Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Filmation's Ghostbusters - Rollerghoster

Hey guys. Still doing finals, but since I turned in a paper and have some downtime between now and the next finals next week, I figure I'd crank out another Filmation post before resuming hiatus. I would say I'd make up for lost time somewhere down the line, but considering the length of these posts, I'd give myself carpal tunnel trying to achieve like a 14 post month sometime during the summer.

Most people know about Filmation's Ghostbusters by accident. For a brief period of time between the release of the movie Ghostbusters and the release of the TV show The Real Ghostbusters (which happens to be named that way due to this show, by the way; I'll get to that in a minute), kids would read that there was a Ghostbusters cartoon in the TV guide, turn on the idiot box in hopes of watching the exciting antics of Peter Venkman and Slimer, and learn the meaning of the phrase "crippling disappointment".

Guys, I don't think the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is in this...
Oddly, the most interesting thing about this show is the backstory behind its existence. It's what people in the legal business call "a heaping pile of WTF". Back in the day, Filmation had a live-action TV show called The Ghost Busters, a short-lived live action show where two bumbling detectives and some guy in an ape suit (okay, "a gorilla") tried to stop ghosts and supernatural crap. It only lasted 15 episodes (on account it kind of sucked), meaning the legacy of Ghost Busters should've ended there. Unfortunately, some small-time studio called "Columbia Pictures" wanted to make some small-time movie called "Ghostbusters", and they had to obtain the rights to the name from Filmation for the film. Ghostbusters ended up becoming a huge hit and an instant classic, and Filmation, seeing that there was money to be had from the name alone, went into production with its animated series based on the characters from their original 15-episode series.

In short, the name is the entire reason why this show exists. Welcome to the world of capitalism.

But in fairness to this show, it at least tried to deviate itself from the godawful live-action series it spawned from. For starters, since its an animated show, the ghosts can actually use magical powers and behave more like, well, ghosts and the gorilla can finally look like a goddamn gorilla. This show is also supposedly where Tex Hex from Bravestarr originated from, which makes it even sadder is that this show is considered a cult classic on Wikipedia whereas the Bravestarr Wikipedia page is just "This exists".

Unlike Bravestarr where I had to struggle with choosing an episode, picking an episode for Filmation's Ghostbusters was almost too easy. While Bravestarr I had to shift through all the episodes with mature themes in order to find something I could laugh about, Ghostbusters was as simple as picking an episode blindly and realizing that it doesn't matter what episode I choose, I'm going to run into some strange crap either way.

I hope you can tolerate ghost puns, people. The title won't be the last ghost pun that will spook its way into this deathly scary post!


Oh hey, the only cartoon that delivers you fresh nightmares with the title card.
Airdate: October 2nd, 1986

Availability: On DVD...for over 40 dollars.

Before I even start to talk about this show, I'm going to make a pledge right here and now that I am not going to make any Ghostbusters comments or comparisons. I'm going to judge this cartoon while completely ignoring the other franchise so that I don't spend twenty pages on whether or not Egon could win in a battle of wits against a superintelligent gorilla in khaki shorts. Both franchises deserve better than that.

...which is why I let a little wail of despair because it turns out Ghost Command is located in what looks like a copyright-friendly version of New York City, the same location the other Ghostbusters are located. Geez, is the Big Apple like sitting on several thousand ancient Indian burial grounds (considering the history, I'm guessing "yes") and a couple portals to the spirit world? This seems like an obscene amount of supernatural activity if there's so many ghosts that there's multiple ghost busting organizations in direct competition with each other within the same city limits.

Not only that, but while the headquarters for the Real Ghostbusters are located on just some city street, Ghost Command decides to be more lavish and looks like it's located in-between the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. Well. I'm sure there's no possible way that could make watching this show feel awkward while watching this with modern context.

I would've made a joke involving ghosts and the Twin Towers, but then I realized that I'm not a horrible person.
Inside Ghost Command, we see some fat doofus with no taste in ties or footwear chastising an equally dorky kid to behave himself. Well crap. Time to add "Filmation's Ghostbusters" to my list of shows that have annoying little kids that are vaguely related the main leads. The blindingly dressed man to the left is Egon Eddie Spengler Spenser Jr. and the kid is simply known as Corky, the nephew (what a shocker) to a new's reporter that's going to appear in this episode in a couple minutes. We're off to a good start, because it has barely been a minute in and already I feel deeply embarrassed for both of these characters and they didn't even have to say any dialogue. Who wears bright yellow pants and who wears a shirt with the Ghostbusters logo on it? Honestly!

And speaking of hideous, look at the choice of decor in this house. Ancient bookcase filled with books no one in this company is going to read? Check. Random water cooler that desperately needs to be refilled? Check. Odd use of cafeteria doors next to a completely wooden door? Double check. Filmation doesn't know anything about attractive color palettes? Check and mate.

But seriously guys, get some fashion designers or an interior decorator, for the love of all that is holy. This is making the grey jumpsuits the other Ghostbusters wear look downright stylish.

"We Ghost Busters pride ourselves in our total lack of dignity!"
Before I got sidetracked by the hideousness, Corky tells the strange, stiffly-animated man that he's going to be good with his patented "Female Voice Actor Imitating a Kid Voice But Failing Badly At It" voice. Of course, like most kids in both cartoons and real life, the moment he hears that he has to behave himself, he literally goes out of his way to make sure he doesn't behave himself.

However, since Corky isn't too smart, his idea of not behaving himself is frightening a several hundred pound animal with a trumpet.

...this kid isn't going to live to make it to middle school, I see.

And that's how Corky became a paraplegic.
The fat doofus decides that he'd better intervene before the intelligent ape in the room (named Tracy, because he's a sophisticated monkey) goes bezerk and twists Corky's head off, so he says "Let's look at Skellevision" without trace of emotion in his voice to betray just what kind of weird crap was gonna go down. Now, I was watching this without any prior knowledge of this show, so let me tell you, when all the characters gathered around this giant skull attached to weird decaying feet that can somehow convert his eyeballs into a television screen and a gorilla with shorts started pounding the skull to get better reception, that's when I realized that I was watching something that shouldn't be ingested while sober. And it's only going to get worse. Just warning everyone ahead of time.

Also, Eddie bears a striking resemblance to Bill Murray. Sorry, I'll stop bringing that other ghost-related franchise up...

Hey, kids! Scooby-Doo making too much sense? Try watching this show!
While a giant ape does awkward things with a sentient skull that can pick up telecommunications, Corky was outside painting mustaches on the statues. I like how even though he's a big enough fan of the Ghostbusters to own one of their licensed T-shirts, he still feels the need to deface their possessions for the lulz. What a dick. We don't actually see this happening (because that would require new animation), but both our other main protagonist (named Jake Kong Jr., and no, I don't get why the name "Kong" wasn't applied to the actual kong in the room) and a pink bat named Belfry are pretty pissed about it, making their presence known to the viewers.

I have to say, it's sad how, the more Filmation I watch, the more I realize how they just sort of pull concepts and ideas throughout all the different shows. My opinion on Happily Ever After just plummeted in the last couple of weeks because not only was Scowl based off of Scuzz from Bravestarr but Batso was clearly based off of Belfry here. It's like cartoon inbreeding in that movie!

"Guys, there's blood coming out of the faucets in the company bathroom.
Do we still have that exorcist's number on autodial?"
So while the kid is forced to go clean up his mess, April O'Neil (okay, Jessica, Corky's aunt, but she has the exact same voice even though the characters have different voice-actors) reports on a new amusement park called Ghost Park. What's so exciting about Ghost Park that it has to be on the local news? Why, it's an amusement park that's ghost themed and it just opened!

You know what that means? It's slow news day in New York City!

Turtles...ghosts...what the hell's the difference?
But someone is not happy that someone on Earth is capitalizing on ghosts, for that very same broadcast was watched by our main villain, Prime Evil. Before I start talking about what this guy actually does on the show, let me just copy his dialogue verbatim here to show you the kind of first impression he made on the viewers in this episode. Observe.

"That so-called Ghost Park! How dare they make fun of ghosts! I'll show them! They'll wish they've never heard of ghosts when I'm finished!"

...excuse me, I need a moment.

Okay, did the script writers read this crap out loud? Do they know why I'm laughing so hard I can barely breathe? Way for all of this villain's credibility to instantly fly out of the window and into a dumpster the moment he opens his mouth.

I like how the main villain can afford a lavish mansion in another dimension and yet can't afford a flatscreen.
Brat-A-Rat, which happens to be the levitating legless Wuzzle reject on account every Filmation villain needs some sort of weird vermin following them around, laughs in glee (and not because his boss said the stupidest villain speech in the history of everything) and asks him what he's going to do, so Prime Evil says that he's going to show those pitiful humans what a REAL ghost park is like. I don't know about you, but I'm expecting great things from this villain. Lord Maliss is motivated by revenge, Tex Hex is motivated by greed, and Skeletor is motivated by world domination, but Prime Evil is motivated by the mean poopiehead humans making fun of him and that hurts his feelings.

And, just when you thought this villain couldn't get anymore pathetic, when he tries to summon Apparitia, she just ignores him, which causes Prime Evil to yell like a six year old that didn't get his treat. Prime Evil; in less than a minute, he made any plot point that appears in Loonatics Unleashed look well-constructed by sheer comparison.

Man, it's like they assembled these villains with the leftover scraps of other, better shows.
Meanwhile, the Ghostbusters all decide to go to Ghost Park, the amusement park with the most creative and original name ever. Because screw actually doing your job and being the only weapon against the supernatural realm that constantly threatens your fair city, there's an amusement park where the balloon vendors are dressed like skeletons!

By the way, check out the remote for the Skellevision. Good lord, this show. I don't know how they did it, but they managed to make a hero team that has a gorilla look extremely dorky.

...but to be fair, their archnemesis is Prime Evil. I'm pretty sure not more needs to be said.

That seems like a really inconvenient way to watch the TV. At least put the hideous skull on a stand or something...
All of the Ghostbusters are so stoked about this terrible idea that they're even taking their half-naked wild animals with them. I like how none of the Ghostbusters think it's a bad idea to take their pet gorilla and their pet bat, neither of them on any restraints, to an amusement park filled with thousands of people. Way to be inconsiderate of people with possible animal dander allergies, you assholes.

Also, in addition to looking like Batso, Belfry also kind of looks like Piglet from Winnie the Pooh if he was a vampire. The creativity of the character design renders me absolutely speechless!

"We're going to infect the park with typhus and Lyme disease!"
Back at "Oh my god, I can't help but point and laugh at this villain" manor, Apparitia, who is a typical female villain that also has a voice that sounds like a lawyer-friendly version of Mae West, is hiding out in her room and avoiding Prime Evil's calls because, I'm not kidding you, she can't find her amulet and has the hiccups and therefore is too embarrassed to show her face.

...our villains, ladies and gentlemen. They're terribly inconvenienced by hiccups and amusement parks. I'm seriously questioning why they would even need the Ghostbusters at this point. I'm pretty sure some preschoolers armed with Sock'em Boppers could fight these idiots and win.

Also, if you ever decide to watch this show, get used to that pose she's making here. Apparitia has an extremely rare bone disease (called Filmationasia progessiva) that makes it so she always poses her arms in that really awkward manner that exhibits zero emotion. Because to hell with having readable silhouettes; posing like a weird Egyptian drawing is in this season.

Holding your arms in a natural manner must be something only meant for humans.
And, just in case these villains haven't stricken fear into your heart yet, when Apparitia finally moves her green ass and appears before her embarrassing lord and master, all of the ghosts in the room have an argument over what cures the hiccups. Even Prime Evil joins in.

I'm dead serious (ghost puns!) when I say this. So far, all this main villain's done in this episode is break a TV because there's a ghost-themed amusement park, cry about how people make fun of ghosts, and then suggest how to cure the hiccups. This is our main villain, people. This is why the Ghostbusters exist and why Ghost Command needs to be in operation.

To think, Tex Hex was inches away from working for this whiny idiot. Prime Evil makes Skeletor and Lord Maliss look badass. No, ignore what I just said. Prime Evil makes Scratch and Grounder look badass. He makes Slash and Slobster look badass. I've had snails in my backyard more badass than this pile of crap. I've officially found the worst villain and from now on, whenever I encounter a terrible villain in a cartoon, I'm going to go "Well, he's lame, but is he Prime Evil lame?".

"My mommy says I'm the best evil villain in the world!"
As an unnecessary scene about hiccups drags for way too long, it turns out the amulet around the green woman's neck cures her hiccups and she had her amulet around her neck the entire time (which is so not a cover-up for using old animation, because to draw Apparitia without her amulet would require all new cels), but that's not really what's important here. What's really important is that Whiny McTerribleVillain wants Apparitia to haunt Ghost Park and show them what real ghosts can do! Notice how Prime Evil is such a pathetic windbag that even the task of terrorizing an amusement park is too much for him, but hey, at least he won't be in the rest of the episode.

And just so she does the job right, he's sending his ugly floating minion Brat-A-Rat with her. Uh, it's a goddamn amusement park. How hard can it be? I know the bar's already set pretty low for this show, but that must be really insulting for Prime Evil to basically tell some ghost that he has such low confidence in their success that they need adult supervision in order to scare random strangers in an amusement park.

...and how the hell is Apparitia going to haunt Ghost Park and scare people out of their wits if the entire point behind Ghost Park is that it's an amusement park centered around ghosts and is meant to be scary? Okay, that's it. You guys have all lost your villain privileges. Go get a job at Taco Bell or something because you're obviously sucking and failing without a parachute here. You're making the very concept of antagonism look bad by existing.

Yeah, sorry, Prime Evil. Make threatening poses all you want; you're still a loser.
After making The Duke of Zill look threatening with his own terrible performance, Prime Fail then sends his much cooler henchmen to the real world by playing an organ that shoots musical lasers out of the keys that turns a levitating lizardrat and a green-skinned woman into energy beams so that they can travel through a wormhole and across the dimensions in order to haunt some random amusement park.


All I can say to that is drugs are bad, kids.

I'm now picturing Prime Evil doing the keyboard solo from Van Halen's "Jump".
That's when we actually get to look at Ghost Park that's got Prime Evil's panties in a twist and, to be honest, I think our main villain is being a giant crybaby about this place because it looks absolutely harmless. It doesn't look anymore insulting that what most kids do for Halloween. What, does Prime Evil soil his diapers, suck his thumb, and start bawling whenever Knott's Berry Farm turns into Knott's Scary Farm? Does he cry for twenty minutes and have to drink from his bottle whenever he passes by a Halloween costume superstore? What's his limit?

Although maybe this is considered racially insensitive to Prime Evil...
It doesn't take long for the ghosts to arrive at the park and learn that the Ghostbusters are here too. Man, what are the odds?

They also hide in a bench and do poltergeist-related things with it, because to hell with it, they're ghosts. They might as well do things like making weird noises and causing a bench to randomly turn hot. I just wish they'd be a little bit more edgier and do things like entering Corky's body and causing him to vomit green acid everywhere while his head turns 360 degrees on top of that, but we can't always get what we want.

I can't believe I found a show that makes Felix the Cat: The Movie look sensible.
What happens next after they fool around with the fat, lazy protagonist is to taunt the Ghostbuster and inform him that they're here to terrorize this fair park (because avoiding detection by the heroes is for smart villains) by doing...well, see for yourself.

Kids, this is why you don't drop acid at an amusement park.
After the ghostly phantasms of a decapitated rodent head and a decapitated witch head rise out of the amusement park bench he was sitting on and some random child thinks that he's having a bad acid trip, the fat loser in bright yellow pants runs to his friends, who are conveniently all gathered in the same place, and yells that he saw Apparitia and Brat-A-Rat. You gotta love how all the Ghostbusters treat this as a very serious thing and immediately spring into action like something terrible is going to affect all of mankind when we already saw just how "threatening" the ghosts really are. God help these people if they ever run into a real villain in this show's run.

Also, Eddie lost Corky. But that's not so much the ghosts' fault as it is Eddie's fault for being such a crappy guardian. All he did was shout "don't talk to strangers" and sit his fat ass on a bench while the kid wandered off and got lost. That boy's going to end up on the back of a milk carton before he graduates the sixth grade, I know it.
"Oh man, did you see those prices on those blooming onions? Highway robbery!"
Meanwhile, the two ghosts are about ready to do their job and terrorize the rollercoaster (ooh, is it the Rollerghoster the title card hinted at?) when they run into Corky, who starts yelling at them for stepping on his foot. I wonder if Corky is incredibly near-sighted and normally wears prescription glasses, because he doesn't at all notice that the woman standing next to him is green and has a giant floating rat lizard right next to her. Kid, you're a big enough fan of the Ghostbusters that you have one of their shirts and yet you can't recognize several members of their rogue gallery when they're standing right next to you? What the hell?

After some dialogue that only exists to pad the episode, Apparitia then realizes that he's the little boy that was with the Ghostbusters and talks the kid into following them into the rollercoaster, preferably backstage where no one can see them. Corky instantly accepts. Corky's a bit of a dumbass, you see.

And gee, I wonder what our lesson for today is going to be. This scene does occur right after a scene where Eddie makes a point to yell "Don't talk to strangers", but I'm going to need an unnecessary end-of-an-episode moral in order to be perfectly sure...

"Whoa, lady. Try dressing in something from this decade."
While that's going on, the Ghostbusters are hard at work searching for the dumbass kid. Clearly they're masters of their craft, the most effective weapon against evil, for not only do they completely abandon their task at finding Apparitia and Brat-A-Rat (because it's not like they're completely evil ghosts with supernatural abilities who love to terrorize humanity or anything), but their solution to a kid getting lost is covering absolutely no new ground, standing in a circle in some random location in the park, not moving at all, and hoping that if they shout long enough, Corky will hear them and stop being lost. Smart!, no one in this park commented on the fact that there's a giant gorilla running around? Even if the Ghostbusters are the most popular things since the Beatles (and they aren't; no one's asking for their autograph and Corky's the only kid with a Ghostbusters T-shirt) you're still going to run into someone whose first thought to seeing a gorilla walking around is "Holy crap, an escaped wild animal! Call animal control!"

Also, gorillas aren't brown, but I guess if Nintendo can get away with it, so can Filmation.

"I'm sure we'll find Corky if we yell his name a bunch of times!"
Now, you'd think their useless search would lead them absolutely nowhere and this episode would end with a horrifying media circus calling for Ghost Park to be shut down after some unlucky employee discovers Corky's putrefying corpse three days later. Fortunately, pure dumb luck is on their side, because the place they chose to shout Corky's name over and over is also the place where Parker, the owner of the park (and good god I hope that pun is completely unintentional), has a booth and he happens to recognize them as the Ghostbusters and he saw Corky walk into the rollercoaster with a strange lady! It's a Christmas miracle! Or at least the miracle of lazy writing. Seriously, name one amusement park where the owner and manager is just sitting out in the open and twiddling his thumbs instead of actually managing the place.

But before Parker calls upon the powers of Deux Ex Machina, he makes this face. I'm beginning to see why he paid so much attention to some random little boy; dude's obviously a creeper and probably would've kidnapped Corky if Apparitia didn't get there first.

"Mah boi!"
Since they have to search for Corky and fast, they need someplace private to strip off their civilian personas and turn into the Ghostbusters, vanquishers of all that is spooky and dead. There's no phone booths nearby and changing in the public restrooms would just generate too many questions from strangers, but luckily, Peter Parker has an office they can use (what kind of amusement park owner says "Sure" when someone asks them to use their office?) where they can initiate the once an episode transformation sequence. Cue the godawfully catchy 80's music and the stock footage!

Unfortunately, we don't see the entire transformation sequence in this episode, but what we do see is still stranger than words. I really wish the Ghostbusters, instead of vaguely saying that they need somewhere private, just told Parker what they were really going to do in his office. I would love to see the look on the old man's face when he hears that they're going to use black magic to summon an altar made out of human bones that leads to another dimension where they'll strip down to their underwear and don giant laser guns capable of banishing a soul into limbo.

And huh. This show looks a lot less dorky if you take everything literally, now that I think about it.

The universe is way too sober for this show.
What's the product of the transformation sequence, which involves elevators made out of skeletal remains that lead to another dimension?

Uh, these costumes.

...did this really warrant the use of the theme song, guys? Really?

I guess they can't fight ghosts without wearing the proper footwear or something...
The moment the two Ghostbusters are in their Ghostbuster gear (so they can now resemble their action figures, and yes, this show had merchandise) they can now do what Ghostbusters do!

...which is exactly the same as what they were doing when they were dressed in normal clothes. As you can probably guess, the Ghostbusters really got the short end of the stick when Filmation transformation sequences were handed out. He-Man can make his clothes disappear and his pet tiger into a snarling battle mount, Thirty-Thirty can switch from faithful steed to an anthropomorphic horse with a gun that can blow up mountains, and the Ghostbusters...get safari wear and aviator goggles. Whee.

And, just to add to the confusion, April O' Neil's still at the park and, after hearing about how her best friends just lost one of her relatives from gross negligence (she takes the news so well too), wants to help too. I guess the opening of a ghost-themed amusement park is such a hot story that it needs on-the-minute updates from one of the city's top reporters because I can't think of any other reason why she'd even be here.

"Seriously, why'd you make us watch your nephew if we fight ghosts for a living?
You should've known this would happen!"
Since Parker saw Corky enter the rollercoaster about five hours ago (pacing is an issue with this cartoon), that's considered the best place to look. You know, even though by now, I'm positive Apparitia's most assuredly killed Corky and is drinking his bone marrow for sustenance. There's a back entrance to get to the rollercoaster, but instead of just helping the Ghostbusters do their job, Parker, decides that he wants to be an asshole by making creepy pedophile faces and mentioning that it's dark, spooky, and full of cobwebs and herpes in the back entrance. This causes Eddie, our designated comic relief on account he's fat, to get scared and start stuttering. The skinny guy tries to reassure him by saying he's too old to be scared of the dark; however, I would've said "Dude, you're a goddamn Ghostbuster. You fight ghosts for a living and one time took down Count Dracula himself and you're still afraid of the dark? Grow some balls already, Eddie."

I would ask why he's still on the company payroll but then I remembered that he fights Prime Evil.
Speaking of Corky, we haven't really checked on the little turdnugget in a while now to see how he's faring. You would think that the moment you see Corky willingly follow an evil woman with supernatural powers and an animal just loaded with rabies and bubonic plague into a dark, secluded area with no videocameras that he'd be in actual danger and that Apparitia is doing something like tying him to the rollercoaster tracks or stealing his soul through his nipples. I mean, the bad guys have a hostage. Something bad's happening right?

Well, let me put it this way. You're watching Filmation's Ghostbusters here. There's no real stakes. Not only is Corky not in any real danger, but he's actually causing trouble for the bad guys and managed to steal Apparitia's amulet. I'm not kidding you. Two ghosts with incomprehensible powers our feeble little mortal brains can grasp that normally reside in a parallel dimension filled with the souls of the dead, and some ten year old can steal their magical trinkets and outrun them. Man, do I wish one of the bad guys from He-Man would just take Apparitia and Brat-A-Rat's place because these two have entered a weird territory where they're just so pathetic and so lame that I feel like I'm picking on someone with special needs by making fun of them.

Although to be fair, Corky's kind of a douche in this scene. He doesn't even know Apparitia's a ghost (but to be fair, none of the ghosts in this show actually look like ghosts) so, from his point of view, he's just randomly stealing some woman's amulet because he heard it can cure the hiccups. Am I supposed to feel sorry for this kid? I kind of want the ghosts to do something horrible to him.

I'm beginning to see why people make fun of ghosts in this universe...
What follows is an unfunny chase sequence in the rollercoaster loaded with unfunny cartoon violence where Corky somehow eludes creatures that can teleport and phase through walls. It's said that if you slow this cartoon down during this scene, you can pinpoint the exact moment where the cartoon just gave up. We've already lost track of what the original plot was (hey Apparitia and Brat-A-Rat, remember when you were supposed to scare everyone in the amusement park so they learned not to make fun of ghosts?) so the episode, now sputtering and coughing like a cancer victim, decides that maybe showing some ghosts making some funny faces will placate us. It ain't working, Filmation. It ain't working.

This scene also illustrated to me that they use the term "ghost" loosely in this show. Ghosts are the visual manifestation of a deceased person's spirit, right? is it that they can get hurt by slamming doors if one of the key features of ghosts is the fact that they're not physical living beings like you and I? And while I'm asking questions, what the hell was Brat-A-Rat when he was alive? Is he the soul of what makes up a hot dog? Did some cruel researcher make a legless lizard-rat thing in a government lab and it died from complications of the horrible surgery? And for that matter, what's Apparitia? I need world building! Something!

But really, the fact that they're physically affected by a slamming door when I've seen them turn into mist and pass through a solid floor is just bugging the crap out of me and I want to hunt down Lou Scheimer and ask him what the hell's going on here.

Pictured: I don't even have a clue.
While that is happening, the three Ghostbusters are wandering around in the roller coaster (known as the "Rollerghoster" because hey, title drop!) while Eddie decides to see just how close he can get to breaching Scooby-Doo's copyright without getting sued. Ha ha, it's funny because the Ghostbuster is frightened by cardboard skeletons when one of the villains in this show is an actual skeleton and this show doesn't make a lick of sense while riding on the coattails of other, better shows!

All I can say to this is the fact that this show has more fans than Bravestarr will never cease to amaze me.

"Zoinks, Scoob! You suddenly turned into an unlikeable fatass!"
But that scene did have a point. While the fatass was being annoying, they managed to find a toy trumpet, showing that Annoying Brat has been here recently and they're on the right track. Man, you have to be one raging pile of dork in order to carry a toy trumpet around in your pocket. That kid must suffer through purple nurples, pink bellies, and wedgies on a daily basis at his school, and the best part is, he totally deserves them.

Since they're positive that Corky's now in this building, they decide to rip off Scooby-Doo even more than they already are by splitting up the gang. The unarmed, weaponless woman untrained in fighting the deceased goes by herself (because everyone's an idiot in this universe) while the Ghostbusters with all of their high-tech gear go the other direction.

How will this affect the plot? To put it bluntly, it doesn't. Nothing comes from this scene because everybody automatically joins up for the climax, making this scene entirely pointless.

"Could you hold the trumpet closer to my face? My stiff recycled head turn can only move so many degrees."
After that pivotal scene lead the plot absolutely nowhere, Corky is still being chased by the fail ghosts, because he still has their amulet., about that whole "make sure everyone learns how not to make fun of ghosts" thing that Prime Evil sent these two idiots to do. They've been dangling the idea that ghosts will be haunting an amusement park in front of our faces for this entire episode like a carrot on a stick (even if what led to it was some wizard-cloaked ghost bawling like a toddler) and so far it hasn't happened beyond one bench incident. I want maggots to crawl out of chili dogs! I want the merry-go-round to suddenly morph into a giant sea monster and then devour its occupants! I want hitchhiking ghosts to follow tourists home after grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize! I want something other than some dumb broad with hiccups and her flying vermin yelling at a child protagonist lamer than the main star of Fluppy Dogs to hand back a necklace.

And if the amulet is so important to her, why doesn't she have a spell that can teleport the amulet back around her neck? They never say that the amulet is the source of her power in this episode (and she acted like she still had access to her ghost powers when she was still in Prime Evil's Hauntquarters) so it's not like she's powerless without it.

"Maybe if I grab ineffectually at the air, the kid will give up and hand over the amulet!"
Long story short, because my patience for this cartoon has finally worn out, they finally get the amulet back, so now they can finally, after almost seventeen minutes of farting around with some dorky-ass kid, get on with what they were sent here to do in the first place! Hell freaking yes! No amount of confetti could signify the joy I felt when this episode finally was all "Oh right, the plot!" and stopped filling itself with unnecessary scenes that just dragged on and on and on.

But then the episode makes the mistake of going a little too fast, because right after they get the amulet, Brat-A-Rat gets shot in the face with The Dematerializer and his soul gets banished to the ghost dimension before he can actually do anything.

Huh. Suddenly this cartoon went from boring and tedious to awesome in about two seconds. All it took was some good old-fashioned violence and one of the boring as hell villains getting vaporized.

Filmation; we'll paste end of the episode morals to our cartoons while showing our heroes
wield guns with reckless abandon. (See also: Thirty-Thirty from Bravestarr)
So they're going to defeat Apparitia the same way, right?

"I'll teach you to do a bad imitation of Mae West's accent!"

Instead, she's going to turn into a giant octopus because there's still four minutes left in this show.


Okay, Apparitia. Honey. Sweetie. I have a small teeny weeny question for you since I didn't know you could shapeshift into giant killer cephalopods until just now. Why the everflipping hell didn't you do this in the first place!? You mean to tell me that you were wasting everyone's time turning bench seats hot and chasing after a kid for almost eight minutes in this cartoon when it turns out you can just turn into a monster and eat the little brat? Why wasn't this the first step in your plan to terrorize Ghost Park? Why didn't you just teleport to a convenient spot with lots of visitors and suddenly turn into an octopus? The hell's wrong with you!?

Sorry, I know I'm getting irrationally angry at this cartoon, but imagine how I feel. They're implying that they focused on how a little boy with a toy trumpet got lost because he forgot not to talk to strangers when I could've been seeing an episode where an enormous octopus monster with a witch nose, razor sharp teeth, and bone-crushing tentacles terrorized an amusement park and reduced many patrons of the park into bloody smears while men armed with dematerializing guns and ghost-catching gear tried to fight the beast off. That would've been awesome! 

Squidward! What are you doing in this show?
But I guess we have to make due with what we have. So they run from the evil Squidward like idiots instead of using the gun that got rid of Brat-A-Rat, Apparitia still has the hiccups which is messing up her magic, and then Eddie drops the gun because a portion of the ride scared him so now they only have their wits to save them from being eaten by takoyaki. Whoopee.

I just want to point out that it's never implied that The Dematerializer wouldn't work on the giant ghost octopus. Not once does Eddie try to fire it at her when she's standing there in a giant tentacled heap and snarling at them. The Ghostbuster just ran because he sucks at this job and he ends up dropping the gun because The Dematerializer is so overpowered that it has to break for there to be something resembling a climax somewhere in this episode. And also because he sucks at his job, but mostly for plot convenience.

Also, really. If The Dematerializer is their main weapon, why is it so easily breakable? If you're fighting monsters, you gotta make that crap durable.

Sure, hand the very expensive ghost weapon to the jumpy man terrified of ghosts. Smartest idea ever.
The Ghostbuster and the reporter run away since they have nothing that can stop a several ton sea monster armed with enough tentacles to satisfy at least ten Japanese schoolgirls, we see Apparitia finally (and there aren't enough "finally"s in the world to describe the amount of finally this moment has, good god) do what she was planning on doing in the first place; haunt Ghost Park to satisfy Prime Evil's whims and make sure that all of the people in the park will wish they've never heard of ghosts.

And wouldn't you know it, everybody on the ride thinks the octopus is a phony and is a decoration just like all the other monsters on the ride. basically this plan is a bust then. Prime Evil wasted his time, Apparitia and Brat-A-Rat wasted their time, the Ghostbusters are wasting their time, and this entire episode doesn't even need to exist other than the fact that someone in Filmation wanted to animate an octopus.

I think I'm done here. But on the bright side, at least I found an effective if slightly surreal cure for insomnia.

Congratulations, Filmation! You managed to make an octopus attacking a rollercoaster look completely boring!
And then, because this episode decides that it hasn't destroyed enough credibility already, the octopus chases Corky (because he's still on the ride, because April O'Neil isn't watching her nephew and making sure he doesn't get his ass killed) with the most laughable run cycle ever made by human hands. I guess the animators decided that instead of studying how octopuses move and make their character move in a believable fashion, they were going to make the slimy mollusk beast comically bounce around on two tentacles like some sort of awkward Halloween toy. Way to ruin the only threatening concept this cartoon ever had, guys.

Also, the octopus still sounds like Mae West. Because the only thing worse than a boring cartoon is a boring cartoon that constantly references a very talented actress.

I'm totally picturing the Benny Hill theme in my head while watching this...
Want to know how quality this show is? At one point during this chase sequence, which somehow works in Tracy the gorilla riding the rollercoaster while throwing pies at the monster (so why doesn't Tracy have a Dematerializer? Do they only have one?), the octopus's nose completely disappears.

Before you ask, no, not once does a rollercoaster car hit Apparitia while she's in that form and reduce her to shark chum. But that didn't stop me from praying for that to happen.

And how come no one in the park is at all freaked out by a giant octopus, even a prop one, crawling around on the rollercoaster tracks and putting itself in a position that could cause a high speed collision filled with death and lawsuits? The only comments you get about Mr. Tentacles is some little girl telling Parker that she loved the octopus on the rollercoaster ride. I'm only even commenting on some of the plot holes here too. Some. I didn't even get into the fact that, at one point, somehow Tracy the Gorilla can pull a kid into a rollercoaster while it's still running at full speed and place him into a seat without him falling out or breaking any bones.

(insert Japanese hentai joke here)
So how do they defeat giant Squidward anyways if they don't have the gun?

By...saying the octopus's nose is too big, which distresses and distracts Apparitia (because she's incredibly vain, but that doesn't explain why she turned into an unattractive animal like an octopus as opposed to something sleek and majestic like a killer swan or a beautiful Chinese dragon) and makes her more susceptible to a sneak pepper attack from a pepper shaker Jake Kong just happens to carry in his pocket. Who wrote this.

Also, boy, considering how important the nose is for the climax, wouldn't this scene look incredibly silly if there were parts in this cartoon where the nose completely disappeared?

I now ship this octopus with Davy Jones and the giant squid that lives near Hogwarts.
And then the octopus sneezes, falls off the rollercoaster, somehow falls into an open thermos even though it's a giant monster, manages to squeeze into an open thermos even though the laws of physics dictate that there is no way an octopus that big can fit into a thermos that small, and then is captured and defeated that way (even though she's a ghost with teleportation powers) while one of the main heroes makes a joke about how she blew her nose.

...I'm not even going to comment on this. This seems perfectly logical to me. It's even logical how, even though there's a horrifying monster climbing the rollercoaster and threatening the lives of everyone in Ghost Park, there's just some random-ass clown (how is that even related to ghosts?) just chilling and drinking coffee right next to the scene of the crime.

I don't know about you, but I'm personally awaiting the inevitable remake of this cartoon. It's going to be glorious.

My brain broke.
So the day is saved somehow, Apparitia is doomed to a coffee-scented eternity in a prison that most office workers have in their cars, Prime Evil peed his pants and needed to comfort himself by hugging his blankie, and Corky becomes an honorary member of the Ghostbusters for his miraculous abilities of getting himself lost and later following strangers with floating rat monsters. Everybody wins!

But don't worry, the little squirt took something from this strange, mind-altering ordeal. From now on, he is going to behave because, in his words, "Being good is more fun". I predict many wedgies and a dateless prom in this kid's future.

And nothing of value was learned that day.
And, just as I predicted, the episode ends but there's a hamfisted moral packaged with the cartoon. With this show, our moral-dispensing drones are Belfry and Skellevision, and they're here to rap with me while utilizing stock footage about how it's not safe to accept anything from strangers while they're surrounded with really stupid-looking decor like a poster of a ghost blowing a raspberry.

What makes this "Sonic Says" even more unneeded than any of the other end-of-episode morals from this time period is that, unlike Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog where the Sonic Says has nothing to do with the episode at hand or Bravestarr where the moral is usually one throwaway line in the middle of the episode, the entire episode I just saw revolved around the moral "don't talk to strangers" so there's really no point to have this. Eddie said "don't talk to strangers", I saw the consequences of Corky talking to strangers, and then he reassured me at the conclusion that he's not going to talk to strangers. Why do I need these two idiots to tell me a bazillionth time not to talk to strangers? I got it and I'm sure your target audience got it too.

That or even the writers knew how boring this episode was so they were assuming that half the audience had slept through most of the cartoon. If that's the case, I admire their generosity.

Okay, I won't talk to strangers. Just please don't eat me, scary television demon.
And for some reason, it's hard to take this moral seriously when it's being given to me by a terrifying skull with feet.

Well, that was Filmation's Ghostbusters, I guess.

The Moral of this Cartoon
Ghosts are absolutely pathetic and nothing will happen to you if you're kidnapped by them.

Final Verdict

The Good
*Some of the ghost concepts were relatively creative.
*Tracy the Gorilla is a fun character, even if he didn't do much in this episode.

The Bad
PRIME EVIL. Oh my god. I have to take a moment to rant on about how much this villain sucks. I have watched a ton of cartoons, good and bad, from Disney's classics like Beauty and the Beast to movies that frequently appeared on "Worst Animated Films" lists like A Troll in Central Park, Felix the Cat: The Movie and the like.

Therefore, I know what I'm talking about when I say that I've never seen a villain as bad, as bland, as pathetic, as Prime Evil. Maybe I'm jumping the gun here because I've only seen a couple episodes of this show and probably caught him at his worst, but trust me when I say that I really don't have much confidence in this character from what I have seen.

For starters, let's compare Prime Evil with a Filmation villain that was made around this time period.

Yeah, notice a difference in quality here in just the character designs alone? Which one actually looks like a threat?
Which one could you actually take seriously? I didn't even cheat and try to pick a screenshot where Tex Hex was blowing up a mountain. Tex Hex pulling a switch looks more like a threat than Prime Evil doing the whole "tilted camera while gripping a railing menacingly" thing.

*Scratch that, all of the villains in this episode are pathetic. I'm even including the octopus here. I like comic relief villains (Scratch and Grounder) but come on, there's a limit. If you establish that your characters are ghosts, you better believe I'm going to expect ghost-like things to come from them.
*The pacing is an incredible issue. For most of the middle, the episode dragged and dragged and dragged.
*They really didn't use the setting to their fullest. I understand it's a Filmation production but I've seen plenty of Filmation cartoons that made an amusement park episode feel like an amusement park. Half the episode is set in dreary backstage sets when you should have rollercoasters and merry-go-rounds and merriment.
*The protagonists range from dull (Jake Kong Jr.) to annoying (Eddie).
*Again, stock footage.
*But the biggest crime of all; this is boring. This is an episode where ghosts are going to terrorize a theme park in order to teach humanity how not to make fun of ghosts, and it was a snoozefest. One of the main villains transformed into a giant octopus, and I wanted to switch the channel to something more mentally stimulating. A cartoon about fighting ghosts, and I wanted to fall asleep. We've reached a new low here.

The Final Decision

Okay, picture if Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Scooby-Doo had a baby, and that baby was raised by several of the Hannah-Barbera cartoons of the 1960's like Jabberjaw and the like. That's basically what Filmation's Ghostbusters is.

And sadly, it's really not as entertaining as that description makes it sound.

It's odd saying this about a show with stock footage and recycled animation, but this show feels dated for the time it came out. The humor, the writing, and the villains make this feel more like a show that would've taken place in the 1960's as opposed to something that aired in 1986. My god. This was two years after a more badass, more threatening villain with actual conflict appeared in goddamn My Little Pony
. And this was two years after He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night had some pretty intense situations. And yet Filmation had to go and make a hiccuping octopus be the main bad guy in this. Filmation could do better. Anyone could do better.

Plus it's really sad to see that this episode had nothing to offer in terms of conflict when even the Filmation Batman episodes had exciting moments. I'm fine with older animation; I can watch and enjoy episodes from shows like Scooby-Doo and Wacky Races. Those shows had actual pacing in their episodes, which is something this show did not have. I can totally understand if it's going for a light, random, comedic approach with laughable villains, but again, shows like Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog do it so much better.

So yeah, basically this plot is nothing special, the characters aren't that interesting, and neither hero nor villain offered anything new to the table or even all that interesting. I mean, it's sad if I watch twenty two minutes of a cartoon and couldn't tell you who anyone's personality is beyond "the fat guy is a scaredy-cat" and "Mae West is prone to hiccups". I think the only time I actually cracked a smile while watching this was when Tracy the Gorilla said Corky's name in a way that made it sound like the gorilla was saying "cookie", and that's a really weak thing when I can't laugh at any of the jokes.

Now, before anyone hates on me for really disliking this, maybe this episode is just a really weak episode to analyze out of this series and maybe I'll find a kickass awesome episode where Prime Evil is suddenly the best thing ever.

But rest assured, I'm give Rollerghoster a skip and riding the Haunted Mansion instead.