Saturday, April 01, 2017

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: The Ghost Busters: "A Worthless Gauze" (October 18, 1975)


In “A Worthless Gauze,” the ghost of Queen of the Nile, Farah (Barbara Rhoades) and her Mummy (Richard Balin) materialize in the graveyard on the outskirts of town.  These two spirits are in search of Simios, an ape sorcerer who can share with them the secret of immortality.

This ghostly duo from Ancient Egypt mistakes Tracy (Bob Burns) -- who has been practicing magic – for the great Simios.  They also mistake Tracy and Spenser’s (Larry Storch) incredible “secret” -- Kong’s (Forrest Tucker) surprise birthday party – for the secret of immortality.

The Ghost Busters, meanwhile, are also experimenting with disguises, and mustaches in particular.


This is another goofy, slapstick episode of The Ghost Busters that features moments of extreme silliness. The Queen’s Mummy, for instance, hangs up a sign on his sarcophagus: “Out to Lunch.” It is written in hieroglyphics!

Another ridiculous moment finds Tracy doing magic tricks, and magically switching places with Spenser on a car ride to pick up the weekly mission from Zero.

One additional interesting quirk this week is that the Mummy’s touch causes “instant mummification.” He is constantly trying to grab the Ghost Busters, but Tracy comes up with an interesting trick: he jams a boxing glove on the mummy’s hand.

One action here showcases the production drawbacks and limitations of The Ghost Busters. Spenser and Tracy run into Queen Farah and the Mummy in the graveyard. They are all standing next to a man-sized (but clearly lightweight) gravestone marked with the name “Lucy Moonlite.”  Spencer and Tracy run off, pursued by the bad guys. In the next shot, they run past the same gravestone (marked with the same legend). The scene that shows Kong running through the cemetery, right by -- you guessed it -- the same unmistakable gravestone.


From Lucy Moonlite’s constant re-appearing, we can surmise that the graveyard set is tiny, and that the series thus had relatively few resources on which to draw. At least the gravestone is seen from three different angles during the sequence, in an attempt to hide it.


Next Week: “Which Witch is Which?”

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