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« Extreme Halloween - Part 2 ("The True Face Of A Monster" & "Fear Itself")Hasbro PulseCon 2020 - Ghostbusters Panel Recap & Product Reveals »

Extreme Halloween - Part 1 ("Darkness At Noon" Parts 1 & 2)

 By Paul Rudoff on Oct. 1, 2020 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Extreme Ghostbusters , Tags:

From September 1st to December 8th 1997, Ghostheads were treated to the first new Ghostbusters media since The Real Ghostbusters aired its last original episode in September 1991. Back in the '90s, everything was EXTREME! So, naturally, we'd get EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS!!! Yeah, the title was dumb even back then, but at least they weren't "super". The series saw a new crew of young 18- and 19-year-olds being mentored by an older Egon and Janine, who were the only original team members left after the city's influx of spiritual energy ran dry years ago.

A lot of Ghostheads disliked the show at the time, as they wanted to see Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston; not Eduardo, Kylie, Garrett, and Roland. Those who stuck with it - assuming they could find it, as Sony dropped it into the shittiest syndication deal possible at the time - found a show that was a lot more mature than the "kiddie" stuff ABC was peddling with The Real Ghostbusters in the latter years. I rewatched all 40 episodes last year, and was surprised by how well the show has held up 20+ years later. The writing is sharp, the acting in on point, and the character designs are fantastic. The only thing that sucks is the piss-poor animation. Sorry animators, but flickering back and forth between Photoshop filters is not how you animate proton streams.

Spook Central is giving you the chance to watch this semi-forgotten piece of Ghostbusters lore all throughout the month of October. Every day leading up to Halloween, I will present one or two episodes with a little bit of commentary from me. A little something to whet your appetite until Afterlife comes out next year. So, sit back, relax, and let's get EXTREME!!!!!

Darkness At Noon (Part 1)
Play Video
Monday September 1, 1997
A ghostly ghoul named Achira is released by unsuspecting subway tunnel construction workers and she's ready to spread her disease through the whole city! Who ya gonna call? Actually, the only Ghostbuster still in town is Egon, teaching at New York City College. His class of only four students soon gets the field trip of their lives when they have the opportunity to help Egon bust the spook. The show leaves us hanging with Kylie's possesion by Achira!
The premiere episode which, ironically, was not shown to those of us in New York due to a pre-emption by the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. If the Extreme Ghostbusters themselves were tuning it, they would have had to have waited until the following Sunday, September 7th, to see how their story started. Anyway, "Darkness At Noon" sets a clear tone that this was not your kid brother's Ghostbusters. We had mature themes and dialog that would not have passed the censors at ABC. The inclusion of a wheelchair-bound character reeked of political correctness, and I still question the practicality, but the wheelchair never seemed to get in the way.

Kylie: Ghosts walk among us.
Eduardo: And so do weird chicks.


Darkness At Noon (Part 2)
Play Video
Tuesday September 2, 1997
Egon realizes that the old equipment just isn't strong enough for this new breed of ghosts. He constructs new equipment for the gang and sends them out, ready to kick some ghost butt. While searching for the host that Achira is possessing, Eduardo meets back up with Kylie (still possessed by Achira). We now learn of their unshown love for each other. The episode ends by the new Ghostbusters crew recieving dozens of phone calls. The Ghostbusters are back!
The dialog in the conclusion sets up the series-long relationship between Eduardo and Kylie, including a rather PG exchange in which a possessed Kylie seduces Eduardo. Just as they are about to lock lips, Roland and Garrett arrive to stop the smooch, leading Eduardo to remark that Kylie's "legal". The implication being that she's 18 years of age or older (though 17 is the age of consent in New York), and thus he could do a lot more than just kiss her if he wanted to. This half of the story also gives us the only utterance of "Spook Central" in the series, spoken by Eduardo.

Kylie: Are you happy to see me, Eduardo?
Eduardo: Ahh, sure.
Kylie: Because I'm really happy to see you. From the first time I saw you in the lecture hall, I felt an attraction. Did you feel it too?
Eduardo: Well, I don't know, sort of. I mean, you could stand to put on a couple of pounds.
Kylie: A good looking guy like you who's really hard to resist. Kiss me Eduardo. I want you to.
Roland: Back off Eduardo.
Eduardo: Why? She's legal.
Roland: She's a ghost!


Comment from: Ray [Visitor]  

This is awesome. You are doing god’s work good sir. Is it possible for you to provide a downloadable link?

It’s a crime that Sony hasn’t released this series on DVD, Blu Ray, Youtube, ITunes. Whatever. A crime. Those of us not in America that don’t have access to Hulu literally can’t watch this show.

Oct. 1, 2020 @ 22:11
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks for the kind words, Ray. I'm glad that you like this feature so far. I think you're be EXTREMELY pleased with the Halloween Treat on the 31st. - Paul

Oct. 2, 2020 @ 11:15
Comment from: Sam [Visitor]

I too have been rewatching the show recently, and much of it does indeed hold up. Some of it, however, is rather laughable. For example, the political correctness is almost offensive by today's standards: the strong empowered goth woman who's too weak to carry a full-sized proton pack (most of the time); the token black guy who's so "white" and nerdy he almost makes Egon look like Malcolm X; and the token disabled person who shows no signs of actually being disabled, apart from sitting in a wheelchair -- when he's not skydiving from skyscrapers, that is!

Also, while I love the darker aesthetic of the show, I never was a fan of the angular character designs, which at times are almost Picasso-like. I realize that was the style of the day (the MIB cartoon looked much the same), but I much prefer the RGB character designs, which ironically were more realistic.

That being said, I still love the show as I did when it first came out. I remember thinking, in the mid-nineties, that the Ghostbusters franchise was basically dead, and nobody seemed to care about Ghostbusters anymore. Without the internet, I was not aware of other ghostheads and felt deeply alienated by the broader popular culture. It was a very sad time. Then they announced EXTREME Ghostbusters, and it was like a gift from God. My friends and I raced home from school to watch it, and it hit the spot like a tall glass of Ecto-Cooler.

It's unfortunate that it only lasted one season, but they did a terrific job of expanding the Ghostbusters universe which was already quite expansive, thanks to several seasons of RGB and two feature films. I commend the show for its boldness and originality, even if it didn't always work out. I daresay they earned the title "Extreme!"

Thanks for keeping the flame alive, Paul. Cheers.

Oct. 3, 2020 @ 12:34
Comment from: [Member]

+1 for your comment, Sam. Well said.

Yeah, that angular design was the style of all of the Sony-produced animated shows at the time. MIB, like you said, but also Jumanji, Godzilla, and Jackie Chan Adventures. I think there were one or two others, but I don't remember them. Not my favorite style either, but I've seen worse. At least the main characters themselves were decently designed. Gotta give credit to Fil Barlow for that.

- Paul

Oct. 3, 2020 @ 16:15

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