Halloween Havoc Special – Ghostbusters!

Apparently last night was Halloween Havoc, three nights early! Well, got something saved up for the real Halloween night, a selection of tricks and treats, but for now if there’s something weird in the neighbourhood, better call… the Ghostbusters!

Real Ghostbusters: When Halloween Was Forever

We covered this show before and I admitted I wasn’t a massive fan of it like I was with He-Man or Thundercats or Transformers or MASK, but it’s definitely a good show based off a great movie. Episodes like this are often held as the reason why.

Supernatural activity is up in the lead-up to Halloween, not helped by the presence of relics and runes from Ireland, the place of origin for Halloween itself. Some minor league moron goblins release the powerful Samhain (properly pronounced sow-hain) from a sculpture at the museum, and as he spreads across the city he’s turning everything ghoulish! His aim: to make the night eternally Halloween forevermore.

I bet JMS was disappointed with the lower animation quality of this episode because the main characters look worse than the goofy ghosts at times. Luckily the story material and acting makes up for it. Also, in a way, it helps bring up the impact of the look of Samhain, who is liked an evil Pied Piper of spirits, with a purplish robe with protruding orange hands from the sleeves and a pumpkin head. He looks best when the screen goes black and his eyes, nose and mouth carvings glow blue. The distorted voice befits a horror movie character too.

So, it’s a strong episode from the early days of the show when it was best, but not quite up to the quality of the awesome Ragnarok and Roll. Probably needed consistently excellent animation throughout the episode, not just when focusing on Samhain.

Filmation’s Ghostbusters: Back to the Past

And now a horse of a totally different colour!

This show has been talked about before in the comments section (not positively!). Filmation did a live action Ghostbusters with Eddie and Jake and their gorilla Tracy (a guy in a costume, obviously). They let the producers of the Ghostbusters used the name for a sum, then used the popularity of it to do their own show after they were passed over to do the show that would be The Real Ghostbusters.

This episode is set the night before Halloween, with everyone assembled at Prime Evil’s Hauntquarters. To prepare for the Ghostbusters interfering in their evil plans, a fat-cheeked witch is employed to change them back to children so they can scare them into never wanting to be Ghostbusters. The original Ghostbusters, the dads, come back into action to change them back to adults.

Some really nice animation on the effects and sets of the show, a shame it’s wasted on some lame writing at times. It’s skewed far too young, especially after He-Man and She-Ra (and later Bravestarr) hitting at just the right level. I don’t know whether it was out of a fear of being too scary, but the senior Ghostbusters coming back into action showed that they were better characters and better performed by Peter Cullen and Pat Fraley than their sons. Would an animated follow-up to the original seventies show have been more successful? Probably not, but I feel like it would’ve been better, even with them facing off against the futuristic ghosts.

Extreme Ghostbusters: The True Face of a Monster

Don’t really know a lot about this show, so it’s totally fresh to me. The Extreme moniker fits a nineties redo of a classic show. Two teenage vandals are attacked by a massive monster of unknown origin. When they turn up at the hospital they’re encased in clay! Egon leads new Ghostbusters Kyle, Eduardo, Garrett and Roland in an investigation of what caused it. Slimer’s still around too.

Turns out that there’s an element of protection against prejudice with the supernatural happenings, as is matched by a subplot involving Roland meeting Garrett’s old friends and finding out they’re a little racist and not good guys. As it’s a Jewish synagogue that was vandalised in the first place, it becomes obvious that it’s a Golem protecting it and responsible for the state the vandals are left in.

Was surprised to find out that Jim Cummings was responsible for the rock cover version of the Ghostbusters song, which isn’t bad. Music in the episode is mostly on point. The music over the end credits is entirely different and very spooky. I like the animation too, even though it’s a little funky, with lots of colour washed over for mood as well as bright colours flashing for effect. I can see why this show wasn’t a hit, but it’s a shame it wasn’t a hit because it’s not bad at all.

The Bottom Line: Good Real episode, flawed Filmation episode, interesting Extreme episode. If I was tempted to go back and watch one series further it would be the latter.

I’m off now to dress up as a Ghoul EMT with Adam Bomb and check whether Abby needs a little more grilling or if he’s just about done!