|Ivan Reitman Director||previously directed Stripes|
After a trio of scientists get kicked out of their local university, they are forced to go in to business for themselves as ghost exterminators. Fortunately for them, ghost activity is on the rise. Unfortunately for everyone else, it could mean the end of the world. Who you gonna call?
Composer Elmer Bernstein was somewhat unhappy with the use of pop songs in Ghostbusters and would have liked his score to be in the film as it was recorded. He especially felt that the scene where the ghost containment chamber failed was ill-served by the use of existing pop music.4 More Trivia
|Bill Murray||Peter Venkman|
|Sigourney Weaver||Dana Barrett|
|Dan Aykroyd||Ray Stantz|
|Harold Ramis||Egon Spengler|
|Rick Moranis||Louis Tully|
|Annie Potts||Janine Melnitz|
|Ernie Hudson||Winston Zeddemore|
|William Atherton||Walter Peck|
|David Margulies||Mayor Lenny Clotch|
|See Full Credits|
A 1984 comedy, Ghostbusters is about a team of scientists dedicated to solving paranormal problems by capturing and busting ghosts. It skated the genre line of movies by being a comedy while having horror elements of ghosts and the undead throughout the film. It was directed by Ivan Reitman, written and starred by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, with co-stars Bill Murray.
The main ideas behind the initial development of Ghostbusters started with Aykroyd's own interest with the paranormal and was originally going to be made into a movie for Aykroyd and John Belushi. In the first versions of Ghostbusters, written entirely by Aykroyd, had a group of guys traveling through space and time taking huge ghosts. The ghostbusters of this version were much more like a SWAT team but the beginnings of the proton packs and the comedy elements were all there.
Aykroyd took his script and idea to Ivan Reitman who liked his basic idea but knew to make his film into a reality would be severely limited by the budget. With Reitman's suggestion the script went through an overhaul eventually coming to a final product written by Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The script was intended still for Belushi with co-stars Eddie Murphy and John Candy but during writing of the script Belushi suddenly passed away. With Belushi's passing and the other actors backing out Ramis took the role of Egon Spengler after the casting wasn't going as well and Bill Murray was casted in Belushi's role due to his improvisational charm.
Three parapsychologists who focus on ghosts, Egon Spengler, Raymond Stantz, and Peter Venkman, just had their research grant at Columbia University denied. Leaving them to search for a purpose and a paying job, so they establish themselves as paranormal detectives. Their first job is a possible haunting at the New York City Public Library where the three see obvious signs of ghost activity before finding their first actual ghost. After this encounter the three decide they should be the ones of removing these ghosts and call themselves the Ghostbusters.
Running the business out of an old firehouse and using a Cadillac Ambulance, called Ecto-1, as their service vehicle they start busting ghosts. With Janine Melnitz hired to answer phones and take job orders they soon get another investigation. Dana Barrett needs their help after hearing and sensing some strange goings-on inside of her apartment at 55 Central Park West. The Ghostbusters check it out noting that Dana heard the weird noises in her kitchen, with eggs cracking and cooking inside their shells, and the word "Zuul" being whispered. Venkman wastes no time and uses the chance to get closer to the beautiful Dana insisting to go to her apartment.
Despite the romantic interests for Venkman the Ghostbusters are losing funds fast. But on a night where they only have some chinese food to eat they get their first big client, the Sedgewick Hotel. There the manager informs them they have a resident ghost who has been giving them problems. The Ghostbusters begin testing out some of their equipment and split up to search the specific floor of the hotel for the ghost. Venkman turns a corner and finds the ghost, a green floating slime ball pigging out on leftover room service, only to be ran through and slimed. Despite the sliming they track the ghost to the ballroom where they are successfully capture their first ghost, and destroy most of the ballroom.
Soon afterwards the Ghostbusters are a success and become known not just in New York City but throughout the United States. With all the new calls the Ghostbusters need a fourth member filled by Winston Zeddemore. All the new publicity isn't good though and gets the attention of Walter Peck who works for the Environmental Protection Agency who decides he needs to check out these Ghostbusters himself. His inspection doesn't go well because Peter refuses to let him see any of the Ghostbusters facilities.
During one evening Dana is relaxing at her apartment on the phone with her mom only to be attacked by claws ripping through her armchair. The door to her kitchen flies open revealing the same red-eyed demon dog she noticed in her fridge previously. She is pulled towards the beast as the door slams shut behind her. Louis Tully lives a few doors down from Dana and has always had a bit of a crush on her. On the same night he is hosting a party where he has invited only his accountant clients. While hosting the party he discovers another demon dog in his apartment as the beast crashes through his bedroom door and ends up chasing him out of the building before finally cornering him in Central Park possessing him.
Venkman heads over to Dana's apartment for what he believes to be a date only to find her possessed and completely transformed. Dana now calls herself Zuul, the Gatekeeper and she repeatedly attempts to seduce Peter when he pretends to be the "Keymaster" she was asking about. Frustrated at his constant rejections Dana concludes their date levitating four feet off her bed while growling like an otherwordly hellhound. Meanwhile Louis is stumbling around possessed by the Keymaster and harassing people only to be picked up by the cops and taken to Egon at the firehouse due to his strange behavior. The Ghostbusters realize the two should probably not meet up while possessed.
Walter Peck isn't done with the Ghostbusters though and arrives with a court order to shut down the grid that currently houses all the ghosts the Ghostbusters have captured. With the team unable to stop Peck the grid is shut down and collapses causing an explosion and freeing all the ghosts. With the city flooded and taken over by ghosts Louis is able to find the possessed Dana, at 55 Central Park West and they kiss passionately. During the panic Peck orders the Ghostbusters arrested for what they have caused.
In jail the team realize what exactly is going on with Zuul. 55 Central Park West was created as a building to super conduct paranormal activity specifically designed to pull in and concentrate spirits. In fact Dana's very apartment is ghost central. After discussing the city's new problem he realizes only one group of men can handle the situation, the Ghostbusters, and release them from jail, overriding Peck's demands.
With the police holding back crowds the Ghostbusters arrive at 55 Central Park West but are already too late to prevent Dana and Louis from uniting. After climbing all the way to the roof they find the ritual to summon Gozer has been completed and the portal for Gozer to arrive is open. They arrive just in time to witness Dana and Louis transforming into the demonic Terror Dogs, the same beasts that possessed the two in their apartments. Gozer emerges and is confronted by the Ghostbusters but their proton packs do no harm to her.
Gozer vanishes warning that she will take whatever form they choose and destroy them with it. The team try to empty their minds and think of nothing, but Ray thinks of the most innocent and safe think he can, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Soon they find a large monster version of Stay Puft walking through New York and making his way to the building and climbing up. Egon realizes the only way to defeat Stay Puft will be to cross their proton pack streams which is the only chance they have at defeating Gozer and destroying the gateway. This plan leaves the Ghostbusters with little chance to survive but just as Stay Puft crests the top of the building they cross their streams exploding the marshmallow man and the gateway with him. With marshmallow raining from the sky the Ghostbusters realize they have survived and find statues of the terror dogs crumbling to reveal a safe Dana and Louis. Now everyone knows who to call.
Some problems arose during the making of the film. For the lighting effects on Gozer's temple power from the other sets needed to be shut off and diverted in order to get the correct shots. This made the set one of the largest and costly sets to be built at that time.
Another problem was the discovery of a television show that was produced in 1975 called The Ghost Busters. Initially the producers and Columbia Pictures sought out different names for the movie in case the rights for the original name could not be secured. But shortly after filming one of the movie's final scenes in which the extras all chanted "Ghostbusters!", the producers were inspired to demand that Columbia buy the rights for the name.
The financial success of Ghostbusters was obvious setting a studio record for its weekend gross and full week's gross. The movie spent nearly 7 weeks as the number one box office money maker only to retake the spot the following week and staying there for another 6 weeks. This success and continued success made Ghostbusters the most successful comedy film of the entire 1980s.
The film was also praised by most critics and considered one of the best of 1984. It was praised for the special effects, constantly quotable comedy, and for a solid plot and story that most comedy's never have.
Ghostbusters has gone on to spawn an entire franchise of films, television shows, video games, and toys. It's considered one of the best comedies of all time as well as a fixture in "geek/nerd" culture.
Video Feature: Favorite Horror-Comedies (Horomedies)
Laugh and scream with Alex and Rorie as they discuss some of their favorite horror-comedies.
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