In the first of this series of posts on my suggestions for “expanding” the Ghostbusters universe, we looked at a humorous short story written in 1905 – The Ghost-Extinguisher, full details of which can be found here. This week, we’ll be looking at the first of the movies I think ‘fit’ the comedy-horror tone of the two original Ghostbusters movies and providing suggestions on how you could ‘cast’ this movie in 28mm.
So, for my first pick we will be travelling back in time to an era where, if you wanted to watch a movie, you either went to the cinema, waited for it to be shown on the TV or rented it from a video store. Yes, we’re talking about the 1980’s…
And this week’s movie is…
If you haven’t seen this movie yet, it can be viewed in it’s entirety on YouTube, by following this handy link.
The rest of this post will assume that you have either watched the movie or have a passing knowledge of it, so may contain spoilers – so either go and watch it first and come back, or be prepared to have some of the plot and creatures given away. You have been suitably warned…
So, the protagonist of this film is Roger Cobb, a Vietnam vet and successful horror writer, but a less-than-successful husband and father. His son went missing a number of years ago and this caused a strain on his marriage, leading to a separation. His favourite aunt has just died, leaving her property to him, the ‘house’ of the title, which he decides to occupy rather than sell, planning on writing a book on his experiences in Vietnam, in order to purge his mind of what he experienced. And this is where the fun begins…
Roger begins experiencing strange phenomena and visions, which initially you’re not entirely sure whether these are real or figments of his imagination, especially when it does not appear that anyone else can see them.
After being attacked by a creature that manifests out of a closet, rather than sitting rocking in a corner or running away, Roger gathers supplies and equipment in an effort to catch the beastie. And things progress from there, until it is revealed who or what is responsible for the haunting.
So, the movie has a credible supernatural threat and a proactive, rather than reactive, lead. The ghosts/demons/creatures, whilst created through physical effects for the most part, are comical and threatening at the same time. And it’s genuinely funny, rather than just thinking it’s funny (Haunted Mansion with Eddie Murphy, anyone?)
As the movie also deals with a alternate dimension/pocket universe inhabited by creatures and ghosts, which is very much in line with the official Ghostbusters view on the “Ghost World”, which featured in the canon Ghostbusters: The Video Game in 2009 (which will be featured in a later instalment of this series), it feels like it’s part of the same universe. As the events are constrained to a single haunted house in Monrovia, California in 1986, which is not only on the opposite coast from Ghostbusters HQ in New York, but also after they were put under a restraining order, whilst Roger Cobb may have known who to call, it’s unlikely they would have answered…
So that’s the movie, what about the figures? Well, I’ve only cast the creatures, as Roger Cobb spends a large percentage of the movie in what appears to be combat fatigues and my expertise regarding 28mm miniatures of US Army personnel is limited. If anyone has any suggestions, I’ll gladly add the details to the post.
First up, the creature from the closet, which looks like this:
It’s a big, gangly snot monster and you would think that this would be the most difficult to find. However, a trip to Moonraker Miniatures and their Dunwich Detectives range and we find this:
Pretty much spot on, in my opinion. This is 2010a Proto-Shoggoth, Walking, available from their website for a meagre £2.50.
Next we have what is known as ‘Sandywitch’, a demonic entity which initially shows up on his doorstep disguised as his wife, Sandy, then transforms into this:
Nice. For this ‘beauty’, I found this miniature from Reaper Miniatures:
This is Bonnie, Muumuu Zombie from the Chronoscope range and can be bought for $7.99 direct from Reaper here (Other online retailers are available…)
The next creatures are described as ‘little critter’ and are essentially demonic Muppet children:
These were a little more tricky to cast, until I remembered West Wind Productions Kindernacht;
I believe these are supposed to be vampiric children, but I think they’re close enough and you get 8 of these little terrors for £6.00, which is pretty good value. Can be bought direct from West Wind here.
In a brief scene where Roger enters the ghostly dimension through the medicine cabinet, he encounters this grotesque being:
Essentially, it’s a skull-headed gargoyle, so what better figure to use than this?
This is Mortar, Gargoyle from the Reaper Bones line. If you want to be movie accurate, you can trim his ears or replace his head with a skull. Available from the Reaper webstore here for $3.49.
Our final character is Big Ben, the main villain of the movie, an undead U.S. Marine who is haunting Roger in revenge for being left injured for the Viet Cong to find, rather than being finished off by Roger. Here he is:
Looks a bit like Dolph Lungren as he appeared in The Expendables 3…
Anyway, if you need a skeletal marine, there’s only one place to look, and that’s Black Hat Miniatures. They do five different skeletal marines, but the one I think looks most like Big Ben is this one;
This is MM304 – Skeletal Marine V, available from their website here for a modest £2.00. And if you want to see a painted and zombified version of the above, check out Vampifan’s World of the Undead and this particular post. As noted by Bryan in his post, these are on the larger side, so the figure above is 32-33mm in height, so will make an excellent “Big” Ben.
Be sure to check in at the weekend for updates on the Ghostbusters Project and mid next week for the next movie to be added to the “expanded” Ghostbusters universe.
Comments, feedback and opinions welcomed and appreciated.