In 1986, in The Real Ghostbusters episode “Slimer Come Home,” the Ghostbusters were faced with a massive poltergeist that was powered by little poltergeists by opening his black robe and absorbing them into his belly, which later, coalesced into a second mouth. And the most disturbing thing about this David Cronenberg-esque action — in an ‘80s children’s show — is that the boss poltergeist was also wearing a top hat. Strangely enough, this episode also involves Slimer briefly running away after the Ghostbusters chastise him for eating Winston’s birthday cake. True story.
If all of this sounds disturbing and nuttier than the actual Ghostbusters films, you’re right. The creepy imagery and surprisingly bizarre ghosts, ghouls, and creatures of the ‘80s cartoon The Real Ghostbusters are far stranger than perhaps our hazy, collective childhood memories have ever really acknowledged. That is, until now. The next big Ghostbusters movie — Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire — is taking specific inspiration from the ‘80s cartoon. And that means the monsters of this Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel are going to be really f*cking weird.
As reported in Empire, the director of the upcoming movie, Gil Kenan says that the aesthetic approach to the new movie was to model the new ghosts on “the wild, original and weird-as-f*ck villains,” of the ‘80s cartoon. Not only will we be seeing more colorful Ghostbusters uniforms in this movie, but also the vibe of Frozen Empire will be more daring and epic in scope. “We wanted to bring that show’s looseness and fearlessness to this movie,” Kenan said.
So what does that mean? The return of the terrifying Boogeyman? Time travel to a Dickensian world? Or, that aforementioned top-hat-wearing poltergeist? At the moment, the specific plot of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is, naturally, somewhat secret, though, based on the trailer, we do know some ice ghosts are involved. Kenan has hinted that’s not all.
So, if the show really is inspired by The Real Ghostbusters, this movie is on track to be the wildest Ghostbusters movie yet. This is saying something for a franchise that gave us a haunted painting, dog demons that are driven to copulate, and a massive marshmallow man hell-bent on destruction. Can it get weirder? We can only hope.
Where to stream The Real Ghostbusters
Although a quick Google will tell you that you can only rent episodes of The Real Ghostbusters online right now, that’s not actually true. For the past two years, the official Ghostbusters YouTube channel has 32 episodes from the classic series, streaming totally for free. It’s not everything, but it’s certainly enough to remind you why this show was so iconic.