The premise: This year’s Halloween anthology. “Dial ‘M’ for Murder, or Press ‘#’ to Return to Main Menu” is a black-and-white Hitchcock-esque tale where Lisa unintentionally makes a deal with Bart to kill their respective teachers. “Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind” features a “28 Days Later” zombie infestation following the release of mad cow burgers at Krusty Burgers. “There’s No Business Like Moe Business” is a “Sweeney Todd” riff wherein Moe attempts to woo Marge with his new and improved ale, sweetened with the blood of a dying Homer, presented as them all being actors performing the musical on stage.
The reaction: Yet another Treehouse of Horror that’s doesn’t even attempt to be the least bit scary, from the cold open featuring the classic movie monsters getting drunk and hitting on women at a party, to the final segment with the incessant fourth wall leaning. The first story has some atmosphere and good direction, but eventually resorts to just throwing as many Hitchcock references at the screen as possible in the final chase scene. The second story has no time for jokes with so much story and explaining needed to be done in seven minutes, which basically is just a straight retelling of 28 Days Later (if not obvious enough, it opens with the chyron “28 Days Later…”) The third story is just befuddling, this gruesome story told in such a light-hearted, meta way, ended up just leaving me cold. The last Halloween show I truly enjoyed was Treehouse of Horror X, which we’re a good decade past here, and it couldn’t show more.
Three items of note:
– Criss cross! Criss cross! Criss cross! Criss cross! Shut up.
– To further push Marge from fond memories of her departed husband, Moe concocts a fake note from Homer, who claims he’s gone gay. This leads to a big musical number from Homer, over how many different men all around the world he wants to fuck! (“I want to French kiss a Frenchman, and spoon an English duke, ’cause frankly, dear, to not be queer, just makes me want to puke!”) You could excuse the awfulness of the song, opening with Homer reminiscing “turning gay the other day” by the fact that Moe wrote it, but it’s still pretty atrocious to watch. Also, what the fuck is this doing in the Halloween show?!
– The scariest thing in the whole show? The executive producer credits. Al “20 More Years” Jean. [shudders]
One good line/moment: “Ding-dong-ditch means you kill her, then you throw that ding-dong into a ditch! Jeez, pick up a book!” – Bart