simpsons.
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Hungry are the Damned
The Simpsons are in their backyard having a barbecue when they are abducted by extraterrestrial life forms (specifically Kang and Kodos). The aliens explain that they are taking the Simpsons to their home planet on Rigel IV, “a world of infinite delights,” for a ‘feast’. En route they present the family with enormous amounts of food and watch eagerly as they gorge themselves, then check their weights, being particularly delighted at Homer’s mass. Suspicious of the alien’s intentions, Lisa sneaks into the kitchen and finds a book titled How To Cook Humans. She takes the book and shows it to the aliens, who explain to her that part of the title was obscured by space dust, which they then blow away to reveal the title How To Cook For Humans. Lisa, skeptical at this, blows off more space dust, revealing the title to be How To Cook Forty Humans. The aliens blow off the last of the space dust, finally revealing the real title How To Cook For Forty Humans. Enraged at Lisa’s mistrust, they return the Simpsons to Earth, explaining that Lisa ruined the family’s chance at paradise on the aliens’ home planet. Homer and Bart agree with the aliens, but Marge tries to explain to them that Lisa was just concerned for their family and didn’t know better. Even she agrees that Lisa sometimes needs to tone down her attitude and just ask.
The Raven
Lisa reads “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. In this adaptation, Bart is depicted as the raven, Homer finds himself in the role of the poem’s lead character, while Lisa and Maggie are seraphim. Marge appears briefly as a painting of Lenore. James Earl Jones narrates.
The episode then returns to the treehouse and Bart, Lisa and Maggie, who are not frightened by any of the stories. They climb down from the treehouse and sleep peacefully the whole night. Homer, on the other hand, lies in his bed terrified. As he notices a raven outside the window similar to the one from the poem, Homer hides under the sheets and exclaims that he “hates Halloween”.
the first two segments worked better than the third, “but this is a marvelous episode, and set a high standard for the Halloween specials to come.
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TREEHOUSE OF HORROR II
At the beginning of the episode, Homer is watching the news on Halloween night while eating candy, which ends up being taken by Jimbo and Kearney after they threaten to egg his house. Marge and the kids return home after trick-or-treating with a big haul of candy. Despite warnings from Marge that eating the candy will cause nightmares, Homer, Lisa, and Bart eat from the large candy pile. That night, all three try to sleep, and Lisa is the first to have a nightmare.
Lisa’s Nightmare
In the first of three segments, the Simpsons visit Morocco (which Homer mistakes for Monaco). Homer purchases a severed monkey’s hand that will grant four wishes, despite the vendor’s warning that the wisher will meet with grave misfortune. Back in Springfield, the family argues in how to use the wishes. Despite Marge’s warning to heed the advice of the vendor in not using any of them, Maggie is granted that first wish: a new pacifier. Next, Bart wishes for the Simpsons to be rich and famous. His wish is granted, but the people quickly tire of the family’s annoying antics, cheesy merchandise and celebrity treatment. Horrified by these wasteful wishes, Lisa wishes for world peace and Homer is furious. While all countries declare peace and destroy their weapons, the aliens Kang and Kodos realize the human race is “ripe for the plucking” and, armed only with a slingshot and a club, enslave the Earth. At the house, Homer blames Lisa and deems her own wishes to be selfish. She defends herself, claiming that Bart and Maggie’s own wishes were also selfish as well and felt that hers was the only selfless one. Soon, Marge catches the people who are angry with the Simpsons and calls for a temporary truce in the family. Determined to make a wish that cannot be twisted, she begs Homer to do the right thing and use the last wish to get rid of the aliens. Much to her dismay, Homer refuses and demands a turkey sandwich, but the turkey turns out to be a little too dry. With all of the wishes used, he goes to throw out the paw, but his neighbor Ned Flanders asks about it. Hoping to see Flanders suffer, Homer gladly hands the paw over. Ned’s first wish is to “Get rid of those awful aliens,” which is accomplished when Moe chases after Kodos with a board with a nail sticking out of it, then brings the aliens back to the flying saucer. Kodos laments their failed invasion, but Kang assures him that humanity is doomed: they will end up in an arms race creating increasingly bigger boards and bigger nails, which will ultimately “cause the human race to create a board with a nail in it so big to doom mankind.” Everyone celebrates and after Flanders wishes to “spruce up the ol’ homestead,” his house is converted into an opulent castle, making Homer jealous. Lisa wakes up from her nightmare and begs Bart to keep her company. Bart sleepily complies after Lisa gives him a candy necklace. Bart then has a nightmare.

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Bart’s Nightmare
In the second segment, Springfield is held in a grip of terror by Bart, who has omnipotent powers. Bart turns whoever is not happy and content with his “rule” into another being, and even history is changed to suit Bart’s pleasure. When Homer refuses to turn off a football game so that Bart can watch “The Krusty the Clown Show” (which has been running for 346 consecutive hours), Bart transports him into the football stadium in place of the ball for a field goal kick. As Homer creeps back into the house, trying to surprise Bart with a blow to the back of the head, Bart transforms him into a jack-in-the-box. Marge suggests that the two see Dr. Marvin Monroe. The doctor says that Bart is desperate for paternal attention from Homer and suggests that the two spend more time together. Despite being a jack-in-the-box, Homer spends quality time with Bart, and they soon become a normal, loving family. Bart turns Homer back into a human and the two share a warm family moment, causing Bart to wake up screaming. Bart and Lisa wake Homer and Marge and beg them to let them sleep in their bed. As the two crawl into bed, Homer laments that he has to go to work in a few hours and dozes off, becoming the last one in the episode to have a nightmare.
Homer’s Nightmare
In the third segment, Mr. Burns fires Homer for his laziness and incompetence. Looking for work, Homer answers a classified ad to become a grave digger. Meanwhile, Burns is nearing the completion of his giant robotic laborer, which he hopes will eventually replace weak-bodied human workers. The only remaining step is to implant a human brain into the machine’s body. Searching a graveyard the following night, Burns mistakes Homer, snoring in an open grave, for a newly buried corpse and, despite signs that Homer may still be alive, removes Homer’s brain with an ice cream scoop and places it in the robot. However, Robo-Homer is just as lazy and incompetent as he was as a human, using his x-ray vision to locate donuts. Burns declares the experiment a failure and, after restoring the brain to Homer’s still-living body, kicks the robot, which topples over and crushes Burns. Afterward, he tells Smithers to get some surgical tools and ether.
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 Homer wakes up screaming after Bart bites him. While going to the bathroom, Homer finds Mr. Burns’s head grafted on his shoulder. Homer repeatedly mumbles that it is all a dream, and Mr. Burns sarcastically reassures him, “Oh that’s right, it’s all a dream… or is it?” and laughs maniacally.In a faux sneak preview for the next episode, Lisa reminds Homer that her class is hosting an “all you can eat” spaghetti dinner while Burns reminds him that they have a reception for Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands that same night. This causes Homer to remark how he hates having two heads.
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All three tales succeed, with Bart’s nightmare of gaining awesome powers being perhaps the most successful
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 TREEHOUSE OF HORROR III
The Simpsons are having a Halloween party for the children of Springfield. Lisa, Grampa and Bart each tell a horror story.
Clown Without Pity
In a parody of the Twilight Zone episode, Living Doll, Homer realizes that he forgot to buy Bart a present for his birthday. He rushes to the House of Evil, where he purchases a talking Krusty the Clown doll. The shopkeeper warns him that the doll is cursed, but Homer dismisses his concerns because it comes with a free frogurt. He returns to the party and gives Bart the doll. Grandpa exclaims that the doll is evil, but admits that he is just doing it to get attention.
Later, Homer is playing with the doll when it starts saying that it is going to kill him. He dismisses this until the doll threatens to stab him. After numerous attempts on Homer’s life, he captures the evil Krusty doll, locks it in a suitcase, and drops it in a “Bottomless Pit.” Returning home, Homer is ambushed by the escaped doll, who tackles him into the kitchen and tries to drown him in Santa’s Little Helper’s dog bowl. Marge calls the consumer service hotline from the Talking Krusty Doll box. A repairman arrives and discovers that the doll has been accidentally set to “Evil” mode, even though it was established earlier that the doll was cursed. He flips the switch back to “Good” and the Krusty doll becomes friends with Homer.
A few hours later, the Krusty doll is working as Homer’s slave, bringing him snacks, walking Santa’s Little Helper (who tried to bury him), and giving Homer a sponge bath. The Krusty doll returns to his girlfriend (a Malibu Stacy doll) in Lisa’s dollhouse.
King Homer
In a parody of King Kong, Marge joins Mr. Burns and Smithers on an expedition to Ape Island to find the legendary King Homer. After landing on the island, Mr. Burns, Smithers, and Marge stealthily approach a native tribe, but are spotted due to Marge’s hair protruding over the bushes. The villagers agree that “The blue haired woman would make a good sacrifice” and tie her to a post as an offering. The sound of drums summons King Homer. Marge is initially terrified but sees the friendly side of Homer when he is attracted to Marge’s perfume and the two form a friendship. Nonetheless, Mr. Burns is determined to capture King Homer and Smithers knocks Homer unconscious with a gas bomb before being swallowed alive by a sleeping Homer. Returning to New York, the group display King Homer at the Broadway theatre. The photographers’ flashes enrage King Homer, who breaks free from his restraints, squashes the reporter, eats Barney’s peanuts, breaks through into the wall into a nearby theatre and eats Shirley Temple. He abducts Marge then attempts to climb the Empire State Building, but is unable to get past the second story of the building. King Homer collapses in exhaustion and Marge helpfully suggests that he eat more vegetables and fewer people. In the end, King Homer and Marge get married. The story ends with the wedding, and King Homer eating Marge’s father (although Marge is not upset).
Dial “Z” For Zombies
While in the Springfield Elementary library searching for material for a book report, Bart finds a book of black magic in the library’s “Occult section” and gets attached to it. That night, when Lisa reminisces about the family’s dead cat, Snowball I, Bart suggests that he could use the book he found to resurrect Snowball to make Lisa happy again. At the Springfield pet cemetery with Lisa as his witness, Bart utters an incantation from the book but accidentally reanimates corpses from the nearby human cemetery instead, much to both Bart and Lisa’s shock. The zombies terrorize Springfield, turning several people, including Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, Krusty the Clown, Sideshow Mel, Edna Krabappel, and the bullies into zombies. Meanwhile, the Simpson family has barricaded all the doors and windows except for the back door, which Homer forgot to do because he was watching TV. Several zombies break into the house: Homer sacrifices himself to give the others time to escape, but the zombies leave him when they realize he does not have enough brains for them to eat and becomes insulted at them. Lisa realizes that the school library must have a book that can reverse the spell. The family runs to the car under the protection of Homer’s shotgun. Flanders comes over and asks, “mind if I chew your ear?” Homer responds by blasting Flanders with his shotgun. The family voice their shock that he killed the zombie Flanders, to which Homer responds “He was a zombie?”
Image result for the simpsons treehouse of horror iii dial z for zombiesThe Simpsons arrive at Springfield Elementary and burst through the doors, Homer leading with his shotgun. Numerous zombies try to attack the family, including those of George Washington, Albert Einstein, and William Shakespeare. Homer shoots them all and the family reaches the occult section. Bart searches desperately through books while zombies pound on the doors. After accidentally turning Lisa into a snail with another wrong spell, Bart casts the appropriate counter spell, causing all zombies return to their graves and putting Lisa back to her human form. The morning after the disaster, Mayor Quimby gives a speech to the town parodying inspirational speeches at the end of disaster movies. At home, Marge remarks that it is a relief she and the family were not turned into mindless zombies. However, in a twist ending, The Simpsons begin speaking in a zombie-like monotone while watching a man fall down on TV.
Another seasonal treat. Dial Z for Zombies is particularly impressive (‘Dad, you killed the zombie Flanders!’ ‘He was a zombie?’
TREEHOUSE OF HORROR IV
Bart introduces each of the three segments by walking through a gallery of paintings and each time choosing one of them as the focus of his story.
The Devil and Homer Simpson
In a parody of The Devil and Daniel Webster, at work, Homer states that he would sell his soul for a doughnut after finding that Lenny and Carl took all the doughnuts and threw them at an old man (Abe Simpson) “for kicks”. The Devil, revealed to be Ned Flanders, appears and offers Homer a contract to seal the deal. However, before Homer finishes the doughnut, he realizes that Ned will not be able to have his soul if he does not eat all of the doughnut and keeps the final piece in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, while half-asleep and looking for a midnight snack, he eats the final piece of the “forbidden donut”, and Ned instantly reappears to take possession of Homer’s soul. Marge and Lisa plead with Ned, finally getting him to agree to hold a trial the next day. Until then, Homer is sent to spend the rest of the day being punished in Hell. At the stroke of twelve midnight, Ned brings Homer back to the Simpson household for his trial. Then, when the Simpsons’ lawyer, Lionel Hutz, flees after ruining his case, Marge makes a final effort to save Homer by displaying a photo from their wedding day. On the back of the photo, Homer has written that, in return for Marge giving him her hand in marriage, he pledges his soul to her forever; therefore, it was not his property to sell at the time of his deal with Ned. The jury rules in favor of the Simpsons and the presiding judge dismisses the case. Enraged, the Devil leaves, but not before he turns Homer’s head into a doughnut.
Terror at 5½ Feet
In a parody of the Twilight Zone episode, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, after having a nightmare in which he is killed in a bus crash, Bart rides the bus to school one rainy morning. He panics when he sees a gremlin on the side of the bus loosening the lug nuts on one of the wheels. Bart unsuccessfully tries to convince the other passengers of the danger. In desperation, Bart climbs halfway out the window to scare off the gremlin with an emergency flare. The gremlin catches fire and falls from the bus, but is found by Ned Flanders, who decides to adopt the creature. When the bus finally stops, everyone sees the obvious damage, but Bart is still sent away to an insane asylum for the rest of his life for his disruptive behavior. Bart is relieved as he is finally able to rest, but the gremlin appears in the back window of the ambulance, holding Flanders’ decapitated (yet still living) head, which makes Bart scream in terror.
Bart Simpson’s Dracula
In a parody of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, after a news story about several vampire attacks, Lisa begins to suspect that Mr. Burns is a vampire, but the rest of the family dismisses her concerns. The family is invited to Burns’ castle in Pennsylvania, where Bart and Lisa discover a secret staircase descending to an eerie basement filled with coffins. As they investigate, vampires emerge from the coffins and encircle them. Lisa escapes, but Bart activates the “Super Fun Happy Slide”, causing him to be captured and get bitten by Burns. Bart returns to the table with Burns, who tells him to take a seat. Bart is very pale and is behaving oddly, but these factors get little attention by the family. Later that night, Lisa is awakened by a now undead Bart and his vampire friends. When Bart is about to bite Lisa, Homer and Marge interrupt and discover that Bart is a vampire. Lisa claims that the only way to restore him is to kill the head vampire, Mr. Burns. The family returns to the Burns’ mansion, where Homer (after accidentally hitting the crotch) drives a stake through Burns’ heart, though Burns does momentarily come back to life to fire him. Unfortunately, despite Burns’ death, Bart still remains a vampire. To make things worse, Lisa discovers that everyone in the Simpson family except for herself is a vampire, and that the true head vampire is inexplicably Marge, not Mr. Burns. With this revelation, the whole entire family swoops in on Lisa, only to stop and wish everyone a happy Halloween. Then, they all harmonize “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, parodying A Charlie Brown Christmas.
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 Contains many notable sequences and is one of the best Treehouses of Horror episodes. I particularly liked the scenes in Hell where Homer is punished by the Devil, and Chief Wiggum’s attempts to deal with Dracula.
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 TREEHOUSE OF HORROR V
Marge warns that the episode is frightening and children should not watch it. During the warning, she is told that it is so scary that Congress will not let them show it. Bart interrupts it with a radio transmission and shows the episode.
The Shinning
In a parody of The Shining, The Simpsons go to Mr. Burns’ mansion to become its caretakers. Burns cuts the cable television wire and removes the beer, believing that this will ensure hard work from the family. While there, Groundskeeper Willie discovers that Bart has the power to read his thoughts and that if Homer goes insane, he should use this to call him. The absence of his two favorite things sends Homer insane and a ghostly Moe tells Homer he must kill his family in order to get a beer. Marge finds that Homer has covered the walls with the repeating phrase “No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy”, and confronts Homer with a baseball bat, but Homer, seeing his reflection in a mirror, trips and knocks himself unconscious. Marge locks him in the pantry until he has calmed down and makes some chili for dinner. Later on, Homer has calmed down and happily eats, but Moe reminds him of their deal through the pantry door. When he refuses to cooperate, Moe shows up with his gang of ghouls and carries Homer out much to his dismay. As Marge and the children are enjoying dinner, Homer begins chasing the family with an axe and Bart uses his powers to call Willie, who runs to the family’s rescue, dropping his portable television in the snow. Homer kills him by stabbing him in the back with the axe. Homer chases his family outside but just as he is about to kill them, Lisa shows him Willie’s discarded television. Homer’s insanity gradually fades and the family freezes in the snow while watching with him. With the family unable to change the channel when the Tony Awards begin, Homer’s insanity rises again.
Time and Punishment
In a parody of A Sound of Thunder, while trying to fix a broken toaster, Homer accidentally turns it into a time machine. It transports him to prehistoric times where he realizes he must be careful because if he affects anything in the past, it could change the future. After swatting a mosquito, he returns to the present to find a dystopia where Ned Flanders is now the dictator of the world. Homer travels back in time again to try to set things right; however, he accidentally kills a walking fish, and after returning to the present he finds Bart and Lisa are giants, narrowly avoiding being crushed by them. He then sneezes and infects the dinosaurs with a cold virus while defending himself from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, which proceeds to cause their extinction. He is initially pleased with the results in the present; amongst other perks, the family is now extremely wealthy and Patty and Selma are dead, but is terrified to find that donuts do not exist in this timeline and flees, seconds before donuts begin raining from the sky. In another world, Willie tries to help Homer, but is again hit in the back with an axe, this time by a deep-voiced Maggie. When Homer returns to the prehistoric times again, he furiously smashes everything in sight with a baseball bat. After several more trips back and forth in time, Homer eventually arrives in a reality that appears normal; he finds that humans eat with lizard-like tongues, but decides it is “close enough”.
Nightmare Cafeteria
In a parody of Soylent Green, Principal Skinner is worried that the detention hall is becoming overcrowded and due to the latest budget cut, Lunchlady Doris is being forced to serve “Grade F” meat in the cafeteria. Skinner discovers a common solution: eating misbehaving children. The first student to be eaten is Jimbo Jones, who is served as “Sloppy Jimbos”. Üter is then made into a German meal called “Üterbraten”. Bart and Lisa figure out what the teachers are doing, but one by one, the kids are “sent to detention” where they are caged and butchered. The kids try to get Marge to help, but she instead tells them that they must stand up for themselves. Eventually Bart, Lisa and Milhouse are among the only students left and decide to escape. Skinner and the other teachers corner them on a ledge above a giant blender. Willie tries to help the students escape, but is once again killed with an axe in the back, this time by Skinner, and remarks “och, I’m bad at this!” as he dies. Milhouse, Bart, and Lisa fall to their demise.
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Bart wakes up from the nightmare to find his family beside his bed. Marge assures him he has nothing to be afraid of, “except for that fog that turns people inside out.” No sooner after she says this, the said mysterious green fog seeps through the window and the Simpsons are turned inside out, but are able to perform a musical number with a returning Willie the Groundskeeper over the end credits (although Bart is dragged away by Santa’s Little Helper). Image result for the simpsons treehouse of horror v
The Shinning segment is a parody with such detail and comic timing it ranks with the great poofs of all time, and the Time and Punishment segment is one of the most beautifully random moments in The Simpsons history.
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