Crainiac is a terrifying interdimensional entity that forged an alliance with the writer named J.N. Kline. He and his henchmen Corpuscle and Gristle use their tools to transform regular humans into monsters called Vathek.
Crainiac is the leader of a trio of bipedal interdimensional corporeal entities. They made a pact with a human named J.N. Kline in the physical plane. Through some means of telepathy, they spoke to Kline and he wrote a series of successful novels based on the entities. Crainiac was often the main monster villain of the books. He was depicted as a demented butcher who saw his inhuman creations as an art form. However, the deal was a ploy to write them into existence as immortal beings. After manifesting in the physical plane, Crainiac and the others bound Kline to his typewriter.
While Kline typed more stories, they carried out their twisted ritual acts and mutated their victims. First, Jimmy from a nearby diner was turned. Then they kidnapped patrons at Tuck's Inn Bed and Breakfast, half a mile up the road. The Ghostbusters confronted them at Tuck's then at Kline's Mansion. Eduardo Rivera shot Kline's typewriter with the Particle Thrower. The fire encircling Kline turned into a vortex and sucked Crainiac, Corpuscle, and Gristle into it. They were transported back to their dimension and sealed for good.
He is the fat, ugly one with a buzz saw in his head. He sports long, black gloves (presumably vinyl or rubber.) and a brown apron. He wears a tan mask that appears to be stitched and bolted on. The mask stretches his mouth open, exposing his teeth constantly. Finally he wears a pair of spectacles with dark lenses that hook around his very small ears. When he is hit by the proton atreams, his spectacles get obliterated, revealing his cartoonish beady eyes. He is wall-eyed.
Crainiac is not standard ectoplasmic. Due to unique symbiosis with Kline and his literature, whatever the text says comes true. Hence, if the text says they are indestructible, then they are. As Crainiac says "If it is not written, it cannot be done". A direct hit from the Proton Stream will blow up Crainiac and he will immediately reform. He showed the ability to teleport short distances, from one point in a room to another point, and with a gesture move fire from a fireplace to a standing circle in the middle of a study.
However, because the text effects the ghosts, it is possible to use it against them. Garrett Miller kept the Vathek from harming Roland Jackson and turning him into a Vathek by typing it so Crainiac picked up a 'lethal' egg and that the Vathek were attacked by monkeys with tire irons. They were eventually destroyed when the type-writer was obliterated.
Spengler's Spirit Guide
Behind the Scenes
Gristle's design was a collaboration between Executive Producer Richard Raynis, Character Designer Everett Peck, "Deadliners" director Scott Wood, and Character Designer Fil Barlow. Barlow worked from Raynis' notes, Peck's rough designs, and Wood's sketches.
- Crainiac and his lackeys seem to take a few visual cues from the Cenobites of the "Hellraiser" horror movie series. Crainiac in particular resembles the Cenobite known as "Butterball"
- On Cover B of Ghostbusters Issue #12, Crainiac makes a non-canon cameo in the A.
- Crainiac appears on the IDW Convention Variant Cover of Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary: Extreme Ghostbusters.
- Eduardo Rivera (2009). Extreme Ghostbusters- Deadliners (1997) (DVD ts. 5:14). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Eduardo says: "Crainiac."
- Kylie Griffin (2009). Extreme Ghostbusters- Deadliners (1997) (DVD ts. 11:00-11:02). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Kylie says: "Which means they're not ecto as we know it."
- Kylie Griffin (2009). Extreme Ghostbusters- Deadliners (1997) (DVD ts. 11:45-11:49). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Kylie says: "The Spirit Guide says, "They're spectral forms who enter the realm of the living through the act of writing.""
- Fil Barlow deviantArt reply #1 "XGB Ep04: Gristle" 5/8/15 Fil Barlow says: "I had fun with this episode, but design-wise I was working closely with the Director's sketches, along with notes from Richard Raynis and roughs by Everett Peck.""
- Fil Barlow deviantArt reply #2 "XGB Ep04: Gristle" 5/31/15 Fil Barlow says: "Yeah I wasn't paying attention to the character's weight for those three, they were difficult to get approved and were stitched together from designs done by Everett Peck, the Director and myself, there were also a lot of incidentals to complete so that we didn't see them in a line up until after their approval. It didn't bother me though, I like drawing heavy characters as much as skinny, so why can't there be two?""
- Fil Barlow deviantArt "XGB Ep04 Gristle" 1/10/15 reply