There are many things that people remember from this classic 80s comedy. The tag line (‘Who you gonna call’), the cheesy song by Ray Parker Jr. (‘Ghostbuster’), and the evil villain (The Stay Puff Marshmallow Man) will never be forgotten. We all thought it was a great movie and it has stood the test of time. Watching it today it is not as good as we once thought it to be. But, hey, what from the 80s has stood the test of time? The 80s definitely was a kitschy kind of time that was self-contained and much of what was produced then should have been put away in a time capsule that would only be opened in 100 years and then maybe it would work as well again.
On the positive side, talent is definitely what this film had in aces. From director Ivan Reitman (Kindergarten Cop, Meatballs), to screenwriters Dan Aykroyd (Dragnet, Spies Like Us) and Harold Ramis (Analyze That, Groundhog Day), to actors Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, and Rick Moranis. The film did great at the box office, so much so that there was a sequel and I’ve heard that another one is in the works. What it does do effectively is poke fun at the horror or ghost genre of films. The film is cheesy but it means to be. Looking at the special effects today they are kind of a joke (interestingly the special effects were nominated for an Oscar), but in a weird way it sorta adds to the tongue-in-cheek about films about the paranormal that the film was doing. Also it was the perfect vehicle for Bill Murray’s crazy brand of comedic acting. He is allowed in this film to do what he does best – be inappropriate, ridiculous, do his famous stares, and use his long perfected dry sense of humour. The dialogue is well written and allows all cast members their chance to shine.
Three parapsychologists, Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray – Caddyshack, Stripes), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd – Driving Miss Daisy, Pearl Harbor) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis – As Good As It Gets, Baby Boom), who have jobs at New York’s Columbia University studying the paranormal or occult, get fired from their jobs and have to figure out a way to earn a living. This proves quite difficult for three men who earn their living studying a science that is not exactly taken seriously. I mean, who actually believes in spirits and ghosts, anyways? They decide to become Ghostbusters (people who rid places of unwanted ghosts) and set up shop in an abandoned fire station. They hire Janine (Annie Potts – from television’s Designing Women) to be their secretary. Things go rather slowly and they are almost out of money when Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver – Alien, Working Girl) hires them because something strange is going on in her kitchen. Not really believing her, but attracted to her, Raymond takes on the job. In the meantime, hundreds of ghosts are scaring the people of New York and Ghostbusters has more business than it can handle. They hire Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson – Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Dangerous, The Crow) on to help them with their increased load. The doctors soon figure out that the increased paranormal activity is due to the fact that Dana’s refrigerator is the gateway to Hell and the baddies are planning to come through. With all eyes in New York on them, the Ghostbusters have to figure out a way to stop the ultimate evil from coming through to Earth.
-Who You Gonna Call: A Ghostbusters Retrospective
-Roundtable Discussion with Director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd
-Ghostbusters Music Video
-Poster Art Gallery
-Cast and crew featurette
Ghostbusters 2 directed by
The entire cast of the original Ghostbusters returns for this paranormal slime fest of a sequel. Ghostbusters 2 finds the ghost fighting team five years after they have saved the entire city of New York from being destroyed by, well, a giant marshmallow man. They are on the down and out, and are now considered frauds by the citizens of the city they protect. Reduced to using their proton packs as party favours, the ghost busting team is all but non-existent. However, an evil is brewing under the city, feeding off the negative energy of the Big Apple, and it is growing stronger.
When this evil threatens the child of Dr. Peter Venkmans (Bill Murray – Lost in Translation, Broken Flowers) ex-girlfriend Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver -Alien, The Village) the Ghostbusters are thrown into action. Reunited with his more competent but less funny teammates; Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Akroyd – 50 First Dates, Christmas with the Kranks), Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis -Director of Analyze This and Analyze That), and Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson – Television’s Oz) the Ghostbusters are back to save the day. Also returning for this new adventure are nerdy side kicks Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts – Television’s Designing Women) and Louis Tully (Rick Moranis – Honey, I Shrunk the Kids).
Well, if you saw Ghostbusters 2 when you were ten and you are looking to walk nostalgically down memory lane, then you will enjoy this film. However, I would recommend you just mix three different soft drinks together, take a big gulp, and re-live your childhood that way. Bill Murray is charming as usual, and none of the cast can be blamed for the weakness of this film, well, maybe Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis since they wrote this turkey. The film has appeal in a cheesy it was the 80’s kind of way, but I can only say that because I watched this DVD at two o’clock in the morning after an evening of good clean debauchery.
Keep an eye out for an SCTV shout out, and a strange cameo by Cheech Marin, and an ear open for the new Ghostbusters theme rap-yes, I said rap.
-Time Is But a Window: Ghostbusters II and Beyond
-Roundtable DiscussionWith Director Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd
-“On Our Own” Music Video