Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery
Local radio station KOZY 102.1 is sponsoring a "Halloween Haunt" featuring an appearance by real-life nu metal band Korn. Father Maxi is unhappy about both and conducts a one-man protest campaign, calling Halloween an abomination of God and Korn satanists that play violent music. Stan, Kyle, and Kenny are excited about Halloween, but Cartman is already thinking about Christmas because he expects to be showered with presents. They visit various mediocre attractions and get frightened by a gang of 5th graders who play a prank on them involving "pirate ghosts". Stan decides to retaliate by digging up Kyle's recently buried grandmother, Cleo Broflovski, and scaring the 5th graders with it. Kyle, while uneasy about the scheme, reluctantly agrees to go along.
Meanwhile, Korn, driving in a van which resembles the Mystery Machine, crash it after spotting pirate ghosts on the road.
After digging up Kyle's Grandmother's corpse, the boys leave it barely concealed at the harbor, where it is promptly eaten by a stray dog. During the night, they meet Korn (and a Scooby-Doo like character, Nibblet) after their encounter with the pirate ghosts. The following morning, the graveyard's watchmen inform Sheila Broflovski about the missing corpse, and describe to her in graphic detail what the culprit, who they assume to be a necrophiliac, might be doing to the corpse.
Cartman intercepts a life-sized blow-up Antonio Banderas Blowup Doll ordered by his mother, which he mistakenly assumes to be a Christmas present for him, and takes it around town to show off. The boys return to the docks in their costumes hoping to win the contest for best costume, with Kenny wearing an elaborate costume of the ED-209 robot from RoboCop. To Kenny's disappointment, everyone (including Korn) is able to clearly recognize him. At the town square, the grave watchers are explaining the concept of necrophilia very explicitly until the Pirate Ghosts show up and terrorize the town. A few citizens are blown up and one ghost decapitates two others. Father Maxi shows up and blames Korn for causing all this trouble. The town gets angry and set up a lynch mob to get rid of the "devil worshipers."
Korn and the boys go investigate the "Mystery of the Pirate Ghosts and the missing body." After a few mishaps typical of Scooby-Doo episodes, it is revealed that Father Maxi was behind the Pirate Ghosts, which he simply conjured up with rather impossible light tricks and sounds (the explanation to some of the citizen's deaths earlier caused by the Pirate Ghosts is left unsolved and unknown). The mystery of Cleo Broflovski's missing corpse is solved when the dog regurgitates the body. The Halloween Haunt goes as planned, with Korn playing "Falling Away from Me" which shocks the crowd, as their cheery personality in the episode is a strong contrast to the song. The boys get their revenge against the 5th graders while Korn is playing, scaring them with the corpse and Cartman's Antonio Banderas doll gets popped by Nibblet. Kenny's spectacular ED-209 costume does not win him first prize, which goes instead to Wendy Testaburger wearing the same Chewbacca costume as in the previous Season 1 Halloween Special "Pinkeye". During the closing credits, Kenny ends up getting killed by miniature Snowspeeders as in The Empire Strikes Back while inside his costume and rats arrive to eat his body.
What I Learned Today
"It's easy to perceive something some way and then be wrong. So we all need to learn to be a little less perceptive."
- "Where the hell are we gonna get a dead body?" (Eric Cartman)
- "Dude, we're not digging up my Grandma! I'll get in trouble!!" (Kyle Broflovski)
- "People stealing bodies to have sex with them, pirate ghosts destroying the town -- when did everything go so wrong?" (Sheila Broflovski)
- "Aw, nuts! Come on Ned, this ain't a whore house, it's a hor-ROR house!" (Jimbo Kern)
- "Somebody wanted to have sex with her dead body." (Night Watchman)
- "Screw Halloween, I already got my Christmas present!" (Eric Cartman)
- "You best clear out of here. There's pirate ghosts and they'll kill you." (Announcer)
- "If there's one thing we like more than playng music, its solving a groovy mystery." (Jonathan from Korn)
- "LYNCH MOB!!" (Randy Marsh)
- "You son of a bitch chicken from outer space!! Come back here!" (Eric Cartman)
The real metal band Korn, who are portrayed as Scooby Doo-esque mystery solvers. The group includes Nibblet, an annoying yellow canary/chicken that serves at Korn's mascot and comic relief (like Scooby Doo).
Some Sixth Graders make their first minor appearance as the boys' bullies, including their leader who sports a green shirt with a picture of his own face on it. Only in this episode is the group referred to as Fifth Graders. After "Fourth Grade", all the students move up a grade.
Kyle's dead grandmother Cleo Broflovski is also introduced. She is a badly decomposed corpse and gets eaten by a dog.
Several residents killed by pirates. Also Kenny, shot to pieces by tiny Rebel snowspeeders from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, perhaps because the Halloween costume he's wearing at the time looks like an Imperial Walker. See Shout Outs for the details.
Behind The Scenes
Matt and Trey remember this episode as one of their most difficult episodes to produce because it was the first one after a months-long break to rest after the South Park movie. It took a while to get their creative groove back. Nonetheless, the duo have fond memories as this was the first episode to utilize a different animation style.
Where Did The Idea Come From
This episode is a parody of the cartoon franchise Scooby-Doo, portraying the band Korn with the same personalities as the cartoon's main characters. Korn approached South Park about world premiering their new single "Falling Away From Me" on the show, just a few weeks before their fourth album Issues was released. Because this episode was produced close to Halloween, Trey and Matt thought it would be funny if they portrayed Korn as cheesy mystery investigators a la Scooby Doo.
The argument between Korn's bandmates about whether the evil spirits were "pirate ghosts" (ghosts that had become pirates) or "ghost pirates" (pirates that had become ghosts) is based on an actual quarrel between Matt and one of the show's writers Kyle McCulloch during the writing process.
Pop Culture References
Metal band Korn provided their own voices for this episode. They perform and world premiere their single "Falling Away from Me" from their fourth album Issues.
This episode is an homage to Scooby-Doo by animation studio Hanna-Barbera. Fictionalized Korn is a parody of the group Mystery, Inc. (Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo) and designed like Hanna-Barbera characters. The band drives around in a tricked-out van like the Mystery Machine. Their anthropomorphic animal mascot called Nibblet is similar to Scooby-Doo. Finally, Korn's antics like splitting up into teams, setting traps, and a character losing their glasses are some well known cliches from Scooby-Doo.
Each member of Korn reveals their ability to turn into a different corn product. They shout "Korn powers, vitalize!" and "Form of... corn!" This is a reference to the shape-shifting Wonder Twins from Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends, who speak the catchphrases "Wonder Twin powers activate!" and announce their intended form through "Shape of..." or "Form of..." The Wonder Twins also have a comic-relief animal sidekick named Gleek, another inspiration for the mascot Nibblet.
Kenny's Halloween costume is a faithful reproduction of the ED-209 law enforcement robot from the movie Robocop. Coincidentally, in the film an ED-209 malfunctions and kills a man named Kinney.
Kenny's death is a reference to how the AT-AT walkers were taken down in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. The Rebels used snowspeeders to wrap cables around AT-AT legs, thus tripping and immobilizing them.
Cartman's mom gets an Antonio Banderas Blowup Doll in the mail. Cartman thinks it's a Christmas gift for him, blows it up and carries it around. Antonio Banderas is a Spanish actor known for his exotic roles as Zorro in The Mask of Zorro and Puss in Boots from the Shrek film series. The life-size blowup doll is a reoccurring object in South Park.
- The disclaimer at the beginning of every episode is redesigned from this episode onwards.
- This is the last Halloween special until "Hell on Earth 2006". This is the only Halloween special with guest stars. Also, the Halloween version of the show's intro is used for the last time here.
- When Cartman flips through a toy catalog, there are ads for Alabama Man from "Chinpokomon" and the Mr. Hankey Construction Set from "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo".
- Wendy wins the town's Halloween costume competition by wearing the same Chewbacca outfit she wore in "Pinkeye" two seasons earlier.
- At the graveyard where they dug up Kyle's grandma, one of the gravestones reads "Kenny - 1999". In another shot there's another grave that reads "Kenny - 2000".
- In one scene, Korn can briefly be heard playing a piece from Skyler's "Shelly" song in "Cat Orgy".
- e1 Rainforest Shmainforest
- e2 Spontaneous Combustion
- e3 The Succubus
- e4 Tweek Vs. Craig
- e5 Jakovasaurs
- e6 Sexual Harassment Panda
- e7 Cat Orgy
- e8 Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub
- e9 Jewbilee
- e10 Chinpokomon
- e11 Starvin' Marvin in Space
- e12 Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery
- e13 Hooked on Monkey Fonics
- e14 The Red Badge of Gayness
- e15 Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics
- e16 Are You There, God? It's Me, Jesus
- e17 World Wide Recorder Concert