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The Real Ghostbusters: Manhattan Madness DVD Review

 By Paul Rudoff on Dec. 28, 2005 at 10:39 PM , Categories: Real Ghostbusters, Home Video
(click to enlarge)

With the news of official Real Ghostbusters DVDs from Sony coming soon, I thought I'd write a little review of a non-official DVD that has just hit the marketplace. It's called The Real Ghostbusters: Manhattan Madness and was released by OS Films (UPC Code: 545618314678). You can buy it at Amazon here, here, or here. Read on to find out more about it...


This DVD contains the episodes: "The Spirit Of Aunt Lois," "Beneath These Streets," "Sea Fright," "Adventures In Slime And Space," "Ghostbusted," "Knock Knock," and "Venkman's Ghost Repellers." Product Details: 153 Minutes (exact), English, Color, Stereo, NTSC, Region 1, 2005, OS Films.


All indications are that this is a well produced bootleg (it's a professionally-replicated DVD, not a DVD-R) containing 7 of the 8 episodes that were released on PAL Region 2 DVD by Sony in 2004 ("Ragnarok & Roll" is the missing episode). The video quality is decent, but not as good as an official DVD from Sony from the original master tapes.


When you boot-up the DVD, after the copyright warning screen, you are treated to a beautiful comic book style menu introduction (though they misspell Egon and Winston's last names) using footage from the episodes and scans from The Real Ghostbusters comic books (either the NOW U.S. issues or the Marvel U.K. issues - I'd bet the latter). The problem is that it runs for two minutes, can't be skipped, and if you go back to the menu from viewing the program (by pressing the Menu button on your remote), you'll have to sit through the whole thing again (as you would every time you put the DVD in your player).

Play Video

Since all of the video content is on Title 1 (there is no Title 2 or higher), for future viewings I suggest pressing the Stop button on your remote several times after you insert the DVD into your player to prevent it from auto-playing. That is, of course, if your player lets you do this. My player will let me do it with some DVDs (if I'm quick or persistent enough), but I couldn't do it with this DVD. If you can do it, all you have to do is then press 1 on your remote to go straight to the episodes on Title 1. All of the episodes are shown back-to-back on Title 1 (152.40 exact runtime - 2 hrs 32 min 40 sec).


Although each episode has it's own opening titles and end credits, the opening titles have been altered. The episode titles are on new text screens and are shown *before* the opening title sequence into which it now dissolves. When the ghost jumps towards the screen and becomes the No Ghost logo, the animated logo is replaced with a new deformed one. At the end, the title screen ("The Real Ghostbusters") has been redone with new deformed text in place of the original text. The episode starts right after the opening title sequence since, as previously stated, the title card screen is shown before it. The end credits are unaltered, except that they now end after the original DIC logo is shown. The Columbia Pictures Television logo screen is omitted.


It seems like OS Films had the rights to release the episodes (though again, this DVD reeks of being a bootleg), but couldn't use the original title logo texts and No Ghost logo. I have no other explanation as to why they would alter the episodes like they did. A bootlegger normally wouldn't have gone through so much trouble (nor would they have created such an elaborate menu intro). [NOTE: I haven't viewed the episodes themselves in their entirety, so I don't know if they made any alterations to them - though it appears that they're fine.]


The episodes are shown in a semi-letterbox format, and not entirely full screen as they should be. The black bars at the top and bottom of the screen are very slight, but they are there.


Chapter marks have been placed at the start of each episode. After the last episode, the video ends, and the DVD stops playing.

The cover image is from the UK Marvel Real Ghostbusters Annual 1989. Also, all of the screenshots I did can be obtained in this zip file.

If you want to buy The Real Ghostbusters: Manhattan Madness DVD, it's only available at Amazon here, here, or here. You will not find it in stores because it's not a legal retail product. Until Sony releases these episodes in an official capacity, this will have to do.


Comment from: Chunky Chief [Visitor]

Can i buy that in stores or just online?

Jan. 2, 2006 @ 18:14
Comment from: Miss Janine [Visitor]

I’ve only seen it online. Got it myself from Amazon last week. The episodes themselves, other than the alterations mentioned above, are fine- no omissions/cut scenes.:) I’m really happy with it. (especially since Knock, Knock is one of my favorite episodes)

Jan. 4, 2006 @ 09:40
Comment from: cybergeek_G [Visitor]

The slight letterboxing is probably there to maintain the aspect ratio that the PAL discs have been encoded in which is slightly wider than NTSC.

Feb. 13, 2006 @ 21:19
Comment from: [Member]

Cybergeek_G, thanks for the explanation. I had a feeling that the PAL to NTSC transfer was the reason for the slight letterboxing.

Feb. 14, 2006 @ 14:30

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