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Nelson: "So you're a cyborg now. You couldn't cut it as a real man, so you decided to make yourself into a tin one. Pathetic. What a waste of good technology."
Killhouse: "We'll see about that..."

Van Houten Rises is a three part short film by YouTuber Lycan Jonze.

Set in an Alternate Continuity of The Simpsons universe, the film begins with Nelson Muntz and his cronies holding Bart Simpson hostage in a vacant warehouse. Nelson intends to kill Bart, having done the same to his younger sister Lisa sometime earlier, but is interrupted by Milhouse Van Houten. Now calling himself "Killhouse" and having altered his body into that of a Cyborg, Milhouse aims to defeat Nelson's gang, save Bart and avenge Lisa's death.

While intended to be something of a parody of over-the-top dark fan fiction as well as 80's fighting Anime series such as Fist of the North Star, it is noted for possessing high quality artwork and fight scenes that are dynamic enough to call its status as a parody into question.


All three parts can be found on Youtube.

This film features the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The characters featured are at best goofy-looking and at worst downright ugly in The Simpsons, while they're all (with the exception of Lisa) varying degrees of beefy hunks here.
  • Adaptational Badass: While Milhouse is a nerdy loser and Nelson and his goons are run of the mill schoolyard bullies in their home series, here all five are musclebound warriors. In particular, both Milhouse and Nelson are complete killing machines.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Milhouse is the main hero here, whereas he's firmly a secondary character in his home series. Nelson counts as well, as he's ascended to Big Bad status.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: While Nelson's personality is genuinely a much more sinister take on his usual jerkassery, Milhouse is now a stoic and serious warrior rather than a whiny nerd. Of course, considering his status as a Tragic Hero, it could be argued that the trauma he has experienced has hardened him. Alternatively, it could be seen as a case of him losing his humanity to his cybernetic enhancements.
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  • Adaptational Villainy: Nelson is merely a Jerkass who reveals himself to possess a Hidden Heart of Gold fairly frequently in The Simpsons. Here, he is a remorseless murderer who revels in the suffering of others.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Just like in The Simpsons. Unlike the original series, though, besides their skin every character is drawn to be fairly realistic-looking, creating a pretty hilarious contrast.
  • Ambiguous Situation: As a result of the film beginning right at the start of the action and ending as soon as it stops, the viewer's knowledge of the setting is limited entirely to what happens onscreen. We have no idea why Nelson killed Lisa, or why he wants to kill Bart, we have no idea how Milhouse was able to become a cyborg and we have no idea why some of the characters seem to possess superhuman abilities.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Milhouse loses all of his limbs over the course of his fight with Nelson. Of course, since he's a cyborg, this doesn't matter much.
  • Animesque: The art style closely resembles that of Fist of the North Star.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Nelson is the leader of his gang, and so is naturally infinitely stronger than each of his goons.
  • Badass Baritone: Milhouse's voice is ridiculously deep.
  • Badass Normal: Nelson does not utilize a weapon in combat like Dolph and Kearney, nor does he possess magical powers like Jimbo or cybernetic enhancements like Milhouse. He merely fights with his bare hands using his own natural strength. He more than lives up to his claims of being the "pinnacle of human strength" and effortlessly beats Milhouse to a pulp in a few seconds.
  • Big Bad: Nelson Muntz is the leader of the gang of thugs that the film is centered around taking down.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The entire film showcases Milhouse pulling one of these off to save Bart.
  • Bishōnen: Adaptational Attractiveness has rendered the long-haired Jimbo and Dolph as a pair of these.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Milhouse succeeds in killing Nelson and his goons and saving Bart, but vanishes and is never seen again afterwards. To make it even more bittersweet, Bart lives a long life and fulfills his dream of becoming a Supreme Court Justice, only to be unceremoniously stabbed to death trying to break up a fight in a McDonald's.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Nelson speaks with a New York accent, despite not possessing one at all in the original series. Naturally, he's a violent murderer.
  • Bullet Catch: Milhouse catches each of the bullets that Kearney fires at him in his mouth and then fires them back at him. Later, Nelson catches a bullet shot at him by Milhouse between his fingers and flicks it into Bart's head at the same speed it was fired with.
  • The Comically Serious: The entire film is basically this. The story is a standard bloody tale of revenge with no humorous elements whatsoever, but the characters are all for whatever reason various children from The Simpsons, which makes everything about it inherently hilarious.
  • Computer Voice: Milhouse's voice occasionally experiences a mechanical-sounding reverb.
  • Crusading Widower: Milhouse is suggested to be primarily motivated in taking Nelson and his boys down to avenge their killing of Lisa. However, the flashback during the final battle reveals that, just like in the original series, Lisa wasn't ever romantically interested in him.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Milhouse slaughters Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney in quick succession with little effort.
  • Cyborg: Milhouse has been modified into one. His abilities include possessing a gun in his mouth which can catch and fire back enemy bullets, detachable limbs, flight and laser vision. In addition, he is much more resilient and is able to shrug off Dolph and Jimbo's attacks with ease.
  • Darker and Edgier: Lisa has been killed. Bart is about to be killed. Nelson and his bullies are responsible. Milhouse has sacrificed his humanity to stop them. Everything is settled through violence.
  • Demoted to Dragon: While Jimbo Jones is usually presented as the lead bully whenever he appears in The Simpsons, here he's just another one of Nelson's goons.
  • Determinator: Milhouse continues fighting even after Nelson rips all of his limbs off.
  • Disney Death: Bart is seemingly shot dead by Nelson in part 3, but is revealed to have been safely taken to the hospital by Milhouse and survived the events of the film in the epilogue.
  • Distressed Dude: Bart spends the entire film either tied up or dying of a gunshot wound. Milhouse's goal is to rescue him.
  • Dual Boss: Jimbo and Dolph attack Milhouse at the same time. It doesn't do them any good.
  • Elite Mook: Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney all seem to posses unique skills that give them a certain amount of value to Nelson, but all three are ultimately just empty muscle for him to throw at his enemies, and they're all crushed easily by Milhouse in a fight. Nelson even calls them "mooks" after Milhouse defeats them.
  • Everybody Dies: Lisa died before the events of the film and Milhouse kills all of Nelson and his men over the course of it. While Bart survives the encounter, he is stated to have eventually died as well. Only Milhouse's fate remains uncertain, though there's a fairly high chance that he also died.
  • Evil Is Petty: Nelson constantly mocks Milhouse throughout the film just to spite him. He brings up Lisa's death and Milhouse's failure to protect her to do the same.
  • Eye Scream: Milhouse ultimately defeats Nelson by burning through his eye sockets with laser vision.
  • The Gunslinger: Kearney fights from a distance with a golden pistol, and seems to be Nelson's go-to guy for carrying out a hit on someone.
  • Hopeless Suitor: The flashback to Lisa's death reveals that, as per usual, she wasn't even slightly romantically interested in Milhouse.
  • Hulking Out: Nelson performs a subdued version of this when he reveals his full power, bulking up substantially and ripping his clothes.
  • Indecisive Parody: Despite transparently being intended as a joke, the film takes itself so seriously and is generally of a high enough quality that the degree to which it was meant to be seen as a joke becomes less clear.
  • Informed Ability: Nelson commends Bart for being "tougher than [Nelson] thought" at the beginning of the film, suggesting that he possesses some fighting ability. Not only does he never display this at any point, but he is eventually killed by two random people in a McDonald's later in his life.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Almost every single one of Nelson's lines is a taunt. Even his final one.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Dolph fights with a katana.
  • Limited Animation: The entire film has only a few frames of genuine animation. The rest of it is done entirely through still artwork. Despite this, the pacing of the fight sequences nonetheless allows the action to remain surprisingly fluid.
  • Living Macguffin: Bart spends the entire film off to the side tied up and seemingly unconscious, and doesn't interact with the characters or engage in the plot at all besides needing to be saved. The epilogue mostly focuses on him, however.
  • The Lost Lenore: Lisa is presented as being this to Milhouse. Of course, we later learn that, just like in the original series, Milhouse was her Hopeless Suitor all the way up to her death.
  • Man Versus Machine: In a bit of a twist, the heroic Milhouse, who utilizes cybernetics to become stronger, is the machine while the monstrous Nelson, whose strength is entirely his own, is the man.
  • Meaningful Rename: Milhouse chooses to go by "Killhouse" after becoming a cyborg, to signify that he now means business.
  • Minimalist Cast: There are only seven characters, only two of whom actually have any lines.
  • Minor Major Character: Kearney is one of Nelson's three goons, and the first and easiest of the bunch to go down. Despite this, the flashback to Lisa's death reveals that he was the one who killed her.
  • My Greatest Failure: Milhouse is extremely guilty over his failure to protect Lisa from Nelson's men, and he aims to prevent the same thing happening with Bart.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Nelson's fight against Milhouse mostly consists of him mercilessly tossing him around and tearing him apart.
  • Oh, Crap!: Nelson and Kearney both have one after Milhouse catches all of Kearney's bullets in his mouth, though Nelson quickly regains his composure. Dolph later has one when he cuts into Milhouse's arm and the blood that leaks out becomes oil.
  • One-Man Army: Milhouse's cybernetic enhancements allow him to toss Kearney, Jimbo and Dolph aside with little effort. Nelson reveals himself to be of comparable strength by the end.
  • Posthumous Character: Lisa is established as having been killed by Nelson in the very first line of the film.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: One of Milhouse's eyes glows red to signify his non-human nature.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The arrogant and loudmouthed Nelson is the red oni while the quiet and determined Milhouse is the blue oni.
  • Satellite Character: Bart and Lisa and Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph don't get much more characterization than "Milhouse's loved ones" and "Nelson's goons", respectively.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Milhouse's signature coke bottles are frequently used for this Effect.
  • Smug Super: Nelson spends the entire film mocking Milhouse, up to and including during his last words, and only very briefly loses his composure when he first realizes that Milhouse has become a cyborg. Of course, seeing how powerful he is, he's more than earned the right to his confidence.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Lisa is the only female character in the film.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Jimbo possesses the ability to turn into a snake, and is one of Nelson's thugs.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: While Nelson is incredibly cocky and loudmouthed, his voice is always in a controlled and condescending tone.
  • The Stoic: Milhouse remains stone-faced and serious throughout, in contrast to the cocky and confident Nelson.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Milhouse took a huge one, going from a whiny wimp to an incredibly powerful cyborg. On a more Meta level, every other character who fights has as well, as they're all just regular kids in their home series.
  • Tragic Hero: It's made abundantly clear that Milhouse has lost everything important in his life, and is solely driven by revenge. After finally killing Nelson and saving Bart, he closes his eyes and seemingly resigns himself to whatever the future has planned for him.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Nelson doesn't take Milhouse's initial threats seriously at all. He starts to get more serious after Milhouse defeats his goons without a problem.
  • Unexplained Accent: Nelson randomly speaks with a Brooklyn accent.
  • The Voiceless: Bart, Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney never utter a word throughout the film. Lisa gets a line, but it is archived audio from The Simpsons and she isn't shown speaking it onscreen.
  • Vague Age: It's unclear if the characters are still meant to be children as they are in their home series and are merely drawn to be Younger Than They Look, or if they are intended to have been aged up into adults.
  • Voluntary Shape Shifting: Jimbo randomly has the power to transform into a snake. It goes unexplained.
  • World of Badass: This version of The Simpsons features a cast of deadly martial artists.
  • World's Strongest Man: Nelson describes himself as being "the pinnacle of human strength", and from what we see of him during his fight with Milhouse, he wasn't lying.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Nelson and his men had no problem with killing Lisa, and Nelson enjoys taunting both Bart and Milhouse by bringing it up.

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