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The Headless Motorcyclist

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In The Headless Motorcyclist, a descendant of Ichabod Crane is, as her predecessors, tormented by the frequent appearances of the Headless Horseman, who attacks anyone that gets close to her. The Ghostbusters must help break the curse, but Peter's got trouble with the police! [1]

CastEdit

Ray Stantz

Peter Venkman

Kate

Bud

Egon Spengler

Winston Zeddemore

Headless Horseman

Lieutenant Frump

Janine Melnitz

Slimer

Ichabod Crane

EquipmentEdit

Dimensional Inverter

Ecto-1

Proton Pack

Particle Thrower

Trap

P.K.E. Meter

Psychogram Helmet

Radio

Hologram Generator

LocationsEdit

Firehouse

Queensboro Bridge

PlotEdit

The Ghostbusters socialized with potential clients at a formal evening party. Peter talked to a banker about a new insurance offer: year round ghost protection policy. Their conversation is interrupted by a beautiful young woman, Kate. She brought a drink to her boyfriend Bud. Bud lashed out at her but Kate defended herself. She was only talking to an old friend. Peter intervened but got into a brief tussle with Bud. Bud stormed out alone. For some reason, Kate was worried about him.

While on the streets, Bud was chased by a headless apparition riding a motorcycle! Bud tried to lose him in a parking lot but witnessed it come straight through the door. Bud then drove onto a bridge but the ghost stopped at the bridge's edge. It then threw its head at Bud's car and detonated it. The ghost cackled then vanished. The next morning, Lieutenant Frump pulled up to the Firehouse. He walked up to Janine and demanded to see all four Ghostbusters. Peter was excited at the prospect of another job but things take an unexpected turn when Frump accused Peter of sending the motorcycle spook after Bud. Peter allegedly had the motive and easy access to ghosts. Peter denied it and declared ghosts couldn't be used as hitmen. Slimer drifted over to Peter and hugged him. Frump is not convinced of Peter's innocence and left the Firehouse.

Winston relented they should try to catch the ghost. Ray added it was beneficial to the Ghostbusters' reputation if Peter wasn't arrested. Peter was elected to retrace Bud's steps in a similar sports car with Ecto-1 following. Everything was normal until Egon suddenly got a reading of quite a large concentration of PK energy. Winston opened fire on the ghost but it dodged each blast. Eventually, Peter made it to the bridge and the ghost paused again, threw its head, and vanished. The guys caught up and investigated. Ray figured it out: water is a natural ionizing agent and thus, the ghost couldn't cross it. Egon confirmed the theory with a sudden drop in power readings as they got close to the bridge. Something else bothered Ray. He placed the M.O. together and realized they were dealing with the ghost from Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."

The Ghostbusters tracked down Kate and confronted her about the Headless Horseman. Kate was overcome with grief and began crying. The ghost was her family's curse. Her ancestor was the man Irving called Ichabod Crane. That fateful night, the Horseman chased Crane to a bridge. Crane disappeared and was nowhere to be found the next morning. The townspeople only found his horse and some pumpkin fragments. Crane had pulled himself to dry land and left the town. Eventually, he married and had a son. 20 years later, the ghost returned and chased his son. But his son also discovered the ghost's aversion to bridges. Ever since, the Horseman pursued their family and friends. They were forced to constantly move again and again. Kate is the latest descendant and lived near a bridge for some protection. The Ghostbusters voted to help her... and clear Peter's name.

Back at the Firehouse, the guys (most of them) got to work on building new equipment. Frump returned and announced he uncovered more incriminating evidence. Peter was selling ghost insurance and Bud was an insurance investigator. That night, Winston instructed Kate to wear a special helmet and read from a script. The helmet would broadcast her psychograms to the ghost and lure it to her apartment. Peter would then switch his helmet on and draw the ghost after him. As predicted, the ghost rose from a fissure and arrived at Kate's apartment. While Winston distracted the ghost, Kate ran to Ecto-1 down below in the parking structure. She dived into Ecto-1 where the psycho-dampers would inhibit the ghost from detecting her. Peter took off with the ghost in hot pursuit.

At the bridge, Egon sighted Peter and turned on a hologram that made the bridge look like any other street. The ghost fell for it and was immobilized. Egon threw out a Ghost Trap and gave the honor to Kate. Kate accepted and trapped the ghost. Not too far behind, Frump had seen everything. He ordered the driver to take them away, Peter was innocent. Some time later, the Ghostbusters were at another party and the same banker from before signed up for ghost insurance. Peter spotted another beautiful woman. The other Ghostbusters toasted to Peter, who would surely get them killed eventually.

TriviaEdit

  • This episode was also written by Jean-Marc Lofficier, Randy Lofficier's husband. Jean-Marc remained uncredited because at the time, only one member of the family could join the Writers Guild. They came to an agreement and only Randy's name was credited on the script." [2]
  • In the first draft, dated May 15, 1986, of the episode's script
    • The opening shot trucks in slowly towards Central Park, on to an elegant penthouse terrace.
    • During the first party, Ray talked to the banker about ghosts that haunted the banking world: The Axe Murderer of First National Trust and The Spectre That Ate Tax-Exempt Bonds. For some reason, the latter only ate bonds issued by defense contractors. [3]
    • Bud drives down Fifth Avenue, crosses Broadway, is chased through Greenwich Village, makes a left on Broadway onto Canal Street. He stops on the Manhattan Bridge. [4]
    • The younger police officer is with Frump when he first speaks with the Ghostbusters. [5]
    • For the test run, Peter also drives along Fifth Avenue but the chase goes nearthe Civic Center and ends on the Brooklyn Bridge. [6]
    • The shot of Kate's condo began with a camera pan from the United Nations Headquarters, up Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, along the East River, and stops at the Queensboro Bridge. [7]
    • The origin story called for more descendants of Crane to appear. [8]
    • The newspaper clipping of Frump had the headline "Frump Promises Arrest Soon" [9]
    • Bud joined Kate in luring the Headless Horseman to the apartment. He hated the script Peter wrote for them. [10]
    • For the motorcycle chase, Peter dressed exactly like Bud and had a human inflatable doll, vaguely looking like Kate, with various bits of electronic equipment attached. [11]
    • Egon mentioned "Aquila Vulgus" instead of Disneyland. [12]
    • The event at the end was Bud and Kate's wedding party. [13]
  • As mentioned in the episode, the principal ghost is based on the character of the same name from Washinton Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
  • Egon suggests reversing the polarity of the neutron flow, a phrase originating from the TV show Doctor Who. [14] [15]
  • Kate referred to Ichabod Crane as "Uncle Ichabod" which implied she wasn't a direct descendant. [16]
  • Egon classified the Headless Horseman as a simple ectoplasmic manifestation of 12.5 according to the Flammarion Scale. [17]
    • Flammarion may be a reference to Camille Flammarion, a French astronomer and writer who contributed works of science fiction and spiritism.
  • Egon mentioned Disneyland when Ray radioed him about Peter and the ghost. [18]

Animation ErrorsEdit

  • When Ray, Winston and Kate get out of Ecto-1 the doors are blue instead of white. In fact they are the sheriff car's doors.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Eatock, James & Mangels, Andy (2008). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection booklet, p. 15. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  2. Spook Central "The Headless Motorcyclist"
  3. Lofficier, Randy (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, "The Headless Motorcyclist" p 3-4. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  4. Lofficier, Randy (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, "The Headless Motorcyclist" p 7-10. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  5. Lofficier, Randy (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, "The Headless Motorcyclist" p 11. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  6. Lofficier, Randy (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, "The Headless Motorcyclist" p 17-19. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  7. Lofficier, Randy (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, "The Headless Motorcyclist" p 21. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  8. Lofficier, Randy (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, "The Headless Motorcyclist" p 26. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  9. Lofficier, Randy (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, "The Headless Motorcyclist" p 28. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  10. Lofficier, Randy (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, "The Headless Motorcyclist" p. 31-32. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  11. Lofficier, Randy (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, "The Headless Motorcyclist" p 35. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  12. Lofficier, Randy (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, "The Headless Motorcyclist" p. 37. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  13. Lofficier, Randy (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, "The Headless Motorcyclist" p 41. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  14. Eatock, James & Mangels, Andy (2008). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection booklet, p. 15. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  15. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Headless Motorcyclist" (1987) (DVD ts. 08:02-08:05). Time Life Entertainment.
  16. Kate (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Headless Motorcyclist" (1987) (DVD ts. 12:41-12:44). Time Life Entertainment.
  17. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Headless Motorcyclist" (1987) (DVD ts. 18:20-18:26). Time Life Entertainment.
  18. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Headless Motorcyclist" (1987) (DVD ts. 18:26-18:27). Time Life Entertainment.


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Episode Screen CapsEdit


Collages and EditsEdit


RGB DVD Boxset FeaturesEdit


 
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