WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, now playing in theaters.
Apart from the four proton-pack-wielding heroes riding around New York in Ecto-1, the 1984 Ghostbusters movie gave pop culture another fun do-gooder in the form of Slimer. This paranormal entity became a friend to the crew, with the Sedgewick hotel ghost eventually receiving his name in The Real Ghostbusters animated series and appearing in cartoons, the 2009 video game, the IDW comics and the 2016 reboot. Slimer doesn't return in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, however, the new version of the green ghost manages to outdo the kids taking up the mantle, becoming the movie's biggest hero as the finale begins.
This is none other than Muncher, a bigger ghost that resembles Slimer, but with a blue tinge. And make no mistake, it's got the appetite too, devouring any piece of metal in sight and spitting back out what it's eaten like bullets when threatened.
Muncher first appears in Ghostbusters: Afterlife at the decommissioned Summerville refinery in Oklahoma when Phoebe (Egon Spengler's granddaughter) and her buddy, Podcast, try out a proton pack she found on their derelict family farm. After frying some bottles, they investigate inside a silo, only to find Muncher eating pipelines. A firefight breaks out, but the ghost escapes, only for them to team up with Phoebe's brother, Trevor. He revamps Ecto-1 with the ghost of Egon, which leads to them trapping Muncher at last after a high-speed chase.
But the damage they did to the town lands them in jail, with the cops confiscating the weapons and ghost trap. Things get dire, though, as the Terror Dogs are unleashed, aiming to bring the demonic Gozer to this plane. With Phoebe realizing Egon made the farm into the ultimate containment unit, she and Podcast try to steal the proton pack back when ghosts overrun the town and everyone flees. However, she can't reach it, which leads to Podcast improvizing. He manages to flick the switch on the trap, freeing Muncher. Immediately, the hungry ghoul consumes the bars of the cell that contains the equipment, all before speeding off to eat again.
It's an underrated moment in Ghostbusters: Afterlife because this gifts Phoebe the tools she needs, which allows her to go free her mom, Callie, from Gozer's grip. They use the mobile trap to exorcise Zuul from Callie, turning her from a Terror Dog to a human once more. They then head to the farm, using strength in numbers and these weapons to set the trap for Gozer and its minions.
It's all due to Muncher's appetite, but sadly, when Gozer's banished along with the rest, it seems like Muncher disappears too. It's sad, as Muncher was so innocent, only wanting food and perhaps, friends, with this fate ultimately proving how cruel it can be for a misunderstood and feared ghost in the real world.
To see how Muncher starts the path to stopping Gozer, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is in theaters now.
KEEP READING: Ghostbusters: Afterlife Includes Unintended Commentary on Modern Science Skepticism
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