The River of Slime (also known as Psychomagnotheric Slime Flow) appears and is talked about in great detail in Ghostbusters II. Later in Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the River of Slime's origins and purpose are expanded upon.
A river of Psychomagnotheric Slime flowed through the abandoned New York Pneumatic Railroad. Five years after Gozer's defeat, the River came under the control of Vigo. He used the power generated from the negative emotions of New York City citizens to try and resurrect himself in the body of a child. Ray Stantz discovered the River when he was lowered down from First Avenue but was almost pulled in after he took a sample with a Slime Scooper. Tentacles and claws formed. They reached for Ray. Ray became nervous and called out to Peter and Egon. Ray panicked and kicked at the appendages. He finally yelled out for help and was heard. However, in the commotion, Ray damaged transmission lines and caused a citywide blackout. He later found it again on foot with Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore. When Winston tried to take a measurement, measured 6 feet then suddenly 12 feet. He was soon pulled in. Egon and Ray jumped in after him. They rode the flow of the river straight to the Manhattan Museum of Art. They told Peter Venkman and Dana Barrett about it first then Mayor Lenny and Jack Hardemeyer. By the night of New Year's Eve, the River of Slime had grown substantially since Egon, Ray, and Winston's visit. The level of the river was almost up past the archways. In the lead up to midnight, the river rose up to the surface and facilitated mass manifestations all over the city.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Winston and Rookie found the Slime Laboratories on Shandor Island. Among the various strains was pink slime. Winston speculated in the 1920s, the Cult of Gozer created a strain of Ectoplasm later known as Psychomagnotheric Slime then they pumped it past the Hudson River into New York City's decommissioned New York Pneumatic Railroad. It was intended to provide more power to Gozer upon its arrival. Winston's theory was not verified.
A second river of Psychomagnotheric Slime running under Las Vegas stored the negative emotional energy of gamblers over the decades. In the present, the ghost of stage magician Ethan Kaine tapped into the power stored in the River of Slime and transformed buildings along the Vegas Strip into skewed versions of the past. To make matters worse, Kaine's new powers also allowed him to act as a beacon and attracted a legion of ghosts to the city. Ray and Special Agent Melanie Ortiz followed his hunch and explored Las Vegas' network of tunnels where they found the River of Slime. Ray wired a canister of positively charged psychomagnotheric slime to a Proton Grenade and tossed it into the river. Kaine's connection to the river was destroyed but the resulting explosion also sent slime up into the fountains of the RKO Casino. The affected buildings suddenly began to return to normal except the Olive. The RKO Casino's fountains were contaminated, fully drained, cleaned, and refilled. The casino demanded a $470,000 reimbursement from the Ghostbusters and the FBI.
Behind the Scenes
For the scene where Winston, Egon, and Ray plunge into the river of slime, a partial set of the Van Horne station was used. Ernie Hudson would fall to be followed by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd. Off screen, the actors would land on airbags. During optical compositing, ILM merged the live action with their miniature river. The part when the river sweeps them away required more finesse roto work and alignment. Pat Myers had to pinblock a bluescreen element of Ernie Hudson against the background and trace his movement in the river with the subtle movement of the slime taken into account. Sean Turner then animated the rippling edge around Hudson. Soft edge work and composure shifting was done to make it look like the river was enveloping the actors. Smoke was put into the plate, some articulate work was done by animation, and matte paintings of the archway were then added. Colossal Pictures did the shot involving the Psychomagnotheric Slime rising through 40 feet of New York sediment-through layers of broken pipes, antiques, and the like then bubble through the cracks of a sidewalk. A set was built upside down and the slime was poured down then the crew flipped the shot. It ran for 20 seconds.
- In the Ghostbusters II August 5, 1988 draft, the River of Slime is not present. Instead, Ray and Egon fall into a slime pit full of bugs and rodents.
- In the November 27, 1988 and February 27, 1989 drafts:
- On page 34, Ray gives an extended description of the River of Slime calling it 'a seething bubbling psychic cess, interlocking tubes of plasm, crackling with negative GEVs, lowing and moving.' He takes a sample with the Slime Scooper but a grotesque arm with long skeletal fingers reaches up out of the slime for him. Ray jerks his legs up. More arms surface. Ray asks to be hauled back up.
- On page 40, Ray whispers his guess that the River of Slime is 10,000 gallons. Egon speculates it is ebbing and flowing from some tidal source.
- On page 89, Ray measures the river of slime. They realize the river is rising over the edge of the platform.
- On page 90, Egon and Winston try to pull off the sounding line. Ray gets it off but Winston doesn't let go in time and he is pulled into the river.
- On page 92, the River of Slime terminates at the end of the NYPRR into a swirling pool. Winston pulls himself out then he reaches in for Ray. They fish Egon out. Then they climb out of a manhole.
- Ray estimated the river had 25,000 gallons of slime in it when he first saw it.
- In Armand's Restaurant, Ray called the river "the greatest tangible evidence of psychic energy in years."
- In NOW Comics The Real Ghostbusters starring in Ghostbusters II part 1 the river of slime along with the Psychomagnotheric Slime sample in the court room is green and not pink.
- In NOW Comics The Real Ghostbusters starring in Ghostbusters II part 2 and NOW Comics The Real Ghostbusters starring in Ghostbusters II part 3 it is suggested to be pink like the film.
- On page 18 of Ghostbusters 101 #6, the fifth image is from Ghostbusters II when Ray is first lowered above the River of Slime. Patty Tolan appeared in place of Ray.
- Ghostbusters II
- Chapter 07: Vigo Commands
- Painting dimension only.
- Chapter 08: Down the Shaft
- Chapter 09: Great Blackout of 1989
- Chapter 17: Fire-Trapped
- Mentioned by Egon Spengler and Ray Stantz.
- Chapter 18: In the Tunnel
- Chapter 19: Scaring the Straights
- Painting dimension only.
- Chapter 20: Kidnapping Oscar
- Chapter 21: Tenth Level of Hell
- Chapter 07: Vigo Commands
- Ghostbusters II
- (Deleted Scene): Sewer Invitation
- Alluded to by Ray Stantz.
- (Deleted Scene): Sewer Invitation
- IDW Comics
- Insight Editions
- Spectral Incident Report (2016). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters International #7" (2016) (Comic p.23). Spectral Incident Report reads: "The tunnels were overflowing with psychomagnatheric ectoplasm (AKA mood slime, see report 1410 for a rundown on the various types and of ectoplasm and their properties.) This mood slime stored a high amount of power from the emotional energy of gamblers, and Kaine was able to tap into it in a manner similar to that of Vigo the Carpathian (see form 11470H, filed by the New York field office)."
- Spectral Incident Report (2016). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters International #7" (2016) (Comic p.23). Spectral Incident Report reads: "The buildings on the strip started to revert to normal, with the exception of the Olive, which remained transformed until Kaine's ghost was trapped by Kamaka and Shpak."
- Spectral Incident Report (2016). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters International #7" (2016) (Comic p.23). Spectral Incident Report reads: "The fountains of the RKO Casino (a closed system) were contaminated and required a full draining, cleaning, and refilling, which cost $470,000. The casino is demanding reimbursement from the Bureau and Ghostbusters for this."
- Eisenberg, Adam (November 1989). Ghostbusters Revisited, Cinefex magazine #40, page 26. Cinefex, USA. Line reads: "To create the illusion of the Ghostbusters plunging into an imaginary river of slime, Hudson was first filmed falling off the station platform on the partial Van Horne set. Then Aykroyd and Ramis followed suit. Out of view of the camera, the actors landed on slime-free airbags and remained perfectly dry. Later in optical they were combined with ILM's miniature slime river."
- Eisenberg, Adam (November 1989). Ghostbusters Revisited, Cinefex magazine #40, page 26. Cinefex, USA. Tom Bertin says: "The scene where Winston was being carried off down the river of slime required some incredibly difficult roto work and alignmen. It was hard to get all the pieces to jibe exactly and to make the motion convincing. With Winston, for instance, Pat Myers had to pinblock a bluescreen element of Ernie Hudson against the background and trace what would be his logical movement in terms of direction and distance. He also had to take into account subtle plays in the slime river in areas where it arched and fell away. It was quite a difficult order, but somehow he did it. He was able to work with every one of those bumps and surface undulations. He also created every bit of Winston's motions in the river--his head bobbing up and down and moving from side to side. Then Sean Turner had to animate a rippling edge around him. In the wrong hands, that could have been disastrous, but Sean did a great job--Winston fits right in there."
- Wallace, Daniel (2015). Ghostbusters The Ultimate Visual History, p. 177. Insight Editions, San Rafael CA USA, ISBN 9781608875108. Ned Gorman says: "In the opening you were going to see slime rising through forty feet of New York sediment-through layers of broken pipes and antiques and stuff-and then bubble through the cracks of the sidewalk. I think it was Colossal Pictures that did this shot, and it ran about twenty seconds. They basically built the set upside down and poured the slime in, and then flipped the shot."
- Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1988). Ghostbusters II (August 5, 1988 Draft) (Script p. 63). Paragraph reads: "Their skin and clothing are caked with mashed bugs and some sort of foul muck."
- Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1988). Ghostbusters II (August 5, 1988 Draft) (Script p. 64). Ray Stantz says: "I fell into a slimepit full of bugs and rodents. Spengy had to pull me out."
- Winston Zeddemore (2017). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters Annual 2017" (2017) (Comic p.9). Winston Zeddemore says: "In the hallway, I saw two cops with some of that pink ooze Ray found underground."
- Narrator (2016). Insight Editions- "Tobin's Spirit Guide" (2016) (Book p.18). Paragraph reads: "Many years later, the Ghostbusters found themselves in the courtroom of the then veteran Judge Wexler on a public nuisance charge (the use of public utility access to investigate a river of psychomagnotheric ectoplasm)."
- Narrator (2016). Insight Editions- "Tobin's Spirit Guide" (2016) (Book p.64). Paragraph reads: "A veritable river of the stuff had built up over the years in one of New York's many abandoned subway tunnels, a byproduct of the high amount of spectral energy ever present in the metropolitan area. (It is our supposition that only the positivity brought in through the tourist trade and professional sporting victories has kept Manhattan from being consumed and destroyed in a flood of burning ectoplasm)."