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Ghostbusters (1984)

summer2016originstn_ghostbustersGHOSTBUSTERS (1984) is the story of three male scientists – Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Bill Murray – who live and work in New York City and specialize in studying the supernatural. They lose their grant at the college just because the uptight higher ups notice that they are bringing great shame and humiliation upon the institution by wasting everyone’s time and money on an area of study that is not real. And that’s without even knowing that Murray (WILD THINGS) doesn’t totally believe in it and spends his days doing fake telepathy tests just to hit on women.

So they decide to lease a beat up old fire station and start a scrappy new business that treats exorcism like pest control and advertises on TV and what not. Lucky for them they are correct, it turns out ghosts are real and there are a couple actual hauntings going on in the city. A female client (Sigourney Weaver, ABDUCTION) comes to their male offices with a huge case: her refrigerator is a portal to a ghost dimension or some shit and she and her neighbor (Rick Moranis, STREETS OF FIRE) get possessed and an ancient Sumerian god named Gozer (Slavitz Jovan, KNIGHT OF CUPS) appears on top of the building and they have to shoot lasers at it, etc.

It’s a fun premise devised by Aykroyd (GET ON UP), who wrote it with Ramis (GROUNDHOG DAY) for male director Ivan Reitman (producer of Cronenberg’s SHIVERS and RABID), with particular cleverness in the equipment they use for ghostbustification, such as the backpack laser guns and the portable containment unit trap things. A favorite moment is when Aykroyd is matter-of-factly showing new-hire Ernie Hudson (LEADBELLY, THE HUMAN TORNADO, THE OCTAGON, THE SUBSTITUTE) how to use the machine that stores all the ghosts they catch. “Light is green, trap is clean.” It reminds me a little bit of the job training sequence I love so much in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD.

mp_ghostbustersMurray is the main reason to watch the movie. It’s that old ’80s comedy joke that he’s just a total prick but passes it off as charm and is never punished for it. Some movies like that date poorly (see Jay Leno pulling women over to get their phone numbers in COLLISION COURSE), but Murray’s overpowering lovableness seems to be timeless. He gets most of the funniest lines, many of which seem like he probly made them up on set. In real life some people got mad at him for being above all this shit – his total disinterest in ghostbusting stymied Aykroyd’s years of attempts at a part 3 – which is ironic because the whole joke of his character is that he’s above it all, doesn’t give a shit about anything, and has no respect for anyone. That comes across best when he’s being a smartass to people possessed by supernatural beings.

“Are you The Keymaster?”

“Yes. Actually I’m a friend of his, he asked me to meet him here.”

The rest of them mostly work as straight men, though Aykroyd gets some laughs with his mildly Aspergery insistence on telling everybody too much information about supernatural research.

In the classic ’80s comedy tradition the heroes are allowed to be dicks because the authority figures seem like such doofuses, even when their arguments are unequivocally correct. This guy from the EPA is after the Ghostbusters simply for having a potentially catastrophic and clearly hugely illegal nuclear device that they’re not even sure about and that in fact does lead to a disaster in which all the ghosts they’ve captured are released to attack the city. I never recognized him, because he has a Kenneth Branagh beard in this one, but the EPA guy is played by William Atherton. So they stacked the deck, they made us hate the Environmental Protection Agency by portraying their agent as Thornburg from DIE HARD instead of a cool guy like Seagal from FIRE DOWN BELOW.

Atherton is not the only future DIE HARD legend to be involved in this. One “Reggie Vel Johnson” shows up to let the male Ghostbusters out of jail. He’s credited as “Jail Guard” and in my opinion after Sgt. Al Powell shot the kid by accident he temporarily worked in New York and this is for sure the same character. And more notably there’s Richard Edlund, the DIE HARD visual effects supervisor (also of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and STAR WARS fame).

That’s one thing that makes this movie special: it’s one of the few comedies that’s also a huge effects showcase. The ghostly images are weird rubber puppets, there’s an animatronic zombie character in one part, some monster dogs and of course the giant (SPOILER) male marshmallow individual attacking downtown Godzilla style. The matting of the stop motion monsters and the soundstage roof top set look very fake by modern standards (and in high def), so this is another one of those situations where at the time everybody was blown away and wanted to know how they did it, because it was the best work of the best craftsmen using the absolute state of the art technology, and now we like it for being charmingly hand made and retro. Still looks cool, is the point.

Watching it this time I noticed that one scene had two effects – a wall stretching and a monster hand reaching up and grabbing a woman’s face – that were very reminiscent of effects in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. But they came out the same year, so it’s a coincidence. You know, NIGHTMARE was a big hit but if it had been as big as GHOSTBUSTERS I wonder if FREDDY’S REVENGE would’ve had a Bobby Brown song on the soundtrack? They had to wait a couple more sequels to get any rappin at all.

crap_ghostbustersOf course there’s been alot of talk about Men’s Ghostbusters this summer because of the new remake that just came out and the small but internetically vocal group of people that are mad about its existence. Now, let me be clear. I know that they’re not upset about the remake just because it stars women and they are a bunch of weird weiner people who don’t want talented women to be given a small sliver of the opportunities that men get. Obviously that’s how it comes across, but it has been explained to me that for sure it has nothing to do with hating and fearing and not relating to women as humans, it is actually because GHOSTBUSTERS raised them from youths and is unquestionably one of the most flawless works of art ever created, that has not once been sullied in any way by a poor sequel or crass junk food or merchandise tie-in of any kind, and therefore it is an insult to all of the men and boys who gave their lives for GHOSTBUSTERS for there to be a new version with a great cast by the guy who made really funny, crowdpleasing movies like BRIDESMAIDS and THE HEAT and SPY.

So I’ll try to be understanding of these ghostbuster poindexters. They don’t mean any harm, they’re just nostalgic for a more innocent time, the good old days, when the GHOSTBUSTERS product brand franchise trademarks were as pure as a morning’s snow made of virgin tears.

I get it. But hypothetically, if there WERE such a thing as weird sexist video game nerds who are obsessed with one of the most pretty good movies of the 1980s and weirdly upset that a few women might be allowed to participate in a new version, it would be interesting to note that Bill Murray plays a sexist asshole in the original movie. He’s introduced cheating on the results of his psychic testing as a method of hitting on a young woman – the ESP couch, basically. Then, when investigating the haunting at the library, he thinks it’s funny to make the librarian talk about her menstruation cycle for no reason.

It’s like some weird GOP health care legislation. Then his main storyline in the movie is sexually harassing the client, spending more time trying to get into her apartment and ask her on dates than do any work. When she’s possessed and starts getting sexually aggressive with him he considers taking advantage of it. When he finally sees Gozer and her body turns out to be female, he comments that “it’s a girl” and later calls her a bitch.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s supposed to be a dick – do I look like a motherfuckin role model? – but to a kid lookin up to him, life ain’t nothin but bitches and bustin. And these kids may have noticed that there are three arcade video games inside the male Ghostbusters headquarters. So it makes sense that they would aspire to be male Ghostbusters themselves when they grow up, and spend their days shooting lasers, playing those video games. And they wouldn’t want no girls allowed in the clubhouse making them feel bad about getting a blowjob from a ghost (as Aykroyd’s character dreams he does in one scene).

Anyway, I’m glad that’s not a thing. That would kinda taint the hallowed legacy of GHOSTBUSTERS.

One non-gender related thing I’ve noticed coming up in this summer’s wave of discussion is that some people who love GHOSTBUSTERS claim to consider it more a serious horror movie than a comedy. Indeed, the opening is a straight haunting scene with no jokes and creepy music by Elmer Bernstein (BILLY JACK GOES TO WASHINGTON), but then of course it abruptly goes into the cartoon logo and the goofy Ray Parker Jr. (adapted from Huey Lewis) theme song and a bunch of comedy scenes and jokes, and the next ghost scene ends with the heroes running away comically screaming while wacky music plays. Moranis shows up as a clueless, nasally nerd straight out of an SCTV skit, and the ghosts are designed like cartoon characters, and no, I absolutely cannot get behind the gerrymandering of the definition of horror to include this comedy where a bunch of comedians make jokes and then blow up a killer marshmallow. Your mileage may vary.

It’s a comedy. It’s a good comedy. That’s enough.

I probly already offended a couple of you here, and I am about to step into more dangerous territory with this next paragraph. So let me start it by 1) apologizing and 2) repeating that I truly do like GHOSTBUSTERS. It’s a clever movie and it has many laughs and cool effects and it’s unique. But it is my curse to be open and honest with you and so I must say that this most recent re-watch has not changed my feeling, my personal opinion, my subjective-point-of-view-and-you-are-allowed-to-disagree, that its reputation has been puffed up a little by our nostalgia. That on the meter that measures from “we all really loved this at the time” to “stone cold classic” the needle doesn’t quite reach all the way right.

It was a phenomenon in 1984. I waited in the line, I wore the t-shirt, you guys watched the cartoon and slurped the Hi-C and the cereal and probly had toys and the ceiling fan and the cassingle for the Bobby Brown song from part 2. So if we can’t remember exactly why “he slimed me” seemed so hilarious at the time it doesn’t matter because we just have to remember that it was hilarious at the time and then we love it. And if the theme song is totally disruptive at the beginning and ending of the movie it doesn’t matter because it’s the theme song and we love the theme song remember the theme song? “Bustin makes me feel goooood!” Classic!

In the last scene the song plays while the Ghostbusters are cheered on and celebrated in a hero’s parade. There are no jokes (and no horror), it’s just several minutes of these are the Ghostbusters, aren’t they awesome? We love them so much, look at these guys! Fantastic! And Murray kisses Weaver, and she smiles, and that is not earned at all! Their entire relationship is that he was a sleaze to her, but somehow got her to agree to a date, but then she was possessed and now she wakes up and she’s in love with the guy? That’s proof that it’s a comedy right there because they always pull that shit where at the end they act like you should actually be happy for a joke relationship.

Maybe it’s just the music that makes me want to pump the brakes on GHOSTBUSTERS’s All Time Masterwork status. Obviously it’s a great pop song, but to me it doesn’t feel of a whole with the movie itself. It seems like a tie-in music video tacked onto the movie. Like if the last scene of BATMAN was everybody grooving to “Batdance.” And the rest of the songs – The Busboys, Thompson Twins, Alessi, Laura Branigan – these are more like ha ha ironic ’80s movie music than timeless classic music. It makes it easier for me to think of it as being related to more dated ’80s comedies and harder for me to be excited about them becoming heroes just by standing in one place shooting their things at the thing and it blows up and that’s it.

In my opinion the greatest Aykroyd creation, the more masterful, timeless filmmaking, and the much funnier movie, is THE BLUES BROTHERS. 2000. No, just kidding, the original BLUES BROTHERS. That, to me, is the masterpiece. But GHOSTBUSTERS is a respectable second best. Good job Aykroyd and the other males that made this sausagefest.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 18th, 2016 at 12:49 pm and is filed under Comedy/Laffs, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

113 Responses to “Ghostbusters (1984)”

  1. I genuinely think a lot of the nostalgia for this movie is actually misplaced nostalgia for the cartoon. That’s certainly the thing I have the fondest memories of anyhow.

    That said, it was my favourite movie until i saw The Monster Squad and does hold a special significance as both the first movie I ever saw on VHS and the first time I ever enjoyed being scared. The library ghost used to scare the piss out of me but no matter how scared I got knowing what was coming I couldn’t not look! Thus was born a horror fan.

    Also I met Ernie Hudson at Dublin Comic Con a couple of years ago and he was very lovely and gracious, had a great handshake, signed my Ghostbusters Blu-Ray and gently flirted with my girlfriend.

  2. Totally agree on so much of what you say here, particularly about Blues Brothers being Akroyd’s masterpiece. I mean, that movie is sort of perfect for what it is. Ghostbusters (OG version, haven’t seen the remake-boot-sequel), was a solid comedy which somehow got elevated to some sort of “classic” status. I remember a few years ago while working on a GB game, I kept thinking that maybe I missed something somewhere along the line. I mean, I liked the original movie and the sequel had a line or two which was funny, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what my co-workers were so excited about. That was around 2008 or so. Here we are nearly 10 years later and this sort of misplaced reverence for the IP has exploded into the seriously depressing backlash we’ve seen about the new one. I just don’t get what it is, exactly, about ain’t-being-afraid-of-no-ghosts which makes people so batshit crazy about the series. (And that’s without even getting started on the ridiculous misogyny of a large contingent of the complainers).

  3. I think the thing with the comedy vs. horror confusion surrounding the first GHOSTBUSTERS (which, I agree, is pretty good but not great) is that the horror/fantasy element of it isn’t just at service of the comedy. The Ghostbusters are responding to the horror around them through comedy. This is the same style Eddie Murphy adventure-comedies had in the ’80s (THE GOLDEN CHILD, 48 HRS, the BEVERLY HILLS COPs) where the situations are presented tonally as reality and the stakes are real. Compare that to more recent action-comedies like PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and THE HEAT, where the action itself is played as humour. When I rewatched GB a couple years ago, I felt the horror aspects had actually aged better than most of the comedy, which is often retrograde and chauvinistic. That first awesome glimpse of the Marshmallow Man from between two buildings is for real, though.

  4. Thank God you reminded me there were males in this movie.

    The Feminazi remake had been forcibly rewriting my neural pathways to eliminate all memories of my rightful male inheritance.

    Truth be told I didn’t care much about the new film until the hatestorn started. Now I’m a little sad they couldn’t make a smashier hit because I dreamed of hateful trolls dying of outrage strokes.

    Ghostbusters was pretty great to me as a kid and I still enjoy it as a vintage comedy but I believe that Vern’s Ole Timey Hammer to Nail matchmaking service ahem…strikes again

  5. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    July 18th, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I cannot believe I never picked up that Walter Peck is played by the same guy who played Thornburg in Die Hard. Mind blown.

  6. I really love Ghostbusters (the movie) but on last re-watch (last Halloween) I noticed how it is a miracle that the film is as good as it is. It’s mostly an excuse to string together comedy sketches than a coherent story (nothing wrong with that by-the-way). As for how anyone can claim it is a straight horror movie with comedy bits I have no idea. It is a comedy through and through.

    Blues Brothers 2000 is enough to not want an Aykroyd Ghostbusters III. I have no clue how fans who scream about how George Lucas needs to be removed from all things Star Wars and Indiana Jones and Captain EO (probably) and Chris Carter removed from X-Files, etc. but still want a Ghostbusters III from the guy who gave us Ghostbusters II and Blues Brothers 2000 and Evolution.

    I totally agree with you Kev W, I’ve long been holding on to the belief that it is the cartoon and toys that our generation is holding onto more than the movie(s).

  7. Also, seeing that Bobby Brown video for the first time in many years, I found myself saying, “Huh. I guess he was always kind of ugly and it isn’t just the result of some hard living.” I wonder if he would have had the career he did if Ricky Bell’s ugly mug weren’t next to him in New Edition to make him look better. (OK. that comment was probably a little bit mean spirited, but I stand by it).

  8. I don’t know, man. This is truely one of the few movies that I can’t not watch when I catch them on TV. Doesn’t matter how late to the show I am, I just have to watch it till the end. And it has nothing to do with nostalgia. Okay, I saw it the first time when it premiered in German TV in either 1989 or 1990 and I was therefore 6 or 7 years old and the cartoon show was the greatest thing ever for me, but I saw many effect driven comedies from that era when I was a kid (including BEETLEJUICE [which also had a cartoon that I dearly loved], THE GOLDEN CHILD and GREMLINS) and none of them has such a special place in my heart.

    This movie is lightning in a bottle. The perfect script, for the perfect cast, directed by the perfect director. I don’t think any other high concept comedy managed to do this until GALAXY QUEST.

  9. Also, when I was a kid I didn’t care for him but now that I am a (mature) adult, Rick Moranis’ character is now my favorite. Just about everything he does cracks me up. He has the best material in the sequel with the courtroom scene as their amateur lawyer.

  10. BTW, I think you kinda misunderstood the whole “The fans say GHOSTBUSTERS is real horror” thing. When Paul Feig announced before shooting that his movie will be “scarier than the original” most people were like (In a sarcastic voice) “Oh yeah, a truly scary version of Ghostbusters is what we need *fart noise*”.

    That said, the scene with Sigourney Weaver in the armchair IS one of the scariest scenes in movie history, mostly because it’s a masterful bait (Oh no, there is something coming through the door!) and HOLY SHIT switch (AAAAAH! IT’S ACTUALLY COMING FROM UNDERNEATH HER!!!) and on top of that, everything that came before was such light hearted fun, that you simply don’t expect shit like this to happen!

  11. The original was a touchstone moment for a generation and a fun movie that no one had ever seen before – a clever, big-budget special effects comedy. Maybe I am totally naive but I don’t think there really is some huge male anger club out there upset because there’s a sequel starring all women. I think a lot of people are just not into another unwanted remake/remakequel and had wanted to see a true sequel with those guys that they enjoyed doing it again. This movie’s production seemed to be the last nail in the coffin indicating that such a sequel was in fact never ever coming. It also didn’t help that the trailers were terribly unfunny.

    Personally I thought the gender switch was a clever idea at first but then was put off by the execution and marketing.

  12. P.S. Vigo, the bad guy from part 2, was played by Norbert Grupe (Credited under his stage name “Wilhelm von Homburg”), who also was one of the guys on Gruber’s gang in DIE HARD.

  13. Dammit another also,

    Another thing, fans (who all seem to be gamers as well) already got their dream Ghostbusters III, it was the Video Game. It was fun and worked because it used the interactive medium to make it to where we got to hang out with these characters. As a story though it was shit, just like II it tried to recreate part I. Oh look Aykroyd wrote both. I guess after Force Awakens I shouldn’t be surprised that all the fans wanted was an actual remake but with the same cast.

  14. You can’t make me choose between Ghostbusters and Blues Brothers!

    I just showed my daughter Ghostbusters before taking her to see the (not bad) she-boot and I think it still holds up beautifully. It’s note-perfect in every way.

    I love your deconstruction of Venkman’s asshole behavior in his pursuit of Dana but you neglect to mention that it is Louis the dweeb who actually manages to seduce her. Of course he stalked her just as hard as Venkman did and was even creepier about it but at least Venkman didn’t get her between the sheets (of course Dana and Louis were both possessed at the time but it still counts).

  15. Also, Dan Aykroyd really does have Asperger’s:

    Dan Aykroyd Talks About his Asperger's Diagnosis

    Actor discusses his diagnosis with English paper Daily Mail...

  16. It’s interesting because this is exactly the review I would’ve written about Ghostbusters… until I went and saw the new movie. I was excited to see it, took my 6 year-old son to see it on opening day and it’s certainly not terrible, but it’s a total mediocrity. Seeing the new one really made appreciate the lightning in a bottle qualities of the original (like the performances from Murray, Weaver & Moranis or the way it blends big budget effects with dumb 80’s comedy) – like you, I’ve never thought of the original as a Stone Cold Classic, but it’s definitely got something about it that’s really unique and original and hasn’t been reproduced almost at all since its creation (even by its own sequel.) There’s just something uniquely appealing about it that’s even more thrown into relief when you see a more bland reproduction – the new Ghostbusters actually reminded me of a lot of Evolution, where they hired Reitman to try and do the same thing again…

  17. @feet: It’s undeniable that there ARE some sexist assholes who don’t want any women in their movies, especially when it’s a remake of a full male fan favourite masterpiece.

    Still, it must also be said, that the size of that group often gets seriously overestimated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there are only a handful of them and most of all even 10 would already be too much, but the media (plus the people involved in the movie) make it seem, like there is a nationwide protest of millions against those “icky females”.

    People often forget that the internet is a huge echo chamber, where comparibly small groups seem bigger and louder than they really are. But millions of people decided last weekend to watch the movie and most likely over 95% of them did that because they were truly excited to see it and not to make sure that all their sexist prejudice will be confirmed. (Not to mention that neither SERENITY, nor SCOTT PILGRIM or SNAKES ON A PLANE became the huge smash hit that “The internet” predicted.)

  18. I pretty much tried to base my whole personality on Peter Venkman, so I’m hoping Vern and I can still be friends after this craven and unwarranted attack on everything I hold dear.

  19. I always knew that was Atherton, so…

    A few months ago, I actually defended the female version on an aintitcool talkback, where except perhaps on YouTube the comments are the most chauvinistic. I thought the trailers were a bit underwhelming and that the comedy seemed pretty low-brow (especially compared to the original) but l didn’t think it justified the amount of hate it got. That it was, like, the worst reviewed trailer on youtube ever was an actual item on my Facebook Trending list.

    At some point, though (or even at several points these past several years) the dam must occasionally break when it comes to these remakes. Feig has made good movies that are fresh, original stories; is it so unthinkable that this remake may be bad?

  20. Here’s the thing with GB reboot.

    Last year we got Star Wars Episode 7. For many years fans of Star Wars had been waiting for a proper sequel to Return of the Jedi. And they got just that. Can you imagine if instead, Disney had made a straight remake of Episode 4? Sure there was some serious Deja Vu in Ep 7, but I am talking about a proper remake, with a new Luke, Han and Leia. It’s a bit hard to imagine that taking place when Disney could have just done what they did, which is continue where they left off. Why erase a fictional universe that has been built through 3 (maybe 6) movies? Continuing Star Wars was just common sense, and it’s obvious to a lot of people due to the popularity of the franchise.

    But how come Star Wars, Indy, Rambo, Rocky etc get to have proper sequels while Ghostbusters, RoboCop, Ninja Turtles, all get garbage reboots and remakes?

    Imagine for a second what if during the late 90s Rambo and/or Rocky had remakes. Rambo 4, Rocky Balboa and Creed would have never been made. Imagine that. That’s the destructive power of remakes. Sure, your childhood won’t be raped etc but it does destroy any hope you could have to revisit your favorite characters.

  21. “But how come Star Wars, Indy, Rambo, Rocky etc get to have proper sequels while Ghostbusters […] get[s] a garbage reboot[…]?”

    Because Bill Murray didn’t want to do it. Since I am a firm proponent of letting Bill Murray do whatever the hell he wants, that was enough to kill any interest I might have had in GHOSTBUSTERS R3GENERATED. That and Harold Ramis dying really should have really been the end of the discussion, but some ingrates out there seem to think they have a say in the matter just because they once wore some footie pajamas with a picture of someone else’s hard work on them.

  22. The initial and enduring popularity of this one always mystified me. I always thought that GHOSTBUSTERS sucked utterly; even seeing it on its original release at age 9 – right around the time when you’d think I’d be most susceptible to its brand of nonsense – I could tell that it was just bullshit. ’80s wiseguy humor just didn’t work for me, and I think I had even less tolerance for it at the time since it actually WAS the ’80s and I was seemingly surrounded by would-be wiseguys. Oddly enough, I really did (and do) like the song, even though bustin’ in general did not make me feel good.

    But people like what they like, and no one needs to care about my opinion to find joy in whatever it is they’re into. This is also roughly my take on LADY GHOSTBUSTERS, which I haven’t yet seen. I suspect that the whole Ghostbros thing is probably blown out of proportion – like, how hard is it to find some misogynist troglodyte out there willing to make a spectacle of himself on Twitter? – but anyway the basic substance of the critique (such as it is) makes no sense. OG GHOSTBUSTERS will always be there, so who cares about the new one’s alleged offenses against propriety? And anyway, although I’m not myself a big fan of the Feig-McCarthy-Wiig Cinematic Universe, it’s not like they could possibly make a *shittier* version of GHOSTBUSTERS…

  23. The scene where Luis Tully is savaged by a demonic dog in front of a restaurant full of dead-eyed and indifferent New York socialites really bothered me as a kid and still chills me to this day.

  24. As somebody who grew up with 80 wise guy comedy instead of positive male role models, I feel compelled to defend it. I have always been somewhat smaller than average-sized American male. In an era of larger-than-life action heroes (whom I also loved) and outsized sex symbols, guys like Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, and even John Candy showed me a different way to be assertive and formidible. They didn’t enforce their will through brute strength or good looks, but through humor, intelligence, and confidence. I knew I could never be Arnold Schwarzenegger or Tom Cruise, but I was pretty sure I could be Harold Ramis. Even Rick Moranis, one of the two or three dorkiest leading men of all time, wouldn’t be so bad. These guys were the first time I saw a potential blueprint for the kind of person I might end up becoming. I can totally see young girls feeling the same way about these new Ghostbusters.

  25. If it wasn’t for this movie I wouldn’t have the sense of humor I have today. Which has both saved me and opened me up to fantastic opportunities in life. So thank you Ghostbusters for truly striving for excellence when everything else was ok with being POLICE ACADEMY.

  26. This (and it’s sequel) was my brother’s childhood favorite along with Burton’s *REDACTED*. Mine were the BACK TO THE FUTURE movies. Amidst his ire at the news of this remake, I was and remain tempted to tease him that not only does my franchise keep it’s dignity because Gale and Zemeckis have done what they could to make sure no further reboots or sequels are made, but mine got the real Huey Lewis while his only pretended to. I will give GHOSTBUSTERS one thing over BACK TO THE FUTURE, in that it has better one-liners. “This man has no dick” has the whole BTTF script beat on comedy alone.

    I’ve only seen one or two of the remakes for the trailer, but it bothered me off the bat that they made the black character chalk full of cliches, where in the original Ernie Hudson’s character was just an average blue-collar guy (and technically the straight man) who picked up on the science of it all as it went along.

  27. This is one of those movies I watch every year. It’s crazy how rewatchable it is. I love that it’s a tight 100 minutes, no fat, no a wasted moment of screen time. I miss the days when movies were this efficient.

    That said, I actually didn’t mind the remake. I found it breezy (slightly forgettable) matinee fluff that’s unfortunately burdened with being a reboot of Ghostbusters (and thus the ire of some sad, angry dudes), a near-perfect popcorn flick.

    onthewall2983 – I was worried about her too but Leslie Jones was easily the most relatable and likable character for me. The awful marketing highlighted the worst parts involving her, as it did the rest of the movie. Again, not great, not anything special, but I found it a dopey but fun matinee.

  28. I’m glad to hear it. Haven’t seen her on SNL, but I did hear her on Maron’s podcast and liked her energy.

  29. George Sanderson

    July 18th, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    I want to couch this by saying that I really enjoy Ghostbusters, so much so that for my birthday my wife bought me the Ghostbusters Firehouse Lego set, but apart from a few outstanding lines (“It’s true, this man has no dick”), I don’t think Ghostbusters is that funny. It’s a really engaging and well told story and Ackroyd is really selfless in the way that the script gives all the other characters much better things to say and do, but I think the whole thing comes from him exploring his profound belief in ghosts and the afterlife.
    Whatever the case, it’s a great movie with a bunch of great moments like the aforementioned arm chair scene, the library scene, and the slimmer hunt, all of which would be scary if not for the fact that I’d been told it was a comedy, so it must be funny.
    Aspects have not aged well. Our heroes smoke cigarettes and Venkman is essentially a sex pest, but the whole thing holds up due to the great balance of tone and the amazing premise.

  30. Egon randomly blurting out “Art deco, nice!” after exhastingly climbing up a crapload of stairs is one of the funniest things I ever saw. So is Louis constantly locking himself out of his apartment. You either get this movie’s humor or you don’t but it’s so much more than just Murray’s Venkman.

  31. Murray’s success has been either credited or blamed for the tone of a lot of 80’s comedies (and has made at least one star out of all that, Tom Hanks being the prime example) but it would be fair to say that it went beyond just that genre. And since DIE HARD has come up a few times already, I’ll go as far to say that the reason the wise-ass nature of Bill Murray in this works is almost identical to what Bruce did later.

  32. George Sanderson

    July 18th, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    I should add that my wife and I are seeing the remake tomorrow night and we are both looking forward to it based on the calibre of the people involved.

  33. Mr Majestyk – or Vince, if you prefer it? – you’re really on to something with that last sentence. Because it’s female comedians like Melissa McCarthy, and directors like Paul Feig, who does the best I-might-be-a-nerd-but-I’m-funnier-smarter-and-and-more-confident-than-you’ll-ever-be humor these days.

    onthewall2983, the difference being that Murray in the fucking 90’s managed to evolve into something almost lovable with GROUNDHOG DAY, while Willis turned into something more asshole-ish with DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE.

  34. I can´t shake the feeling that Vern is a little bit of Walter Peck here.

  35. GHOSTBUSTERS has become such a toxic subject that it is almost impossible to talk about it without some kind of backlash. It is no fun anymore.

  36. Love a Collision Course reference!

  37. One Guy From Andromeda

    July 19th, 2016 at 1:33 am

    Now Ghostbusters isn’t a good movie anymore? The way Sony has used the stupid Internet backlash to promote interest in their obviously turdy remake (has there been a single joke in any of the trailers that worked?) has now come to the stage where we are being told “of course Ghostbusters 2016 is kind of shitty, but hey! Ghostbusters 1984 was kind of shitty too!” This new ‘ideology trumps aesthetics’ view of Hollywood cinema (where a movie being “empowering” and along the party line is more important than the movie being good) triumphs again and again. So now it’s better to be non-sexist, non-edgy, non-confrontational instead of being funny or entertaining or not full of shit. Bad times for mainstream entertainment.

  38. Shoot, it’s true, this man has no dick…

  39. pegsman- As soon as I posted that comment the line came up in my head and I regretted posting it in the first place.

  40. I agree with the general thrust of Vern’s review. I would note that, within the logic of the film, Walter Peck isn’t proved right because it’s his interference which causes the ghosts to be released. It’s part of the weirdly reactionary/Reaganite perspective of the film (made by a number of pronounced liberals) which has given the film enduring popularity among American Conservatives (I’m not even going to touch on whether or not that fed into the backlash for the new film).

    I did find myself enjoying the Alessi jam unironically when I watched this recently, and the Mick Smiley track is also pretty cool (and quite surprising when you listen to it in full). As a bit of trivia The Thompson Twins track was a holdover from when they were a seven piece(!) who only troubled the UK indie charts and were better known for their experimental concerts and enthusiastic CND support than their records. They did eventually become a double act, and their name finally made sense to those unfamiliar with the works of Herge.

    GHOSTBUSTERS II really is pretty poor, which is a shame as it’s probably the first live action film I ever really liked (I saw it before the first). Vigo is a pretty inspired villain and some of his scenes are well executed but don’t really fit the film. The idea of “mood slime” and negative energy coming back to haunt people is cute too, it’s really the comedy which lets the films down, it’s almost all just so blatantly uninspired and makes the film feel cheesy and a real slog to get through. Revisiting BACK TO THE FUTURE II last year there were moments where I could kind of see why it rubbed adults the wrong way back in 1989, but compared to GBII, geez!

    As for the new film, I really enjoyed it while I was watching it, but I’ve since thought of a lot of missed opportunities. Unlike most critics I thought the villain was quite interesting but [SPOILERS] I was initially quite intrigued by the idea of him being inspired by Wigg and McCarthy’s book, but they don’t really go anywhere with it. And while it would have been a bit clichéd, I think it might have worked to have had him somehow involved in Wigg’s childhood, with the whole “Ghost Girl” incident[END OF SPOILERS]. It has the weirdly rushed, “needed another draft” feel of many of Sony’s Blockbusters this decade (MIBIII, the SPIDER-MANses, SPECTRE). Still, it was breezy fun, more entertaining to me personally than SPY and certainly most FAUXBUSTERS like EVOLUTION.

    What do people think of THE FRIGHTENERS around here? Watching it last week I couldn’t help but think of how much more I enjoy it than any GHOSTBUSTERS permutation these days (it’s also easily my favourite Peter Jackson joint as an asider). I guess its light R-Rating means it’s not in the same family-friendly category, but I think most kids above a certain age could handle it (say 10?).

  41. Oh, and as I’m sure many of you know GREMLINS was released the same day as GHOSTBUSTERS and IMO has held up much better, on pretty much every level, and that one I didn’t see until I was well into my teens. But why not have both? At any rate it was a great day for a remarkable year (perhaps the best) for mainstream American cinema. (GREMLINS 2 vs GHOSTBUSTERS 2 is no fight at all though).

  42. Pacman: I love THE FRIGHTENERS and was nearly obsessed with it during the late 90s. (Also I recently sampled its score for a Hip Hop instrumental, that will most likely stay unreleased, because I don’t know any rappers and clearence might be a bitch of a motherfucker to pay for.) It’s no masterpiece, thanks to its rushed post production, but I don’t know many other movies, that handle a tonal shift from light hearted comedy to supernatural serial killer thriller that perfectly.

  43. “I’ve got some Laura Antonelli tapes you can watch.”

    “I think they’re more interested in my epididymis.”

    “I used to have a roomate but my mom moved to florida.”

    “Then why are you came?”

    “Yeah, I know bassmasters.”

    “do! Re! EGON!”

    “Suck in the guts guys we’re the Ghostbusters.”

    “You’re not gonna get a green card with that attitude pal.”

    “I have a hamper?”

    Are some of the reasons why GHOSTBUSTERS II works for me. The comedy is it’s only real saving grace.

  44. THE FRIGHTNERS was awesome as fuck. Thanks to Jeffrey Combs I haven’t laughed that hard at a supernatural comedy since. Not even SHAUN OF THE DEAD and I liked SHAUN OF THE DEAD

  45. The fact that every single word Bill Murray says in GB2 is quotable makes the whole endeavor worthwhile.

    “I have seen some DUMB blondes in my day, but you take the taco, pal.”

  46. ghostbusters might be slightly overrated, but i still consider it one of the best of the 80s. the tone is just so spot on – it works perfectly for me because it treats its characters and situations with total respect, even when they are utterly ridiculous.

  47. “The fact that every single word Bill Murray says in GB2 is quotable makes the whole endeavor worthwhile.

    “I have seen some DUMB blondes in my day, but you take the taco, pal.”

    I love when he calls the female district attorney “kitten” while he’s on the stand.

    I like that and the Run DMC song and montage but that’s all.

  48. Oh and when Venkman says “Guys, you’re scaring the straights!” when Egon, Ray, and Winston come in all slimed up in the fancy restaurant, interrupting his dinner date with Dana.

  49. “Valentine’s Day. Bummer.”

  50. “Wasn’t he also Vigo the Butch?”

  51. Grimgrinningchris

    July 19th, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Ray’s reaction at the first meeting with Janos:

    Who’s this little wiggler?!

    Yeah, Ghostbusters 2 is a mess, but god damn if it isn’t hilarious and quotable as hell!

    Oh and…

    Why am I drippings wis goo???

  52. “Soon the city vill be mine and Vigo’s……mainly Vigo’s.”

  53. “Viggy, Viggy, Viggy. You have been a bad monkey!”

  54. Grimgrinningchris

    July 19th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Venkman prompting Louis through the court hearing. Hahahaha!

    Give me a break, we’re both lawyers!


    I turned into a dog once and they helped me…

  55. “You want to put him down for the night?”

    “You’re short, your belly button sticks out too far, and you’re a terrible burden on your poor mother!”

  56. Random, not Ghostbusters related notes: Today is actually the 20th anniversary of THE FRIGHTENERS and I wonder if with the upcoming release of the new STAR TREK movie, Vern will finally review one of the classic ones as part of his Origins series.

  57. Yeah, I’ve always been baffled that a large subset of people apparently consider GHOSTBUSTERS 2 to be embarrassingly inferior to the first one. Aren’t they, like, pretty much the same movie? I feel certain you could splice half of Ghostbusters 2 into the first one and no one would ever notice.

    Ray: You mean you never even had a Slinky?
    Egon: We had part of a Slinky. But I straightened it.

  58. GHOSTBUSTERS II’s greatest sin is being a structural rehash of the original.

    Our guys are down in the dumps career wise

    They make believers out of themselves and everybody else with a centralized setpiece in the middle of the movie

    The villain posseses a supporting character to use as a minion

    At the end some giant muthafucka walks down the streets of downtown NYC

    However the amount of hilarious quotables in that thing is arguably as great as the original.q

    “He is Vigo! You are like ze buzzing of flies to him!”

    “HOSE HIM!”

  59. Actually now that I recall it was “would you hose him please?!” which coupled with Venkman’s delivery is just pure fucking comedy.

  60. Grimgrinningchris

    July 19th, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Yeah, what two lacks in pacing and original storytelling, it makes up for in great comedy.

    I don’t like how they changed Annie Potts’ character so much and that painting at the end is a bad joke that makes no sense… And a lot of the effects are even more dated than the original. But on laughs alone, it’s definitely up there.

  61. Grimgrinningchris

    July 19th, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Venkman explaining the levels of “dirty/clean” laundry is classic.

  62. Grimgrinningchris

    July 19th, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    And Ray’s “beautiful!!!” Which chomping on that cigar and spraying the inside of the Statue Of Liberty with mood slime is a top 3 ever Akroyd moment.

  63. Grimgrinningchris

    July 19th, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    WHILE chomping… Not WHICH chomping…

  64. “Oh Johnny did you back the wrong horse!”

  65. Grimgrinningchris

    July 19th, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    It may have been a room in the spaceship made to look like the Holiday Inn… I can’t be sure…

  66. Grimgrinningchris

    July 19th, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Sorry for hijacking your Ghostbusters talkback with Ghostbusters 2 quotes, Vern.

  67. “The blue thing I got from her!”

  68. Grimgrinningchris

    July 19th, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    All this Ghostbusters talk today and I just looked down and realized that all day I’ve been wearing a t-shirt of Godzilla and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man holding hands, walking through a burning city…

  69. I guess the original GHOSTBUSTERS was acclaimed for its special effects at the time, but I’m not sure how big a role that played in its popularity. And it’s not like it was perfect even then – even as a kid it was always pretty obvious to me when the hellhounds were full-size puppets and when they were unconvincingly-matted-into-the-scene stop-motion armatures. (When one of them leaps onto and collapses a real table, the integration of animation and live-action is not exactly WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT-level seamless.) Plus, the “Slimer” ghost is clearly designed to look like a goofy puppet.

    More interesting is the issue of whether GHOSTBUSTERS counts as horror.

    In response to the controversy over whether THE VVITCH is a horror movie, Vern said “It’s about a witch killing a baby. Of course it is. How is this even a discussion?” But theoretically one could make a similar argument about GHOSTBUSTERS (“It’s about ghosts and demons attacking New York. Of course it is.”) Which raises a possibly subjective question: what makes something horror?

    I’m only a casual horror fan, which makes me either less qualified or more objective. In any case here’s my take on what seems to make something horror:

    First, death and mortality are obviously big themes in the genre. Ghosts, vampires, zombies, Frankenstein monsters, the Grim Reaper, anything from Hell – these all represent death in some way (by crossing the line between life and death), so stories that include any of these creatures (or serial killers, obviously) tend to get classified as horror.

    Second, there is some kind of social or moral transgression – e.g. the nuclear family breaks down (domestic violence, abuse, incest), or society reverts to barbarism, or a major character has done something terrible for which there is no atonement. This transgression can be committed by either the hero or the villain (or the movie itself – the inclusion of gore and sex/nudity is what makes horror stories controversial).

    Third, there tends to be an element of nihilism or hopelessness. The protagonist is in a bad situation that they can’t easily control or recover from – either because they’re too weak, or because the sin they committed to create this problem is too great – leaving them with little hope of support from others. This often leads to the protagonist meeting a futile and unheroic demise, or an epilogue suggesting that victory is only temporary and that the threat is bound to return.

    If a story has all those elements strongly in place, it tends to be classified as horror whether or not it’s actually scary. It’s when a story only has some of these things that the arguments start.

    For example, I don’t know if any version of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is considered scary, but I think people still think of it as horror because it ticks most of the boxes above. And badass action movies with horror-style villains tend to get a pass if the protagonist is enough of an antihero (as in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN) or sufficiently in over his/her head (as in ALIENS or PREDATOR).

    By contrast, the SCREAM movies and the TWILIGHT series would at first seem to qualify, yet contain elements that some purists regard as deal-breakers. The kids in SCREAM are self-aware and armed with pop culture knowledge of how the genre works, which perhaps takes away an element of naivete and helplessness that seems crucial to slasher movies. TWILIGHT’s much-mocked revisionist approach to why vampires must hide themselves away from sunlight and public view – not because it destroys them, because it makes them sparkle prettily – perhaps takes away some of the tragedy that being a vampire had in prior stories.

    GHOSTBUSTERS is similarly borderline. Obviously it has ghosts and demons, and bodily possession. It has individual scenes that some viewers here found scary or spooky. It has a final shot (Slimer attacking the camera) which suggests that the threat will return. But its overall tone is of cockiness and can-do optimism. The ghostbusters are funny, competent characters, more-or-less innocent and confident, with the tools and know-how to save the day, and the public is cheering them on as they go into battle.

    If the ghostbusters were unable to get anyone to believe that the threat was real, or if they carried some kind of shame or guilt as to why this was happening, or if the only way out for them was to destroy themselves – one or more of these things might tipped the scales slightly more into horror. But obviously such a version wouldn’t have been as much fun as this one.

  70. As usual, I’m too late to the party. I agree that “Ghostbusters” isn’t a masterpiece, but what is has in spades is CHARM. For me, that helps a lot with all the – valid – criticism.

    I’m afraid to say I’m one of the guys who decided to not watch the remake in the cinemas. However, before you put me in the “sexist nerd”-box, let me explain. It has nothing to do with the fact that they made a remake/reboot (even though I would have preferred a real sequel), let alone that the Ghostbusters this time are of the female persuasion (as Terry Pratchett would have put it). It ultimately boils down to: I didn’t like the trailer. I didn’t laugh or giggle once, and the humor as well as the entire tone of the movie seemed to me to be very different from the original, and ultimately not my taste. Take the sliming-scene for example. In the original, we see Slimer flying towards Venkman, we hear him scream, and when we cut back, we only see the aftermath of the attack. The first scene of the trailer of Ghostbusters – 2016 edition however shows how Kirsten Wiig gets slimed in all – glorious – detail. Also, why is the black woman the only one without an academic degree? Yes, true, same can be said about the 1984 Ghostbusters, but shouldn’t we as a society have moved passed that?

    I’m not angry about the new movie, and I actually wish them well. Despite the fact that his recent cinematic output mostly wasn’t to my liking (Bridesmaids had some great characters and a couple of funny bits, but since I hate toilet humor, I cringed at the diarrhea-scene), Paul Feig will forever have a small place in my heart for co-creating the best coming-of-age-tv-show ever in the sadly cut short “Freaks & Geeks”. But nothing about the trailer excited me, not the visual style, not the characters, not the “sex change”, and especially not the humor. Which is why I’ll skip it, at least in the cinema. Glad to read that you liked it, though!

  71. Talk about how the scares mix with humor. For kids normally scared of things like ghosts, how did the humor help? How did seeing a creature like the 50-foot Stay Puft marshmallow man make you laugh, even though the Ghostbusters were in danger?

  72. From my own memory of seeing the movie for the first time on TV with 8 or 9 years: The humor really helped. I was one of these kids, who were scared of everything. So when the ghost in the library transformed from a woman into that ugly fucker, I was scared out of my mind, but seeing the Ghostbusters run out of the library like scared rabbits softened the blow a lot. In that regard, I still think that the armchair scene and most appereances of the hell hounds were damn scary, because they aren’t embedded into anything funny and played as a serious threat.

    A friend of mine told me, how Venkman’s encounter with Slimer scared him shitless, because in the cartoon, he is that funny sidekick, who goes in a high pitched voice “Wheeeeeeeeeee, Slimeyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!”, while here he storms at Bill Murray with a animalistic growl.

    That the Marshmallow Man was supposed to be a joke, went totally over my head back then, btw. I recognised that he wasn’t really scary, but I simply accepted the fact, that Gozer has come to destroy the world and our heroes have to stop him. Even if he looks cute and fluffy and stepped on a church.

  73. Wow, I had no idea there were child viewers who WERE scared by it!

    Which I guess reminds me that GHOSTBUSTERS (like BACK TO THE FUTURE) is a touchstone for millennials even though it’s old enough that Generation X-ers such as myself also saw it as kids. I first saw it on video (I’m gonna guess I was about 12?) and just saw it as a comedy.

    For me the only scene that inched toward serious horror was the scene where Sigourney is in her chair at home, she sees something push against the door, and monster hands rip through the chair and grab her. And even that scene just seemed odd to me, in that it seemed to be trying to be serious when nothing else in the movie was.

    But I guess I can see how someone who saw this at a younger and more impressionable age might have had a different reaction. I guess it’s like how the Adam West BATMAN series seems like straightforward superhero derring-do to child viewers, but to adult viewers is a string of goofy jokes.

  74. Curt, I haven’t heard of any kid who would have viewed GHOSTBUSTERS as anything else than a comedy, but I guess in a certain age, some parts are simply scarier. I’m too lazy to google it (also I have HitFix blocked in my browser), but I remember one of those Film Nerd 2.0 articles by Drew McWeeny, where he introduces certain classic movies to his kids and writes down what happens. In one he showed them ABOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN and had to turn it off halfway, because one kid was scared shitless.

  75. I know no sane person wants to discuss GHOSTBUSTERS these days, and I don’t either, but the talk about it in the ROVER DANGERFIELD talkback brought me here, and I was surprised to see late-Obama-era Vern chronicle something I thought was more of a Biden-era phenomenon, the “actually, the original GHOSTBUSTERS was a scary movie with some funny bits” line of thought. You see, like a lot of people I’ve been practicing my “what’s the deal with the lack of jokes and uber-reverent tone of the GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE trailers?” routine, and in some places I have seen this met with a “no, this seems right to me” reaction, sometimes accompanied by the suggestion that the original was a creepy flick with “mostly wry humour”. To be clear, this has mostly been from good, smart people, some of whom I know to be wise on a number of other subjects.

    Look I know that most BUSTheads were young kids when they first got into it, and a lot of the jokes went over our heads and most of us liked it more than POLICE ACADEMY because chasing ghosts was a lot cooler than imitating coffee slurp noises. And whether or not they want to admit it for people of a certain age there’s some conflation of the movies with the toys, comics and especially the cartoon, which unusually actually took the mythology more seriously, at least when the BABYLON 5 dude was writing it and before Garfield got replaced by the You Oughta Know guy as Venkman. And I’m not saying it doesn’t have some genuinely creepy moments, and obviously GHOSTBUSTERS was created by a guy who mostly believes that stuff, which is part of what makes it convincing.

    Look I don’t want to be like one of those people who, for some reason, are passionately insistent that DID HARD isn’t a Christmas movie even though it’s set at Christmas, and get annoyed every time someone says it is. I guess if you can really convince yourself that a film from the director of MEATBALLS starting and conceived by people from the two big North American sketch shows of the time which climaxes with them blowing up a Poppin Fresh surrogate was more meant to be scary than funny, then that’s cool. Seems like a hell of a stretch to me though.

  76. There has to be an easier way to announce to the entire planet that you don’t know what jokes are but for the life of me I can’t think of one.

  77. Honestly, I didn’t even notice that there weren’t jokes in the trailer until people started to complain about it. I mean, the last one has a bunch of tiny Marshmellow men, so that is already pretty amusing.

    But for me it was never a dealbreaker, since I took the trailer as a “Look folks, we really put some effort into it this time, doesn’t it look cool?” kind of announcement. I can imagine the final trailer will highlight all the jokes and then people complain that it gave away too much.

  78. Honestly I could maybe get behind a not-as-many-jokes take on GHOSTBUSTERS if it looked cool enough, it’s the ultra reverent “Look upon my proton pack, ye Mighty, and rejoice!” tone that I find truly baffling.

  79. You startled me there Pacman, I thought you were saying that *I* said that in the review! Had to re-read to make sure I hadn’t lost my mind. Yes, “Ghosbusters is mostly a serious horror/fantasy/adventure but with some comic relief” is an opinion that has come up again after the GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE trailers that sell it minus any jokes and with nothing but Spielbergian awe for Ghostbuster relics being dug up in a remote farmhouse. I agree with you – that is just not what the original movie is at all, and I don’t see how anybody gets that out of it, but it’s fine, obviously this movie is for them and not me, and I’ll try not to be a dick about it like some people were toward the previous Ghostbusters movie that I thought was pretty funny.

  80. Is Majestyk saying Pacman doesn’t know what a joke is because there aren’t any in the new trailer? Cause there aren’t any in that trailer. The only thing that tips off it may be funny is two shots of mini Stay Pufts, otherwise it’s sold as a YA styled serious horror/adventure. If you have never heard of Ghostbusters you wouldn’t know this is a comedy…and I’ wonder if it IS going to be a straight comedy. More of a lighter Stranger Things style maybe?

    GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE — Official Trailer 2 (HD)

    He came out here for a reason. Watch the new trailer for #Ghostbusters: Afterlife, exclusively in movie theaters this November.Visit our site:https://www.Gho...

  81. Sorry about that!

    Another thing I find offputting is the Midwest setting; maybe it’s just me but isn’t part of the appeal of the BUSTverse that it’s unusual to see hauntings in an urban setting?

    I don’t think it looks awful or anything, and I’ve seen people overegg how bad it looks to try and relitigate the battles of 2016, but yeah I don’t think I’m on its wavelength. Might have worked for me ten years ago maybe.

  82. Muh- I took it that Mr M was saying people who claim the original GHOSTBUSTERS wasn’t a comedy are announcing they don’t know what a joke is. If I’m wrong, eh, I can take it!

  83. Oh yeah…people who claim Ghostbusters is a horror movie are the newer group of youngsters who want to have the amazing take no one’s thought of and be praised as special but their Instagram buds. It’s a genuinely ridiculous take.

    Horror comedies just depend on the amount each ingredient. American Werewolf in London – horror. Shaun of the Dead – comedy. Evil Dead 2 – horror. Army of Darkness – comedy.

    Ghostbusters – CLEARLY a comedy.

  84. But looks like this new Ghostbusters is going to lean into a serious approach…I mean in the realm of a big budget fantasy ghost movie. The kids don’t look like they’re funny characters, Paul Russ is a wisecracker but seems more subdued in this and most of his humor may be some asides and reaction shots. I bet only Murray will come in and be kinda funny. Ackroyd will get his chance to play this stuff more seriously. One of the best scenes in the first flick was the scene where they’re talking about hell on earth and it’s played as Lovecraftian creepy, not for humor.

  85. Pac-Man, you are right. I was mocking the dullards who can look at a movie with Rick Moranis and Annie Potts’ characters in it and think, “This is a serious film that wants to be taken seriously.” I haven’t even seen this new trailer so I couldn’t tell you if there are jokes in it or not. I apologize for the confusion.

  86. No worries, I got ya.

  87. I’d agree that the farmland setting doesn’t gel to me…that’s basically EVERY ghost movie. A creepy house in the middle of nowhere. I do like the urban setting of the originals, gives it more of its own flavor and allows for more weirdo characters…which is even more leaning me to think this one isn’t really a comedy. Seems like it’s going for a slower paced feel.

  88. I saw some of that remake…it was so typical of modern comedies. SOME of the funny stuff was REALLY funny, because everyone in that are great and I’m fans of all of them. But so much of the humor has nothing to do with the central concept of ghostbusting, it’s just random improv humor about cats and and shit. GB worked because the jokes were mostly asides to whatever was happening in the plot. I think a lot of modern comedy is funnier than 80s comedy, BUT it makes more movies that feel messy because they turn the stories into rambling stories full of scenes that have nothing to do with each other.

  89. I have that same issue – the whole idea of GHOSTBUSTERS is ghosts in New York City, and I don’t think this change of setting seems like an exciting spin. But they may just want a way to make it stand on its own and be a totally different thing, and I suppose that’s admirable.

  90. My thing with the last one was that for the most part I don’t care for that whole post-Apatow line-o-rama comedy, like instead of just doing a mildly amusing reference to GHOST and moving on, they follow it with references to other Swayze movies, then explain that they’re referencing Swayze movies etc. I think in his review for it Vern said that he does quite like that style of comedy because plots and drama had been the weak point of comedies for so long why not have the actors riff? And that’s a fair point, it just stopped working for me at some point; I found 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN as refreshing as everyone else at the time, but by GET HIM TO THE GREEK I was very much in “can we go back to writing structured jokes, please?” mode.

    Plus it was a Sony movie so it felt like it was shooting from a first draft, or maybe two first drafts written by people who had never actually met. Still, love it, hate it or never saw it, it happened, and not that long ago, which is another reason the whole “hey, remember Ecto-1” vibe AFTERLIFE is giving off seems odd.

  91. No one goes to see a comedy for the plot so Vern’s right about that one…but they just need to step on those scenes so each different riff session doesn’t last three minutes. But even though what I saw of the new Ghostbusters seemed fairly weak, it was still funnier than the average 80s – 90s comedy. Frankly I think even some of the comedies people put on a pedestal aren’t that funny. Take out Bill Murry and the gopher from Caddyshack and that movie is nothing. And frankly Animal House has some very funny stuff but you have to wait a looong time for those parts. Ha ha Bluto pretended to be a zit. 80s comedies that still hold up is the ZAZ stuff. I never cared for any of the spins off type of junk like Hot Shots. Princess Bride is a classic but way more to that than comedy, although that’s why people love it. Tim Burton gave comedies a kick in the ass with Pee Wee and Beetlejuice…I’d love to see more weird shit like that. I mean the 80s had a lot of great stuff like Landis, Dante, etc…Blues Brothers is a stone cold classic but in terms of straight LAUGHS, I laughed more at a piece of junk like End of the World or whatever that Rogen movie was. Although it’s not even a patch on Blues Brothers.

  92. I reserve my venom for the Brain Trust that looked at Annie Potts’ witty and acerbic character in the original and figured it can be exponentially improved by gender swapping it for Thor but making him Peter Griffin-stupid.

    Thankfully Ghostbusters (2016) was consistent and managed to be hot shit in every other conceivable way.

    As for Ghostbusters (2021)…trailers have long ceased to be any barometric indication of the finished product and so will reserve judgement, especially since I’m not the YA/STRANGER THINGS demographic this film seems to want to tap into(if the trailers are any indication)

  93. “Hot shit” means something is good doesn’t it? “He thinks he’s hot shit!” etc

  94. Dunno, I always thought the “he thinks he’s hot shit” is doubly despective – he’s thinks he’s something, and is still shit. “This is some hot shit” sounds like it could work, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard it that way. The Cambridge dictionary agrees with you though, so I’ll go with that.

    I found Ghostbusters 2016 pretty funny, and dumb(er) Thor got a few laughs. Problem with it is that the direction is indifferent, the script is an absolute jumbled mess, the action is worse, and the humor is very uneven. Pretty much your standard modern non-Edgar-Wright comedy, then, just with some above average funniness.
    And it’s a shame, because there are glimmers of a good movie in it. And kind of a shame it’s getting pointedly erased by the new one, especially if Ghostbusters 2 (a much, much worse film) is still allowed to exist in the canon.

    The new one…yeah, it looks like it’s its own thing, as if they’re basing it more off Explorers than the original Ghostbusters. It seems like it’s going full-on for that Amblin Reverential Awe(tm). I’ll be happy to give it a chance though, Ivan Reitman is an interesting director.

  95. My bad. My meaning was that it was a “steaming pile of shit” or I should have said it’s a “hot mess”. Doing combinations was a mistake in this instance.

    “Problem with it is that the direction is indifferent, the script is an absolute jumbled mess, the action is worse, and the humor is very uneven”

    Add the fact that you had 4 “comedians” each trying to outdo the other when what made OG GHOSTBUSTERS such a delight was Murray’s Venkman frequently running circles around his compatriots. This was not due to any dearth in comic talent, but because Ackroyd and Ramis, accomplished funny men in their own right, were happy to play Straight Foil to Murray.

    I find Wiig uneven, McCarthy an acquired taste at the best of times (marginally more tolerable than Amy Schumer) while Jones is yet to coax even a smirk out of me. Kate McKinnon is the sole bright spark in that ensemble, an absolute natural and a frequently funny delight and in a better version of this movie, could have easily been the Venkman equivalent.

  96. Why does Ghostbusters have to be just one thing? I like it because of the mix of genres and tones. It’s a comedy science-fantasy horror adventure movie, and it succeeds because of its grounded characters and commitment to verisimilitude. Like, Beverly Hills Cop is a comedy, but it’s also a buddy cop actioner with a plot and stakes. 80s movies were better at this.

    I admit I’m the exact target audience for this new movie. As a kid, I had the double VHS of Ghostbusters I and II, and I watched them hundreds of times. To me, they’re one movie. I love them both. The trailer for the new one literally gave me chills– a subconscious, visceral reaction. That said, I’m trying not to get my hopes up. I know they made this to appease a toxic male fan base I despise. But I want it to be good.

  97. @KayKay yeah, I got that (my frame of reference was hot/flaming garbage). Was just thinking out loud as English is my second language and I find turns of phrase really interesting.

    This is not a hill I have any interest on getting slightly bruised on, much less dying on, but I don’t think it’s worth getting angry at a reimagining of a movie because it fails to repeat the same dynamics – that’s actually admirable. It’s completely fair to criticize it for not thinking the new dynamics through, which is I now realize what you were getting at*… and the film is absolutely guilty of. D’oh. It really does feel like it was shot off a first draft of the script, but there are enough good ideas here and there that I still think if they had focused more on craft than improv it could have been properly good. A little more iteration on the script, and more willingness to cut out extraneous stuff, which is something all Appatow-influenced films could do with.
    Warts and all it still made me laugh more than on most recent comedies. As you say, McKinnon is always brilliant, Wiig’s inappropriate attitude towards Thor was very funny, and yeah, Thor’s resumé still makes me smile.

    *: (when you talk about the main actors, at least, I’ll stand by my comment with regards to the receptionist)

    **: Oh, and I meant Jason Reitman in my prior post, not Ivan. I love the first GB, but don’t find the rest of his work very interesting.

  98. I think a new tone for a new Ghostbusters is a good idea. Might have seemed like I was dunking on the trailer for not being funny, but the movie looks good and it’s a smart idea. Just a few years ago we had one closer to the originals and comedians being funny, so why not go the opposite way and do a Ghostbusters story like they’re doing another interpretation of a myth or whatever? I mean maybe it won’t work and I’d prefer funny, but not the worst idea.

    I don’t think I see the original GB having the others be straight men to Murray…but the big thing is they all had very defined parts. They all probably say and do about the same amount of funny things, but they each have their own zone. A lot of the remake seemed to me like you could hand a lot of lines to anyone else and it doesn’t matter much. For jokes per minute of screentime, Rick Moranis is the MVP.

    The funniest part in GB was Ramis dancing backwards when the librarian ghost jumps at them.


    It’s frustrating to be on a particular side of a debate, but seemingly for different reasons. I think the one star reviews of this are a little harsh, and while I like the 2016 film more than I liked this (I rewatched it 1.5 times since I last posted on this thread and liked it more than I remembered), I think critics are being unreasonable in condemning this film for “erasure” of that film (which itself “erased” everything which came before) which failed to turn a profit. Sorry, but “sending the right message” isn’t going to enter into it when it comes to greenlighting films in a series as commercial as this. Much like THE GREAT WALL, READY PLAYER ONE and JOKER this seems to be a film a fair number of critics made their mind up about long before it came out based on a combination of marketing and (seemingly moreso) their various news feeds over the past six or seven years. If this exact film had come out in 2016 instead of the Feig movie, I suspect the reaction would have been pretty different all ways round. I think a lot of the, I’ll be nice, “been waiting for Ghostbusters III a long time” crowd that hated that movie and seem to love this one would think it was pretty whack that the film was about a bunch of kids rather than the OGs, and the “this is reactionary erasure of the 2016 film!” group might see its diverse group of young kids as a bit more progressive and inclusive than they seem to now. Indeed it’s odd that the 2016 film was touted for its potential to engage and inspire young girls, and this film, with a science-mad 12 year old main protagonist, is not.

    That said, along with it being not quite as dry and reverential as the trailers implied (though still not as irreverent as the previous films), I don’t think it’s very good. Grace is good, and her sidekick straddles the line between irritating and endearing in a way that Paul Rudd does his Paul Rudd thing, which isn’t a huge plus to me, but I understand is for a lot of people out there. Mucher is no Slimer, but the Mini-Pufts are cute. But the other characters are dull, and it feels awfully small and cheap, generally not in a good way. They xerox the Mick Smiley/Glen Frey song “bedlam as ghosts escape” beat from the first two movies, but with only two ghosts! I think there are only three or four actual ghosts in the film.

    But there is an area, and you can consider this at least MILD SPOILER territory as you can probably at least partly guess what I’m talking about here, where this ventures into truly morally dubious territory, it’s an element that runs through from the very first scene and pays off in the crassest way imaginable in the final scene. Let’s just say I have a newfound respect for the relatively graceful, restrained and respectful way the FAST films have dealt with Paul Walker’s death.

    And while we’re into MILD SPOILER territory, certainly don’t go into this expecting a lot of Murray, Aykroyd, Hudson, Potts or Weaver. I think some of them were in the 2016 movie more!

  100. Bumping this following on from the AFTERLIFE discussion in the DIABOLIK thread, for ease of access and because we don’t want Stay Puft stomping all over discussion of other films like our pal Card Sense Jimmy was a few weeks back.

    While I’m here I’ll bring up a weird GHOSTBUSTERS thing no one will know the answer to but is hopefully more interesting to someone than just going “bump!”; I own the PS1 game EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS: ULTIMATE INVASION, which came out in 2004, more than six years after the show finished and four years after the PS2 came out (obviously they release games for a console after the successor comes out, and PS2 was backwards-compatible anyway, but they pretty much hit the “just FIFA and Mototcross games trickling out” stage for PS1 in 2003). How on earth did that come about? It was kind of weird that they were making TINY TOONS and ANIMANIACS games in 2005, but those (especially TINY TOONS) were huge merchandising juggernauts with around 100 episodes each still in reruns then, nobody was saying their favourite Ghostbuster was Alfonso Riviera as the voice of Roland in 2004.

    The game is kind of fun in short bursts though, sort of like a VIRTUA COP clone in the ‘Bustverse. I was never fully convinced by EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS though. “It’s 1997, research shows that kids are 40% edgier now so if we use distorted guitar in the theme, give Slimer heavy eyeshadow and give one of the new Ghostbusters a really pointy chin, this will be a smash!” It wasn’t terrible, but it was no MEN IN BLACK: THE SERIES even if, in many ways, it literally *was* MEN IN BLACK: THE SERIES.

  101. RIP Ivan Reitman…I just rewatched Ghostbusters this weekend right before the bad news and was actually kinda blown away by how expensive and big-time the movie looked and felt. I’m not gonna go as far to say it would have fooled me for Spielberg, but certain gorgeous wide-screen shots reminded me of John Carpenter at his best or a top-tier Amblin movie – I literally thought “Man I never noticed Ivan Reitman had this much filmatism in him!” The pacing, the acting, the use of score and music are all top-notch.

    As for the movie itself, it was never one of my favorites as a kid but I kinda loved it this time. I mean, it’s obvious WHY kids like it – the concept is awesome, the props and world-building seem perfect for kids to think about and emulate. (Like, how could you be a kid in ’84 and NOT want to beg your parents to make you a proton pack for Halloween?) But can any kid (or adult for that matter) make sense of this plot? I mean, after 40 years I still don’t quite understand why a temple showed up in a refrigerator or why a dog came out of a lounge chair when i think it already came out of a statue. I don’t understand the keymaster and the gatekeeper thing or how this movie has an evil cult playing a huge central role in the plot but doesn’t bother showing the cult. Yet none of this bothered me – it seems sloppy and random but it had a Coen brother-y charm to me – I was reminded of Fargo a bunch of times when watching this (Rick Moranis’ character seems straight out of that movie), since I thought “Ok, I’M really enjoying watching this movie, but how in the hell do OTHER people like this movie??” It’s long on subtle wry humor and short on the slapstick kid-friendly hijinks you figure it would have.

    Sidenote: not to make my wife seem like a humorless killjoy (she’s normally way less offended by things than me), but she was really bothered by the entire Sigourney Weaver storyline and I kinda have to agree. Dana is the Ghostbusters’ first paying(?) customer and they don’t seem particularly inclined to believe her or help her, even though plot-wise they’re financially struggling and they already know ghosts exist because they saw one in the library. But they don’t really do anything to help her except let Venkman go over there to try and get laid and then make fun of her when she refuses. They don’t care about Dana for almost the entire movie, until she gets attacked by the dog/lounge chair monster which clearly cops a feel on her breast, THEN she gets possessed and tries to fuck Venkman, the guy making unwanted advances at her. THEN ends up fucking Louis, the OTHER guy making unwanted advances at her. THEN she turns into a dog statue and later makes out with Venkman for no fucking reason at the end. Maybe it’s the 2022 me-too lens we were watching the movie through. Or maybe it’s just weird seeing an actress synonymous with strength and toughness get treated so badly onscreen when the movie doesn’t really acknowledge it. But yeah, it did feel weird and kinda leaves a bad taste in the mouth. (Btw, I’m wondering what the overlap is of people saying “Dude if you’re offended that Louis and Dana fucked, you’re overthinking it” and people who were like, really offended that Gal Gadot raped a guy in WW84). #JusticeforDanaBarrett

  102. Apparently the new (God knows what edition) Blu-Ray has footage of Denise Crosby and Kelly LeBrock auditioning for Dana.

    RIP Ivan

  103. Also, speaking of kids nor adults not making heads or tail of this thing, I only realised recently after 30 years that all the ghosts in both OG-GB films only come around to New York because they’re being conducted by specific things (the tower in 1, the slime in 2) and that at the end of both films they’ve simultaneously destroyed the big bad *AND* rid the city of all ghosts “permanently”. This is different from the cartoons and (I think?) the 2016 film where ghosts show up wherever they bloody well like, but brought back for AFTERLIFE along with the sacred crunch bar and other holy relics of 84.

  104. Pacman – yeah I haven’t seen Afterlife yet but I’ve heard that it does seem to explore some of these unanswered questions about the cult and Gozer and the mysterious architect of Dana’s building, which was honestly surprising to me because the first movie addresses all that stuff in a “who cares if it makes sense, don’t think about it too hard” way.

    Speaking of thinking way too hard, I kinda can’t stop thinking about how crazy it is that Peter Venkman is the protagonist of a big 80s summer blockbuster. This is the first viewing where I feel like the filmmakers kinda don’t want you to like him. I wouldn’t say the movie treats its lead character with the disdain that say, Will Forte’s Tandy gets treated on Last Man on Earth, but it sorta reminded me of Scott Pilgrim how you’re like “wait are we actually supposed to like this guy or are we supposed to think he’s an asshole??” Venkman on the surface seems like a lovable rascal, a rule-breaking rogue. But he also seems to have no discernable skills or talent or redeeming qualities. He’s not an ace pilot with a heart of gold like Han Solo. He doesn’t do any problem solving like Indiana Jones. He’s not a great improvisor like Axel Foley. I haven’t seen Police Academy in a while but I’m pretty sure Mahoney had more of a heart and cared more about his friends than this guy. (Fucking Stifler in American Wedding had more character development and an arc). A normal movie would have someone point out that Venkman thinks out of the box and is unorthodox but is also really a scientific wunderkind like Val Kilmer in Real Genius. But this movie literally makes it clear over and over that he doesn’t really understand the science of anything the Ghostbusters are doing at any point and I love it for that.

    It’s almost subversive how a big kid’s movie has this selfish asshole at the center of it. I’m not putting this up with Verhoeven or anything, but I do like that the movie can be enjoyed multiple ways like Robocop. As a kid during that scene when Venkman is walking around Dana’s apartment using that air spraying device, I remember thinking as a kid “Wow that looks so cool! I wonder what he’s doing? I want one of those!” Now as an adult the scene plays like Venkman has no idea what the fuck that device is and he’s just trying to look cool to impress Dana the way Michael Scott/David Brent from The Office would do. It’s unexpected and hilarious and I honestly couldn’t stop laughing at how much the movie doubles down on its main hero being a jerk. I haven’t seen GB2 in forever but I heard Venkman’s assholeness gets kinda neutered which makes me a little sad to be honest, because he’s easily my favorite thing about GB1 now.

  105. I have likely spent more hours of my life watching Ivan Reitman movies than those of any other filmmaker. Admittedly, the vast majority of those hours are Ghostbusters 1 and 2, but I will also pledge my fealty to Stripes and Kindergarten Cop. Any other movie would’ve stopped at the “razzle dazzle” bit in Stripes, but it just keeps going, and becomes a crazy Winnebago action movie, which I love. And as I recall, Kindergarten Cop is a great Arnold comedy with some legit stakes, that launches into a violent climax. They really don’t make ’em like that anymore. Reitman was a master at mixing or shifting tones.

    Reitman was the first to put Arnold into a comedy with Twins, and I feel like every action star followed suit after that [citation needed]. And Reitman produced early Cronenberg, plus Animal House, Heavy Metal, and Space Jam– what a career.

  106. @neal2zod I don’t think WW84 and Ghostbusters is a fair comparison, since what happens to Dana (and Louis, since it’s not as if he consented to it either) was done by the villains, while WW84 had the heroine and male lead doing it. I don’t get offended at the Empire blowing up a planet in Star Wars because they’re the bad guys. That’s their thing. If someone made a movie where the Smurfs blow up a planet full of innocent people 1. I’d watch it, because of course. 2. I’d be aghast that someone made a movie where the heroes acted in such a monstrous manner.

  107. Bill – that’s true, Reitman definitely mixes clashing tones expertly in Ghostbusters – the opening library scene and the dog attack scene wouldn’t be out of place in a “real” horror movie because they’re so well done, but it never feels jarring when it suddenly goes back to being a comedy.

    Kaplan – that’s a very good point! I wasn’t quite thinking of it being a one to one comparison either; I guess I’m just boggled that I’ve never heard anyone point out that the heroine of a beloved 80s family comedy was basically raped, when people bring up rape when discussing Sixteen Candles or Revenge of the Nerds within about 30 seconds (probably because as you pointed out, it was done by the heroes of those movies). Then again, I’m stupid and somehow never even figured out Louis and Dana had sex until this watching (yes, you figure calling someone a Gatekeeper and someone else a Keymaster would have spelt it out to most people, but I guess I’m slow)

    Sidenote: I think what’s so weird about the “rape” in WW84 is it could have been so easily avoided! We’re dealing with Magic Rocks that bend time and space and matter – there’s zero script reason that Chris Pine couldn’t have just materialized out of thin air (like many, many things do in the movie) – it’s almost like they went out of their way to ADD the plot point that he’s taking over some poor guy’s body when the movie would have been so much simpler without it.

  108. RIP Ivan Reitman

  109. I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a pretentious elitist asshole, but I’m kinda boggled most people don’t prefer Ghostbusters II to Ghostbusters I, even though I still liked Part 1 better (real hot take, i know). I mean, GB2 kinda does everything better on paper – it has more of a traditional “structure” than the first one, it packs in more jokes, it actually has a villain it bothers to establish. Janine gets more to do (and is hot as hell, how did I not notice this?!?) Louis gets more to do. Winston has a hero moment where he saves Ray and Egon! Dana is more active and plays a part in the climax! Venkman is more traditionally charming and has actual chemistry with Dana this time. The whole movie plays like they focus-grouped any complaints about the first one and made this movie to address and smooth those complaints over.

    Which also sounds good on paper but didn’t stop me from being kinda bored with it all – I mean, the column of “improvements” far outweighs the column of things that aren’t as good this time (the cinematography and score are way worse and the scare sequences don’t really work). But who gives a shit about stuff like that in a big 80s special effects comedy? I guess I do apparently because I kinda zoned out the way that I tend to zone out during my least favorite Marvel movies (which GB2 really feels like a precursor to). Everything is nice and competent and safe and likable and crowd-pleasing, which is why I gotta think if you made a kid today watch both GB1 and GB2, I’d guess 9 out of 10 of them would like the second one, better, right?

  110. I’m pretty sure as a kid I preferred I to II, but that’s probably at least partly because I saw II first when it premiered on UK TV when I was 6, then saw the first what felt like a significant time later but probably was just six months or something after I spotted a second hand VHS in the window of a shop, so I was hyped for that in a way I wasn’t for II. Can’t remember if I had seen any of the cartoon when I saw II, but I was a big fan of that when by the time I saw the first, another boost. I do remember being confused that my heroes swore, and smoked!

    The most interesting thing about II is that it does the “catching up with our fading heroes” first act thing almost 20 years before ROCKY BALBOA set the template (some might say 9 years before LETHAL WEAPON 4 but I feel it’s not quite the same), although in retrospect the Busters did it too early in their lifetimes; not surprising they never cracked GHOSTBUSTERS 3 because where do the characters go from there?

  111. I will co-sign STRIPES as objectively awesome. Probably the mud-wrestling thing and some other stuff doesn’t age well from a #metoo perspective, but John Candy is the bomb the just the same, the Winger-Hulka relationship, Frances, “the Cruiser,” and a lot of other delightful stuff. And that first sequence with the snooty cab lady alone is worth the price of admission.

  112. Watching any movie from a couple of decades ago and filtering it through the prism of today’s sensibilities is a recipe for trouble. That rabbit hole goes way too deep. 70% of Rom-Coms are guilty of sexism, at least 80% of your cherished action movies have dropped a homophobic slur or two and straight out comedies are especially egregious offenders because you know “hey it’s all a joke hahahahaha”. So I just take them as products of their times, even the Bond franchise, the current Hot Favorite Whipping Boy since it expertly pushes all hot button triggers (White Imperialism, Sexism, Misogyny, Toxic Masculinity).

    Funny, but I never quite found GHOSTBUSTERS in any way scary although as a comedy it is frequently funny thanks to the amazing chemistry between it’s leads and Moranis especially makes me chuckle every time (his courtroom scene in GHOSTBUSTERS 2 is still a riot).

    For me the Gold Standard for mixing comedy and horror is Landis’ AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, a bloody, gory, throat ripping and sexy as fuck R-Rated romp that is also frequently very funny. Plus…Jenny Agutter, who makes me lose any semblance of critical objectivity.

  113. So I watched this sausagefest last night. Not a great movie, for sure, but an endlessly entertaining one. I mostly just want to mount a mild defense of the part where Venkman asks the librarian about her menstrual cycle. I agree that it’s inapropriate, but this time I had a different idea of the target of the joke. I’d always assumed the questions Venkman asks were just some smartass adlibs he threw in because he’s too cool to take anything seriously. But this time, it seemed more like he’s just lazily running through the standard list of questions parapsychologists might ask at the beginning of an investigation. The first step would be to ascertain if the witness’s faculties were in any way impaired at the time of the sighting. It seems reasonable to me that these male ghostbusters from 1984 would think a woman being on her period as reason enough to discount her as hysterical. So the question is sexist, sure, but it’s an institutional sexism. The fact that Venkman lets the question go without an answer might indicate that he thinks it’s bullshit. Of course, he could have just not asked the question in the first place, so he’s not exactly a hero here.

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