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Gozer

Ghostbusters
by Artemis

We all know the "Jews and berries" joke, right? I don't have to repeat it again? Look it up on wikipedia if you don't.

"Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say 'YES'!!!"

I've always felt that was questionable advice. Granted, saying "no" didn't work out terrifically, but it's a pretty loaded question to begin with - it's like saying that a girl who gets killed in the first five minutes of a slasher movie shouldn't have backed into the dark room, it's not useful advice; she's going to get hacked no matter what she does, especially if she's played by an unknown actress and has already done her topless shot. At least Ray survived with no perceptible injuries, beyond a few bumps and bruises - if he'd said "yes" who knows what Gozer might have done to him? She could've said "prove it." Or just taken him at his word and tried to have lusty electro-deity sex with him, which may not have been pleasant either. Sure she's good-looking, give or take the eccentric makeup, but she packs a bit more of a jolt than a TENS unit, that's all I'm saying.

Anyway. Bringing a god to the silver screen is a tricky task - just ask anyone who's been fool enough to try it on an H.P. Lovecraft adaptation. There's really no way to visually convey the power of a deity without falling short, so your options are either blow the effects budget and fail, or go for something low-key but unconventional, like Alanis Morissette, or W.G. Grace. Ghostbusters - a very smart movie - went the latter option, taking Yoguslavian model Slavitza Jovan and wrapping her from the neck down in erratically bubbling plastic. Hey, whatever works.

Her action figure doesn't quite mimic the look, but the top-level transparency of those bubbles growing out of her bodysuit is a tough ask, and the substitution of just the solid spheres underneath, with their glossy pearl-like finish, is a respectable compromise. In all other regards she's pretty much spot on, 7" dead of statuesque supermodel in a tight (but not spandex-tight) bodysuit with built-in gloves and stiletto heels - and let me tell you, anything that can land from a backflip in those heels is godly alright. The bubbles grow randomly but sensibly out of her "skin," concentrating on her chest and shoulders and spreading down her torso and limbs enough to make it all look cohesive, without going overboard and turning her into a Doctor Who bubble-wrap monster. There are a few vein-line wrinkles extending from the bubble clusters, and fabric wrinkles around her collar and ankles - she's an odd combination of sleek and detailed.

Her face is a good match, so far as I'm any judge - she has two, in fact, swappable heads that allow her to be either impassive and faintly arrogant, or yelling angrily. They're very close matches, given the distortion of the face that results from opening your jaw like that, and the paintwork holds up its end, slightly accentuating the yelling face's snarling mouth and cheeks, but otherwise sticking very close to model on both faces. Hair's always tricky in plastic, and Gozer's is understandably more styled and uniform in action figure form than it was in the movie, with nary a hair out of place in her 80s power 'do.

There's not a lot of articulation to speak of - balljoint neck (nice and tight, but not difficult to detach the heads from), swivel shoulders and wrists, and a V-crotch. Unless you use her base to balance her primarily on one foot, there's nothing you can do with her body from the shoulders down, and precious little even with the base's help - it's an imperious, static posture (which incidentally makes her arse look really good) or nothing. Her shoulder joints slant inwards a bit, swinging her arms out wide if they're lowered - an aloof supermodel kind of pose, but it works - and bringing them parallel when they're raised, to take advantage of the alternate hands.

Along with the alternate head and base, these extra hands round out her accessory count - they show her flinging lightning as some unfortunate soul (Ray, probably), and so far as plastic energy bolts ever are, they're decent work. The arcs of energy extend from her fingertips - and not a moment further up or down, good paint work there - and are pleasingly kinky and twisted in their shapes, without losing the overall sense of forward motion. When her arms are raised the two streams of lightning come together just about right - not too far from each other, not intermingling too tightly - and if you want to leave her arms down, and have the lightning just flowing out of her, casual-like, that's an option too.

Gozer's base is an unassuming little thing, a small dark grey disc with two pegs for her feet. The pegs each have a flat side to them, so that she must have her legs posed in exactly the right way in order to get both feet pegged down - luckily that posture is the ideal one for the figure, so no harm done there. She's capable of standing on her own, but being such a tall figure and having her feet so close together, a mild knock will overbalance her, so the base is welcome.

Classifying Gozer is a bit tricky. I wouldn't exactly call her a "cult" figure, the same way Ash from The Evil Dead or the Hare Krishna zombie from Dawn of the Dead (the original, not the crap remake) are - but she's not really a household name like Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees, since after all she's only there for a couple of minutes, and then she disappears and it becomes all about a gigantic humanoid campfire snack. She owes her "success," if you want to call it that, to Ghostbusters' sheer quality - it's not a highbrow intellectual movie, but it was made with a care and passion for quality that, sadly, few blockbusters these days bother to try for, let alone attain. Gozer may not be one of the big names of cinematic horror, but in her little niche of the genre, she does her part flawlessly, and - as a desktop decoration - her action figure doesn't let her down.


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