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.
- Audio Commentary: Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis & Joe Medjuck.
- Slimer Mode Picture-in-Picture
- Gallery 1988 Ghostbusters 20th Anniversary Print Collection
- Who You Gonna Call: A Ghostbusters Retrospective
- Ecto-1: Resurrecting the Classic Car
- Ghostbusters Garage: Ecto-1 Gallery
- 1984 Featurette
- Cast and Crew Featurette
- SFX Team Featurette
- Scene Cemetery
- Alternate TV Version Takes
- Multi-Angle Explorations
- Storyboard Comparisons
- “Ghostbusters” Music Video by Ray Parker, Jr.
- Theatrical Trailer