Monday, October 02, 2006

Honourable mentions: The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror IV

Burns the vampire

Directed by: David Silverman

First released: 1993

I must admit to being a big fan of the Simpsons, and of all the episodes the annual Treehouse of Horrors are always a highlight.

In the fourth one the last tale was “Bart Simpson’s Dracula”. We begin with the family watching the news, a body drained of blood, a cape that befuddles the police (labelled Dracula) and Mr Burns buying a blood bank, all of which means little to the family with the exception of Lisa.

The family are invited to Mr Burns’ castle in Pennsylvania. This leads to the gag, with the door buzzer, where Burns declares “ah, more victims for my ever growing army of the undead” with his finger still on the button!

Smithers as RenfieldOf course Burns is a vampire and, despite Lisa’s best efforts, Bart is turned. This section owes much to Dracula (1992) especially in the look of Burns. Of course Dracula in the movie never had a Renfield at the castle, but Smithers had to be involved somehow.

Back at Evergreen Terrace, Bart and the neighbourhood kids are floating at Lisa’s window, now all vampires. This had overtones of the child at the window scenes of ’Salem’s Lot (1979). The family rush in with Grandpa, holding mallet and stake, declaring that they must kill the boy. When asked how he knew Bart was a vampire he obviously didn’t and runs away.

Homer Van HelsingThere is only one solution – kill the head vampire, a solution owing much to The Lost Boys (1987). Here we have Homer “Van Helsing”, who stakes the groin before finding the heart. Of course Burns is not the head vampire….

This is great fun, with subtle (and not too subtle) references to some of the great vampire movies and is in one of the best Simpsons’ episodes.

The imdb page is here.


zombiepunk said...

I have to agree it's also one of my favourite Simpsons episodes. I did feel that Homer's "mis-stake" as to where he originally tried to hammer the stake into Monty Burns still makes me laugh whenever I see this episode

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Can't say I disagree

Mark said...

Great seeing this episode highlighted here!

Like millions of others, I'm a big Simpsons fan, too. Of course, the Treehouse of Horror episodes rank up there with my favorites of the favorites.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Cheers Mark,

The one constant bugbear in mine and Sarah's relationship is the arguement over whether Homer is a role model (I say he is, Sarah say he isn't!) *adds that the arguement is tongue in cheek!*

Actually, one of my favourite sections in a TReehouse of Horrors is the homage to Return of the Living Dead (from memory) "Dad, you've killed the zombie Flanders!", "He was a zombie!"

Mark said...

There's a book out called The Gospel According to The Simpsons. It discusses the good family values expressed in the cartoon. My sister bought it for me one year, but I could never get myself to actually read it.

The bad thing about watching too much Simpsons is that I find myself responding to situations like Homer would. It drives my wife crazy, and I'm sure it makes me look like an idiot.

AtlanticVamp said...

Got this one too!