Halloween Re:Animated The Simpsons Halloween Special 18

We open with another apology for the The Simpsons Halloween Special airing in November. It’s an increasingly violent commentary on TV advertising as Marge gets fed up with other shows’ promos appearing on screen, eventually cooking them into a title-displaying meatloaf of murder.

E.T. Go Home

“My friends and I came in peace to find your vulnerabilities, and…erm…shore them up with more peace.”

The Simpsons E.T. Go Home

Just a dash of Spielbergian wonder to this parody of “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” as Kodos finds himself left behind during a scouting mission. Although Bart does his best to keep him a secret, the news soon leaks out and so the family smuggle him past the NASA scientists to help him get home. Except Kodos isn’t planning to go home, he’s planning to open a portal and invade Earth. In true middle-era Simpsons style, the humour’s less frequent, less clever and ever so slightly mean-spirited and violent.

Mr & Mrs Simpson

“The problem is you don’t share my interest in not being with you.”

The Simpsons Mr & Mrs Simpson

Really pushing the limit of what may be considered a ‘Halloween’ story, this by-the-numbers parody of “Mr & Mrs Smith”. There are a few smart lines and some nice visual gags too but overall it feels quite predictable, even if the fight scenes are pretty decent.

Heck House

“I warned ya. And yet, my punishment is no less severe. That’s odd.”

The Simpsons Heck House

The mean-spiritedness returns in full force in this third instalment which sees Ned Flanders take the town’s kids to task when they abandon asking for treats and wage a campaign of increasingly horrible tricks. Some of the humour’s on a real knife-edge here from a crass invocation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to Homer’s head becoming lodged in a pig’s backside. There’s a delicious irony in Ned praying to God for the ability to scare the kids straight only to be turned into Satan to get the job done. And he gets the job done by rattling quickly through the seven deadly sins and Simpsonising Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden Of Earthly Delights. It may end with Ned Flanders telling viewers that they’ll be going to Hell for watching but at the very least they’ll be joined by the writers of this year’s special.

The Simpsons Review Score 5


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