Have you come back for more? having endured the first night the dead walked you return? Once the image of what zombies were took root in minds: dawns, days, and all sorts saw them return. The concept is now firmly set that even a cartoon family face these and not what came before. And in a trio of tales, we shall experience that.
When returning to this episode I was taken aback by how many classic meme scenes came from it. So many little snippets used to give people a laugh.
Since this is a classic Tree House episode, after the opening credits we go into a framing device. The first episode had the actual tree house, second was nightmares caused by too many sweets. This one, it’s a Halloween party and after Homer ruins an old horror game ,by eating the things meant to be used as horror props, it’s a trio of horror stories.
The first story, Clown Without Pity, is the tale of Homer being menaced by a talking Krusty doll he got Bart for his birthday from the House Of Evil, you’re one stop evil gift shop (which came with free Frogurt).
Second Story, King Homer, is very blatantly the Simpsons doing a version of King Kong, except with Homer as Kong. Bonus points for it being black and white and many shots recreating scenes surprisingly well from the original classic.
Dial “Z” for Zombies is the final tale this one told by Bart, which does explain why he has the lead role in the tale. He unleashes zombies by reading the wrong incantation from a book he found in the school library’s occult section. What follows is a tale of Springfield being attacked by zombies who eat brains and biting people turns them into zombies. We never see that happen but do see plenty of characters turned into zombies, including the zombie Flanders who Homer guns not realizing he was a zombie. (As said, lots of classic lines in this episode) It’s worth observing how these actual magic zombies are easier handled than the so called “more realistic” ones we get nowadays… sigh.
To be honest I was really scared of the zombies’ bit when I first saw it. It was one of my first experiences and I was a small child. Bunch of walking corpses turning people into walking corpses. Yeah, was too focused on that to enjoy it back then. Nowadays though I just laugh. Groundskeeper Willie gives probably the best reaction in fiction to zombies.
That, the buying of the Krusty doll, so many classic lines in this one, its up there as one of the best Tree House episodes. Sadly, during the long drudge years of modern Simpsons (they are getting better I’ve heard) they did yet another zombie apocalypse story this time based off 28 Days Later, and it just isn’t nearly as good as Dial Z.
Classic Tree House episodes are well worth watching at this time of year, a delicate balance between horror and comedy from the golden years of the Simpsons and well worth your time.