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Extreme Ghostbusters: The True Face Of A Monster
Hello Dwellers and Welcome to the Basement...
Next Saturday maybe Christmas Eve, but it's also the first night of Hanukkah... and so today, I'm taking a look at the Extreme Ghostbusters Episode 'The True Face of A Monster', whose story is actually pretty relevant today!
may be Christmas Eve, but it’s also the first night of Hanukkah,
and while there was never a Real or Extreme Ghostbusters episode
never featured the Hebrew Holiday, Extreme Ghostbusters did deliver a
powerful episode touching not only on anti-Semitic attitudes, but
the general idea of how stupid bigotry of any kind is.
episode is ‘The True Face of A Monster’, which first on September
3, 1997, and sees the ‘Beth Shalom Synagogue’ being vandalized by
a couple of punks, who are attacked by a Golem, a mythical creature
created out of clayto
defend against anti-Semitic attacks, in fact the Golem in this episode
is based on The Golem of Prague tale. The
Golem sends the punks to the hospital coated from head to toe in a
mysterious clay that attacks anyone who tries to
remove it from the victims.
Ghostbusters are brought in to investigate and check out the
synagogue where the attack occurred. The Rabbi doesn’t want the
Ghostbusters around investigating, particularly when they say they
believe what happened to the punks was an act of the paranormal, but
he rightfully points out that it was the result of hatred. This comes
across as a cover up, which leads to our heroes coming back to get a
sample of clay after dark, and they are attacked by the Golem who
escapes when they use their proton guns to fight back in defense.
Rabbi comes out, and he sees the scorch marks, thinking the
Ghostbusters were vandalizing the Synagogue, but we then learn from his
student / assistant that some scrolls arrived from Prague the
previous week. Kylie
goes to investigated it at the Jewish Cultural
a quick summary of the Golem that it was created in times of hardship
to protect a village but eventually became out of control and
is told the only way to defeat Golem is to wipe out bigotry and
hate a pretty tall order in 1997, and here in 2016... it’s
still a tall order!
lets switch focus here on one of the Ghostbusters, who this episode
revolves around a bit, Garrett, a, wheel-chair
bound thrill seeker who is all about adrenaline and getting his blood
pumping. He is not defined by his condition, but who he is. Early in
the episode, he and Roland are passing by a basketball court, where
one of the players recognizes Garrett and proceeds to use him to work
a quick hustle, since Garrett is quite a skilled basketball player.
The guy, Spencer, knows the type of person Garrett is and introduces
him to his crew of mostly white-ish looking dudes... who all give
Roland, a African-American the quote ‘we don’t want your kind
around here look’, which not only presents them as hypocrites cause
Spencer obviously accepts Garret despite his limitations and his crew
also takes a shining to him.
The reason why I’m pointing this out
now is that Spencer and his guys are associates of the two jack asses
that got a clay bath from the Golem at the start of the episode, and
they actually think Garrett will be in on them going to the Synagogue
for ‘revenge’. But
the thing is, they accept Garrett for who he is as a person, despite
his handicap but have issues with Roland because of his skin color
and against those of the Hebrew faith for no really defined reason
beyond I’m guessing basic antisemitism.
getting back to the story, when
Garrett realizes what’s going down he tries to stop it but Spencer
turns on him, he and his buddies start to ransack the synagogue and
then The Golem shows up to deal with them, clay-covering one as
Spencer and another goon (named Trey) escape, clearly no honor among thevies.
Rabbi sees what is happening and tries to command the Golem to stop,
but he’s attacked before the rest of the Ghostbusters arrive,
hoping the rabbi knows how to stop it, but he didn’t even believe
Golem existed. It turns out his student created the Golem to protect
the synagogue and the Jewish community, but is smacked aside.
Ghostbusters try to deal with it, but their blasters are ineffective
and instead of attacking them (possibly sensing they were defending
the Rabbi) it escapes to pursue Spencer... which leads to the
conclusion of the episode at an Ironworks facility. One would think there wouldn't be such a place, but Brooklyn does have a couple
Garrett comes up
with a plan of shooting the smelting vats to cook the Golem since
it’s made of clay, it weakens his structural integrity, and when
brought crashing down, Kylie grabs the shem (scroll) from its mouth to permanently stop it. Spencer and his associates are arrested (those
covered in clay are ‘freed’ as a gimmick associated with Extreme
Ghostbusters is that when a ghost / demon is dealt with whatever they
do is reversed.
episode end with the Rabbi destroying the shem and him stating the
moral: Hate can not be fought with hate or violence with violence...
too bad groups here in the United States these days don’t realize
that. In fact it is amazing how many groups that have good intentions end up being the most hate-filled and violent! Hell just look at the number of riots over the past year!
this episode is without question a great episode but it has a couple
of flaws in that it tries to tackle such a serious manner in a short
amount of time, not easy, and the pacing kind of shows that, and the
adapting the Golem of Prague story was a stroke of genius, the scene
where Kylie is getting the history on the Golem is well done, ending
with perfectly with the librarian line about how in theory one could
stop the creature.
The Rabbi’s anger and frustration really comes
across well, and the gradual revelation of the truth, from it at
first seeming like a cover up to someone just hoping to protect the
community is nicely handled. Roland’s reaction to the look he got
from Spencer & his associates gets some attention, and Roland
does consider for a moment beating the tar out of one of them but decides it’s not worth it, leading into the Rabbi’s words that
closed the episode.
you’ve never seen this episode of Extreme Ghostbusters I highly
encourage you to seek it out. Also
some interesting notes, while there isn’t a Beth Sholom Synagogue
in Brooklyn, there is the Beth Shalom of Kings Bay, and the building
from pictures I’ve seen online looks similar to the one seen in the
week, on Christmas Eve we’ll do something from The REAL
Ghostbusters... where X-Mas Marks the Spot.
Hello Dwellers and Welcome To Comics From The Basement…
Comic Books that act as an expanded universe for a franchise seen only on TV, Video Games or Movies are pretty cool in my book.
They get to either bring back characters and concepts that were one and done, which provides familiarity and acts like a gateway to get non-comic readers a reason to pick up a comic. Which is the case of this weeks comic: Star Trek The Next Generation #36…
And yeah, I’ve had this copy for years since I don’t have the back cover any more and am Iucky to still have the front cover.
But as you can tell from the cover, it features the return of Ardra.
For those of you who may not know: Ardra was the antagonist in the season four episode, ‘Devil’s Due’, where the Enterprise-D responds to a distress call from a planet that was being tormented by a person claiming to be their Devil. Ardra in actuality is a con-woman who uses her knowledge of the planet’s culture along with devices like transporters, holograms a…