Afterlife Reinvents the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, now playing in theaters.

In the Ghostbusters franchise, it's safe to say the most popular ghoul is the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. He first appeared in the 1984 film as a vessel for the evil Gozer, whilst showing up in The Real Ghostbusters, various comics and even the 2009 video game as a destroyer in New York City. While most thought this entity was gone, he returns in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. However, this time, he's multiplied and comes off way more demonic.

Stay-Puft is resurrected as the final act begins, with the spirit of Gozer taking hold of the small Oklahoma town from the Summerville mines. It occurs when Gary (Paul Rudd) visits Walmart after a date with Egon's daughter, Callie (Carrie Coon), only to realize things aren't as they seem. As he passes bags of this marshmallow brand on the shelf, he sees the treats moving, and soon enough, a mini-Marshmallow Man slowly bursts out of the bag.

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However, it's pretty cute, which leads to Gary poking it playfully, ignoring what happened in the Big Apple in the first Ghostbusters. It bites him, though, which leads to all the other minis rising up. Gary quickly discerns they're aggressive and sees some operating a Roomba, enjoying the fact they're running over and squishing others.

Witnessing this sadism, he starts to panic as he can tell they love murdering their own, even seeing some impaling others with toothpicks, using a blowtorch to turn others into smores and grinding up their "siblings" in a blender. The most disturbing fatality occurs on a stovetop as they throw other minis into the flames, roasting them. Then an unsuspecting one walks into the fire with a sadistic smile, enjoying how it's being flayed alive. Simply put, it's a death party that causes Gary to bolt, only to run into a Terror Dog and get possessed.

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However, the marshmallows aren't done there. In the final act at Egon's farm, they mess the plan up big time. As Podcast tries to use the proton packs to blast a resurrected Gozer and trigger the electric silos the deceased Egon set up to make the farm a ghost trap, the minis attack the kid, biting and gnawing while clogging up the electric circuits.

They know they don't have strength in size, but they do in numbers. By contaminating the setup, it allows one of the Terror Dogs to possess Lucky (one of the new Ghostbuster kids). This empowers Gozer once more, with the Stay-Puft legion basking in their sinister actions. It's a far cry from being over 100 feet tall and stomping through the city, but this way, they get to turn the heroes into fodder for Goze to feed on and reestablish its wicked empire on Earth.

To see the Marshmallow Man causing chaos again, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is in theaters now.

KEEP READING: Ghostbusters: Afterlife Includes Unintended Commentary on Modern Science Skepticism

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Renaldo Matadeen (7021 Articles Published)

I'm a former Chemical Engineer. It was boring so I decided to write about things I love. On the geek side of things, I write about comics, cartoons, video games, television, movies and basically, all things nerdy. I also write about music in terms of punk, indie, hardcore and emo because well, they rock! If you're bored by now, then you also don't want to hear that I write for ESPN on the PR side of things. And yes, I've written sports for them too! Not bad for someone from the Caribbean, eh? To top all this off, I've scribed short films and documentaries, conceptualizing stories and scripts from a human interest and social justice perspective. Business-wise, I make big cheddar (not really) as a copywriter and digital strategist working with some of the top brands in the Latin America region. In closing, let me remind you that the geek shall inherit the Earth. Oh, FYI, I'd love to write the Gargoyles movie for Disney. YOLO. That said, I'm on Twitter @RenaldoMatadeen. So holler.

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