Posts Tagged ‘Mountain of Madness


Makeup Quote of the Day

“The only hard part is getting up.” – C.M. Burns


Quote of the Day

“There they are! Let me down here.” – Marge Simpson
“Uh, sorry, there’s no way off till we get to the top, and, even then, it’s sorta tricky.” – Park Ranger


Quote of the Day

“Oh, Lord, protect this rocket house and all who dwell within the rocket house.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Wow, you sure know how to cheat, Mr. Burns.” – Homer Simpson
“Yes, well, I’m older than you.” – C.M. Burns


Quote of the Day

“You know, Simpson, you’re not as objectionable as you seemed when we first met.” – C.M. Burns
“No, sir. I am not.” – Homer Simpson


Behind Us Forever: A Father’s Watch

“I have a watch with a minute hand.” – Bart Simpson
“Alright, you can come. What time is it?” – Mr. Smithers
“12:80. No, wait. Wait. What comes after twelve?” – Bart Simpson
“One.” – Mr. Smithers
“No, after twelve.” – Bart Simpson

First off, sorry for there not being a Behind Us Forever for “22 for 30” last week. I was traveling Monday and Tuesday and by the time Wednesday rolled around I really didn’t feel like getting back into it. For those who haven’t seen it, Zombie Simpsons replaced character exposition with voiceover narrator exposition, Bart shaved points in a basketball game, and that was about it.

This week it’s back to character exposition. Springfield goes through a couple of parenting fads, first wanting to give all their kids trophies, and then not wanting to do that. Meanwhile, Grampa gives Bart an old pocketwatch that makes Bart feel confident (which he apparently hadn’t been doing before). Bart loses it, then Homer gets it, then Homer gives it to Bart. Then, in another one of those bizarre post-credit sequences they rely on so heavily to fill their time, Ralph Wiggum gets drafted into the NBA with the NBA commissioner voicing himself.

The watch Grampa gives Bart has great significance, which the show repeatedly reminds us of through statements like this one, “That watch was the only thing that made me not terrible, I can’t lose it”. Homer even had what had to be a 30 second rant in the middle in which he explained three or four times why he cared about the watch, but I’m staying with a friend of mine and the DVR only recorded a couple minutes of the show, so I can’t transcribe it. (The torrent isn’t up yet, and I need to go to bed soon because I’ve got to get up at 6am to catch two trains and then get in a truck to drive to Arizona. Being semi-homeless isn’t as bad as I thought it was gonna be, but it does not respect one’s preferred schedule very often.) Homer also yelled about Freud a lot.

This episode opens in Frog Heaven where we see two angel frogs talking about what’s happening to one of their bodies back down on Earth. Turns out Bart is desecrating it more than dissecting it. There’s maybe the kernel of a good joke in here, but Zombie Simpsons runs it into the ground by cutting back and fourth about five times and repeating it so often that they end with the frogs getting tired of their own gag.

From there we get a couple of parenting experts who give different advice, two montages, lots more exposition, and a scene where Bart repeatedly drops rocks on Milhouse’s head. Since I have no screen grabs, I can’t properly illustrate any of these scenes, but take my word for it when I say that they make no sense. For example, Bart losing the watch – one of the few discernible plot points in the episode – occurs for no reason at the end of a montage. Since one episode of Zombie Simpsons is pretty much like all the others these days, I think you get the idea.

I was able to get this quote down live, “My trophy business has failed”. Try to guess what had just happened. You will not be wrong.


Quote of the Day


“Only who can prevent forest fires? . . . You pressed ‘You’, referring to me. That is incorrect. The correct answer is you.” – Robotic Smokey the Bear

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Mountain of Madness”! Original airdate 2 February 1997.


Quote of the Day


“Now, pair off as I draw your names. . . . Lenny and . . . Carl.” – Mr. Smithers
“Aw, nuts! . . . I mean, uh . . . ah  nuts.” – Carl


Quote of the Day

Mountain of Madness8

“And to show that I’m not playing favorites, both Smithers and I will be participating.  Who knows?  I might be the unlucky one who gets fired. . . . Not bloody likely.” – C.M. Burns


Quote of the Day


“Okay, search party, before we set out, let’s take a moment to humor the children.  Kids, your father’s gonna be just fine!  Okay, everybody, put on your corpse handling gloves, we’ve got two frozen bodies buried somewhere on this mountain.” – Ranger
“Did you hear that, Lis?  Dad’s gonna be just fine.” – Bart Simpson


Quote of the Day

Mountain of Madness7

“Sir, this can’t be right.  You assured me this drawing was rigged so we’d be teammates.” – Mr. Smithers
“Yes, well, frankly you’ve been a bit of a pill lately.” – C.M. Burns
“Why do we always fight on vacation?” – Mr. Smithers


Quote of the Day

Mountain of Madness6

“Well, we made it here first, all thanks to teamwork.” – Lenny
“Yeah.  My teamwork.” – Carl


Quote of the Day

Mountain of Madness5

“Each two man team will work its way through the wilderness to a cabin hidden somewhere on this mountain.  The routes are treacherous, so use your maps.” – Mr. Smithers
“Uh, I lost my map.” – Homer Simpson
“You haven’t been issued a map yet.” – Mr. Smithers


Quote of the Day

Mountain of Madness4

“We need some excitement around here.” – C.M. Burns
“Chinese checkers or domestic, sir?” – Mr. Smithers


Behind Us Forever: Treehouse of Horror XXIV

Chalkboard - Treehouse of Horror XXIV

“Is it supposed to take this long?  What’s a good time for a mass evacuation of the entire plant?” – C.M. Burns
“Forty-five seconds.” – Mr. Smithers
“And what’s our time so far?” – C.M. Burns
“I don’t know, sir, this stopwatch only goes up to fifteen minutes.” – Mr. Smithers

Programming Note: Real life has once again very rudely interfered with my bitch-about-Zombie-Simpsons time the last couple of weeks, which is why this post is four days(!) late and I haven’t done a Compare & Contrast for either of the Season 25 episodes so far.  Thanks to baseball there won’t be any new Zombie Simpsons for at least a week and possibly as long as three, so I should have time to get caught up.  Reading Digest is 50-50 for today, and if I do get it finished it’ll probably be later than usual.  Sorry. 

– It’s been on-line for a week now, but Del Toro’s opening is self-evidently pretty cool.  

– Wow, the first segment was actually good.  There are some clunky phrases here and there, and the animation is uneven, but I wasn’t bored.  More on this below.

– This second one, however, is not.  The kite thing took forever.

– What’s with the idling snowmobile?

– Miss Hoover doesn’t sound right at all.

– Homer falling down stairs – classic!  

– There’s a reason no one ever expanded a throwaway idea from “Treehouse of Horror II” into a whole segment before.  Did they not get that having to go to a recital and the reception for Queen Beatrix was a deliberately terrible sitcom idea? 

– And the ending, with lots of two headed people, is the admission that they really had nothing here but “two heads, derp-a-der!”. 

– Narrative-wise, this Freaks one is the opposite of the Dr. Seuss one.  We get everyone telling us exactly what they’re feeling and doing while they’re feeling and doing it, like Moe saying “I ain’t got no chance with the strong man’s girl” right after we just had a scene where we saw that and then he talked to Lenny and Carl about that exact thing. 

– Homer monologues his plan because really we need to have this explained again to us or we’ll never follow it.

– Barney rolling just doesn’t stop.

– “From you I have learned to feel compassion for these disgustos”, there’s a lot of telling, telling and then more telling.

– Oh, good, it’s over.

The second two stories, and I use the term loosely, are exactly what anyone familiar with Halloween Zombie Simpsons has come to expect.  Both are things the show has done and/or referenced better before, the story gets exposited to the point of cliche several times, and there’s lots of filler and that weird, bloodless gore they like so much. 

But the first one, to my pleasant surprise, was quite decent.  It (mostly) rhymed, and while there’s nothing terribly novel about dirtying Dr. Seuss, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done well.  It had a jaunty but elaborate animation style that made it much more interesting to look at than the two-heads one or the Freaks one, never stopped for weird asides or filler, and even managed to show us a story without explaining and expositing every third sentence. 

How unusual was it for Zombie Simpsons?  Well, for one thing, it featured something resembling object permanence between scenes.  Observe:

Treehouse of Horror XXIV1

These are little guys Homer takes from under his act and then torches.  It’s the first moment of real violence (the kids are appropriately shocked without even saying anything).  At the end, after their increasingly terrible adventure, the kids return home to . . .

Treehouse of Horror XXIV2

. . . the burn mark, and even some traces of the explosion that mostly happened off screen.  In other words, the beginning of the story is connected to the ending.  Haven’t seen that in a while.  The rest of this season is still probably going to be as forgettably dull as last season (and the season before that, and before that . . .), but this was nice to see.

Anyway, the ratings are in and they remain low by all but the lowest standards.  Last Sunday’s surprisingly entertaining first eight minutes, and the twelve boring ones that followed, were seen by just 6.31 million viewers.  That breaks last year’s record of 6.52 million for least watched Halloween episode ever. 


Quote of the Day

Mountain of Madness2

“We’ll take the chair lift.  It’ll give us an eagle eye view of the area directly beneath the chairlift.” – Park Ranger


Sit, Zombie Simpsons, Sit

“Oh, yes, sitting, the great leveler, from the mightiest pharaoh to the lowliest peasant, who doesn’t enjoy a good sit?” – C.M. Burns

Despite watching it once and fast forwarding through it a second time, I’m still not sure what the main plot of “Moms I’d Like to Forget” was.  Most Simpsons episodes since the dawn of the show have had a main plot, sometimes accompanied by a second one that fills in the time or complements the main one in some way.  But “Moms I’d Like to Forget” didn’t seem to have an A-plot at all, at best it had two B-plots and a whole mess of extended filler sequences. 

Certainly the title would lead you to think that the story with Marge and the other mothers was the main plot, which is what I thought at first.  But when you take a second to think about it, the other three mothers are hardly on screen.  Not only do they not show up at all until almost halfway through the episode, but when they are on screen, literally all they do is sit there.  Here they are when we first see them:


And here they are the next time they’re on screen:


Here we can see a more advanced form of sitting, with a slight recline:


And now, in a flashback, thrill to their ability to sit without the aid of furniture:


Finally, we come to the denouement of this particular B-plot, sitting on a couch:


That is all five scenes in which we see the titular characters (not counting the picture Marge has of them – wait for it – sitting), and in not one instance does any one of them do anything.  The only time we see them standing is in a photo in Marge’s scrapbook (which she naturally keeps in the bathroom).  But when that photo dissolves into a flashback, why, look what they’re doing:


I have a hard time calling anything that static the main plot.  (The only on-screen movement the three of them engage in comes during that thoughtless porno setup at the end, and even then they remained seated.  Somewhere, Bryan Safi sheds a single tear.)  There isn’t even anything that could qualify as interesting dialog going on, which becomes painfully apparent during the fifth sit session when they try to wrap things up by having Marge say:

“I remember why I left this group seven years ago, and it’s why I’m leaving now.  Good day, ladies.”

That’s all well and good, except that Marge wasn’t the one who spent the rest of the episode trying to remember what happened.  That was Bart.  Marge knew what happened all along, but all that sitting apparently numbed the writers to the point that, when it came time to craft an ending, they couldn’t remember which of their two main characters was going through which story. 

There was more to the episode of course, including another resolution-less B-plot where Bart didn’t do much.  The rest of the screen time was filled with dream and fantasy sequences, flashbacks, and that teeth grindingly dull trip to Comic Book Guy’s House of Voice Over. 

The numbers are in, and, as expected, the NFL playoffs made for a whopper, with Zombie Simpsons being left on the televisions of 12.65 million viewers.  That’s easily the season high, and it’s the highest number (outside of last year’s 20th anniversary special) since Season 18, when “The Wife Aquatic” was also given a massive boost by an NFL playoff game.  Fortunately, next Sunday FOX has the early game and the football watching public will be tuned to CBS for the primetime lead in period. 


Quote of the Day

Jesus Is Pissed, Muscular

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Brian Sawyer.

“Sharing is a bunch of bull too, and helping others, and what’s all this crap I’ve been hearing about tolerance?” – Bart Simpson
“Hmm, your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.” – Homer Simpson


Crazy Noises: Mountain of Madness

Mountain of Madness1

“Tell me Simpson, if an opportunity arose for taking a small shortcut, you wouldn’t be averse to taking it, would you?” – C.M. Burns

“Uhh, not as such.” – Homer Simpson

“Neither would I.  I’ve always felt that there’s far too much hysteria these days about so-called ‘cheating’.” – C.M. Burns

“Yes, a lot of . . . hysteria.” – Homer Simpson

“Mmm-hmm, if you can take advantage of a situation in some way, it’s your duty as an American to do it.  Why should the race always be to the swift, or the jumble to the quick witted?  Should they be allowed to win merely because of the gifts God gave them?  Well, I say cheating is the gift man gives himself.” – C.M. Burns

“Mr. Burns, I insist that we cheat.” – Homer Simpson

“Excellent.” – C.M. Burns

In an attempt to fill the summer with love, hate and pointless Simpsons commentary we at the Dead Homer Society are going to spend some time overthinking Season 8.  Why Season 8?  Because Season 8 is when The Simpsons really began to deteriorate into Zombie Simpsons.  That’s why.  Because we’re cutting edge and ultra-modern we’re using a newfangled, information-superhighway fad called a “chatroom” to conduct our conversation.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “derrick”).

Today’s episode is 812, “Mountain of Madness“, yesterday’s was 809 “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer“.

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, so Mountain of Madness.

This was a good one to pair with the insanity peppers one, both of them have long and dull “action” sequences, but the stuff out side of that is pretty good.

Dave: It’s better than King of the Hill.

Both the show and the episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: Hmmm, clearly better than the episode or close?

Mad Jon: This episode had a lot of potential, but so did Drew Henson, and we saw what happened there

Charlie Sweatpants: Hey, the Cowboys and the Yankees have money to burn.

Mad Jon: But my time is precious.

Dave: If, at gunpoint, I had to watch a Homer-related mountain-themed episode, Mountain of Madness would get my vote

Charlie Sweatpants: So, close then?

Mad Jon: I like the Powersauce one better

Dave: Not for me, no

Charlie Sweatpants: I’d put them pretty close together, and while I think I probably watch Powersauce more often it’s not by much.

Mad Jon: This becomes more painfully boring as the episode goes on. By the end of the second act I am looking for a reason to get up. After the commercial there is the snowman fight and the rocket house and even those aren’t that great.

When Smithers hooks up with the kids I have to force myself not to turn it off.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, except for Lenny’s line about “something’s wrong with it’s brakes” the rocket house is pretty lame.

The Smithers thing always strikes me as weird. Like, we really needed that to get them to the cabin?

Mad Jon: Except for the watch with the minute hand


Charlie Sweatpants: Oh, I like it once it gets going, but it just strikes me as weird and improbable when they decide to walk together. Very TV-y.

Dave: It is very TV-y

Mad Jon: The episode starts off so well, with the fire drill and all.

And mount useful is a good idea, but kind of dies.

Charlie Sweatpants: I have a complaint about the way the fire drill starts though, Burns’ little button board has four things on it, the bottom of which is the fire drill, but then he reads them all off aloud. That always struck me as something that was trying to stretch for time. That’s the kind of thing that used to take .5 seconds and now it’s more like ten times that.

Mad Jon: And the whole thing starts with them being at work, which as you know is my biggest peeve with Zombie episodes.

I didn’t say it was flawless, but it has potential

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh, the actual fire drill is pretty good, especially when Homer barricades the door on his way out. I’d expect nothing less from a place that has a designated station wide nap time.

I just mentioned the button because it struck me as something that, even a season before, would’ve gone much faster.

Mad Jon: I agree with your logic. Which brings me too the “your ideas are intriguing to me..” line.

Charlie Sweatpants: I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Mad Jon: Heh, I spelled intriguing right but used the wrong form of “to”

Dave: Awesome line.

Charlie Sweatpants: Blame the vodka, homophone indistinction is one of its known side effects.

Mad Jon: Which means I should blame you, sir. Blame you and thank you.

Dave: (Among other things.)

Charlie Sweatpants: Still working on that housewarming gift?

Mad Jon: I’m getting there. I actually have to work now.

Dave: Slave to corporate America, you.

Charlie Sweatpants: Anyway, once Burns and Homer get to the cabin this one really goes downhill (no pun).

Mad Jon: Oh yeah. But I like the line about the good sit. Its not that funny, but I like it as it’s pretty true.

Charlie Sweatpants: Burns goes crazy, Homer hallucinates, they have to keep using the horns of surprise every time they cause another clock eating “avalanche”.

Dave: The cabin stuff goes on forever.

Mad Jon: Yeah, pretty boring.

Charlie Sweatpants: Burns monologue about cheating being the gift man gives himself is one for the ages though.

It’s once they finish cheating that things go to shit.

Dave: Lesson learned: always cheat

and never stop.

Mad Jon: Oh yeah ” That worked.. so.. well..” I use that line all the time too.

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh and speaking of TV-y moments, why the hell does Smithers have the stopwatch at the end and say “It’s a new record, sir”?

I don’t think it was a parody of something specific, so it just seems weird.

Mad Jon: I don’t know, I usually turn it off after the guy calls out for Ranger McFadden.

Sometimes I turn it off before then

Charlie Sweatpants: Then you’re missing the part where the other ranger humors the children before telling everyone to put on their corpse handling gloves.

Mad Jon: Not that funny

Charlie Sweatpants: Disagree.

Mad Jon: Cute

Funnier than most of the episode, but not that funny

Dave: I think that bit’s decently funny

Charlie Sweatpants: Pre-arrival at the cabin, any other parts that struck you as particularly weak?

Mad Jon: Lenny and Carl fighting, I’m mixed on that…

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, it just kinda comes out of left field.

Although, I love the part when they get made teammates and Carl can’t conceal his disappointment.

Dave: And the look on Lenny’s face…

Charlie Sweatpants: Although, I’ll say that this is foreshadowing of the weird direction Lenny and Carl took once Zombie Simpsons really got going.

Mad Jon: I see what you mean.

Like mount Carlmore

Charlie Sweatpants: When the show was in it’s prime they were nothing but drinking buddies and co-workers, then they became this weird, non-homoerotic couple.

Good fuck, what’s Mount Carlmore?

Dave: Yeah, the whole Zombie Simpsons Carl and Lenny love/hate thing is super weird

Along with their implied gay relationship

Mad Jon: I couldn’t even tell you what episode its from, but its a zombie throwaway joke when Homer and Lenny go to work on an oil derrick for some reason

Charlie Sweatpants: I just looked it up, it was Season 13.

Mad Jon: There you go

Charlie Sweatpants: That’s about where I lost interest, so it wouldn’t surprise me if I’ve either a) never seen it or b) only seen it once and blacked it out as a self defense mechanism.

Mad Jon: Like being abused by the ice cream man when you were a kid?

Charlie Sweatpants: But Carl’s disappointment here is funny because we don’t know about any of that crap yet. It’s just that he secretly loathes one of his friends.

Dave: Right. As a one off instance it works

Mad Jon: Fair enough

Charlie Sweatpants: He wasn’t the ice cream man, he was the Swanson man.

Dave: Is that better or worse?

Mad Jon: The Swanson’s man has a wider variety of freezer goods, so… better?

Charlie Sweatpants: Swanson man’s got a wider selection, if you’re going to put out, make it count.

Mad Jon: Great minds think alike

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh fuck, I’m kinda embarrassed we typed that at the same time.

Dave: Saving that quote for posterity.

Charlie Sweatpants: Were you on the same Swanson route as me when we were kids? Did Tom touch you too? He told me I was special.

See, this is why Zombie Simpsons is bad, you start getting into bad Simpsons and next thing you know you’re talking about child molestation.

Mad Jon: Even worse, your own molestation experiences. With an ice cream and bulk frozen food vendor.

A commissioned one at that

Dave: We didn’t have a bulk frozen food vendor growing up. I feel kinda left out.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m just saying it’s a slippery slope from a) Carl and Lenny being funny to b) Carl and Lenny not being funny to c) repressed trauma.

Dave: Well said.

Mad Jon: d) letting Lenny and Carl figure it out for themselves

I think that’s what Marge says a few seasons from now

Dave: I have the number for a good psychiatrist if you have trouble falling asleep later.

Charlie Sweatpants: But getting back to the good parts of this episode . . .

Smokey the Bear cracks my ass up.

Dave: Yep!

Mad Jon: Yeah that was pretty good. “Mom can I go play outside, away from the bear?”

Charlie Sweatpants: The video with John Muir always gets me too. I’ve sat in some dumb park buildings watching some lame ass filmstrips in my time and that’s exactly what they’re like.

Mad Jon: That’s what his name is? I could never understand the announcer. And yes, it was dead on.

Dave: Did Tom chaperone those trips?

Charlie Sweatpants: Probably not, Catholic grade school, the priests want to keep the competition away.

Dave: Greedy bastards.

Mad Jon: You’re the king Charlie

You’re the King

Charlie Sweatpants: Fuck, we’re talking about child molestation again, aren’t we?

Mad Jon: You are

But yes, we are too I guess


Dave: I apologize for instigating

Charlie Sweatpants: Nobody’s blaming you.

I blame this on teamwork.

Dave: Go team

Good effort

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, without getting back on molestation, any other favorite/despised parts of this one?

Mad Jon: Nah, like usual I finished my important points too early. I gotta work on the foreplay a bit

Dave: The guy batting off co-workers with a fire extinguisher is inspired

Mad Jon: Oh yeah, that’s funny

“outta my way!”

Dave: And the photo Homer chooses to save

“Olde Tyme Photos”

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, “Homer Defined” notwithstanding, the whole fire drill is pretty good.

Mad Jon: The popcorn noise

Dave: Popcorn noise?

Mad Jon: “All right Popcorns done!”

Dave: Oh right

Mad Jon: Then Homer corrects them, in a pretty funny way, and so on

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, so rating time.

Dave: I vote middle-lowish again

Charlie Sweatpants: I’ve got this one about on par with “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer”, it’s got a lot of down time, but the jokes that aren’t in the down time are pretty good.

Mad Jon: Cream of the crop of bad season 8 episodes. Or last in class of average ones, ladies choice.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yes, good discussion again.

Mad Jon: Now that we’ve reviewed plenty from this season the ranking part pretty much does it self.

Dave: Yeah, we’re getting good at this

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, it takes awhile at any new endeavor before you learn how to slack off and get it “done” with a lot less effort.

Dave: Like college


Quote of the Day

“Don’t worry kids, this is a national park.  We can have lots of fun.” – Marge Simpson

“Oh I’m afraid that’s no longer true, ma’am.  Budget cutbacks have forced us to eliminate anything the least bit entertaining.” – Park Ranger


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