How The Simpsons’ Halloween Specials Mirror the Zombie Genre Evolution

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Zombies are one of many basic monsters of the twenty first century, with quite a few movies, reveals, comics, video games and different types of media serving to elevate the undead into the higher echelon of contemporary western tradition. They’ve additionally developed quickly throughout that period, reworking from one particular type of monster into one thing far completely different.


Thanks to its long-running nature and behavior of parodying fashionable horror tales and tropes in every successive “Treehouse of Horror” particular, The Simpsons can be utilized as an ideal case examine to indicate how zombies developed in movie from the times of George Romero-style undead to the extra trendy tackle the idea.

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How Treehouse of Horror Did Zombies In 1992

Season 4’s “Treehouse of Horror III” options the section “Dial ‘Z’ for Zombies.” After discovering an historic e book of highly effective spells within the faculty library, Bart tries utilizing the e book to resurrect Lisa’s useless cat Snowball I. Instead, he inadvertently summons a horde of the undead, unleashing them onto Springfield. Many of the city’s inhabitants — together with Krusty the Clown, Principal Skinner, and Ned Flanders — are proven being killed and remodeled into zombies. Ultimately, the Simpsons are capable of breach the varsity — with Homer taking pictures down a number of zombies, together with, most famously, Flanders — whereas Bart performs a spell to undo the curse’s results and cease the undead.

“Dial ‘Z’ for Zombies” is a foolish early entry within the Treehouse of Horror subseries, even when contemplating that — in comparison with different early variations of the horror anthology — lacked the physique counts that often happen in these episodes. The zombies all shamble round slowly, overwhelming individuals and consuming their brains. Although the zombies retain some semblance of their personalities and intelligence (as in Return of the Living Dead), they’re pushed by their want for brains. The zombies mirror the model of the monster of the period — the type of zombies from the George Romero movies like Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead. The episode included a Romero-esque piece of social commentary embedded within the ending. After saving the day and defeating the zombies, the Simpsons return house and watch TV — changing into senseless zombies themselves earlier than the tv.

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How Treehouse of Horror Did Zombies In 2009

The subsequent time a Treehouse of Horror sequence instantly focused zombie movies, it was a much more horrifying portrayal. “Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind” from Season 21’s “Treehouse of Horror XX.” After Krusty reveals a brand new type of hamburger, it rapidly spreads a brand new virus that transforms victims into feral and cannibalistic monsters. Springfield collapses into damage as a lot of the city is contaminated. The Simpsons survive the chaos, and upon discovering Bart has a pure immunity, battle to get him to a army protected zone whereas contending with the hordes of “munchers” they encounter on the way in which. The brief is arguably one of many scariest Treehouse of Horror segments, taking part in the Munchers are pure threats that rapidly rip aside the handful of survivors the household encounters. There’s little comedy to be present in them, with the Munchers as a substitute being portrayed as genuinely vicious and horrifying takes on zombies.

The Munchers kind of work as the trendy “fast” zombie that first grew to become fashionable with movies like 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead. The Munchers showcase how zombies developed in popular culture because the days of “Dial ‘Z’ for Zombies” had aired nearly twenty years beforehand. They’re now not goofy and attributable to supernatural forces, however turn out to be a terrifying scourge attributable to the unfold of a virus. Having gone by way of a interval of great reinvention and cultural reinvigoration — due to properties like The Walking Dead — zombies now stand as one thing of a mixture of the 2 approaches. But due to its distinctive long-running standing, The Simpsons had the prospect to showcase that evolution firsthand — and poke enjoyable at each approaches to the traditional horror staple.



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