31 Nights of Halloween: Best of Treehouse of Horror

31 Nights of Halloween

The Simpsons have been on television a loooooooong time, too long in my opinion. I stopped watching them probably 10 or so seasons ago, aside from their annual Halloween Treehouse of Horror specials. This year, the special marked their 666th episode which is just so fitting for a Halloween special. I’m not sure that I will watch it since even these once great, incredibly creative episodes have become lackluster. I remember waiting patiently each year to watch these as a kid and getting screwed a few times because of that pesky mountain time. Those were the days when you actually had to be physically home at the time  your favorite show aired to watch it. If you aren’t familiar with these episodes please leave there are three horror stories, that sometimes parody well-known horror films or are otherwise just creepy stories. These are the episodes that I appreciate the most. I am doing these by air date since I own the actual seasons of only Treehouse of Horror episodes so I’m unsure of where they fall in the regular seasons and I’m lazy.

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Hands down my favorite episode – it has everything from Satan to der vampyr. In the first story, Homer sells his soul to Satan (played by Ned Flanders) for a donut. Bart is terrorized by a gremlin trying to wreck the school bus in the second story and Mr. Burns plays Dracula with wig and all for the conclusion. There isn’t a bad story in this episode which isn’t always the case.

1993

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This one parodies I Know What You Did Last Summer with a twist that was just as ridiculous as the original movie ending. It has a weak filler story about Bart and Lisa acquiring superhuman powers but ends on a strong note with Homer failing to prepare the plant’s computers for Y2K and causing the crash of the technological world. Remember when we all thought that the world was going to end because computers couldn’t compute zeroes? Good times.

1999

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Homer goes insane in The Shinning, then travels back in time in an attempt to fix a toaster and Springfield Elementary cafeteria starts eating misbehaving children. I think  this episode has the most comical Marge line of any episode, when Bart and Lisa try convincing her that they are going to be eaten she responds with; Kids, you’re 8 & 10 years old, I can’t keep fighting all of your battles for you. Classic parent response.

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Homer is attacked by an evil Krusty the Clown Doll, the middle episode story is a lame King Kong parody and ends with Lisa turning the residents of Springfield into zombies while trying to bring her cat back to life. I also love that this episode takes place during a Halloween party at the Simpson’s’ house and Bart is rocking the classic A Clockwork Orange costume.

III

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This one starts out strong with the Simpsons moving into a haunted house that just so happens to be on the site of an ancient burial ground. The second story is lame, something to do with aliens overfeeding them but not wanting to eat them…? And finishes with a parody of Poe’s The Raven narrated by James Earl Jones.

The Raven

There are so many good ones but these are classic introductions to these specials. I think the only reason I will be sad to see The Simpsons retire from television is that there won’t be anymore Treehouse of Horror episodes. Did you watch these as a kid? Let me know what your favorite episodes are!

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Another Fall Tag P. 1

Blogoween

Ah! I totally blew Blogoween, the nights have just been getting away from me and I blame the fact that it’s now getting dark at 5 o’clock. I’m exaggerating (only a little) but sometimes I get home and I’m so tired that I just skip dinner and sometimes my skincare (gasp) and head right to bed. Anyway, I’m finishing strong and am striving to stay up past 7 but also not making any promises 😛

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Fall rain is either cold, windy and miserable or crisp, refreshing and romantic. I hate grocery shopping in fall rain, I don’t know why but I cannot stand it. I hate grocery shopping most any time but when I’m cold and wet, it is so much worse.

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When the humidity finally dissipates and the air stops smelling like manure.

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I am planning on seeing at least one haunted house or haunted something this weekend. I also want to make a trip to Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, this time of year they have apples, cider, apple butter – pretty much anything that can be made from apples, they’ve got it. Not to mention all of the glorious candy.

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Windy! I love a dark, rainy night with leaves whipping through the air.

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Rain, I will even take torrential downpours over fog because it just creeps me out. There is a two-lane highway that I take to get to work and it is between two fields, some mornings it is so fogged out that I take an entirely different way to work just to avoid it. The fog is so dense over the road, cars will look like they are disappearing. No thanks.

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The food and baking, I love making soups and breads. The scent of the season, where I live in Minnesota the air smells like manure from about April to August so it’s a nice change. And of course, the beautiful colors.

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The pumpkin spice mania, the dark mornings and the fact that is is here and gone in just a few weeks.

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Probably when I started college, I went to a beautiful campus that was most stunning in fall. There was just always something about walking those old halls and holing up in the library to study, watching the rain against my dorm window.

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Leaves! Yes, the B&BW candle but also just running though leaves smells so good until they start rotting but we’ve got a few weeks before that happens 😛

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You’ve Got Mail, I think it starts out in the fall and that paired with her cute little bookstore gives it that perfectly cozy ambiance.

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The colors, obviously but again, just the smell of leaves is so delightful.

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If I had a fire, then probably a fire but I just watch them in bed now. I don’t own a television, I just watch stuff on my phone and it’s easier to be in bed while doing this.

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If I had a partner…no scratch that, I enjoy doing things by myself 😀

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There aren’t a ton of hiking opportunities where I live and the ones that do exist are typically plagued by too many people. I do a lot of trail running though which feels like hiking and fall/winter is the best time to do it.

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I have but also, I don’t like being that close to bees and messing with the fruits of their labor. I prefer to just purchase already bagged apples at the orchard, I do like going to orchards in general though.

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Cooking, baking, cleaning, reading, knitting – pretty much anything that one can do inside and avoid getting cold and wet.

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Mustard.

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Tough call but if I’m being honest, my love affair with winter died after that -29 degree polar vortex bullshit that happened last year. I like winter, I like snow but I don’t like it when it feels dangerous to be outside. We will see how this winter goes but I’m a fall fan as of now.

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Autumn, I hate spring. Pastels, allergies, lawn mowing, all the trash hiding under the snow because people can’t put their shit in the fucking garbage, the road kill – hate it all.

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Skirts, tights, boots.

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I don’t really have a bad memory that I associate specifically with the season and I hope it stays that way.

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It would certainly be my wedding season but any season that someone wants to get married in should be wedding season.

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Cider, being the total hypocrite that I am, I picked up some pumpkin spice apple cider just this weekend and it is actually delicious.

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I have and I hate the smell of pumpkin pulp, I can’t stop smelling it for days. I rarely carve pumpkins anymore.

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Again, from You’ve Got Mail where Meg Ryan is walking though the streets of New York and that song by The Cranberries is playing.

That’s it for today but I will be back later with a 31 Nights of Halloween post. Do you love fall, do you get a little burnt out on it? I do, Hobby Lobby has their Christmas stuff out already and I’m not even mad about it.

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31 Nights of Halloween: The Shining (1980)

31 Nights of Halloween

Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of King’s The Shining is pretty good if you haven’t read the book but also totally sucks if you have. He left out the most hair raising parts and instead went for shock value. It leaves out my absolute favorite part of the book where the giant topiary animals start to surround Jack outside of the weird maze on the property. But of course kept in the decayed, old lady corpse. Anyway…

Jack Torrance, a failing writer, his wife Wendy and son Danny are headed to a secluded inn that’s closing for the off-season. They will be looking after the property with no access to the outside world. Of course, the inn is haunted and weird things start happening. Unfortunately for Danny, he possesses the shining which allows him to see into the inn’s tragic past. Jack’s sanity and sobriety quickly deteriorate putting his family in danger.

I just don’t love this adaptation, the only element that somewhat redeems it is the atmosphere of the hotel Kubrick used. Which, is not the Stanley Hotel that the book used but still plenty creepy. I think it’s more accurate to say that the movie is influenced by the book but if you haven’t read it, you probably wouldn’t know the difference and it’s a decent movie otherwise.

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31 Nights of Halloween: Hocus Pocus

31 Nights of Halloween

Clearly, I am mostly failing at sticking to my watch list and completely failing at watching something each night. In my defense, it was a rough weekend – this nasty cold is going around, again. My neighbors were acting like complete dickheads, again. The weather was soggy and cold, we did not get any snow which I am pretty disappointed about but the leaves look stunning. I mostly read this weekend and it was time well spent. Tonight’s film is a classic from my childhood, Hocus Pocus.

This movie begins where all witch-y movies worth their potion begin, somewhere in Colonial America during the witch trials. Now, I hate to quibble but the trials ended in May 1693 so the Sanderson sisters would have probably been spared by their puritanical neighbors. I get that it is way cooler to come back on the 300th year anniversary and not the 299th year and some odd days anniversary 😛 Anyway, the Sanderson sisters are in the midst of luring a young girl away from her home so that they can steal her youth. Her brother, Thackery Binx sees his sister being kidnapped and tries to save her. Sadly, and quite tragically for a children’s movie, he does not save her and the witches turn him into a cat that is cursed with eternal life. The puritans ascend on the witches’ hovel and hang them but not before Winifred casts a spell ensuring that the sister will be back. Feline Thackery tries to approach his parents but is kicked away which remains the saddest part in the entire film. to this day.

Fast forward 300 years, 90’s Salem, the best Salem and we meet Max and Dani Dennison who just moved to town from LA. Dani loves all of the local lore but Max is more skeptical and overall hates their new home. I never understood this as a child because all I have ever wanted to do was live in Salem. He does like Allison, a local girl who’s family used to operate the Sanderson cottage as a museum until it had to be closed because too many spooky things kept happening. Max convinces the girls to check the cottage out and insanity ensues. He ends up lighting the Black Flame Candle and bringing the Sanderson sisters back who hatch a plan to steal the lives of all the children in Salem. With the assistance of Binx, they foil the sisters’ plans and learn a valuable lesson about how helpful drunk adults are on Halloween.

I love this one, I have probably watched it a thousand times yet it remains a classic and annual must-watch.

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31 Nights of Halloween: Nancy Drew (2019)

31 Nights of Halloween

Hey, guess what, I’m that person who likes to make lists and then I’m like – who needs lists, I’m a free-spirit, I don’t need lists. Needless to say, I did not watch Carrie this evening and instead, watched the first episode of The CW’s Nancy Drew reboot. This is the problem with lists, amazing things could present themselves that might be missed out on if one stuck to a list! I will slot Carrie in for that horrible Hulu original series that I already mostly forgot about and watch it this weekend. See, at least I have a plan…

I grew up on the Nancy Drew mystery series and was excited about a reboot but also hesitant because of that travesty of a show Riverdale that is loosely, loosely based on the Archie comic books. I’ve said it before and feel compelled to say it again, Ms. Grundy was a 70-year old matron and not a hot body music teacher who banged underage pupils. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Anyway, I still decided to give this new series a watch and see how it compared to the beloved books. To start, the characters seemed a lot older than those in the book (the teens in the book are a lot more innocent if you know what I mean). Nancy has ‘retired’ her detective work after the death of her mother. She is waitressing in her small hometown, still dating Ned Nickerson. The show deviates from the book with her other friends, Bess & George are still around but in a vastly different capacity. They aren’t really friends at all and are just forced together through circumstances, that circumstance being they’re accused of murdering a local heiress. While trying to solve this case, they uncover details about the unsolved disappearance of a local girl from decades ago. There’s a surprising amount of supernatural elements in the show and it’s pretty dark in nature. I guess that’s what happens when producers try to add a modern twist that appeals to a younger generation that didn’t grow up on the books and can’t relate to the stories. I think it’s cool to see Nancy make a comeback but also, can everyone stop ruining my childhood icons?! Come up with your own damn content. Anyway, it was a romp but I’m not sure I’ll keep watching.

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31 Nights of Halloween: Grimm (2011)

31 Nights of Halloween

Well, I was supposed to watching Chopping Mall tonight but I can’t find it. I really should have pulled out my movies when I made my list but it didn’t occur to me at the time. Instead, I watched a few episodes of Grimm. I loved this show, up until the last two seasons. Each episode is based loosely on a Brothers Grimm tale. The main character, Nick is a detective who finds out that he is grimm which is someone who can see the Grimm fairy tale creatures for what they are. His ancestors have been tracking and killing the creatures of decades.

The first episode is a classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf. Nick and his partner Hank are investigating the slaying of a college student when Nick starts to see weird things. His aunt who is very ill, arrives in town and tells him that they need to talk. Unfortunately for the both of them, she has been followed by another being who kills grimms and she is delayed in passing down her knowledge to him. Meanwhile, a little girl goes missing and the detectives think the two cases are related. Nick meets Monroe, one of the big, bad wolves who helps him solve the case and fills in some of the missing pieces about his grimm history. The two make an unlikely team but their friendship is on of my favorite elements of the entire series. Hank and Nick bring the bad guy in and the little girl is found unharmed.

The show is set in Portland, I’ve always dreamed of living there and the foggy, damp atmosphere is the perfect backdrop to this spooky show. Overall, it’s a fun series with unique story line and an enjoyable cast.

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Check out what else I’m watching: 31 Nights of Halloween Watch List

31 Nights of Halloween: Friday the 13th (1980)

31 Nights of Halloween

Ch-ch-ch-kah-kah-kah. A group of sexy teenagers are hired to work at Camp Crystal Lake where a small boy drowned decades ago. What could possibly go wrong, except everything…

Spoiler: everybody dies, well most everybody. Jason Voorhees, while attending summer camp accidentally drowns and his mother blames the negligent camp counselors. In the years following the accident, a string of incidents leads to the camp shutting down amid rumors that it’s cursed. Under new ownership, the camp is set to reopen. The town crazy tries to warn the kids about the camp’s reputation but is unable to convince them that they may be in trouble. One by one, the teens are picked off by who we assume is Jason Voorhees who is somehow still haunting the camp. We soon find out that it’s actually Mrs. Voorhees killing everyone to avenge her son. We only catch a glimpse of Jason at the very end of the movie and really, he was scarier when we didn’t know what he looked like or if he was even alive. The isolated cabin setting, unseen killer, extreme weather event and teenage naivete all contribute to the creep factor of this classic slasher.

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Check out what else I’m watching: 31 Nights of Halloween Watch List