One of the most beloved franchises in cinema, Ghostbusters, is finally back in theaters after a 27-year absence. 1989's Ghostbusters II was the last time fans got to see proton pack-wielding paranormal eliminators take on dastardly denizens of the great beyond, and now a whole new team is ready to carry the torch in Ghostbusters. The new film brings back a lot of what made the original Ghostbusters great; like the Ecto-1, the proton packs, and ectoplasm... also known as slime. But just what is Ghostbusters ' slime made of?
As far as the new film goes, the slime's makeup is under wraps. Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier tried to get the recipe out of director Paul Feig in an on-set interview, but Feig would only give up one ingredient. "It's a secret concoction," Feig says. "But I can tell you one of the secret ingredients in it is tapioca flour. It's very hard to get off ... Yeah [you can eat it], but I wouldn't." The slime sees quite a bit of use in the new film, far more than in the original film, but not quite on the level of Ghostbusters II, which had an entire plot based around a river of psychomagnotheric slime running under New York City.
Speaking of the original films, a bit more is known about how their slime was produced. In a Ghostbusters II feature in issue 40 of Cinefex magazine, a recipe is given for the slime used in that movie, which states that it's the same substance used in the first film, made up mostly of two thickening agents called methocel and serapan. “The usual formula to create thirty-two gallons of slime was about eight cups of methocel to four-and-a-half cups of serapan," says visual effects artist Chuck Gaspar. "Then we would add about fifty ccs of red food coloring and thirty-two gallons of water. You could actually eat the stuff. It would not have any taste, but you could eat it. The grade of methocel we used is also used in pie thickeners and salad dressings." As for the pink river of mood slime in Ghostbusters II, that was done on a miniature scale, and required a different slime recipe. "What we ended up with was a mixture of methocel combined with mica dust and topped with a layer of mineral oil," says production designer Harley Jessup.
So if you find yourself needing to make some slime, just buy some methocel and use the main recipe above. You can even eat it! But you probably don't want to eat it.
Images: Sony Pictures; Giphy