Written by Jonathan Wojcik
THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS
One Hundred Demon Parade:
Last time we gawked at naked mosquito-chickens and rather a lot of tongues. Today, we'll be seeing spooky toothpaste! And a BLIMP!
The Haunted Blimp
Episode: Egon's Ghost
We get just one shot of this beauty in a montage of assorted busts, and the whole thing gets busted, indicating that it was one big ghost in the form of a blimp rather than a ghost merely possessing a blimp. At least, I believe and hope that's what was going on, because there were probably people in there otherwise. The single deep sea fish antenna is a nice touch.
Hot Dog Eater
Episode: You Can't Teach an Old Demon New Tricks
This is one of several "nether entities" seen in this episode, but you can imagine none of them get as weird or as lovable as this four-armed worm, who not only loves the hell out of some hot dogs, but has what look an awful lot like rows of giant hot dogs growing out of its body. Coincidence? Surely not. As a "nether entity" from a demon's pocket dimension, this probably isn't anyone's ghost, but I'd like to think it still has some connection to somebody who also loved the hell out of some hot dogs.
Episode: Slimer Streak
This ghost is one of several minions of "The Player," an awful little purple elf who bends reality to challenge mortals to various games, and yes, all this monster does is play tag, enhanced by its teleportation abilities. For such an innocent, adorable purpose, its design is marvelously threatening, almost resembling a mutant mix of human and tarantula spider - especially how its relatively small, round eyes are placed so high and close together on its skull. Very arachnid-like. What might be its most memorable feature, however, are its unpleasantly melted-looking lips.
This goofy episode has the Ghostbusters arrested by demons, taken to the ghost world and put on trial for their crimes against ghostkind, which is pretty fair, really. We see a lot of ghosts get "busted" just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
One tiny, adorable little guy seems to feel, however, that the Ghostbusters really aren't that bad...until another juror nudges him and he flips his little sign around to a zero, which I imagine is just a case of peer pressure. His design follows the "just eyes" rule of cuteness. The fewer additional features you give something with big eyes, the more adorable it's almost always going to be. It's also pretty precious how he seems to wear tiny shoes on his hands.
Episode: Janine's Genie
A number of neat weirdos are seen in this episode, especially the ghosts that end up haunting an airplane. The blue, coiling worm here with the little hat is hilarious looking, and the pink thing with glasses is pretty cute, but it's the middle ghost I really love, and we get to see it quite a few times throughout the episode in various crowd shots. The single eye stalk is clearly also meant to invoke a "nose," while the wings sprout from what your mind wants to tell you are the "eyes." It has just the right sort of yawning, expressionless, fanged maw to be extra ghastly.
Episode: Station Identification
This time around, ghosts are haunting a television broadcast, and things on the tube are springing off the screen as horrifying specters, from sitcom characters to GLORP! It's apparently an oddly named brand of toothpaste, and I just really like the visual of a giant, frothing toothpaste tube with a fanged cap. This is also one of the very few times we get a clear reason for a ghost to take on such an odd form; it's been implied in a few other episodes that some can just look like whatever they want at a given time. I hope GLORP liked being a giant toothpaste tube, I'd hate to think it was ever going to be anything else.
Episode: Janine's Genie
Another overhead compartment haunter mixes up facial features in a different way, its "head" a blind collection of lumps and its arms ending in ghostly little faces! This is one of those designs that really meshes the disturbing with the hilarious, especially the Hawaiian shirt on it.
Another one from Jailbusters, this giant eye with gloved hands has a pretty strange existence. When Peter manages to loosen one of the stones of their prison, this thing is already inside the wall behind it, shrugging and pulling the block back into place. Did it just happen to be there, or is this thing actually assigned to haunt the walls and foil situations like this?
Episode: Janine's Genie
One last "Janine's Genie" ghost I feel like mentioning is just a pink eye with arms and legs, which wouldn't be that interesting if not for the fact that it flies just by flapping the feaths it holds in each hand. Adorable!
Episode: Take Two
This fun episode has a film director wanting to adapt the story of the Ghostbusters into the movie we already know, which elegantly explains away differences between the two continuities. Unfortunately, the filming disturbs a real ghost, a creature which only wants to sleep forever and never be bothered. Its design is nothing complex, but it's one that feels kind of "classic" to the series, another one that doesn't stray too far from the design of Slimer and other common phantasms.
Much more elaborate and monstrous is the Megazoid, a prop for another film which the sleeper ghost possesses and further distorts into a more horrifying metal beast, with multiple nested sets of freaky, fish-like jaws!
Episode: Bustman's Holiday
A unique little fiend almost resembling some thorny, anthropomorphic echinoderm, this being is apparently the spirit of a battle, and as long as it exists to haunt the battlefield, the spirits of the 723 soldiers who died there will continue to rest; literally a "keystone" keeping other ghosts locked away. Naturally, the Ghostbusters trap it anyway and then have to trap the rotting skeleton army they unleash.
The cool thing about this little guy is how well the design fits the role. A crude, star-shaped figure made entirely of red needles is the perfect look for a being embodying a violent conflict.
Episode: Janine's Day Off
In the same episode, an equipment malfunction releases a pack of tiny imps from another dimension, who continue to increase in number until another malfunction fuses them together into one huge monstrosity, and what a wonderful monstrosity it is! It's another monster that slightly brings to mind the Rancor beast from Star Wars, but with a huge, gaping mouth, fangs where nostrils belong, and of course, a pair of giant hands on its head like ears, just the sort of unexpected detail that sets so many of these monsters apart from the crowd. I feel like this thing is almost unmistakably a Ghostbusters kind of design.
The Paranatural Being
Episode: Loathe Thy Neighbor
In an homage to characters like the Meunsters and the Addam's Family, the Ghostbusters get a call from a family so strange, they can barely tell them apart from ghosts themselves. So strange, in fact, that their son accidentally summons a being that isn't even a ghost, but an organism from a reality far beyond that of either our own or the spirit world, and it really looks the part. I hardly know where to begin tracing the anatomy of this beautiful mess, its head alone like a series of invertebrate body parts glued together into a rough crescent, flailing tendrils tipped with a variety of grasping and stinging appendages. What little we glimpse of its body, too, is like a sort of undulating, segmented slug.
Most attempts to portray "Lovecraftian" cosmic horrors never really come close to looking this strange, which can honestly be said for a lot of stuff in The Real Ghostbusters. Even the most earnest attempts at serious horror tend to fall far short of cartoons.
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