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The Ghost Busters Season 1 Episode 1

Ghostbusters is one of those franchises that inspires fan frenzy from 80's and 90's kids. Whether it's the live action antics of Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd and company, or the animated adventures of Slimer and the boys, every iteration of Ghostbusters has a devoted following. The Ghost Busters however is another story. The Ghost Busters was a Filmation show from 1975. It featured a trio of detectives named Spenser, Tracy and Kong. One of them is a gorilla, but not the one you'd think from the names. 

The premier episode of the show opens on a couple of gangsters in their castle hideout discussing bringing back the ghost of a dead gangster to help them acquire an item. Johnny Brown plays the fat man, doing his best Sydney Greenstreet impression, and Billy Barty is hi sidekick doing something approximating a Peter Lorre impression. The gangster Big Al is played by Forrest Tucker, who is also the Ghost Buster Spenser. Forrest Tucker is all over the place, doing Brando, Cagney and Edward G. Robinson impressions.

It turns out that the item the bad guys are after is a treasure called the Maltese Monkey. It's in a museum vault. Tracy and Kong end up getting duped by Big Al into helping him get the Monkey. There's a final showdown and silly chase scene in the creepy castle where the gangsters hide out.  The ghost is trapped and the monkey is returned to it's rightful owners.

While I do enjoy some of the references to old movies, overall the show is not great. The jokes are corny and the editing is terrible. The show does have a certain charm if you are not concerned about things like good writing. If you watched it as a kid I can see where there might be a nostalgia factor (I was born on the year when it debuted, so I didn't see it until much later after the good Ghostbusters). Overall it's no worse than a second rate cartoon of the era, but it's no better either.


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