Wednesday, May 9, 2007

THE GHOST BUSTERS - THE COMPLETE SERIES

THE GHOST BUSTERS (1975) was the first live-action Saturday morning kid’s show from the famous Filmation cartoon studios. It reunited the stars of the 60’s sitcom F-TROOP – Forrest Tucker (THE CRAWLING EYE) and Larry Storch – as private eyes who hunted down ghosts and sent them back to the Great Beyond. Aiding them is a beanie-wearing, anthropomorphic gorilla ("trained" by Bob Burns), who, while unable to talk, is a master of pantomime and carries a bag full of useful and useless items to help them in their efforts.

Okay, this some silly stuff. It’s probably the last gasp of old-style vaudeville humor on television, filled with juvenile puns, sight gags and exaggerated "takes." The whole show is based on threes: you have three characters, three sets (their offfice, a graveyard, and a castle) and three plots. These are repeated over and over again for 15 episodes.

Like all of BCI/Eclipse’s Filmation sets, it’s a great package overall. You have 15 half-hour episodes on 2 discs. The full-frame transfers are pretty decent, considering that the show was shot on 1975 video tape equipment. Sound is mono, but robust, and BCI has included a handful of nice extras. There are interviews with Filmation president Lou Scheimer and Bob Burns, who played Tracy the gorilla. There are three photo galleries, the premiere episode of the 80’s animated sequel series (also available on DVD), and the usual Filmation promos. All 15 scripts are also included on DVD-ROM.

Now, I have no idea how well this would play with today’s kids. I remember liking it when I was ten, and I get a nostalgic kick out of it now, but I’d really be surprised if modern children got much out of it.

This set’s real appeal is solely for nostalgic adults who watched it in the Seventies, I think. If you’re in that group, it’s a nice package, and agreeably priced.

BUY: The Ghost Busters - The Complete Series (Filmation, Live Action) (1975)