tek's rating: ½

The Simpsons Halloween Special III (Season 4; Oct. 29, 1992)
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Intro: This year Homer goes out to make the viewer discretion warning instead of Marge. It's kind of neat that it started out, very briefly, as a parody of the openings from Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but then he just insults anyone who's too scared or offended to watch the episode. The opening credits are once again a cemetery gag, but it ends with a couch gag like in the normal opening credits, except spooky. So that was also neat. Then, as the episode's framing device, the Simpsons are hosting a Halloween party. (Bart's costume is Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange.)

Clown Without Pity: Lisa tells a story set on Bart's birthday, which is apparently a parody of the Twilight Zone episode Living Doll (among other things), but I don't recall having seen that episode. Anyway, Homer forgot to buy him a present, so he goes to an evil store, where he buys a cursed Krusty the Clown doll, which later tries to kill Homer. I don't want to say too much about the story, but there is a joke about Whoopi Goldberg that I didn't like.

King Homer: Grandpa tells a story (in black & white) based on King Kong. Mr. Burns hires Marge (before she was married) to join an expedition to Ape Island. Marge is used as bait to capture a giant ape named Homer. When they get back to Springfield to put him on display... there's a "chubby kickline" gag that I didn't like. Also, Homer escapes and runs amok.

Dial "Z" for Zombies: Bart tells a story in which he had to do a book report for school, and finds a book of spells. He and Lisa go to the pet cemetery to raise their cat, Snowball I, from the dead. (There are some decent tombstone gags.) But that doesn't work; the spell ends up raising dead people from the neighboring human cemetery, as zombies. It's maybe the best of the three stories, but still not great.


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