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Filmation Ghostbusters - Steampunkier Than 'The Real...'

I'm a tremendous fan of the 1984 movie Ghost Busters, as are most readers of the Preserve I would imagine. I feel that it is among the set of movies that children of the '80s should be nearly fluent with in quote and in content. What only a subset of those fans probably know is that there was a live action show in 1975 called The Ghost Busters which starred Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch. The surprising and embarrassing truth is that the Bill Murray movie was most likely borrowed in no small part from the groundwork that was put down in that 1970s show.

Fast forward to 1986, and you have a cartoon controversy on your hands! You can learn more about it on a wiki or two but the short version is that Filmation finally pushed back with it's Ghostbusters property, forcing the Bill Murray version to add 'The Real...' to their new cartoon. Of course, the Filmation version was relatively short-lived, clocking in at 2 seasons compared to the 5 year run of the competing program. Well, I have been known to favor the underdog, which brings us around to our story!

This past weekend, I attended the second annual Steampunk World's Fair in New Jersey, which is a fun event bringing together musical acts, weapons demonstration and education, and a good excuse for people to make elaborate brass and leather improbable outfits. When considering what I could wear to this event, I was suddenly struck by two thoughts:
  • The Filmation cartoon is significantly more 'Steampunkish' than the 'Real' version
  • I'd never seen anyone do a Filmation Ghostbusters suit!
Well, to make an already long story not further long, I set to work cobbling together a reasonable Eddie outfit (from the cartoon), along with a Ghost Gummer gun and with my limited craft skills I was pretty happy with the result. Here, then, are several fun pictures:


Of additional hilarity is that Mo Rocca, of "Wait Wait Don't Tell me", Foodography and CBS Sunday Morning fame showed up Saturday morning and filmed what appeared to be a good amount of footage for a bit he's doing on the Steampunk show. The segment should air on CBS Sunday Morning, for real, in a few weeks. I know - I was surprised as well, and of course had to get a picture while suited up! I especially enjoy the look on his face, which says it all...WHOA - and I just noticed - blow up that image by clicking on it, and look between our heads in the background. That - right there - is the look I saw every time someone realized what the outfit was - I'm so happy that we managed to capture one as he catches a glimpse of the ghost backpack!


Now, you may or may not have heard of Professor Elemental, but he is a gentleman rhymer. You owe it to yourself to go find some of his music on the 'tubes (official, and from show), and then to enjoy this image, proving not only his gift for physical comedy, but that my Gummer works on the corporeal version of Haunter as well! Or, that the Professor is, in fact, a spirit.


And lastly, because this is the Game Preserve, and we talk about G.I. Joe here a lot, I was delighted to see Cobra Commander show up, barely wrapped in a towel, having a grand old time!


The truly rewarding thing for me was how many people recognized the outfit, and the look of sudden 20 year latent revelation when they saw the backpack is what makes this gig worthwhile! I know that the Filmation version has long been dissed, but maybe enough time has gone under the bridge that fond memories have replaced that prior unwarranted malice. Given the reactions and the enjoyment of the "first Original Ghost Busters suit I've ever seen" as said by many people, this one definitely goes in the closet, to be tweaked and used again!

And so as to not make my coverage of the event appear entirely self-centered, I did post a number of (admittedly poorly shot on an iPhone) videos of the concerts I saw, which are now all up on youtube - check it out!

Posted by charlie on May 23rd 2011, 08:31 PM
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