As mentioned in my previous post (Beyond Ghostbusters – Part 5), after the success of Freddy vs Ghostbusters in 2004, Braxtan Films decided to film a sequel 3 years later, the aptly named Return of the Ghostbusters.
After the events of the first movie, the Ghostbusters continue to provide their services to he citizens of Denver. Ed Spengler (Tim Johnson) has been developing new Ghostbusting equipment, including remote-controlled traps and the experimental Neutrino pack, whilst also hosting a science-based TV show. Neil Anderson (J. Michael Weiss) is described as a ‘ladies man’, but does not appear to be having much luck on this front, probably because he’s become a little bit of a dick since the first movie. Eugene O’Fitzpatrick has been replaced by Pavel Karnov (Joel Hanson) a laid-back Russian, although no explanation is given as to why. A bit of digging on my part has revealed that Braxtan Films published a webcomic covering a diastrous mission to Egypt, in which Eugene lost his life and Pavel joined, but I’ve yet to find a copy online.
However, when a face from Pavel’s past utilises a particular aspect of stolen Ghostbusting equipment (with a nice nod to what appeared to be a throwaway line in the original Ghostbusters) to power an ancient Egyptian artifact, the city is threatened with a supernatural invasion from another dimension. So it’s up to the boys in beige to prevent an interdimensional crossrip and save the Mile High City.
Whilst Freddy vs Ghostbusters essentially followed the general outline of the plot from the original movie, but gave us Freddy Krueger as the main antagonist, Return is an original story, building on the characters and premise set out in FvG. At 85 minutes, Return of the Ghostbusters is a much more ambitious film. Freddy vs Ghostbusters was created on an estimated budget of $500, whereas Return boasts a budget of $3,000. And it shows. We have more ghostly encounters, improved special effects, a larger cast and better acting. And the script is again engaging and funny, with the longer running time allowing for more character development.
Both Weiss and Johnson continue to shine as Neil and Ed, and Hanson’s addition to the cast makes it feel like a proper team of Ghostbusters. Ron Vischer, who plays the main antagonist of the film, Klaus Konstantin, also gives a stand out performance.
As both Freddy vs Ghostbusters and Return of the Ghostbusters are referenced in the official canon Ghostbusters: The Video Game, as the developers of the game were fans, can this also be considered ‘canon’? I’ll leave that up for debate, but I’m happy to include both within my “expanded” Ghostbusters universe, as the tone and content mirrors that of the original movies.
Whilst a friend of mine managed to download and burn a copy onto DVD for me, sadly the official site is no longer live. However, as always, someone has uploaded the full movie to YouTube, so you can go and watch it here.
As I have already ‘cast’ Ed Spengler and Neil Anderson in my previous post, it’s not necessary to do this again, although Neil now sports a hairstyle similar to Crooked Dice’s Paranormal Exterminator A (Venkman) and no longer has a goatee, so this figure can be used as is.
For the new addition to the crew, Pavel Karnov, we need to decapitate one of the existing Paranormal Exterminators (your choice) and add the bearded Travelling Tweedy head from the pack of the same name, also from Crooked Dice.
For Klaus Konstantin, I have found the perfect figure, from Black Hat’s Mutants & Masterminds range:
This is MM101E Civilian 10, available direct from their website for £2.50, who is not only wearing the correct dishevelled outfit, but also has the slightly crazed expression of this character.
For the ‘campfire’ ghost at the beginning of the movie, we have this:
This is 77369 Shadow from Reaper Miniatures ‘Bones’ range, available for $2.99. It also comes in metal as 03027 Spectre for $4.99, but as ghosts are supposed to be transparent, I’d go for the purple one…
The two ghosts haunting the cinema proved a little more tricky, and the closest I could find was this:
This is the Orange Lantern Construct from the DC Heroclix War of Light subset, available from Blue Rat Games (amongst other places) for £0.99. Whilst it may have more arms than is strictly necessary and is wearing a domino mask (no idea why), this is not a deal-breaker for me, as the extraneous arms can be trimmed off and a quick wipe with nail-polish remover will take the painted on mask right off.
Finally, during the finale, Denver is invaded by what the female reporter in the movie calls “ghost dragon-things”, which are essentially spectral dragon-worms. I had almost given up on finding suitable proxies for these, but whilst browsing Reaper’s ‘Bones’ range, I came across this:
This is the ‘Bones’ Hydra, available direct from their website for $19.99. As I am assuming that the heads are separate castings and you get five of them, you could mount four on suitable flying bases and still have a single-headed dragon!
That’s all for this instalment, but be sure to come back to see where the currently unstoppable juggernaut that is my Ghostbusters project takes me next. I think I can guarantee that you definitely won’t be expecting what’s coming next…