A Very Venture Halloween
Original Air Date:October 28, 2012
Written by:Doc Hammer
It's Halloween at the Venture Compound and Dr. Orpheus is hosting a party for a secret society of magic guys. Meanwhile Hank, Dean and Dermott explore a real live haunted house, though it may be haunted not with ghosts but the truth. Everyone involved learns something about themselves, including why maybe it's not a great idea to reanimate the dead.
We start off with a couple flashbacks. Halloween, four years ago... Hank dresses up as Igor, Dracula's humble and spooky assistant and serves Brock and Dr. Venture 'blood' drinks (ketchup and Pepsi) in an attempt to scare them. Dean awakens from his coffin/learning bed and greets Doc and Brock, who remain unimpressed.
A year later Hank and Dean have decked out their room to look like an ancient tomb of the mummy. Hank guides a once again incredulous Dr. Venture and Brock through the tomb. Dean, dressed as a mummy, crawls out of a cardboard pyramid and attempts more scares, but Doc and Brock are again unimpressed.
One more year later Dr. Venture and Brock walk into Hank and Dean's room to find them... dead!!
What is going on up here? [Groans] Brock, get a bucket of cold water with ammonia and deal with this. Then meet me in the tank room. I gotta heat up the slugs.
[DR. VENTURE and BROCK exit as HANK and DEAN crawl out from the rubble, unscathed]
What was that about?
He is impossible to scare.
Present day. Hank is on his computer when Dr. Venture walks in asking if they're working on the haunted bedroom. Hank claims he's not up to anything, but he has gotten some of Doc's emails. Something about a 'malignant melanama'? That sounds bad. Dean, meanwhile, screams from the bathroom, saying that it burns when he pees and that he shouldn't have trusted her... Dr. Venture is about to yell at Dean when Sgt. Hatred, now brandishing some sizable breasts (yes), runs in to let Doc know that there's water coming out of the light socket in the kitchen! Dr. Venture is pretty upset... some might even say... scared?
[pause] So this was all just...
Happy Halloween, Doc.
Roll spooky opening credits.
In the Venture kitchen Dr. Orpheus is explaining that he will be hosting an annual gathering of magic guys, also known as The Brimstone Assembly. Doc says it's okay for them to be there as long as they don't play any loud music and park their cars (or brooms or whatever) outside the gate.
Just then a costumed Dermott walks in and jokes that Dr. Orpheus should be wearing "sweat pants and a wife beater" (for Halloween), which Dr. O doesn't quite get at first, though he eventually finds the idea of an ironic outfit to be jolly. Dr. Venture sternly tells Dermott to go back outside and ring the doorbell. Dermott attempts to ignore him first but finally relents. He yells to let Hank know that Dermott is at the door.
When Dermott finally sees Hank and Dean he yells at them for not being dressed. Hank claims that Dermott told them costumes weren't cool, which is why he isn't wearing one. Dermott notes that it's a disguise so the cops won't recognize them. Seems like a sound theory. Hank quickly runs upstairs to remedy his costumeless situation. Dean says that he'll just take his chances with the cops and that the speed suit is probably enough. Hank comes back downstairs wearing a trash bag... He's a bag of Hank, apparently.
Or, with sunglasses, a California Raisin.
Meanwhile Dr. Orpheus, Jefferson and Al are setting up for three-hundred and thirty-first meeting of The Brimstone Assembly. Jefferson is painting a circle on the floor and asks if he should paint a star in it when he's done. Dr. Orpheus scoffs at that, noting that this isn't The Craft.
Don't paint a star in the center. We have a square representing perfection inside a circle representing unity inside a triangle representing simplicity.
Simplicity would be a star in the middle. This right here is confusing. Somebody else do this!
Just then there is a ring at the doorbell. It's Red Mantle! And Dragoon, of course. Dragoon in what seems to be blackface. Hrm.
Jefferson is not exactly excited about an old man in blackface, but Dragoon explains that they're in a Halloween costume dressed as the two-headed man. Makes sense now! Red Mantle explains that it was the only way to get Dragoon to agree to come to the gathering, since he's not a fan of magic gatherings, or Magic: The Gathering either, apparently.
In the meantime, Hank, Dean dna Dermott are planning out their night of mischief. Dermott has packed an arsenal of Halloween essential items such as shaving cream, rotten eggs that he buried in his backyard a month ago, and toilet paper of course. Hank mistakenly thinks the shaving cream is so they can shave Dean's sad 'teen stash' but it's actually for spraying cars and junk. Hank didn't bring any items for pranks, however he does have an idea: a night in a real haunted house.
Old man Potter?
And Bingo was his name-o!
No way, count me out. Dad said we should never go over there.
[mocking] Noo, my dad said we could never- boo hoo hoo, I'm Dean!
Dean, we are men. Old enough to grow hair on our balls! Now it's time we use 'em before something else grows on 'em!
Yeah, go home, put on the Kidz Bop version of Thriller and watch the Peanuts special like every year. [DERMOTT and HANK do the Go Team Venture thing]
DERMOTT AND HANK
Go Team Venture.
[angry] No!! Fine, I'm going with you guys. I'll show you who the real babies are!
In the Venture Compound lobby Sgt. Hatred is busy dumping some rather large candy bars into a bowl. Dr. Venture walks over to see what's up.
What are there, king size? Oh, no, no, no, no, no. We hand out fun size here, Hatred.
Doc, we are fifteen miles from the nearest house. We got an electric fence, motion sensitive laser defense modules. A kid makes it to that front door, they're getting the big candy bar!
Back at the Brimstone gathering Dragoon is trying to get drunk but Red Mantle refuses to let him since Dragoon seems to be kind of a light weight and Red Mantle doesn't want to deal with all the vomiting again. Over on the other side of the room The Outrider (with his wife) is discussing with Al the rumor that Marylin Manson had his lower ribs removed so he could... you know. Al says that he thought it was Cher who had the ribs removed, which seems weird since she doesn't have a... you know. Further over Jefferson is talking with a background character about sexy Halloween costumes.
I have yet to meet a woman that doesn't dress sexy on Halloween. Witch? No, sir, sexy witch. Freddy Krueger? Nope! Sexy Freddy Krueger. Mmm. Sexy damn Freddy Krueger.
Just then Orpheus starts the actual party, welcoming everyone present to the Brimstone Assembly. He lights a neat magic fire in a circle around him and everyone there cheers in anticipation.
Back in the lobby the doorbell rings. Trick-or-treaters! Sgt. Hatred notes that the lasers have a tough time hitting small things and that Dr. Venture owes him five bucks. They answer the door and it's... Billy and Pete. They don't count. No payout. Pete is dressed as David Bowie and Billy is Rusty Venture, naturally. Doc hands them their king sized candy bars and shuts the door. He and Hatred agree to triple their bet before the doorbell rings again. Still Pete and Billy, but they actually showed up to hang out. How sweet!
Back at the Brimstone gathering Dr. Orpheus and Jefferson are showing off some magic. They speak some spell words and with only the tips of their fingers raise a man from the ground to a few feet off it. Dragoon is extremely unhappy with this display of magics. Red Mantle, however, is unimpressed, noting that it's on the level of a teenage girl sleepover.
Hank, Dean and Dermott are now outside the Potter house, though still quite a distance away. Dermott asks if he's a child murdered or "something cool" but Hank says he doesn't know and their dad just told them to keep away from the Potter place but never said why.
He probably skins children and makes shoes out of 'em or something. Man, I never knew this place was here.
Pretty sure this is all part of our property.
Uh yeah, I'm sure it is, Richie Rich. Well, you know, since you own it, why don't you go inside first?
Why don't you?
HANK AND DERMOTT
[quickly] One, two, three, not it!!
- not it... you know what, fine. It's just an old house anyway. Gimmie the flashlight. [DEAN takes the flashlight and walks towards the house]
Brave or stupid?
I think he just wants to be alone.
Dean walks through the woods in front of the house before finally reaching his destination. He looks back and Dermott and Hank, who are really far back, and Dermott waves him on. Dean goes into the house and calls out, asking if anyone's home. The walls of the entryway are filled with stuffed and mounted animals, though one of them is kind of odd looking... Dean looks around some more and decides that he's been here long enough. He turns around to exit but he's blocked by... something!
The creature, who is only a couple feet tall, jumps at Dean and knocks him over. Dean's flash light hits the ground and turns off and all we hear are his screams as we fade out.
We see a blurry view from Dean's vantage. A man with a surgical mask is looking over him and describing some things, though it mostly seems to indicate that Dean is healthy. He walks away for a second to put down his tape recorder when the small animal from before jumps on Dean and starts smelling his crotch. The man angrily hits the creature with some papers, calling him Reco and telling him that "we do not sniff balls". Dean passes out again.
Back at the Brimstone assembly Curse has attempted some magic but seems to have failed and instead singed half of his body. Dr. Orpheus then introduces Red Mantle, who is one of the oldest members of the Brimstone Assembly. His magic will be a twist on an old classic!
You gonna play the banjo while he sings "Mammy?"
No! I will, if you to all concentrate with me and harness the spirits that roam free on this All Hallows Eve, attempt to pull a rabbit from this hat!
[talking over RED MANTLE] I'm Rosey Grier!
So where's the twist, Bullwinkle?
I'm actually gonna do it! Actually pull a rabbit from this hat! Nothing up my sleeve or anything.
That's what they all say.
No seriously, I'm going to do it for real! It's really hard!
Oh! That's what she said!
Oh she said nothing of the sort!
Back at the Venture Compound we see a father and his daughter attempt to walk to the front lobby. However before they even get to the fountain the laser defense system comes on and fires at them. They dart away unscathed but don't look like they'll be trying again. Back in the control room Doc, Hatred, Pete and Billy are watching. Doc is sad that he didn't win and Hatred comments that the lasers are much better at picking off the parents than the kids. Billy also had his money on lasers, which means he's the winner!
[taking a sip of his drink] Rust, what the hell is this? Cola and tomato soup?
Close. It's ketchup and bourbon. I call it a hunchback. Hank gave me the idea a long time ago.
Back over at the Potter place Hank and Dermott are still outside, waiting for Dean. They're discussing what the best pieces in Chex Mix are when Hank asks if they should go get Dean. Dermott says no, because it's a classic: a night in a haunted house. It's the only cool thing Dean's ever done.
Inside the Potter place Dean finally wakes up. He's strapped to some kind of experimentation table. The man notices he's awake and notes that he and Hank sleep a lot since they stopped with the learning beds. Dean questions how he knows that and he admits that he's been watching Dean his whole life. Since he was born... and every time after that. Dean has no idea who he is. He's Ben. Not Potter. There's a Potter's Field nearby, which is a mass grave for all the people who were killed on the Venture property. Probably a good idea to stay away from there, which may have been what their dad told them. After Reco attempts to sniff Dean's balls again (and is subsequently batted away) Ben frees Dean from the table, noting that he's in great health and basically a miracle. Dean asks Ben why he's so concerned about how he turns out and Ben replies that it's because he brought Dean into this world.
We're back... somewhere... probably the Brimstone Assembly but it looks a lot different... For one The Outrider has no skin and is hanging from the ceiling by meat hooks along with his lovely wife. He's attempting to solve a Rubik's Cube while a bizarre creature of some kind offers ultimate pleasure to all who will listen. Something about pleasure toast... it seems very weird.
The Outrider finally solves the cube and the room goes back to normal. Everyone is either impressed or relieved (or a combination of the two). Dr. Orpheus is upset, however, since he doesn't want that sort of magic practiced around his daughter. Al tells him to go outside and get some fresh air. Dr. O introduces Al to the crowd before complying and heading outside.
Thank you, you're very generous. Okay, news flash: this is completely lame. It's Halloween, people! Let's get down to some raising of the dead! Let's make some zombies, ehh? Am I wrong?!
You are wrong! And you are a dark-sided blasphemer!
Uhh, anyone besides Al Jolson? [nobody else objects] Okay! Let's get it on!
Outside Dr. O takes a deep breath, though he has not heard anything said since he left.
Back at what we now know is Potter's Field, Hank and Dermott are star gazing, or at least they are until Dermott farts. He then asks Hank if he wants a cupcake, which turns out to be farting in his hand and then releasing it in Hank's face. Cupcake. However at this moment the ground begins to move and, naturally, some zombies come out!
Super fuckin' run away!!
And they do.
Inside Ben's house Ben is trying to calm Dean down after he's just told him that he's a clone. Dean is not very excited about this.
You're Dean. There's no other Dean: you're it. Flesh and blood. Look, I was conceived in the back seat of a Packard, you were conceived in a tank, so what?
So I have no mommy, no nothing?!
Dean, you have it all wrong. You have a mommy, and your dad is your dad. They made you by getting drunk and forgetting to wear a condom like everybody else. And your dad loved you so much that when you got a boo-boo he kissed it and made it all better and made it go away.
You brought me back to life!
Yeah, okay, well you and your brother had some pretty big boo-boos.
I'm frickin' Frankenstein. I mean, Frankenstein's monster. Whatever! You can't play god!!
Would you knock it off? We didn't make you from a lotus flower, Dean, we made you from you.
It's just... that's just so wrong!
Have a kid one day, Dean. Hold its lifeless body in your arms and then tell me how wrong it is. Your grandpap and I perfected genetic engineering because god, or whatever gave us a perfect map to do so. Jonas, me and, yes, your dad saw it as nothing more than a fucking Band-Aid for a really big boo-boo. [pause] Hey, you- you want a beer?
I think I do.
Don't tell your dad!
Just then there's a bright glow from outside the house. We see all the zombies converging on Ben's house, but there's a bright light above them all. It's... Santa Claus? Alright. He lets off a hearty 'ho ho ho' and eviscerates all of the zombies with his glowy light.
Back at the Venture Compound lobby Hatred, Doc, Pete and Billy are watching some more kids attempt to get past the security system. They've already made it beyond any of the measures that Doc, Pete and Billy put bets on, and Hatred is the only one who put money on them getting to the front door. They watch them get further and further until... the doorbell rings! Hatred runs over to the door with the bowl of candy and proclaims them the luckiest kids ever.
Back at the Brimstone Assembly Santa makes and appearance above the group. Oh hey, he's The Master. That makes sense mostly.
Hello, you all know me. I live in many of your closets. And guess what? You drinks have forced me out of the closet.
You go, girl!
Solidarity, my brother!
My master, why have you chosen the form of Father Christmas?
Oh, I'm sorry, should I have chosen the Halloween Ferret? Not a lot of options here, pal!
You're not Santa! You're the devil!!
[puts a spell on DRAGOON, knocking him out] Red Mantle, you know better than bringing a normal here. Even if he is wearing black. That's not cool.
I didn't want to miss the party.
You know what, the party's over. I just had to put hundreds of zombies back in the ground. You've lost the true meaning of Christmas. This was the day that a baby was born to remind us that we shouldn't raise an army of dead guys just because we can!
Back outside, Dr. O is still stewing a little when the trick-or-treaters who thwarted the security system earlier hit him up for some candy as well. Orpheus promises them some hors d'oeuvres instead. Close enough. He of course goes inside to see The Master who informs Dr. O what the others did with the reanimating of the dead and all. Dr. Orpheus is of course angry, and perhaps even angrier than The Master, who tells him to take it easy on them before going on his way.
Uh, hey, super sorry, Orpheus. We just got, you know, swept up in the Halloween spirit.
That is not the spirit of Halloween. This is a night of true magic. Halloween is the night we discover who we are. Are we people who make zombie armies. Are we those who condemn others? Or are we beautiful children in resplendent costumes collecting candy? Are our choices in costumes provocative? Do we dress up as our ideal self? Or are we not ready to decide what to be? Do you see it now? We use this one enchanted night to perform the greatest feat of magic there is. We become ourselves. Halloween is the true magic. It is the night we discover who we really are!
Roll end credits.
Dean is sitting on the roof of the main Venture Compound building as the sun rises. Hank joins him.
Hey. Thought you died.
Well, wouldn't be the first time. So, where's Dermott?
He's watching the Twilight Zone marathon with the grown-ups. So what happened in the Potter house?
Uhh. I learned something.
I guess, um, I learned that... beer tastes like pee-pee.
- This episode was originally part of (and was produced with) the ten episodes of season five. However, Jackson had other ideas:
"Basically, when we did the math and figured out that we probably wouldn't be able to premiere season 5 until the beginning of 2013, I got super-depressed over the prospect of a Venture-less 2012. Doc was already half done writing a spooky sort of episode that he wanted to take place on Halloween, so we made it official."Were it an official part of season five and not a special episode it would have a production number of 56. The events of the episode take place after the season five premiere (which is set to premiere in early 2013).
- In the very beginning of the episode Hank is dressed as Igor (or Ygor, sometimes), a traditional hunchbacked stock character who often plays the assistant of monsters or monster makers such as Dracula or Dr. Frankenstein. The main source of the inspiration for Igor comes from the very first Frankenstein film from 1931.
- Let's get right into it... this episode takes place after the premiere of season five, so there's a lot of stuff that is new and totally unexplained. It's mostly because the episode was written and produced to be a part of season five but then pulled out, but it also works in the same way that "Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel" did, only without everything finally making sense at the end. Why is Dean kind of goth now? Why does Sgt. Hatred have breasts? Where's Brock!? Stay tuned for season five to get the answers, because I sure don't have them. And let's be honest, even if I did I wouldn't tell you, because that's just no fun.
- Brand new opening credits complete with new music. While the show has had a number of variations on the opening credits over the years, this is only the second time the opening tune has been altered. The previous version was the other holiday special, "A Very Venture Christmas" which added some festive sleigh bells. This is also the fourth time a one-off opening sequence has been used. The first is the aforementioned Christmas special and the other two times are season three's Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend themed opening in "Shadowman 9" and season two's attempted fake out starring Rusty and Jonas Jr. in "Powerless In The Face Of Death" from season two.
- Lest we forget, Dr. Venture did find out that Dermott is his son at the end of "From The Ladle To The Grave" (something that was first revealed to other characters in "Everybody Comes To Hank's") and seems to have now taken on a different relationship with Dermott. Previously he mostly seemed to ignore him, but now it looks like he's attempting something different.
- Dermott, as he notes, spends this episode dressed as the titular character from the film (and comic), The Crow. He's quite a bit chubbier than Brandon Lee, of course, but it works. Maybe.
- In case it crossed your mind that Dean's new outfit is some sort of subtle Halloween costume, Dermott notes "Why aren't you guys dressed?" when he sees them, implying that this is just how Dean dresses now.
- Hank claims that his trash bag costume makes him a California Raisin, which was a fictional singing group created to sell raisins as well as California Raisin merchandise. Hank also continues to know a strange amount of about 80s pop culture for no real reason. Though the raisins are still used by the California Raisin Marketing Board they haven't really been popular since the early 90s, when Hank would have been an infant (or not yet born).
- Dr. Orpheus mentions The Craft, which is a movie about magic witch teens who exact revenge on those who anger them. Al notes that he gets to be Fairuza Balk while Jefferson is Rachel True. Rachel True is of course the only black member of "The Craft" (I assume their group is also called "The Craft") which is why Al tells him to guess when Jefferson asks which one she is.
- In one of the more obscure movie references in the series, Dragoon claims that he and Red Mantle are dressed as the two-headed man, and that he is Rosey Grier. This is a reference to the 1972 film The Thing With Two Heads which stars Grier and Ray Milland. The plot summary (thanks Wikipedia) pretty much says all you need to know: "Milland plays Dr. Maxwell Kirshner, a dying, wealthy racist who demands that his head be transplanted onto a healthy body. As his health rapidly deteriorates, there remains only one alternative: graft Kirshner's head onto the body of a black death row inmate, Jack Moss, played by Grier." However I highly recommend watching the trailer since it's pretty incredible.
- Dragoon also notes that he doesn't like Magic: The Gathering, though he's actually attending a magic gathering, which is a different thing entirely.
- While mocking Dean, Dermott says that he should put on the Kidz Bop version of Thriller. This refers to, uh, Kidz Bop, which is a collection of albums featuring kids singing contemporary music. Thriller is on the Halloween album. He also says that Dean should watch the "Peanuts special" which of course refers to the Halloween classic and animated special It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown which was made in 1966.
- Al and The Outrider's conversation about Marilyn Manson having his ribs removed is a somewhat common but untrue rumor. While the rumor was that he had them removed so he could, let's just say 'self fellate', a similar rumor about Cher also exists. However in Cher's case the ribs were supposedly removed so she could have a smaller waist. This rumor has also been pinned on a number of other famous women throughout the years. As noted on Snopes, none of these rumors are true and in fact such a cosmetic surgery doesn't even exist.
- Of course a sexy Freddy Krueger Halloween costume exists. Why wouldn't it?
- Pete is of course David Bowie, or "The Thinner, Whiter Duke" as he puts it. He's actually dressed as Bowie from from his Aladdin Sane album (released in 1973) and not The Thin White Duke character, which is generally associated with Station to Station (released in 1976) but we can of course appreciate the humor, what with Pete being a skinny albino.
- A first time Venture Bros. voice actor in this episode is J.K. Simmons, who plays Ben. You may know Simmons most recently from all those Farmers insurance commercials, but he's fairly well known for playing J. Jonah Jameson in the Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man trilogy as well as voicing Cave Johnson in Portal 2, among many other roles.
- Ben also may or may not be named after Ben Edlund, creator of The Tick and close friend of Jackson and Doc. '20smtgPeterPan' from the comments notes that he most certainly is modeled after Jeff Bridges, however. Most notably his role in The Big Lebowski where he played Jeffery Lebowski, aka "The Dude" who spends portions of the film dressed the same way as Ben.
His shirt also says 'Surf's Up' which is possibly a reference to an animated film from 2007 of the same name where Bridges voiced two of the main characters.
Jackson also made an addition/correction in regards to this:
Actually, Ben's face was modeled after Nick Nolte's, though it doesn't come across that way in the animation as much as it did on the model sheet. And sure, there's definitely some of The Dude in there, intentionally. But I have to draw the line at the idea that the "Surf's Up Waikiki" t-shirt is in any way a "reference" to a penguin movie, or Jeff Bridges' involvement therein. It's just a surf bum t-shirt.
- While examining him, Ben mentions that Dean has androgenic alopecia, which simply means that he has thinning hair and will likely go bald later in his life. He also brings up fetiform teratoma (saying that there is no sign of it), which is the condition Dr. Venture had in season one, which is to say vanishing twin syndrome.
- The pleasure toast scene is a reference to the 'Hell' realm from the Hellraiser film series. Toaster Face's design is reminiscent of some of the cenobites from the series, specifically that of Chatterer, though Chatterer cannot speak in the films and doesn't have toaster eyes that expel 'pleasure toast'. That one is all on Doc Hammer.
- Ben notes that his assiatant's full 'fancy name' is 'Recombinant Lusus Naturae', which would make the spelling of his nickname Reco, not Rico. Matt Holman also points out that Lusus Naturae is a Latin term that refers to "freak of nature" or "monster" (direct translation is "whim of nature") and recombinant of course means an organism that is generically altered. So Reco's full name literally means "generically engineered monster". Reco himself is also potentially reference to The Island of Dr. Moreau, in which the titular character had a tiny genetically engineered lab assistant, though Reco seems to be more of a pet than an assistant.
- Al calls Dragoon Al Jolson, who is perhaps the most famous actor to use blackface from the 1920s until the 1950s. This is also a partial callback to Jefferson taunting Dragoon and Red Mantle earlier, when he says that they're going to sing "Mammy" which refers to a song from the 1927 film The Jazz Singer, which starred Jolson and ended with him singing a song called "My Mammy" which he performed in blackface. If you're up for some uncomfortable racism, you can watch that scene on YouTube. The song itself isn't racist, just the fact that it's performed by a man wearing blackface. "My Mammy" was written in 1921 by Joe Young and Sam M. Lewis. Thanks to Ginger for sending that last but along.
- While talking to Dean about him being a clone (which, for all of you plot-isn't-advancing people is actually quite a large plot advancement), Ben also notes that he didn't create Dean from a lotus flower. This is a reference to a Hindu legend that Brahma created himself from a lotus flower that grew from the navel of Vishnu. Thanks again to Matt Holman for sending in that tidbit.
- WILHELM SCREAM ALERT: When The Master kills all of the zombies the famous sound can be heard.