When the producers of The Simpsons asked Guillermo del Toro if he wanted to do a guest voice or create a couch gag for the show's annual Halloween episode, the filmmaker/fanboy came back with much, much more.
Del Toro -- in typical over-the-top fashion -- decided to reimagine the entire opening credits for the yearly "Treehouse of Horror" episode (they're up to number XXIV), which airs this Sunday night (Oct. 6) on Fox. The dense, intricate, three-minute piece is a celebration of some of the most iconic images from horror and fantasy, all presented at such a dizzying speed that you'll have to watch it several times to catch all the cool references.
Del Toro told EW.com: "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."
The Pacific Rim director continued, “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."
There are many, many more classic monster and horror references throughout the segment, ranging from Del Toro's own Pan's Labyrinth to The Phantom of the Opera to Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. Put it this way: You've never seen a Simpsons opening -- or any TV series opening -- like this one before.
Watch it below and see how many you can spot!