"South Park's" 2012 Halloween episode, "Nightmare on Face Time," aired last night, Oct 24, mocking the demise of Blockbuster while parodying "The Shining," "Gangnam Style" and "The Avengers." Watch it here.
Warning: Spooky spoilers ahead...
The episode opens at Stan Marsh's house where the family is happily carving a pumpkin until Randy bursts in to pop open a bottle of champagne and announce that he's purchased an old Blockbuster franchise for just $10,000, shouting, "We're rich!"
Cut to the family's long drive to the video rental store, where Stanley Kubrick's horror classic, "The Shining" is first mentioned as Randy Marsh drives his family through the snowy town in silence.
During the drive the dialogue also quickly hints at the inevitable results to Randy's idiot business venture.
"You excited Stan?" he asks.
"Sorry? I'm watching a movie on my iPad," is his son's ominous response.
Inside, the Blockbuster is pretty creepy, and although Stan quickly begins to crack jokes, comparing DVDs to ancient tools, Randy remains upbeat.
"The average person still wants to rent movies they can hold in their hands," he argues.
Cut to the next day, Friday, the word written in bold white letters against a black background. The store remains eerily silent while the entire Marsh family becomes more and more bored. The next day two small children accidentally throw their red ball towards the "creepy" Blockbuster (another obvious The Shining reference), and are scared off by an increasingly crazy-looking Randy.
On Tuesday things start to get start to get weird. It's not unfair to assume that Randy has forced his entire family to stay in the Blockbuster for five days straight at this point, and this begins to take a toll on Randy when he hallucinates his first customer, a ghost looking to rent "Turner and Hooch."
Randy is furious at the obvious insult to his investment, and only gets angrier when a second ghost appears, shouting, "Emily the war is over, let's go rent a movie at Blockbuster." Cut to Stan's perspective and it becomes clear that Randy has already jumped off the deep end.
The next day s Wednesday, Halloween has finally arrived! Stan is excited to dress up as the Avengers with Kyle, Kenny and Cartman, but Randy is convinced Halloween will be the store's biggest day and forces Stan to stay and work through Halloween. Stan is not happy, and shouts out one of the episodes funniest lines: "Renting DVDs is more ancient than Madonnas b**bs!"
Meanwhile, we get our first scene with the rest of the boys, on their way to put on their elaborate super hero costumes. On the way they run into Butters, dressed as a leprechaun-wolf hybrid, while Jimmy is "Gangnam Style," the hit single form KPop sensation PSY.
When the boys learn Stan won't be joining them they freak out at the prospect of being the Avengers without their Captain America. At the last minute Stan has a solution, realizing he can still go trick-or-treating using FaceTime on his iPad while Kyle rolls around his own iPad, rigged to a skateboard.
While the boys visit several houses Cartman complains that no one will be able to tell who Stan is on the iPad. Instead no one can figure out that Cartman is the hulk. One person even guesses that he's dressed Honey Boo Boo.
Back at Blockbuster, Randy is looking pretty bad. Outside the snow is falling faster while inside he's mumbling, "What happened to the world, things used to be so simple." Then he hallucinates a Blockbuster employee who pressures him to kill his own family for being a bunch of "negative nancies."
Meanwhile, the boys, still out trick-or-treating, spot a burglar breaking into a convenience store and decide to stop him Avengers style. Inside, they find a group of burglars attempting to rob a Red Box DVD rental machine with no cash in it and a murdered cashier. The mini-Avengers flee, but iPad-Stan gets caught. They threaten to break the iPad and discover that the boys are heading to the big Monster Mash halloween party that night. Then they drive off, throwing the iPad still in FaceTime mode with Stan, into some brush.
In Blockbuster, Randy has gone full-blown Jack Nicholson. He's disabled the phones and hidden the car keys. Soon afterward we see him wandering the maze of DVD shelves only to find his daughter Shelly getting ready to burn the store down with lighter fluid and a match.
iPad-Stan is discovered and brought to a hospital where his friends soon arrive with the cops. The police chief then decides to send Stan into the party undercover to catch the "Red Box killers."
Outside the party, the DJ is blasting Gangnam style and inside about half the guys are dressed as PSY from the music video. iPad-Stan arrives dressed as Gangnam-Stein (Gangnam Style Frankenstein) with a cop controlling the costumes body.
Stan is about to catch the killers when Randy grabs the iPad and begins a reign of terror across South Park as he yells at people for streaming movies instead of using DVDs. Finally, the police catch up and without thinking shoot at the costume's body, killing the cop inside.
The day is saved, except the iPad battery is dying. Stan's friends will have to go on without him. Meanwhile, Blockbuster burns down and Randy sits outside in the snow slowly freezing to death. His family shows up and offers to take him home, but Randy won't move. He's still not willing to admit his mistake. It turns out the insurance will cover "some" of what he spent on the Blockbuster though so Randy's family go off to buy him some McDonald's, but first Stan hands his Dad an iPad so he can watch a movie while he freezes.
Overall, I thought it was a pretty good episode, thought it may have relied to heavily on Randy Marsh's character throughout. He may be the funniest citizen of South Park in these later seasons but he can't carry a whole episode on his own.
What did you think of "South Park's" 2012 Halloween episode? Let us know in the comments.