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I Know What We're Gonna Do This Christmas

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 12, 2017 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags: holiday_songs
Unusual Holiday Songs

In 2007, Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, former writers of "Rocko's Modern Life", created a little animated show for Disney called "Phineas & Ferb". The show is about two little stepbrothers named Phineas and Ferb - what, you thought they were gonna be named Phil and Bob?!? - who live every day of their Summer vacation to its fullest. Through sophisticated computer technology, and a box of crayons, they manage to create every type of wild thing imaginable to have fun each day, all while their sister, Candace, tries in vain to prove to their mother that they're up to such crazy shenanigans. Meanwhile, their pet platypus, named Perry, is really a secret agent, who spends nearly every day away on secret missions against the (not so) evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz - who really should hire a lawyer and sue the agency Perry works for (OWCA) since they seem to be breaking a lot of laws by keeping tabs on every little thing he does in the guise of "stopping him from doing evil things". Is OWCA a branch of the U.S. government?!?

Music plays a big part in the series, and personally, I think the original songs they use on the show are some of the best I've heard on TV since Animaniacs. Disney, of course, made sure that the fan's desire for the music did not go unfulfilled, and that their coffers did not go unfilled. They've released several albums full of Phineas & Ferb music. The first half of the 2010 album Phineas & Ferb: Holiday Favorites contains songs from the "Phineas & Ferb Christmas Vacation" episode, while the second half is all new songs recorded exclusively for the album. While this isn't my favorite Phineas & Ferb album, and I'm very disappointed that isn't even one Hanukkah song on it - the Isabella Garcia-Shapiro character is, as you could tell from her name, Jewish - I do think that it's a great album, overall. Much better than other cartoon series holiday albums I've heard.

My two most favorite songs from the album are "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" (performed by the cast) and "Perry Saves Christmas" (performed by Major Monogram & Carl the Intern, the two people who give Perry his missions). "Twelve Days" is the traditional song you all know and love, except that each item is tailored to what each character wants, and not the usual list of items. Dr. Doofenshmirtz changes his want on every verse.

1st Day - Phineas: A jet-powered rocket ski.
2nd Day - Candace: Two busted brothers.
3rd Day - Isabella: A sash full of patches.
4th Day - Jeremy: A silver guitar.
5th Day - Dr. Doofenshmirtz: The entire Tri-State Area / A large portion of the Tri-State Area / Two of the three states that comprise the Tri-State Area / One single state / Five golden rings / Promotion to colonel / [feels put on the spot for "one thing that I want from this mythic all-powerful gift giver who only comes once a year"] / Some almond brittle.
6th Day - Baljeet: A kiss from a girl.
7th Day - Buford: More nerds to bully.
8th Day - Major Monogram: Promotion to colonel.
9th Day - Perry: (chatters)
10th Day - Carl: A job that pays me money.
11th Day - Vanessa: My own set of wheels.
12th Day - Ferb: (spoken) One line of dialogue.

"Perry Saves Christmas" is a rewritten version of "Frosty The Snowman", with Major Monogram singing about how Perry saves Christmas from Dr. Doofenshmirtz while Carl the Intern provides occasional commentary. It's listed in the album notes as "Frosty The Snowman (Recorded as "Perry Saves Christmas")", which apparently makes that its official title. I'm guessing that there's a legal issue involved here, just like how Weird Al Yankovic was legally required to title one of his parodies, "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*", complete with backslash AND asterisk (source: "UHF" DVD Audio Commentary at 0:35:15).

MP3s of both songs are available below, and the lyrics for "Perry" are available on page 2. The album features the singing talents of Vincent Martella (as Phineas), Ashley Tisdale (as Candace), Alyson Stoner (as Isabella), Mitchel Musso (as Jeremy), Olivia Olson (as Vanessa), Bobby Gaylor (as Buford), Maulik Pancholy (as Baljeet), Dan Povenmire (as Dr. Doofenshmirtz), Jeff "Swampy" Marsh (as Major Monogram), Tyler Mann (as Carl the Intern), Thomas Sangster (as Ferb), Jaret Reddick, Laura Dickinson, Danny Jacob, Aaron Daniel Jacob, Jeff Gunn, Vangie Gunn, and Robbie Wyckoff.




For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.

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Ghostbusters Cast Spotlight - Tara Charendoff/Strong in Sabrina TV Movies

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Nov. 28, 2017 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Cast & Crew , Tags: castspotlight
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Welcome to a new feature here on Spook Central, the Ghostbusters Cast Spotlight. Each entry in this series will showcase a cast member of the Ghostbusters franchise - Ghostbusters 1 & 2, The Real Ghostbusters, Slimer!, Extreme Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters: The Video Game, and maybe even Ghostbusters 2016 - in a role that you may not be familiar with. Maybe it will be from a long-forgotten movie, a television appearance before they were a Buster, or some really weird bit part that I'm sure they no longer include on their resume! There is a HUGE SPOILER WARNING if you read this article, as I am highly likely to go into plot details. This first Ghostbusters Cast Spotlight will be a double-length double feature focusing on the two late-1990s Sabrina The Teenage Witch TV movies featuring Tara Charendoff (voice of Kylie Griffin in Extreme Ghostbusters) as "Jellybean Queen" Gwen.

This article is dedicated to Doreen Mulman, one of my best friends, and the creator of the original TOTS: The Official Tara Strong website. Writing about these two movies takes me back to that great period of time in the late 1990s when we first met. Extreme Ghostbusters is what brought us together, but it was our shared loves of animation, voice actors, and horror movies - gotta love any woman that "gets" Elvira! - that made us friends. We would constantly tell each other about the latest appearance of Frank Welker or Tara Charendoff on TV, not least of which was because she ran both of their official websites, which I loved to help with. After Sabrina Goes To Rome aired back in 1998, I actually did two dozen VHS framegrabs and a few audio samples for The Sights and Sounds of Tara section we worked on together. (I never did get around to doing multimedia from Sabrina Down Under, which this article you're reading will rectify.) Doreen gave me the nickname Tiger, which I guess makes me Shiva to her Queen Ezekiel. An appropriate analogy given that we both loved The Walking Dead, and Ezekiel is portrayed by a voice actor (Khary Payton, aka Cyborg on Teen Titans - which also stars Tara).

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Ghostbusters Loot Crate October 2017 Unboxing

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Nov. 13, 2017 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Clothing, Toys
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If you've been following the Spook Central Facebook page - and if you're not, why? - you'd know that last month Loot Crate, the subscription box service that provides monthly boxes of geek and gaming related merchandise, had lots of exclusive Ghostbusters items. The kind folks at Loot Crate sent me a few of the items, which I will document in an "unboxing" article, as I have done in the past with other mystery boxes.

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Ghostbusters: Ectomobile Owner's Workshop Manual Book Review

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Nov. 8, 2017 at 10:30 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Ghostbusters 2, Books, 2016 Parody Remake
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For the past few years, Insight Editions has been publishing deluxe collector's quality hardcover Ghostbusters books. It started with Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History (reviewed here) in 2015, continued with Tobin's Spirit Guide: Official Ghostbusters Edition last year, and continues once more with the recently-released Ghostbusters: Ectomobile Owner's Workshop Manual. This 144-page tome was written by Troy Benjamin and Marc Sumerak, with illustrations by Ian Moores. Longtime members of the Ghostbusters Online Community (trademark pending) will remember Troy as the webmaster of Ghostbusters Headquarters (old school mode). Coming in at a nice size of 8.5" x 11" closed, with full color print on high-quality semi-glossy thick paper, the first two-thirds of the book deals with the original Ghostbusters, while the remaining one-third is about the 2016 film, and the last page is credits.

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Spook Central Halloween Treat - Unusual Ghostbusters Songs, Volume 1

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Oct. 31, 2017 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous, Music , Tags: halloween_treat
Halloween Treats

This year's Halloween Treat will be a musical feature, showcasing ten unusual or unique (or just plain weird) Ghostbusters songs. Some songs will be good, some will be bad, some will in the middle, and some will be "so bad they're good". There is no criteria for quality here. Just what I find "interesting". No songs will be taken from any official Ghostbusters albums. I'll call this "Volume 1" because there will likely be more in a future Halloween Treat post.

Bob Baldwin - On Our Own (1990) - A smooth jazz near-instrumental cover of the Bobby Brown hit. From the album Rejoice. Check out the CD Single Artwork.

Peter Breiner - Ghostbusters (1991) - An orchestral version of Ghostbusters performed with Peter on the piano. From the album Peter Breiner & His Symphonic Pop Orchestra - Unchained Melody.

The Broadway Kids - Ghostbusters (1997) - It's as if the Junior Ghostbusters sang the song, only WAY better and with sound effects. Definitely a great rendition and kinda adorable. From the album The Broadway Kids - At The Movies (alt url). Performed by Ariel Harris Osumenya, Christopher Mark Petrizzo, Erin Rakow, Pierce Cravens, Amy Braverman, Travis Jordan Greisler, Ashley Pettet, Nicholas Gould, Christy Carlson Romano (later to star in Even Stevens & Kim Possible), Michael Zeidman, Jack Ingram, and Eden Reigel (later to star in The Young and the Restless); with "Broadway Guests" Ashley Tisdale (later to star in High School Musical & Suite Life of Zack and Cody), Kelly Mady, Jackie Angelescu, Brandon Ngai, Kristen Pettet, Jacy DeFillipo, Laurissa Auble, Renee Braithwaite, Kai Braithwaite, Olivia Oguma, Chris Truesdale, Alexis Kalehoff, Craig Lawlor, Alex Strange, and Kenji Miyata. CD liner notes (exactly as is written in the CD booklet, spelling and grammatical errors intact): "In addition to the opening and closing credits, Ray Parker, Jr.'s Oscar nominated song GHOSTBUSTERS covers a long and amusing montage. We see the exploits of Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Ackroyd), and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) as they battle a sudden outbreak of ghouls and goblins. The tune is just one of the reasons that this Ivan Reitman's 1984 film was such a smash."

Unknown - Ghostbusters (1998) - Without a doubt, this is the second worst rendition of Ghostbusters ever commercially released. From the album My Favorite Lullabies: To Sir With Love. Yes, you read that right. Ghostbusters is on a CD entitled "My Favorite Lullabies" even though it is clearly NOT a lullaby. Heck, eleven of the twelve songs on the CD are not lullabies: 01. To Sir With Love, 02. Wouldn't It Be Lovely, 03. Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?, 04. The Ballad Of Davy Crockett, 05. Shake Your Paw, 06. Do The Bartman, 07. Ninja Rap, 08. Batdance, 09. Here Comes Garfield, 10. Ghostbusters, 11. A Spoonful Of Sugar, 12. Rock A Bye Baby.

The Hit Crew - Ghostbusters (2003) - Absolutely horrible. It should come as no surprise that it's from the album Drew's Famous: Kids Halloween Movie Themes, which is one of those lame party CDs that come out every year around Halloween time.

Bowling For Soup - Ghostbusters (2005) - A rockin' cover from the Just Like Heaven soundtrack album. Mp3 provided by Demon Lord Etna.

Mistah F.A.B. - Ghost Ride It (2007) - This controversial rap from the album Yellow Bus Rydah (later Crack Baby Anthem) samples "Ghostbusters" The Director's Cut music video (alt url) features an Ecto-1 replica and Slimer drawn on the back of a jacket. It's also in the TV Version. Check out some Behind The Scenes information. For more information, check out Proton Charging. Columbia Pictures threatened legal action against Mistah F.A.B. for the use of the Ghostbusters car and logo in the music video, and the song samples. I don't know what the outcome of the matter was. More info on it can be found here and here.

Dave Thomas - EctoMix (Ghostbusters Remix) (2008) - A super-cool fan remix of Ghostbusters dialog samples backed with a syncopated beat. Be sure to watch the music video (alt url).

Jon Herchert - Ghostbusters (2011) - A decent cover, though nothing remarkable. From the album Monster Mash: Party Songs For Kids.

J-Mi - Scared On His Own (Who's He Gonna Call) (2014) - An awesome mash-up of "Ghostbusters", "On Our Own", and movie samples over Bruce Arntson and Kirby Shelstad's theme to Ernest Scared Stupid (1991). Be sure to watch the movie's cool opening title sequence, then buy it on Blu-ray and DVD (and triple and quadruple feature DVDs).

For more Ghostbusters covers, check out Proton Charging.


For the complete list of Spook Central's Halloween Treat posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Miss Kate for the "Halloween Treat" title banner that appears at the top of this post.
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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

In Loving Memory of Linda Joyce Rudoff (July 12, 1948 - November 29, 2015)

Doreen Mulman (May 22, 1961 - March 14, 2014)

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