Simpsons Halloween Special XXI

There are a plethora of openings to choose from in 2010’s Simpsons Halloween Special XXI but rather than previous year’s throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach, the problem this year seems to be too many good ideas to cram in. The spitefully violent fight between Homer and Bart is the least of the introductory gags, with Professor Frink’s parody of the movie “Click” landing in second place. The gold medal, though, goes to the Universal Monsterised version of “The Office” – something I wish the show had decided to do as a full treehouse tale, even if it wouldn’t have featured any of the regular characters. Despite that, the Simpsons Halloween renaissance which began in last year’s Treehouse Of Horror reaches its peak here in volume XXI.

War And Pieces

“Hey it’s got to be good if Satan put his name on it!”

Simpsons Halloween Special XXI War And Pieces Review

“Jumani” gets the Treehouse Of Horror treatment as the Simpsons merrily reference pretty much every board game you can think of while Bart tries to undo the spell. It’s a fun-filled and – by recent standards at least – not too violent caper which makes clever use of the quirks and foibles of toy store classics for comic effect.

Master And Cadaver

“Oh goody: the monkey got hold of a speargun!”

Simpsons Halloween Special XXI Master And Cadaver Review

I’m a big fan of the movie “Dead Calm” so of course I was going to enjoy this parody, especially as it features a guest appearance by Hugh Laurie. A twisty, turny tale of murder and poison pies, it gets a little dark towards the end, especially when it’s revealed who the real puppet master of all the murderous mayhem is.


“I know, I know; don’t serve garlic, don’t stab your guest in the heart with a wooden stake, don’t ask him if he knows Frankenstein – it’s ‘racist’ somehow.”

Simpsons Halloween Special XXI  Tweenlight Review

Hilariously on point spoof of the “Twilight” series, this final chapter is the best of a strong bunch. Featuring a guest appearance from Daniel Radcliffe, it’s well-observed and packed full of jokes, especially once the action moves to vampire town and it widens its target to any and every kind of vampire. There’s a particularly good “Sesame Street” joke in there and the way Homer finally defeats the vamps is absolutely priceless.


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