A lifelong movie buff, Matt Groening’s legendary animated series has a blast every year with its special Halloween episode. A look back at 10 famous horror films parodied by “The Simpsons”…
1. The Fly
In “Fly Against Fly” (Season 9 Episode 4), Bart suffers a fate similar to that of Jeff Goldblum in the famous movie David Cronenberg using a teleporter crafted by Professor Frink and retrieved by Homer. After having tried the experiment on his dog and his cat, thus creating two new hybrid creatures, Bart embarks himself in the machine… with a fly.
In “Bart Simpson Dracula” (season 5 episode 5), it is this “good old” Mr Burns who plays the role of the vampire. Largely inspired by the version of Francis Ford Coppola released in 1992, the episode takes place in Pennsylvania (a nod to Transylvania, where the evil count is supposed to live). Homer’s boss sports the exact same hairstyle and dress as those of Gary Oldman in the feature film.
In “The Shinning” (season 6 episode 6), it is the horrific monument of Stanley Kubrick which is honored. A totally assumed parody of the feature film that he sometimes copies shot by shot, the episode replaces the Overlook Hotel that Jack Torrance and his family must keep with the mansion of Mr Burns, entrusted to the Simpsons by the latter. Here, it’s not the unhealthy atmosphere of the building but the lack of beer that will push Homer to lose his mind and chase his wife down the halls with an axe.
In “The Exor-sis” (season 29, episode 4), like Max von Sydow and other characters in the film William Friedkin, the Simpsons find themselves confronted with the diabolical statuette of the demon Pazuzu and the evil spirit that goes with it. After Regan (played by Linda Blair in the original film) it’s Maggie’s turn to be possessed. As a bonus, the episode features a voice cameo from the director of The Exorcistin the role of Dr. Kenneth Humphries.
All Guillermo del Toro movies
Realized by Guillermo del Toro itself, the “couch gag” of the “Simpson Horror Show XXIV” (season 25 episode 2) is a true declaration of love for horror cinema. The zombies of Romerothe birds of Hitchcockthe Alien of Ridley Scott, the monsters of Universal… Many are the great figures of horror who take up residence in the streets of Springifield for the occasion, also rubbing shoulders with the characters who populate the filmography of the Mexican director. Bart and Mr Burns as creatures of the Pan’s LabyrinthWillie the Gardener in HellboyLou in BladeMargin in insect of Mimickingetc.
In a scene from “Tous à la demo” (season 2 episode 9), Homer and Maggie replay shot by shot the famous shower sequence in the feature filmAlfred Hitchcock. The father of the Simpson family plays the same role as Marion Crane, attacked by his own daughter who plays Norman Bates like this, with a mallet as a kitchen knife.
In “Abnormal Activity” (season 24 episode 2), the Simpsons parody one of Blumhouse Production’s biggest hits and play it found footage by filming the interior of their house after noticing strange events there. Using a camera stolen from Ned Fland…er…store bought, Homer and Marge manage to trap a ghost in the features are oddly similar to those of Moe Szyslak.
28 days later
In “Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind!” (season 21 episode 4), all the inhabitants of the city of Springfield find themselves transformed into the living dead… 28 days after Kent Brockman tasted Krusty the Clown’s new burgers. This episode, which rather obviously parodies the famous feature film by Danny Boyle, isn’t the Simpsons’ only nod to zombie movies. Indeed, “Homer Homega” (season 9 episode 4) made Homer relive the same ordeal as that of Robert Neville, hero of I’m a legend and Survivor.
In “A Clown Without Pity” (season 4 episode 5), Homer acts like Schwarzy in The Toy Race, and completely forgets to buy Bart a present for his birthday. On D-Day, he tries to make up for it by acquiring a doll with Krusty’s image in a very strange shop. That’s when the doll plays it chucky and sows panic in the Simpsons’ house.
The Claws of Night
In “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” (season 7 episode 6), it is Willie the Gardener who puts on the sharp gloves of the psychopath Freddy Krueger to terrorize the students of the school by pursuing them through their nightmares… in the form a lawn mower or a giant bagpipe spider.
5 things to know about “The Simpsons”…