Tag Archives: Cartoons

Shoot Rambo, Smoke that sucka!

More or less, the tone that I try and keep here at Branded is one of an earnest optimism.  Personally I find a bit tedious to read articles filled with ranting and too much mockery, and when it comes down to it, it’s just more fun to talk about stuff that I love.  Every once in a while though, there’s something that I want to write about that stretches the limit of credible good natured excitement.  It might be something that I enjoy, but when it comes down to it I’m probably enjoying it for unfortunate reasons.  Like watching a particularly bad Ed Wood movie (yes, there is a range in his filmography and, no, Plan 9 From Outer Space is far from his worst film), or tuning in to the first couple of episodes of American Idol to see the current year’s crop of horrible singers, sometimes one can’t help but revel in stuff that is just gloriously bad.

For today’s Cartoon Commentary I’m going to take a look at an episode of Rambo and the Force of Freedom which originally aired in 1986.  Produced by Ruby Spears, and based on the action film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone, the Rambo cartoon is one hell of a strange nut to crack and was the keystone in one of the oddest merchandising machines of the 80s.  Throughout the 60s and 70s with the adoption of the Motion Picture Association of America ratings system, lines were being drawn around what was considered proper entertainment for children.  For the most part, most films and TV shows didn’t have a ton of crossover appeal when it came to their intended audiences, but there were some that landed in that magical spot smack dab in the middle of the age appropriate Venn diagram.  On top of this, with the amazing blockbuster success of films like Jaws and Star Wars, whole new avenues of merchandising potential were opening up.

So with the release of films like Alien, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Conan, all of which were aimed at an adult audience, the studios were seeing an interest from a much younger demographic and it was making the marketing of and merchandising of these flicks very complicated.  Bottom line, there was money to be made on R-rated films outside of ticket sales, and no one was quite sure how to tap into this pipeline.  With Alien we saw the release of a toy based on the iconic xenomorph (from Kenner in 1979) as well as a series of bubble gum cards and stickers from Topps also in 1979.  In 1982 we saw the release of an Atari 2600 video game based on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre where players strangely took on the role of Leatherface slaughtering npc’s while trying to hurdle fences and cow skulls.  More important to today’s topic is the proposed merchandising of the Conan film back in 1981-82.  Mattel toys were interested in acquiring and developing a line of toys based on the Schwarzenegger fantasy film, and this would eventually morph into the Masters of the Universe toy-line and Filmation cartoon.  Though not direct Conan merchandising, the He-Man and the MOTU franchise was indelibly influenced by the film and barbarian phenomenon of the late 70s and 80s.

So it shouldn’t be that shocking that with the success of the Rambo films, toys, lunchboxes, stickers and a cartoon were soon to follow…

The Rambo films are the quintessential over-the-top American action flicks of the 80s, the second of which is also the textbook definition of a cash-grab sequel.  Rambo: First Blood, Part II, though wildly successful, was an utter parody of the first film, ratcheting up the violence, gore and mayhem a thousand fold and turning movie’s protagonist into a live action cartoon character.  Hell, the title alone shows how commercial this film was intended to be both recalling the title of the first film while also adding the character branding, a colon and a comma.  So while the live action counterpart of the character was busy killing hundreds of characters on screen, it fell upon cartoon studio Ruby Spears Entertainment, and in particular head-writer Michael Chain’s shoulders to try and figure out a way to make an animated series palatable for kids and parents…

   

I can’t help but find this cartoon hilarious and horrible on so many levels.  Drawing on influences such as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and G.I. Joe A Real American Hero, Rambo and the Force of Freedom tries way too hard to appeal to kids and parents while also trying to stay true to its roots to absurd effect.  Though he totes around an improbably arsenal of combat knives, rocket launchers and machine guns, the Rambo character in the cartoon is more or less played as a pacifist (much in the same way He-Man was characterized in the MOTU cartoon) always looking for a non-violent solution when confronting villains.

Each episode opens with an animated suiting up montage swiped wholesale from the second film.  This is followed by some general plot narration in the style of the A-Team (performed by the legendary Don LaFontaine, here’s the theme song and narration), stating:

“Rambo!   Anywhere and everywhere the S.A.V.A.G.E. forces of General Warhawk threaten the peace-loving people of the world, there’s only one man to call.  Get me Rambo!  From the canyons of skyscrapers, to the canyons of remote mountain peaks, liberty’s champion is unstoppable.  Rambo!  Helped by the mechanical genius know as Turbo and the master of disguises named Kat, the honor bound protectors of the innocent.  Rambo, the Force of Freedom.”

  

All I can say is that Rambo like’s protecting canyons.  “Hey Rambo, a family is being held captive in a nearby suburban home!  Will you help?”  “I don’t know, would you consider the spaces between the houses to be canyon-ous?   If so, I’ll do it!”

Seriously though…no wait, this is the point, it’s hard to take this show serious on any level.  The episode I’m going to talk about today is called Terror Beneath the Sea, and it was written by Steve Hayes.  Typically I look at the first broadcast episodes when I tackle a cartoon, but I only have Vol. 4 of the DVD releases, and this is the one that really jumped out at me (of the eleven available on the disc.)  The basic plot of this episode revolves around a remote Eskimo village that’s being attacked by an insane killer whale named Corac.  Much like the horror movie Orca, the whale pops up at random, breaking through thick sheets of ice in the village and then skating along the surface gobbling up igloos and causing unparalleled havoc…

   

A couple military officers happen to be flying by and quickly land to see what the ruckus is all about.  The whale ends up dragging their plane underwater trapping them in the village.  Apparently when killer whales nonsensically attack an Eskimo village and strand two officers, there’s only one man you can call.  Rambo!  Incidentally, he just happened to be busy saving one of the dumbest children ever born from getting eaten by a grizzly bear at that moment…

   

My guess is that instead of adding a Rambo-hosted segment at the end of each episode teaching kids some general dos and don’ts ala G.I. Joe’s Knowing is Half the Battle segments, the producers thought it would be more effective to include them in the actual episodes.  But rather than trying to tie them into the plot of each episode, they’d just feature an unrelated scene of Rambo spreading him wisdom before having him receive the call that the world needs him.  In this particular episode, we get a chance to see a kid in a forest park watching a bear eat out of a trash can.  Even though there are like six million signs warning not to feed the bears, the kid gets out of the car he was sitting in and tries to feed the bear a hot dog.  Good thing Rambo was there to deter the bear and to point us to the very obvious signs.

Anyway, that segment wasn’t all that bad, but I found it hilarious that seconds after saving the kid, Rambo’s Force of Freedom team pulls up in one hell of a crazy vehicle.  Decked out with both a mounted machine gun and some sort of cannon, this set of wheels is what the team was using to tool around the forest cataloging the animals for the park rangers!  Were they expecting a secret terrorist cell during their scouting mission?  Jesus, talk about over-preparing for the job…

Learning of the killer whale attack and the stranded officers, Rambo and his crew make their way up to the village.  Of course they encounter the crazy killer Corac in a scene swiped right out of Jaws…

In this scene we get some of my favorite lines from Turbo, the master mechanic.  As their boat is bumped by the whale he shouts, “Holey pajamas, what was that!”  Wow, that’s an awesome exclamation that I’m going to have to try and work into my repertoire.  After Corac starts munching on the boat there’s also a great line where Turbo yells, “Shoot Rambo, Smoke that sucka!”  I find it fascinating that the writer was more or less penning dialogue for the characters that is very reminiscent of what you’d hear in an R-rated flick.  Again, it’s another example of the off dichotomy of adapting this sort of material.  Expanding on this weirdness a little is the fact that the production designers on the cartoon decided to include all realistic weaponry instead of taking the G.I. Joe route and creating more futuristic laser-based guns.  So instead of featuring a laser rifle that could be “set to stun”, Rambo instead chooses not to fire on the whale after he spots a weird box on its dorsal fin.  A bit later, after jumping out of the boat onto some floating pieces of ice, Rambo does use his machine gun to help secure his escape from the killer whale by shooting a ledge of ice creating an obstacle between them.  What really surprised me was the realistic firing sound effects, and even some spent bullet cartridges flying off of the weapon.  Weird.

   

Similarly, after they find a secret base where they realize the officers they’ve been looking for have been kidnapped and stored, the team is confronted with a locked door.  Instead of having the mechanical expert pick the lock, Rambo just pulls out his rocket launcher (which he affectionately named Hanna) and from point blank range fires on the door!  Though the writers were trying to be clever in how they showed Rambo using his weapons in a non-violent manner, they only really succeeded in illustrating how insane and unintentionally violent his problem solving skills are.  Again, the unintentional hilarity of a scene like that is just astounding to me.  What’s even sillier is that moments after trying their darnedest to portray Rambo as non-violent, they write a scene where in order to get some information they need he dangles a villain scientist over a pool that houses the killer whale.  Threatened with the fate of being eaten, the scientist tells them what they want to know, and I couldn’t stop laughing at the length to which the writers were willing to basically show Rambo torturing someone to get information.  Granted, I see that it’s tame, especially compared to what Jack Bauer might do to someone on 24, but for a kid’s show in the 80s this was extreme…

   

Also, there are some crazy scenes with the whale furiously writhing around in pain that are both sad, and sadly hilarious…

Anyway, Rambo ends up realizing that the scientist was using a pain-inducing box to train the whale to attack the nearby villages, so he scuba-suits-up (with yet another montage), and makes friends with the whale by removing the box.  After some fun bonding scenes, he and the team take the whale out to General Warhawk’s second hidden underwater base so that they can try and end his wintery evil scheme…

   

   

There was some surprising talent on this show.  In addition to some great voice talent including Alan Oppenheimer (Skeletor), Neil Ross (Shipwreck on G.I. Joe), Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Frank Welker (Megatron), and Michael Bell (Duke from G.I. Joe), Gil Kane and Jack Kirby also worked as consultants, I’m sure designing the look of the series and characters…

   

All in all, this series is beyond ridiculous, and lacks all the style and panache of series like G.I. Joe and He-Man.  The characters are ridiculous and the plots are gut-splittingly funny, and honestly I can only recommend the show as an example of 80s excess gone horribly (and hilariously) wrong.  Yet, even so, I still watch it as a piece of my past…

If you’re curious, all 65 episodes were released by Anchor Bay back in 2005 over a series of 6 single disc DVDs (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 31: The one, the only, Boogieman!

Well, we finally made it to monster number 31 and Halloween day!  Today’s big-headed bad guy is probably one of the most feared villains in the Ghostbusters rogue’s gallery (coming in just a hair below Gozer), the Boogieman!

That’s right, the one and only feeder-of-fright, the bane to children and Egon’s everywhere, the big B.  This is the ugly dude hiding under your bed at night.  He’s the one casting creepy shadows on your wall when you think it’s just a tree.  The Boogieman is also apparently the one using up all your mom’s lipstick and hairspray and then hiding the empty containers in your room so that you’ll get blamed!

Seriously though, along with the Sandman and Sam Hain, the Boogieman is probably one of the most evil foes the Ghostbusters have faced in their animated form.  I can say that his huge head and little goat-like legs freaked me out as a kid…

I also think it’s kind of neat that the two cels I managed to score also come from both of his appearances int eh series.  The wicked closeup up top comes from episode 81, The Boogieman is Back, and the cel of big-headed B coming out of the door is from episode 6, The Boogieman Cometh…

I was so overjoyed to get a hold of these two cels this past year as this guy is one of my all time favorite monsters from the series.  The only hole in my collection right now is Sam Hain, but then as I came to discover when I finally scored a set of series one Garbage Pail Kids, completing a collection can be quite the downer.  I think I’ll be okay looking out for that last Real Ghostbusters cel for awhile…

   

So that does it for another Halloween season here at Branded in the 80s.  It was my fifth year celebrating, and the second great year for the Countdown to Halloween hub site.  Once again, like in most years past I’m about ready to go into hibernation, but then again I have the first Up! Fair coming up in 19 short days.  I think I need a nap…

If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the banner with King Kong), as well as heading on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

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Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 30: Demon Ruler of Toyland!

For all of those joining me for the first time, welcome to the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown here at Branded in the 80s!  I had a blast last year, so again I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  All of these monsters come straight from my vintage animation cel collection, and my wife and I tried our best to put them in a not-so-scary to really-freaking-creepy kind of order with the creepiest falling on All Hallows Eve.

We’re almost there folks.  All Hallows Eve eve, or some such junk.  It’s been a fun counting down these monsters for a second year and I wish I had more cels to stretch this out for a third year, but I guess I’ll just have to come up with something else to write about.  Anyway, today’s penultimate monster is probably one of the better villains from the waning days of the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  By this time it was already re-branded Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters, and it was in store for a truly disappointing end.  But before we got there we got a chance to sneak a peek at this Toyland demon from episode 126, Busters in Toyland…

Pretty gnarly looking, right?  This demon was actually much more Gremlin-like in appearance (see the screen shot below).  The crux of the episode revolves around Louis Tulley’s spoiled nephew who seems to have all toys in existence.  Louis, trying to wow him on his birthday ends up buying some spectrally possessed action figures (one of which I shared earlier in the month), which kidnap his nephew and steal him away to Toyland.  There a demon ruler tricks the boy into accepting the mantle of ruler so that he can be free and leave the realm. A fter the switch of power he reveals his true form, the crazy spiked demon wyrm you see above…

   

I was really happy to get my hands on this cel because it features Louis, one of the last “main” characters I wanted to have from the show.

Well, one last time I’ll make the call to come back tomorrow for another Real Ghostbusters monster animation cel as I complete the countdown towards my favorite character from the show!

Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck, and I’m on the Facebook as well.)  If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the banner with King Kong), as well as heading on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event…

Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 29: the Ghosts of Warduke & General Kael!

For all of those joining me for the first time, welcome to the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown here at Branded in the 80s!  I had a blast last year, so again I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  All of these monsters come straight from my vintage animation cel collection, and my wife and I tried our best to put them in a not-so-scary to really-freaking-creepy kind of order with the creepiest falling on All Hallows Eve.

Today’s spooks are so much ghosts as they are physical manifestations based on dreams that are under the control of one of the Ghostbuster’s coolest villains, the Sandman!  These guys hail from episode 7, Mr. Sandman, Dream Me a Dream…

I have to admit that I’m a sucker for skull-related iconography.  It has to be one of the basic building blocks of a human’s fear, mixing both the finality of death (how else are you going to see a real skull) and the mysterious unknown inside each and every one of us.  So whenever I stumble upon something creepy, imposing and with a cool skull thrown in for good measure, I quite easily fall in love…

   

I think I also really dug these two because they remind me of two similar villains from my childhood, General Kael (from the much underappreciated Willow) and Warduke (from the Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon and toy line)…

   

Come back tomorrow for another Real Ghostbusters monster animation cel as I count down towards one of my favorite on Halloween day!

Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck, and I’m on the Facebook as well.)  If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the banner with King Kong), as well as heading on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event…

Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 28: Slimer & Hyde, Together Again!

For all of those joining me for the first time, welcome to the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown here at Branded in the 80s!  I had a blast last year, so again I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  All of these monsters come straight from my vintage animation cel collection, and my wife and I tried our best to put them in a not-so-scary to really-freaking-creepy kind of order with the creepiest falling on All Hallows Eve.

Today is all about the fan-favorite little green spud, Slimer!  Whereas last year I shared a cel of a ghost that had a very striking resemblance to Slimer, and was in fact sort of the Earth 2 evil version of the little guy, today it’s really just the full on evil version of Slimer!

After feeling brushed off and ignored by the guys, Slimer is unfortunately possessed by a gaseous leak from a faulty pipe on the containment unit.  It causes the little guy to go all Jekyll and Hyde during the episode…

I really love the amped-up evil Slimer character design, especially his scary mouth full of shark-like teeth.  The horns don’t hurt either…

   

It’s also funny in the episode, because even though this version of Slimer is evil and bent on destruction, he still takes the time to continuously “slime” Peter!  There’s also a fun daydream sequence where Slimer has to come and save the gang from another ghost…

   

Come back tomorrow for another Real Ghostbusters monster animation cel as I count down towards one of my favorite on Halloween day!

Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck, and I’m on the Facebook as well.)  If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the banner with King Kong), as well as heading on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event…

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Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 27: Whodunit Houdini?

For all of those joining me for the first time, welcome to the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown here at Branded in the 80s!  I had a blast last year, so again I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.   All of these monsters come straight from my vintage animation cel collection, and my wife and I tried our best to put them in a not-so-scary to really-freaking-creepy kind of order with the creepiest falling on All Hallows Eve.

Today’s ghost is only half as scary as he appears, and I’m pretty sure no chains, locks, or boxes could hold him.  This creepily floating harpy of a man is actually the ghost of the great Harry Houdini!

I hadn’t seen this episode when I picked up the cel originally, but when I laid eyes on it I couldn’t help but be seriously creeped out.  There’s just something unsettling about a crazy looking dude in an unbound-straight jacket that also appears to be screaming bloody murder.  This is the kind of ghost I fear bumping into one day.  I’d never be so lucky to get a calm, quiet free-roaming repeater.  No I’d get a Library Ghost (from the 1st Ghostbusters flick) or something…

Anyway, in this episode, #63 the Cabinet of Calamari, the Ghostbusters are given free passes to a magic show in the hopes that they’ll be able to take care of a pesky ghost that’s been haunting the current act.  Suspicions of foul play start to run as the guys are attacked by animated hand saws and swords (Winston sure picked a horrible hiding spot from the swords!)

   

After some investigation, the gang realizes that the ghost they’ve been hired to bust is actually Harry Houdini who is just trying to get his secrets and diary back from the evil Calamari…

   

Come back tomorrow for another Real Ghostbusters monster animation cel as I count down towards one of my favorite on Halloween day!

Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck, and I’m on the Facebook as well.)  If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the banner with King Kong), as well as heading on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event…

Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 26: A bed of Snakes? Yeah, that’s probably my worst nightmare…

For all of those joining me for the first time, welcome to the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown here at Branded in the 80s!  I had a blast last year, so again I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  All of these monsters come straight from my vintage animation cel collection, and my wife and I tried our best to put them in a not-so-scary to really-freaking-creepy kind of order with the creepiest falling on All Hallows Eve.

I was super excited to score today’s monsters.  This is actually not one, but a whole mess of cels and production drawings from a short scene in one of my all time favorite episodes, #6, the Boogieman Cometh!

First of all, I love getting my hands on a series of overlapping cels that make up the majority of the on-screen image as it feels so much more like a scene from a cartoon.  But also, with this one in particular I got a nice shot of the entire group squaring off against some crazy monsters.  I wanted to share two scenes from this segment, so above we have the guys as they’ve just landed on what they thought was a big bed, and then the one below where they realize this bed is comprised of a crap ton of freaky red snakes!

Also, I thought these cels were kind of interesting because the Asian crew that worked on them slipped in a bit more of their local cartoon flair by utilizing the odd code-like blue facial coloring that’s supposed to show extreme fright (or embarrassment.)  You typically don’t see these anime aspects filter into the American shows, even though they were usually animated overseas at this time.  I really dig it…

 

   

    

You can also see from the sketches that these were thought out and planned…

    

We’re also getting down to the wire here, with only five more cels left in the countdown.  I wonder if I managed to get a hold of some other monsters from this episode?  Guess everyone will just have to come back tomorrow for another Real Ghostbusters monster animation cel as I count down towards one of my favorite on Halloween day!

Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck, and I’m on the Facebook as well.)   If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the banner with King Kong), as well as heading on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event…

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Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 25: When Giant Mantids Attack!

For all of those joining me for the first time, welcome to the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown here at Branded in the 80s!  I had a blast last year, so again I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  All of these monsters come straight from my vintage animation cel collection, and my wife and I tried our best to put them in a not-so-scary to really-freaking-creepy kind of order with the creepiest falling on All Hallows Eve.

First of all, yes, the plural of mantis is indeed mantids, I looked it up (though mantises and mantes are also acceptable.)  Anyway, today Giant Bugs Attack!  Actually, giant bugs attack and are repelled by a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man that some might remember from a little movie called Ghostbusters (which according to the cartoon is really just an unfortunately cast bio pic…)

This big green menace hails from episode 65, The Revenge of Murray the Mantis, and he might not be what you first suspected.  While preparing the celebrated cartoon character Murray the Mantis as a giant parade balloon (ala the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade), there’s an unexpected twist.  The balloon is being inflated in what used to be the cities corner’s building which just happens to be dripping with death energy.  This essence du death is sucked up into the pumps and inserted into the giant cartoon blimp.  Lucky for the city, the Ghostbusters have agreed to ride along in the parade though, because halfway through this mantis-shaped blimp gets a mind of its own.  After a blast from Peter’s proton pack the balloon pops, but brings to life a 40ft tall angry mantis monster!

   

Figuring the only way to beat a huge hulking monster is with another huge hulking monster, the guys set the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man free to battle the giant mantis Godzilla-style.  It just so happens that I shared a cel of good ‘ol Stay Puft from this episode on last year’s countdown…

   

When I pickled up this cel, I also saw another cool Mantis cel that I figured was related, but it turns out it isn’t.  In fact it’s really just a thow-away scene as a cold opening to the last official Real Ghostbusters episode, #134, 20,000 Leagues Under the Street.  I figured this would be a great place to share him…

Come back tomorrow for another Real Ghostbusters monster animation cel as I count down towards one of my favorite on Halloween day!

Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck, and I’m on the Facebook as well.)  If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the banner with King Kong), as well as heading on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event…

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Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 24: Vampire Gargoyle!

For all of those joining me for the first time, welcome to the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown here at Branded in the 80s!  I had a blast last year, so again I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  All of these monsters come straight from my vintage animation cel collection, and my wife and I tried our best to put them in a not-so-scary to really-freaking-creepy kind of order with the creepiest falling on All Hallows Eve.

Like yesterday’s creep, today’s is from episode 86, Loathe Thy Neighbor.  Though it’s only in about one and a half minutes of the episode, it’s a pretty freaky looking vampire/gargoyle…

Unfortunately, the only available cel I could get my hands on was one with his eyes closed.  Even so this is still one freaky looking monster!  It reminds me a bit of the gargoyles in the Tales From the Darkside movie, and a little bit like Man-Bat from the Batman comics…

This guy, though vengeful and kind of mean, was not the monster the Ghostbusters were hired to catch in the House they were exorcizing.  Instead he was probably a family pet that Winston ends up vaporizing.  C’est la vie.

   

Come back tomorrow for another Real Ghostbusters monster animation cel as I count down towards one of my favorite on Halloween day!

Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck, and I’m on the Facebook as well.)  If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the banner with King Kong), as well as heading on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event…

Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 23: The Vacuum Cleaner…From Hell!

For all of those joining me for the first time, welcome to the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown here at Branded in the 80s!  I had a blast last year, so again I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.   All of these monsters come straight from my vintage animation cel collection, and my wife and I tried our best to put them in a not-so-scary to really-freaking-creepy kind of order with the creepiest falling on All Hallows Eve.

So continuing the trend of one super goofy entry on the Monster Countdown (last year it was Mr. Ham), there was one cel that I just couldn’t pass on picking up.  Today I present the vacuum cleaner…FROM HELL!

Has anyone ever seen a cleaning apparatus that was so evil?  If my dog runs away from our Hoover like her life depended on it, how would she react to this monstrosity?  Probably a lot like Slimer here…

   

This dusting agent of doom comes from episode 86, Loathe thy Neighbor, which is sort of a take-off on the Addams Family and the Munsters with maybe a little bit of the ‘Burbs thrown in for good measure.  Basically, a family living in nowheresville New York hires the Ghostbusters to bust a haunt in their house so that they can get ready for a family reunion party.  This family, the Morbids, would do quite well living next to that creepy house on 1313 Mockingbird Lane though.  The father is a loose sketch of Gomez Addams and the mother could understudy Morticia.  The kids are equal parts cousin Marilynn and the weird hunchback uncle from the ‘Burbs.  If I’m not mistaken, I believe there is also a weird reference to Better Off Dead in the episode.  Anyone want to guess what it is?

Tomorrow’s monster is also from this episode so stay toon-ed!

Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck, and I’m on the Facebook as well.)  If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the banner with King Kong), as well as heading on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event…

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