It was inevitable that as a child of the ‘80s and ‘90s, I’d end up haunting you with Ghostbusters at some point. But this episode of The Real Ghostbusters doesn’t just involve busting ghosts. It involves busting Cthulhu.
Could there be anything more comically terrifying than an animated version of the greatest of Great Old Ones getting blasted by proton packs? Think about it. Tentacles flailing everywhere and more Cthuloid mucus than you ever thought could be produced by one space mollusk. But that’s what happens in The Collect Call of Cthulhu when a sketchy professor who arose out of the murk of Miskatonic University promotes a public Necronomicon exhibit. When you keep the Necronomicon in the New York Public Library, of course a tentacle of questionable origin is going to reach out from the dark and grab your night watchman. You have to expect these things. Now who you gonna call?
This is one episode you might not want to watch in the dark. If H.P. Lovecraft could dream a creepy cartoon into being, this is exactly what he would have conjured, arcane symbols and all. You wouldn’t want to touch the Necronomicon even in its animated form. Arkham will freak you out almost as much as it freaks out Venkman. The Cult of Cthulhu eerily echoing Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! from the hallowed depths of Miskatonic University’s musty basement goes above and beyond black robes with—wait for it—purple tentacled things with octopus hoods. They also hold a legit Summoning. If you have no idea what your next Halloween costume is going to be, you just found it.
Let me take a moment to ooze over how awesome the visuals and sound effects for Cthluhu and his hellspawn were, even for an ‘80s cartoon. The tentacles actually squish and glorp and slorp and whatever other unmentionable noises you would imagine tentacles making. Along with monstrous writhing appendages comes an insane amount of slime, because tentacles can’t be tentacles without it. With dagger teeth and multiple eyes somewhere in all that Cthu-goo, not to mention the ability to regenerate when blasted with proton beams, these monstrosities really do “make Gozer look like Little Mary Sunshine”, in the words of Egon Spengler. Oh, and the plan to obliterate the loathsome leviathan using an ion-charged roller coaster is nothing short of spectacular.
Most memorable quote? “Okay squidface, I’m gonna make Calamari out of you.”