So my friend loves Community and tried to get me to watch it with her.
We watched some and I loved it…until they forced the Dean to take care of the Changnesia ex-teacher Ben Chang who had imprisoned him for months. After coming from an abusive relationship, I was not interested.
With COVID-19, my friend suggested I give it another watch and started rewatching and was hooked.
Not every episode was for me, but after all the bad news in the world it was nice to have some comedy and laugh. The thing I love about it it is all the different homages to film and TV and Abed’s film references as that is me and my obsession with film.
So after the marathon I had this past summer, I thought what better time than now to review one of it’s Halloween episodes. I had a hard time choosing between this and “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps”, and I went with the former as I really like the horror homage being set to ABBA.
So the “fake” Spanish Study Group was formed when Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), a former lawyer who had faked his degree and has to go to college, wanted to try and get with Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs). Britta asks Abed Nadier (Danny Pudi) to join him. He invites a few others, and the group rounds up to Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase), Troy Barnes (Donald Glover Jr.), Annie Edison (Alison Brie), and Shirley Bennet (Yvette Nicole Brown).
The group ends up becoming close friends, even though Jeff tries hard not to, and after they all pass Spanish-they continue with Anthropology. Since they started the class Jeff was attacked by the Anthropology professor: Jeff goes to a party at his old law firm and finds out his old buddy Alan is the one who revealed his fake degree (but he still helped him so that Alan would owe him a favor); Pierce’s mother died and was “vaporized” into his cult and Jeff went through a midlife crisis regarding his mortality; they rode a Space Simulator that was donated by KFC, Shirley and Abed had a showdown regarding Jesus; and Pierce joined a group of “Hipsters” (those who had their hips replaced) and was reverting to teenage rebellion. So Halloween is her again and after the craziness of Pierce getting drugged and freaking out, all are looking forward to a “regular” holiday.
So we start of with George Takai narrating the episode. The Greendale Community College Dean is dressed as Lady Gaga and got a special deal on military rations surplus food for this year’s Halloween dance-man this school has A LOT of dances. My four year university only had one thrown by the actual school-the Blue & White Ball/Homecoming dance. Everything else was done by clubs, Frats, or Sororities. They always do this in TV, like Saved by the Bell’s school had a gazillion.
The study group is there-Jeff is David Beckham, Pierce Captain Kirk from Star Trek, Troy as Ripley from the Alien series with Abed as the Alien Queen from Aliens, Britta a dinosaur, Annie Red Riding Hood, and Shirley Glinda the Good Witch.
Pierce has been eating the food and starts acting weird and sick, not too far off from what he did last year. Annie finds Rich (Jeff’s nemesis from pottery class), a doctor to examine Pierce.
Abed and Troy’s costumes are soooo cool. I’m glad I have my sister to do costumes with, I miss matching costumes.
Rich quickly grows busy as there are more and more people sick-their effects changing to biting people and 102 degree temps. Uh, oh. Biting people? Vampires?
Troy gets upset that girls aren’t into his costume as Ripley and tries to make a new on out of the toilet seat covers and toilet paper-a sexy Dracula.
The Ripley costume was much cooler.
Annie discovers that the illness is being transferred from the bites and takes a hold of them much faster.
The Dean calls to complain to the store and reads the label, giving the code word-as soon as he does the call is taken over by the military. This reminds me of Return of Night of the Living Dead when the military sends the zombies from Night of the Living Dead, to the crematorium and the two workers get into it, releasing zombies on the world. He is told to lock them in the building and help will arrive in 6 hours.
Annie tries to coordinate an orderly evacuation of those that aren’t sick, but Troy sees Leonard biting someone and screams:
Troy Barnes: Holy crap, Leonard’s a Zombie!
Soo utter pandemonium is with people screaming, running, zombies biting, and ABBA’s Dancing Queen playing in the background.
The study room runs with Jeff throwing his soccer ball and punching people out of the way. Jeff always gets the action scenes.
The group locks themselves in their study room, just like in Night of the Living Dead. In Night of the Living Dead they were house to wait it out. Rich asks if any are bitten and all say no-but I’ve seen the film Night of the Living Dead. One of them is a liar, but which one?
Also in the background is a tombstone that says Craig Pelton, the Dean. Foreshadowing?
They start barricading the doors and are scared and unsure they will last the full six hours, Dr. Rich says they only have three hours before permanent brain damage is done.
Annie comes up with the idea to lower the building temp in efforts to stop the fever. Luckily Abed knows where the thermostat is. Sooo in reality they probably wouldn’t be able to do anything as the thermostat is probably closely regulated. I know the thermostat at my university was as they didn’t want anyone messing with it. And of course the thermostat is on the other side of the library as they need an excuse to leave the safety and make a run for it.
Dr. Rich starts sharing the symptoms of the disease and slurs in the middle as he has ever symptom. Yep, he’s been bit and he let them barricade themselves in with him? He’s like the little girl in The Night of the Living Dead.
But at least she was a child, you are an adult-and a doctor. Isn’t your first vow to do no harm? So yeah, you suck.
Oh and it turns out he wasn’t the only one. Britta was bit too.
Chang, dressed a Peggy Fleming, throws his ice skate at Dr. Rich and misses hitting the window. It breaks and the zombies start coming in, taking Annie.
The Zombies chase the remaining group and Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie! (A Man After Midnight) plays. It is a perfect pairing!
The non-zombie members of study group run for their lives, Jeff punching people left and right.
Shirley falls and is saved by Chang having split from the group they hide out in the ladies bathroom. Shirley and Change share a tender moment that develops as both believe it is the end of the world.
Jeff, Troy, and Abed are all that are left. The boys are then assaulted by a crazy cat-homage to horror films, and Abed spots a window they can escape from. Jeff doesn’t want to as he is wearing a $6000 suit. He tries to go through the door and gets attacked by the Zombies.
Jeff isn’t too upset about being a zombie, but is more angry about his archival Dr. Rich stealing his jacket. Oh, Jeff.
Abed and Troy start climbing shelves, shelves that look a lot like the ones from the Lava episode, “Geothermal Escapism”. Abed sacrifices himself so that Troy can save them all-quoting the “I Love You” scene from Star Wars.
Troy gets out and knocks the Dean over to get the key. He runs back into the library in his costume with the song Mama Mia playing in the background. Troy runs through the people in his Ripley costume punching people left and right, but they quickly overpower him. It was cool while it lasted.
Even though he becomes Zombified, with his final moments before he is fully zombified he crawls to the thermostat and mages a temp change.
Fernando plays as the air starts coming through and they grow cold and begin to change back. They are going to take them out, but as they seem to be normal they Men in Black blue light them and they can’t remember anything that happened-they think it was a mass roofie.
After Troy and Abed have their wounds treated, they head to the dormitory to watch a movie…anything but Zombies.
In the end, Troy listens to his voicemails and discovers a message from Chang, so it really did happen.
For more Zombies, go to Sometimes, Dead is Better: Pet Sematary (1989)
For more ABBA, go to Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious (2015)
For more TV episodes reviews, go to The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario: Ellery Queen (1976)