Beyond Ghostbusters – Part 5

The advent of YouTube in 2005 allowed anyone with access to a computer and some form of digital recording equipment to upload video content to the Internet. For amateur film-makers, this was a Godsend, as it allowed them to share the fruits of their labours with the World. It also meant that fans could create their own unique visions of their favourite television shows or movies. But just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should

As Ghostbusters proved to be both popular and enduring, the amount of fan-made content on YouTube is reasonably large. However, as with most fan-films, whilst you may love something (remembering that the word ‘fan’ is derived from ‘fanatic’), it doesn’t follow that your enthusiasm will match your talents, so the quality of the available content is…variable. I know, because I have taken it upon myself to watch it, just so you don’t have to. Consider it a public service.

So, having endured low-quality ‘special’ effects, wooden acting, stilted dialogue and vanity scripts, it’s always nice to find something of unexpected worth. Such was the case when I viewed Braxtan Films Freddy vs Ghostbusters, made in 2004.

As you’ve probably gathered from the title, this 34 minute short film features that razor-fingered antagonist of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Freddy Krueger. However, whilst his name may feature in the title, this is, first and foremost, a Ghostbusters movie.

Set in Denver, we are introduced to Neil Anderson (J. Michael Weiss), who has been suffering from a recurring nightmare, where he is chased through his dreams by the aforementioned deep-fried nutjob, always managing to wake before he is caught. Help arrives in the form of Ed Spengler (Tim Johnson), an old friend and the nephew of Dr. Egon Spengler, who has been sent from New York to investigate a recent surge of Psychokinetic Energy. He is accompanied by his colleague, Eugene O’Fitzpatrick (Jason Cook).  The rest of the film follows very closely to the format of the original Ghostbusters movie, with the trio dealing with a poltergeist in a local bar, then effectively setting up as the Denver branch of the Ghostbusters, complete with a video montage and magazine covers.

When Freddy finally manages to escape from his ‘prison’ (which I’ll leave you to discover what this actually is), things take on a slightly darker tone, with various secondary characters being targeted by him, forcing a final confrontation with the Ghostbusters.

What could have essentially been a cheesy one-gag mini-movie is saved by a genuine love and respect for the franchises involved, some very good special effects and make-up, a director who knows what he’s doing and a script that is both engaging and funny. Whilst some of the secondary actors do suffer from one-dimensionality and stilted acting, both Weiss and Johnson bring their characters to life. And Bradley J. Roddy as Freddy Krueger appears to be channelling Robert Englund, as his characterisation is pretty much spot-on. The only slightly jarring note for me was the inclusion of a cameo by “Jared from Subway”, a joke that was lost on me, as this ad campaign was not shown in the UK.

Of all the Ghostbusters ‘fan-films’ I’ve endured, this has to be one of the best, as it captures the tone and feel of the original movies and does feel like it’s a spin-off, like the pilot for a proposed TV series. And as it was so popular, it managed to spawn a sequel in 2007, which I will be covering in the next instalment of ‘Beyond Ghostbusters’…

So, where can you watch this little gem? Well, as implied above, it’s available on YouTube, so follow this link, which will take you to the best copy on there (without Spanish subtitles)…

But where would a ‘Beyond Ghostbusters’ post be without me ‘casting’ it in 28mm?

So, as the Denver Ghostbusters are using the same equipment and literally the same uniforms (once you’ve watched it, you’ll know what I mean), our first port of call is obviously Crooked Dice and their Paranormal Exterminators. Ed Spengler looks remarkably like his supposed uncle, so painting Paranormal Exterminator D (Spengler) with blonde hair and we have our Ed. As Eugene Fitzpatrick sports sideburns and a plaid cap, taking Paranormal Exterminator B (Stantz) and Greenstuffing his Ecto-visor into a cap should be within the realms of even the most ham-fisted modeler.

However, Neil Anderson, as he has the whole Jason-Priestly-90210 floppy haircut and goatee, will require a little more talent with the Greenstuff, with Paranormal Exterminator A being the most likely figure ripe for conversion.

The poltergeist featured caught by the Denver ‘busters shares a very similar look to ‘Slimer’, so using Crooked Dice’s Ectoplasmic Entity (from the same link as above) is probably your best bet…

Paranormal Exterminators

As for Freddy Krueger, ideally we would turn to the Horrorclix line form Wizkids and this figure:

But as this only appears to be available as part of the Freddy Vs Jason collector’s set, which is going for silly money online, bearing in mind that it’s six plastic figures. However, unless anyone else can think of a better proxy, it’s the only choice you have.

So that’s all for this instalment. In my next post we will be looking at and ‘casting’ the 2007 sequel to Freddy vs Ghostbusters, aptly named Return of the Ghostbusters

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8 thoughts on “Beyond Ghostbusters – Part 5

  1. This “Ghostbusters” project of yours continues to snowball Jez… and I love it 🙂 Unsurprisingly I own a “Crooked Dice” Slimer. But I’m not too sure about Freddy? I think I might have managed to track a Jason down somewhere (from someone selling them as singles) but in all honesty I wasn’t that impressed with the boxed set. Though that photo of Freddy does look a good sculpt I must admit.

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    • Thanks Simon. There was a company around 2008-2009 that did Michael Myers, Freddy, Jason, Chucky and I think Ghostface in metal – I think they were called Metal Maniacs. I now regret not buying them at the time.
      And yes, it does appear to gaining momentum – but I can stop anytime I want…although I have had a rather cunning idea involving pipe cleaners…

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  2. Nice post, Jez. I can honestly say I have never heard of this film but thanks for bringing it to my attention. I have the Jason vs Freddy Horrorclix set but I’m stumped as to who you could use as a replacement Freddy.

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    • Thanks Bryan. If you’re a fan of either franchise, it’s certainly worth a watch and at just over half an hour, it’s not a massive time investment. The sequel is even better.
      And whilst there are plenty of zombies out there (as well you know) disfigured serial killers seem to be in short supply in 28mm.

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  3. Grea6t post Jez, I’ll have to watch the short when I get chance. I’m amazed though that there are a lack of “Freddy’s” out there as he’s one of them characters that you would have thought there’d be millions of!

    Cheers Roger.

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  4. Pingback: Beyond Ghostbusters – Part 6 | Carrion Crow's Buffet

  5. Pingback: “Who Ya Gonna Call?” | Carrion Crow's Buffet

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