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« Welcome Botchamania VisitorsExtreme Halloween - Part 30 ("Back In The Saddle" Parts 1 & 2) »

Spook Central Halloween Treat - Extreme Halloween, Part 31: The Video Collection

 By Paul Rudoff on Oct. 31, 2020 at 11:08 AM , Categories: Spook Central, Extreme Ghostbusters , Tags: ,
Halloween Treats

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.

If you'd like to watch this semi-forgotten piece of Ghostbusters lore, you can stream all 40 episodes, or you can download the original 720x480 (DVD standard definition) MKV files below. These were losslessly ripped from the Monsterland Media Blu-ray, which was sourced from the Hulu masters. The MKV files are roughly 1 Gigabyte each, and contain chapters that are placed every five minutes (as that was how the Monsterland Media Blu-ray was authored). Picture and audio quality is PERFECT in all but three episodes:
  • Ep 21 - "Luck of the Irish" - Lots of minor split-second audio hiccups here and there, three frames of digital artifacts at 14:50 and 16:28, and crackles in the end credits music.
  • Ep 31 - "Ghost in the Machine" - Five frames of digital artifacts at 10:57, VERY bad artifacts and audio glitch at 19:05 for one second, and more digital artifacts at 21:45 (on Columbia logo at end).
  • Ep 38 - "Witchy Woman" - Lots of digital artifacts at 6:21 (lasts for two seconds), 6:33, and 18:50. At 21:56, during the BKN logo at the very end, are slight digital breakup around the edges of the letters.
As you can see, the two "Back in the Saddle" episodes have been moved last. This is how it was done on the Monsterland Media Blu-ray, and I figured that I would leave it like that since the two-parter was always meant to air as the season finale.

Ideally, "Moby Ghost" (ep 26) should be moved to before "Slimer's Sacrifice" (ep 23), as the whale ghost in the former appears in the containment unit in the latter. I didn't bother rearranging those two episodes so as to fix that continuity error. I also feel that "The Sphinx" should go immediately before "Back in the Saddle", as the former is about Egon feeling "old", and he celebrates his birthday in the latter, so it makes better sense in that order. Of course, if you download the MKV files, you can rename and reorganize them to your liking.

If you don't want to download 40 Gigabytes of files, you could always buy Sony's official Complete Series DVD set. Oh, wait... no, you can't. Sony never released one. As much as you would like to PAY Sony to own a copy of all 40 episodes on DVD, they have no interest in your money. I have no idea why Sony doesn't want your money, but that is, sadly, the case. The only official home video release of Extreme Ghostbusters in the U.S. in the PAST 23 YEARS were a mere six episodes on three poor-quality EP/SLP-speed VHS tapes released back in 1998. You can read about those tapes in my detailed history of the series.

Foreign markets fared a little better, but their DVD releases only contained 13 episodes, at most. That's not even half of the series. If you want to own the complete series on physical media right now, you'll have to go the unofficial route. If you have a Blu-ray player, the two-disc Blu-ray set from Monsterland Media is the way to go. Video is standard definition, but you only have to get up to change discs once, as there are 20 episodes per disc. If you only have a DVD player, but you also have a DVD burner in your computer, I made a series of 10 DVD-R ISO disc images, which can be obtained on a flash drive. You can use these ISOs with any disc burning software to make your own set of 10 DVDs (four episodes per disc) to watch in any DVD player.

Of course, if you're not looking to own, you could always stream them on Hulu until such time that Sony removes them from the service. Those are your only options until Sony decides that it wants your money.

If you'd like to give money to Sony, anyway, you can support them by buying the Ghostbusters 1 & 2 4K/Blu-ray 5-Disc Steelbook Set. Oh, wait... no, you can't. Sony made that a true "limited edition" and it was out-of-print less than two months after release. I guess there's always The Real Ghostbusters: The Complete Collection. Oh, yeah. That was made by TimeLife, whose license to the property has since expired, thus making that set out-of-print, as well. There's always Sony's The Real Ghostbusters 10-Disc 75% of the Complete Series DVD Set, but you probably want ALL of the episodes, not MOST of them. I guess that leaves the Ghostbusters 1 & 2 2014 Digibook Blu-ray Set, but if you're on Spook Central, you probably have that already. Sony, why do you have to make it so hard for Ghostheads to give you their money for disc-based media?

(PS: If you REALLY want to send some money to Sony as a thank you for allowing me to provide these Extreme Ghostbusters episodes to you - until such time they do it themselves - go pre-order the Resident Evil 4K & Blu-ray Collection that's due for release in a little over two weeks. Hopefully the kind folks at Sony and ThinkJam PR will send a copy my way to review on The Corner Penthouse since I filled out the product request form twice over the past three months.)

1 9/1/1997 Darkness At Noon (Part 1)
2 9/2/1997 Darkness At Noon (Part 2)
3 9/3/1997 The True Face Of A Monster
4 9/4/1997 Fear Itself
5 9/5/1997 Deadliners
6 9/8/1997 Casting The Runes
7 9/9/1997 The Infernal Machine
8 9/10/1997 Home Is Where The Horror Is
9 9/11/1997 Killjoys
10 9/12/1997 The Unseen
11 9/22/1997 The Crawler
12 9/23/1997 The Pied Piper Of Manhattan
13 9/24/1997 Be Careful What You Wish For
14 9/25/1997 Grease
15 9/26/1997 The Jersey Devil
16 9/29/1997 Dry Spell
17 9/30/1997 Sonic Youth
18 10/1/1997 Ghost Apocalyptic Future
19 10/2/1997 Bird Of Prey
20 10/3/1997 Seeds Of Destruction
21 11/3/1997 The Luck Of The Irish
22 11/4/1997 The Ghostmakers
23 11/5/1997 Slimer's Sacrifice
24 11/6/1997 Grundelesque
25 11/7/1997 In Your Dreams
26 11/10/1997 Moby Ghost
27 11/12/1997 Fallout
28 11/13/1997 Eyes Of A Dragon
29 11/14/1997 Till Death Do Us Start
30 11/24/1997 Glutton For Punishment
31 11/25/1997 Ghost In The Machine
32 11/26/1997 Dog Days
33 11/27/1997 Mole People
34 11/28/1997 A Temporary Insanity
35 12/1/1997 Rage
36 12/2/1997 Heart Of Darkness
37 12/5/1997 The Sphinx
38 12/8/1997 Witchy Woman
39 12/3/1997 Back In The Saddle (Part 1)
40 12/4/1997 Back In The Saddle (Part 2)

(Thanks to the Internet Archive for hosting help.)

2 comments

Comment from: GuyX [Visitor]  

Wow. You’re doing gods work. I went ahead and ordered the blu ray set from that website. Did you know there are HD versions of this show? It’s true. When the show was on Amazon Prime here in Canada it was in 1080p. It’s also on this CTV Throwback App for free in 1080p...but the app is so crappy it looks wonky.

Oct. 31, 2020 @ 18:44
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks for the kind words, GuyX.

I ripped these from the Monsterland Media Blu-ray, which downsampled them to 720x480 - DVD Standard Definition. The Hulu copies that the Blu-ray was originally sourced from are, I believe, 960x720. I say this based on the one single Hulu-ripped episode that was given to me.

I really can't say if there are any true 1080 copies out there. They could just have been upscaled to 1080. I really don't know. I believe there might be a couple on YouTube in 1080, but again, I can't say if that's the native format or if it's just an upscaling from the Hulu 720 versions.

- Paul

Oct. 31, 2020 @ 20:08

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