One of the major recognitions of 2014 to genre fans was the 30th Anniversary of Ghostbusters — a movie that continues to inspire new audiences and entertain the old ones; spawning not only a sequel (and another on the way) but a major driving force of 1980’s animation: ‘The Real Ghostbusters’ (later known as ‘Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters’). Fast forward twenty-five years from that era and one will likely pass over 1997. Which is unfortunate as in that very year, the producers of the original series created a short run sequel series entitled ‘Extreme Ghostbusters’. The show featured a variety of writers that also worked on the original series, incorporating past events to bridge the time gap and also hope to slime some life back into the franchise like it was the Statue of Liberty on New Year’s Eve.
Editors note: We originally wanted to run this piece along with the 2014 40oz. Of Horror Awards episode. Jeff rules. We sucked at getting the show out on time. Sorry Jeff, this article kicks ass!
Ghostbusters: A movie that continues to inspire new audiences and entertain the old ones
Debuting September 1st, 1997, Extreme Ghostbusters ran for a strong showing of 40 episodes in its one and only season. The storyline picked up well after the original team retired, having moved onto their own pursuits. As calm as the streets seemed, the supernatural wouldn’t stay away. In the premiere ‘Darkness at Noon’, a new team is assembled by original Ghostbusters (and this writer’s two personal favorites so that worked all the better) Egon Spengler and Janine Melnitz. Fan favorite specter Slimer is still lingering around the old Fire House as well. Roland, Eduardo, Kylie and Garrett made up the new, diverse and modernized team. The latter remains the most talked about to this day because of his disability. Garrett was in a wheelchair, a characteristic that not only added a new dimension and reality to the superhero team, but a potential role model to younger viewers who also had the same or similar disability.
Not all the episodes were winners but then again neither were all of the original series (especially in the final few seasons). Of particular mention is Episode 24 ‘Grundelesque’, a highlight episode that featured the return of The Grundel – one of the more sinister and spooktacular villains from the original Real Ghostbusters. Another episode that hits the creep factor aplenty, is Episode 5 ‘Deadliners’ which plays on the popular rise of horror writers like Stephen King and R.L. Stine with Clive Barker’s Cenobites. These villains seemed not only inspired by that ghastly crew but just as chilling and threatening. It goes without saying that the highlight of the entire series is the finale, a two-part episode ‘Back in the Saddle’ featuring the return of the original Real Ghostbusters Peter Venkman (Dave Coulier), Ray Stantz (Frank Welker) and Winston Zeddemore (Buster Jones). Bringing generations together, the originals have to suit up with the proton packs one more time to help the younger team vanquish the ultimate evil.
The finale was certainly the way to go for a series that was not picked up for another season despite syndication all across North America. All the right elements were there: Ecto-1, The Fire House, Egon (voiced by original actor Maurice LeMarche), Janine and Slimer, so it is disappointing that the series was not able to carry on. There was even merchandising brought forth by toy company Trendmasters – an entire line of action figures (notably missing Garrett) and a very cool Ecto-1. Overseas, fans got to enjoy Extreme Ghostbuster Video Games such as “The Ultimate Invasion” for the Playstation (if only Playstation systems this side of the World could play PAL format). Briefly released in Canada and USA were three VHS volumes of episodes; distributed by Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment. Australia and the United Kingdom got DVD treatments but again, incomplete. Whatever the reason, rights holders Sony Pictures Television, Bohbots Kids Network and Adelaide Productions should really consider the viable interest in an official DVD or Blu-Ray release. The interest in the franchise as a whole has resurfaced significantly. In fact, a North American company such as Shout Factory could do this series justice. In the meantime, franchise fans can resort to Youtube, Torrents, or burned DVDs on the convention circuit unless they want to place an Ebay bid on those VHS’s. Regardless, this is the 30th Anniversary of Ghostbusters and now is the time of the year where we can enjoy a series that deserves to take its place amongst the hierarchy of movie tie-in animation. Hopefully by the 40th, we will all still be asking “Who are you going to call?”
Source Information found from Wikipedia and TV.com.