Ghostbusters has been an official horror comedy classic since its release in 1984. The film spawned a sequel in 1989, a recently filmed reboot due in theaters next summer, comic books, a novel, two different cartoon series, 16 video games, a Las Vegas slot machine and a whole host of toys. Now, though, we’ve learned something brand new about that ever popular original film.
According to a report from Yahoo! Movies, a new book about the filming and legacy of Ghostbusters, titled "Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History," details how the climactic battle between our favorite ghost fighters and The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, would have been totally different. Illustrations from by Thom Enriquez, the film’s production artist, details a version of the ending where Ray Stantz’s (Dan Aykroyd) pet lizard is turned into a giant Godzilla like creature who roams the city, destroying anything in its path. The early concept sketch suggests that this rampaging giant was supposed to appear in the ending alongside the hilariously freaky puffy treat. (Or possibly instead of?)
In case you’re light in the Ghostbusters plot memory department, Mr. Stay Puft is not the actual Big Bad of the movie. His likeness is taken over and made massively real by the ancient Sumerian shape-shifting god of destruction known as Gozer the Gozerian. After Gozer briefly appears as a woman and is then subdued by the team, she vanished while noting that Gozer will reform in a shape chosen by the team. Enter Stantz’s beloved childhood food mascot, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
The resulting lizard art work is certainly a good nightmare inducement. It’s spindly and spiny with knobbed knees, scaly skin, a barbed tail, skin ripping claws, bugged-out eyes, a waving tongue and a mouth filled with clearly ravenous teeth. But, it seems like too much for the Ghostbusters ending. This is the movie that brought us Slimer, that paragon of funny paranormal beings. You can’t end the film on a seriously scary note. That feels like a good way to sell all the previous laugh-filled hijinks short.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie, but I’m going to guess that most fans would cry out in semi-mock outrage at this idea. I mean, really, can you imagine this? I certainly can’t. The ending of Ghostbusters is known for that ridiculous, yet terrifying, sequence. The idea of it potentially not happening is something many fans would not like to contemplate.
Ghostbusters needed odd. Ghostbusters needed offbeat, fun and something no one else could think of. In short, Ghostbusters needed that funny, funky, disturbing climactic villainous avatar. Thank all that is holy in moviemaking that we never had to witness that lizard-filled ending. Ghostbusters just wouldn’t have been the same.