As much as I love The Simpsons, I admittedly haven’t watched new episodes with any kind of regularity for a number of years at this point. I still have my favorite moments and episodes, and Simpsons quotes still make up roughly 40% of my daily dialogue, but it hasn’t been consistently good enough to warrant tuning in week in and week out for a while. That said, now that Fox moved Brooklyn Nine-Nine to Sunday evenings immediately following America’s favorite jaundiced-looking family, I’ve tuned in far more frequently than I have in years. This is where and how I first saw this Stanley Kubrick tribute from their annual “Treehouse of Horror,” the 25th such Halloween horror-themed episode.
Primarily, this is an homage to Kubrick’s 1971 adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ classic dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange. Moe Szyslak takes the place of Malcolm MacDowell’s violent, fake-eyelash-and-jock-strap-wearing thug, with Homer, Carl, and Lenny as his mates. As youths, all they want to do is hang around picking fights, drinking Duff Milk, and looking for a bit of the in-out, which, in this instance, mean jumping in and out of the Kwik-E-Mart’s automatic doors. That changes, however, when Homer meets Marge, and it all goes to hell in a hand basket. This isn’t the entire video, but it’s a nice chunk.
But this isn’t just A Clockwork Orange tribute, as fans of Kubrick’s canon will recognize nods to many of his most notable films. This includes the likes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut, and Barry Lyndon, which is also the subject of a nice joke about how they don’t get the reference either. The iPhone as monolith gag is pretty damn priceless.
While there are quite a few references, there are some obvious omissions as well. I didn’t see any hints of The Killing, Lolita, Fear and Desire, or Paths of Glory, but most of those would have gone over most viewer’s heads even farther than Barry Lyndon. Still, it’s a pretty good time, and is a fun little thing to explore, especially for Kubrick fans.
And speaking of Kubrick, today saw the release of a brand spanking new trailer for 2001. His mind-bending epic is getting a limited rerelease in U.K. theaters starting on November 28 as part of their Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder program. It looks every bit as gorgeous as it did in 1968.