Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Those Guillermo Del Toro (And More) Simpsons References Explained!
Here's what we spotted in the director's opening sequence; how many did you catch?

submit to reddit

1 2
Back 2 of 2  

Lisa’s music lesson has been crashed by four Phantoms of the Opera – a sort of original, “classic” design, plus Lon Chaney, Herbert Lom and Claude Rains...


...Lisa’s unruly sax playing reveals that Winslow Leach, The Phantom of the Paradise, is leading the session. (Forumite Whazzupfrogzntoadz points out that the paintings visible on the wall as Lisa leaves all refer to previous Treehouses of Horror).


Dodging a zombiefied Nelson, Bart skateboards over Cthulhu (is this a hint of del Toro's At The Mountains Of Madness plans? Probably not really)...


...who it’s revealed is having tea with his creator HP Lovecraft.


As Bart skates on, we also see Edgar Allen Poe with his Raven, Ray Bradbury illustrating a man...


...and Richard Matheson, shaking his head sadly because his I Am Legend vampire looks the way they do in The Omega Man.


A mob of villagers (Mo and Skinner at the head) is chased by torch-bearing Universal monsters: the Frankenstein creature, Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, The Creature From Black Lagoon...


The Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and Metalunen from This Island Earth.


On the bridge, Maggie is driving the car from The Car...


...with Milhouse the unfortunate cyclist.


Driven into the river, he’s munched by a giant Blinky. Incidentally, this whole sequence (apart from the fish) is from The Car, but Milhouse on the bike is also giving us flashbacks to It and In the Mouth of Madness. Is that just us? 

An incredibly busy panning wide-shot. We’ve got Del Toro’s giant Lovecraftian Elemental from Hellboy 2; the Lost in Space robot escorting Rod Serling from the scene (a joke that works even better if you know that CBS cancelled The Twilight Zone and replaced it with Lost in Space); Kang and Kodos crashing their saucer into the power plant stacks; Ray Harryhausen’s Ymir from 20 Million Miles to Earth; Lon Chaney in London After Midnight... 

...Geiger’s Alien almost hidden behind a wall; a Morlock from The Time Machine; Ro-Man from Robot Monster (the gorilla in the fishbowl helmet); Hans Moleman painting Hitchcock’s silhouette on a wall; three Ray Harryhausen / Jason and the Argonauts skeletons (also a possible nod to Army of Darkness)...


...two Saucer Men (from Invasion of the Saucer Men); Nosferatu; The Fly; Gort and a flying saucer from The Day The Earth Stood Still; a pinhead and Johnny Eck from Tod Browning’s Freaks... 

...The Mummy and the Invisible Man again; Rondo Hatton; and The Grim Reaper. The lizard-like creature writing “El Muerto” next to Hans is one of The Mole People, reckons our commenter Dellamorte Dellamore; the satellite thing is the spaceship from The First Men On The Moon (thanks, Drew42); and the bald green guy in the foreground is the original 1951 The Thing From Another World (good spot, Hammerfan).

Here we are at the house, does Lisa’s red hat refer to something? We’d suggest Don’t Look Now, but that was a raincoat, not an ensemble with a pillbox hat...


...With Maggie still driving in the black car, she illuminates the inside of the garage. Are there always gas masks and an axe in the garage?


Homer doing a Blade 2 Reaper again just before Maggie runs him over, leading to…


...The couch! Homer’s re-appeared as the ghost from The Devil’s Backbone. Marge is still a roach....


Lisa gets sucked into the sofa and falls down an Alice-like rabbit hole.


Lisa lands and is confronted by Futurama’s Hypnotoad, playing the role of Pan’s Labyrinth’s giant amphibian, after which, mesmerised... 


we find ourselves back in Pan’s Labyrinth, with Homer and Marge recast as the King and Queen of the Underworld... 


...and Bart as The Faun.


The sequence ends with Lisa smiling surrounded by fairies from Pan's Labyrinth. Fancy watching it all again?


1 2
2 of 2

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

21 Re your Ralph Wiggum
Surely this is a nod to 'Hot Fuzz' (or whatever film Hot Fuzz grabbed it from)...yeah, I KNOW it's not horror per se, but neither is 'Alice in Wonderland'...the clincher for me is the ice-cream (Cornetto). More

Posted by glaive on Friday October 4, 2013, 16:17

22 The Satelite Thing
This is the original Fly from the 50s. More

Posted by Skillgannon on Friday October 4, 2013, 16:16

23 'The Mole People' (1956)
He's the "El Muerto" graffiti artist. More

Posted by Dellamorte Dellamore on Friday October 4, 2013, 15:54

24 Maggie alien
As Lisa exits the music room, on the left is a reference to Maggie as an alien in a previous Treehouse of Horror More

Posted by thelockwood on Friday October 4, 2013, 15:48

25 Bald green guy
The bald green guy looks like The Thing from the original. More

Posted by hammerfan on Friday October 4, 2013, 15:40

26 Gort...
Klaatu was the guy he protected. Also, is that the wooden sphere from The First Men In The Moon behind Nosferatu? More

Posted by drew42 on Friday October 4, 2013, 15:37

Previous Page

You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list

Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

Explore The Massive Avengers: Age Of Ultron Comic-Con Banner
Use our interactive gadget to zoom in on Hulk, Iron Man, The Vision and co. in action

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

The Empire Podcast #121: Brett Ratner Talks Hercules On This Week's Show
Plus The Purge: Anarchy producer Jason Blum pops in to talk horror

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)