Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Real Ghostbusters – No One Comes to Lupusville – review

Directors: Masakazu Higuchi & Art Vitello

First aired: 1987

Contains spoilers

The Real Ghostbusters was a continuation of the Ghostbusters franchise in cartoon form and this episode – that was written by J Michael Straczynski, of Babylon 5 fame – was from season 2.

It begins with the Ghostbusters – Winston (Arsenio Hall), Egon (Maurice LaMarche), Venkman (Lorenxo Music) and Ray (Frank Welker) – sleeping whilst Janine (Laura Summer) plays cards with the ghost Slimer (Frank Welker). Slimer cheats and she goes looking for him, ending up outside. A man appears, Gregor, and asks for her to arrange for the Ghostbusters to attend the town of Lupusville the next evening and leaves a bag of gold coins as a down payment. He vanishes as mysteriously as he appeared.

The next night the Ghostbusters go to the town, which is in the middle of nowhere. The locals seem odd – to say the least – though a young girl called Leda (Laura Summer) takes a shine to Egon. Gregor asks them to come in out of the rain – at which point it starts to rains. In his home he explains that they have a problem with vampires. Winston is going to leave but the treasure chest of gold gets his attention. They will come through the woods at midnight.

the beams have no effect
The Ghostbusters get out there and, after a while, it is suggested that they check the pk energy reader. They seem to be surrounded and then bats swoop from the trees. They are suddenly surrounded with bat like, human sized vampires. They set the equipment off but the ghost catching beams from the proton packs have no effect. They are jumped and one hits the auto destruct switch on Egon’s pack.

a vampire
When Ray and Venkman wake, after the explosion, they are in a graveyard and the leader of the vampires is there. He explains that the villagers they have met are also vampires – who have abandoned the peaceful ways to take over the town from the owners. These vampires only want to set the town free. Meanwhile Egon and Winston are with the town vampires and Egon realises that Gregor has no reflection.

Ray has recalibrated his proton pack to act like daylight and he and Venkman are marching on the town. Meanwhile Leda has got Egon his pack and taken him to the true townfolk who know somehow it is a full moon… Yes, they are werewolves and there is an ensuing battle with the Ghostbusters legging it in their ambulance. Why? Because the resultant vampire/werewolf bites are causing hybridisation. They realise there is only one bridge out of town, blow up a dam and surround the town with running water to trap all the vampire/werewolves there.

This wasn’t great – especially as it was written by Straczynski. On the surface it is fun enough but just how thick are the Ghostbusters? It seems, all the way through, that the viewer knew what was happening when they couldn’t work it out until spelled out to them. Also the hybridisation lore seemed funky, and why didn’t the vampires know they had captured the town from werewolves? It didn’t add up, to me at least. Nevertheless, it is vampires in the Ghostbusters franchise and that has to be worth something. 3.5 out of 10.

The episode's imdb page is here.



Unknown said...

Yep, lightweight, could be fun.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

lightweight is a good descriptor

Whatchasay said...

I'm a fan of The Real Ghostbusters series but this one was average at best compared to the entire run. Good review though.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi Scott. It has been years since I saw a lot of the cartoons but I have fond memories... on rewatch this one didn't really do it for me though - I guess I expected more of J Michael Straczynski.

Cheers for stopping by :)

Whatchasay said...

I also J Straczynski but even the best can disappoint at times.