Gone are the days when you had to wait until something hit screens to see it. Take, for example, the opening credits to this year’s Treehouse Of Horror episode on The Simpsons. Not content to simply lend his voice or craft a couch gag, Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro has been given free rein to re-imagine the entire opening credits sequence. Cue the horror!
Lurking within the nifty new sequence are references to del Toro’s own output (including Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy) and a load of nods to his favourite horror movies, icons and moments.
“The Simpsons titles are so iconic and yet they’ve never been riffed in this vein. I really wanted to land the connections between the show’s set pieces and the titles and some of the most iconic horror movies, and intersperse them with some of my stuff in there for pure joy,” he tells EW.
“For example the idea that Ms. Krabappel could be outside the school with Alfred Hitchcock, which is a reference to the sequence in The Birds that happens outside of the school in Bodega Bay. To use Chief Wiggum as the Cyclops from Harryhausen, dipping the Lard Lad donut in a water tank, to have the nuclear spill from Mr. Burns’ plant create zombies – all of this stuff seems to make sense to interconnect.
"If Homer really gets a radioactive isotope, he could turn into a reaper from Blade. Or the famous shot that is always in the titles – Maggie driving and then you pull back and there’s Marge driving, right? But in this case Maggie is driving, and she’s driving the car from the horror movie from the 70s called The Car, which is one of my favourite guilty pleasure B-movies. And what if Lisa is in the music class, but she’s in the music class with every Phantom Of The Opera ever made? It was a unique opportunity.”
Apparently, del Toro had plans for even more, but was limited by the credits’ running time. Still, what he achieved was something special. For more from the director on the sequence, head to EW. The episode airs in the US on Sunday evening, and should arrive on Sky 1 at some point in the future, though there’s no exact date yet.