Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Walter Peck: "Ghostbusters"


Actor:           William Atherton
Year:            1984
Beard Type:  Inspector Beard, Dickless Beard

If you want to know how many main or supporting characters in the entire Ghostbusters film franchise have beards, count no further than Walter Peck. He is the only one. Thus, as the only bearded dude with a significant role, Peck feels entitled to create conflict with those who oppose his orders, and he abuses his false sense of bearded authority and moral civil actions to the point of creating a real wrath-of-God type of mass hysteria. 

As Movie Beards has shown before, a single beard can be placed in multiple categories based on the character's beard-powered actions or consequences thereof. Therefore, to become an ignorant, bull-headed, cowardly skeptic, Walter Peck must use the rare combination of Inspector Beard and Dickless Beard.

Walter Peck, a 3rd District inspector for the Environmental Protection Agency, waltzes right into Ghostbusters headquarters and immediately begins flexing his Inspector Beard. The power of the Inspector Beard allows Peck to simultaneously interrogate Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) about his business while his eyes dart around, searching for answers to questions his brain hasn't even developed yet. Quickly, we realize that Peck is a skeptic blinded by his EPA responsibilities. To Peck, his belief in ghosts and magic is about as empty as his belief in proper manners. Hence, he's oblivious to both paranormal activity and the magic word.

After introducing himself to Dr. Venkman, Walter Peck uses the power of the Inspector Beard to converse with nothing but ten consecutive questions before revealing the purpose for his presence: 
  1. Are you Peter Venkman? 
  2. Exactly what are you a doctor of, Mr. Venkman?
  3. And now you catch ghosts?
  4. And how many ghosts have you caught, Mr. Venkman?
  5. And where do you put these ghosts once you catch them?
  6. And would the storage facility be located on these premises?
  7. And may I see the storage facility?
  8. Why not, Mr. Venkman?
  9. What is the magic word, Mr. Venkman?
  10. May I please see the storage facility, Mr. Venkman? 
Peck insists the Ghostbusters make money from producing laser light shows and gas-induced hallucinations for their clients, and he wants nothing more than to shut it down to complete the primary objective of the Inspector Beard. Peck is fueled by his belief that he is exercising his civil duty to protect New York City, and although he is exhibiting characteristics of a Villain Beard, he isn't the true villain. Peck's Inspector Beard is simply a plot-motivator used to open the portal for the true villain: Gozer the Gozerian. 

Of course, Venkman won't let Peck near the storage unit, so Peck returns with a court order for half a dozen federal violations and verbally dukes it out with Janine while the other three Ghostbusters are downstairs discussing four-fold cross rips and metaphorical giant Twinkies. Prior to shutting down the protection grid, Peck emits minute levels of an emerging Dickless Beard. When a highly cooperative Dr. Venkman says they will not be held responsible for what results from Peck's actions, Peck points a finger in his face and directs the blame right back. The resulting explosion both signifies the coming of Gozer and the coming of the Dickless Beard (gross...sorry).

After the explosion, the argument continues at the mayor's office where Ray and Peter reveal that Walter Peck, in fact, has no dick. After seeing the result of his actions, Peck still refuses to admit he had anything to do with releasing the Big Twinkie Ghost Explosion (if you steal this for a band name, I want royalties). Even another bearded man pulls him aside and asks him to explain why the walls in the 53rd Precinct were bleeding:


Notice how Peck consistently tries to step away from the blast zone on the map as if he's stepping away from the blame. This is the true power of the Dickless Beard. In essence, beards are a representation of leveled-up manliness that provide powers of one's choosing. Good, evil, smart, depressed -- the power of the beard is up to you, my friend.  

Walter Peck ultimately chooses to use his beard to be dickless.

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