Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Tuesday Trainwreck - Ghostbusters? Oh, Those Ghostbusters

Before you start sending those angry emails or leaving some flaming comments, read the article first. It's not about the Ghostbusters that we all know and love. Those were the four guys living in the firehouse, battling the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, and watching the game with Slimer. No, these are the "other" Ghostbusters. You know, the "fake" Ghostbusters, also known as Filmation's Ghostbusters:

Filmation's Ghostbusters tells the tale of two dudes and their pet monkey (look at the picture if you don't believe me) charged with temporarily ridding the world of ghosts and goblins. They hung out in some wacky headquarters, and drove a car that could not only fly, but talk. I think the monkey talked as well, albeit in a primate accent. They battled the forces of Prime Evil, a half robot/half ghost creature bent on taking over the world with his demon army. Sounds like someone I know.

The Filmation guys were essentially the jobbers to what were billed as The Real Ghostbusters, the animated series based on the movie from the 1980s. In reality, though, Filmation's Ghostbusters (previously known as The Original Ghostbusters) was not a direct ripoff. It was based on a 1970s live action TV series. Much like most TV in the 1970s, it was terrible, which is why no one remembers it.

Though the TV series that Filmation adapted did predate the movie, and wouldn't have technically infringed on its rights, they did make one change. The original series was called The Ghost Busters - Filmation made it one word and released the series on the heels of the movie, in an attempt to capitalize on its supernatural success. They even beat the movie-based cartoon to air. Of course, all this didn't sit well with the laywers, and an expensive, pointless legal battle ensued. In the end, we were still left with two series, but they had specific names - Filmation's Ghostbusters and The Real Ghostbusters.

Nauseating legal battles aside, this series was awful. The comedy was slapstick at best, the plots were thinner than ecotoplasm, and the characters were annoying. In retrospect, though, I don't recall liking either series that much, but this one is definitely the worst of the two.

At the end of the day, this series was just a lame attempt to cash in on a franchise no one remembered by playing off a currently popular franchise that everybody loved. The truth is, had this cartoon had the opportunity to stand alone, it may have held up to the test of time a little better. Then again, a talking monkey and a robotic ghost a rarely a recipe for success.

No comments: