Friday, July 22, 2016

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: The Maltese Monkey (Ghost Busters, 1975)

Halloween's 3 months away, but let's get a head start with the series premiere of Ghost Busters from 1975.

Jake Kong (Forrest Tucker) and Eddie Spenser (Larry Storch) have to stop a pair of gangsters from summoning the ghost of their former boss and at the same time capture "The Maltese Monkey". Billy Barty, fresh from Sigmund & the Sea Monsters, and Johnny Brown (Good Times) guest star.

As we've talked about before, series creator Marc Richards misfired in a few spots. While this clearly was a parody of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon----and Brown does try to pass as an African American Sydney Greenstreet---the sitcom format defeats the idea that this could've been better done as a 2-parter, complete with cliffhanger. Fortunately, Richards and Filmation would correct that oversight with the animated sequel 11 years later.

Rating: B-.


Silverstar said...

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but concept-wise I've always liked Flimation's Ghost Busters (and its' animated sequel, Ghostbusters) more than the Columbia Pictures version. Granted, the Columbia version had better writing and higher production values, but Filmation's version had a campy, kooky charm to it that I found appealing, despite the financial and technical shortcomings of Filmation's animation and their compulsion to stick little PSAs at the ends of each episode.

hobbyfan said...

The "compulsion" for PSA's or moral messages might've been a means to get in the good graces of Action for Children's Television. Spenser & Kong, both generations, have gotten a bad rap all the way around, it seems.