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Guillermo Del Toro's 'Simpsons' opening is horror fans' delight

By Patrick Kevin Day

6:45 PM EDT, October 3, 2013

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Guillermo del Toro is a horror movie fanatic (just ask anyone who has been a guest at his memorabilia-filled home), and that genre love is on full display in the newly released opening sequence for the upcoming "Simpsons" Halloween episode, known as the "Treehouse of Horror XXIV." The "Pacific Rim" director orchestrated the spooky parody of the show's opening.

The episode, which airs Sunday, is longer than usual, and features a who's who of horror's past and present. Del Toro also managed to throw a few references to his own films in there.

At almost three minutes long, the sequence features nods and references to "Night of the Living Dead," "Pacific Rim," "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad," "The Birds," Stephen King and "The Shining," "Hellboy," "Blade II," "Pan's Labyrinth," "Godzilla," "Them!" "Phantom of the Opera," "Phantom of the Paradise," H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury's "Illustrated Man," Richard Matheson and "I Am Legend," the Universal monsters (Dracula, Wolf Man, Frankenstein, et al), "Forbidden Planet," "Alien," "The Thing," "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "Nosferatu," "Freaks" and "Alice in Wonderland."

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Del Toro didn't direct the full episode, just the opening sequence, but he's the first big name guest director known for his live-action work. Other people who have directed the show's famous couch gag opening include "Ren and Stimpy" creator John Kricfalusi, Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton and the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy.

As in years past, the "Treehouse of Horror" anthology episode will feature three stories, drawing inspiration from other works, including a famous children's tale -- they aren't saying which one -- and Tod Browning's horror classic "Freaks."

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