Happy 30th Anniversary To Ghostbusters!

Ghostbusters 30th anniversary movie cast
Ghostbusters

One of the all-time great comedies is turning thirty.

On June 8, 1984 Ghostbusters was released onto movie screens across the country and would subsequently become not only one of the biggest hits of the summer, but of the decade.

Ghostbusters wouldn’t just be a hit comedy, but a phenomenon. Director Ivan Reitman and the cast would make this goofy supernatural comedy based around the scientific and the paranormal into a comedy classic. That entire summer would be all about Ghostbusters.

Thirty years later Ghostbusters is still held with great affection by those original fans who first saw it in that summer of 1984. But it’s not just those original fans that have kept it alive. The movie has continued to attract new younger fans each passing year. It’s become a franchise with toys, cartoons, video games, merchandise and of course t-shirts.

Once anyone watches that original film they’re hooked. It’s guaranteed that Ghostbusters will always be a film favorite by subsequent generations.

Dan Aykroyd Bill Murray Harold Ramis Ghostbusters comedy movie
Aykroyd, Murray and Ramis

There’s just something about Ghostbusters – the idea, the execution, the comedy – that has made it something of a timeless comedy. Something not many comedies attain. I was trying to think of a recent comedy that in thirty years time could potentially be as celebrated as Ghostbusters is and have come up blank. Is there any comedy from nowadays that could do that? Even something that came out in the last ten years? I don’t know. Would people be marking the 30th anniversary for The Hangover with the same level of excitement?

It’s not many thirty-year-old movies that get re-released in theaters, which is apparently the plan in August. Not to mention all the other Ghostbusters merchandise, blu-rays and events that Sony supposedly has plan to mark the occasion.

Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts – all the actors are terrific. The story is fun and allows plenty of room for the cast to deliver some truly hysterical moments and memorable lines. Ghostbusters might be one of the most quote worthy comedies ever.

There’s some surprising sparks between Murray and Weaver. Moranis is hilarious as the ultimate geek. The initial trio of Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis alone as three pals trying to go into business is comedy gold, even before they get into having to save the city from Gozer the Destructor.

But it’s not just the actors and the humor – which should be enough to make Ghostbusters last as long as people still watch movies. There’s something special about the idea of ghosts in New York City and guys having to fight them with cool proton packs. There has to be a reason why that premise still resonates with people. So much so some fans continue to hold out hope for a third film or a remake, which I won’t get into again.

When Aykroyd came up with the story idea he tapped into a concept that seems tailor-made for something for kids to get excited over. I couldn’t have been the only little kid that following Halloween who was dressed up as a Ghostbuster.

Ghostbusters Sigourney Weaver Rick Moranis movie
Weaver and Moranis

I remember first seeing Ghostbusters and absolutely loving it! It’s amazing thinking back how popular and extensive its exposure was that summer. That ghost logo was everywhere, everyone was talking about the movie, Ray Parker Jr. was constantly on the radio.

Of course I had to go see it again. That was back when movies actually hung around and you could go see something months after it first came out. Not like today when movies are around for a week or two then disappear to make room for the newest one.

I’m not going to turn this into a Ghostbusters review or lovefest. Longtime Haphazard followers know what a fan I am of it. Watching a few scenes again today it still hasn’t aged a bit to me.

Before this anniversary I was actually reminded of Ghostbusters quite recently. Of course the recent passing of Harold Ramis made fans stop and reflect on him and the film. While rewatching it I did have a somber feeling when Ramis appeared onscreen for the first time with his stethoscope in the library.

But on a more cheerful note I got word last week my eight-year-old nephew was asking his mother about this movie he heard about called Ghostbusters and if it has scary parts in it or not. She told him to ask his uncle about it since he really liked that movie and knows all about it.

Ghostbusters comedy classic movie

So to commemorate this thirtieth anniversary I’m going to set out and arrange a Ghostbusters movie night for us at some point. I’ll be sure to warn him about the scary parts before they come up. There are few things that could give him a shock. The monster arms coming out of the chair bit could be frightening to a kid.

Oh maybe it might be a good idea if I try to talk over some of the bad words when they crop up. His mom would kill me if he starts running around calling people “dickless”.

I’ll get on my ghostbusters t-shirt, make some popcorn and introduce him into the wonderful world of ghostbusting and hopefully recruit another fan to the film. I’m betting he’ll love the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and he’ll be wanting his own proton pack by the time it’s over. Maybe he’ll even start singing the theme song! I’m sure that shouldn’t drive his parents too crazy….



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3 Responses

  1. spaceodds says:

    Sadly I didn't get to see Ghostbusters when it was first released since I wasn't be born for another eight months. The film is a true bona fide comedy classic, and the reason it works is because not only the jokes are funny, and the characters are brilliant, but because it actually can poke fun at itself. The characters are supposed to be taking this seriously, but they can't but feel at how ridiculous it all is. For example right at the beginning when they see the ghost in the liabrary, Ray and Egon have a eureka moment at the sighting of the ghost, whilst Peter asks the real question; "So What Do We Do Now?" Another example is when the team are in their jail cells and are talking about Shandor and the Gozzer worshipers and Egon is recounting on what he found out about the cult;
    "After WW1, they thought that society was too sick to survive" and Egon pauses and looks at other inmates. Brilliant, pure brilliant comedy timing.

    However one of my favorite lines is when Lewis is playing host at this party and has the gall to admit;
    " I'm givin' this whole thing as a promotional expense, that's why I invited clients instead of friends."
    Every single time I hear that line, I erupt into fits of laughter

    Despite its greatness, the other reason the film was a success was down to its marketing. The teaser poster only has the logo against a black background with the tagline;
    "Coming to Save The World This Summer"
    That poster is a stroke of genius, simple yet intriguing. Ties that along with the infamous title song, and you have an obvious winner. Ghostbusters is a rarety where hype and the finihsed product go well together hand in hand, and its one of the reasons why the film has become timeless.

    In your blog you mentioned whether there is another comedy out there, made in the last ten years, that has the same that has the same timeless quality. Honestly I can only think of one film (no its not that revolting and terrible piece known as The Hangover) and yet I don't know if it will have the same timeless quality as Ghostbusters has, and that is Shaun of the Dead, which was released ten years ago this summer (wow time sure flies)

  2. jimmy B. says:

    Don't forget theme park show. Back in the day there was a Ghostbusters show at Universal Florida. Sadly plans was for a wild mouse ride, but was nix when supposedly the concept for Ghostbusters was for Disney MGM Studios Great Movie ride at the time as part of a scene of the end of the movie. Plus they thought there were too many rides, and management wanted more shows. There been rumors to this day about bring back Ghostbusters shooter ride, even New York city wanted a type of Ghostbusters attraction for there shore amusement area. But it's all rumor until back in 2008 there was that press release stated that plans were in the works. But until Ghostbusters 3 or remake whatever it is, you can bet Universal parks will give Ghostbusters a call.

  3. CKulik says:

    Great, awesome tribute to a comedy classic! Hap, what is your perspective on GHOSTBUSTERS (PEACE SIGN) II after reading this RLM webzone post below the boys' audio commentary track (which I'm sure you will get a kick out of). It's from some random guest; perhaps we should give more credit to Harold Ramis & Dan Aykroyd for writing the second movie…what do you think?

    Wanna make this movie (GHOSTBUSTERS II) instantly turn straight insane?

    All the slime in the film is actually a stand-in for blood. You have the two murderers who issue forth from the vial of blood in the courtroom. All the blood becomes animated when people get their blood up, so to speak. If the blood is on their clothes they get angry and almost come to blows. You have the shot with the blood flowing out of the museum doors just like the blood issuing from the elevator in the shining.

    On top of that you get a river of blood under the city which is similar to the one Dante finds in hell under the city of Dis that burns up and submerges violent murderers. "We with our faithful escort onward moved, Along the brink of the vermilion boiling, Wherein the boiled were uttering loud laments. People I saw within up to the eyebrows, And the great Centaur said: Tyrants are these, Who dealt in bloodshed and in pillaging. Here they lament their pitiless mischiefs; here Is Alexander, and fierce Dionysius, Who upon Sicily brought dolorous years."

    "And Cain said to Abel his brother: Let us go forth abroad. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and slew him. And the Lord said to Cain: Where is thy brother Abel? And he answered, I know not: am I my brother' s keeper? And he said to him: What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother' s blood crieth to me from the earth." Cain murdered his brother out of envy at the acceptable sacrifice he made to God. The Ghostbusters murder Vigo in the midst of what they perceive to be unacceptable sacrifices and whatnot. Certainly Cain would have perceived Abel's sacrifice as unacceptable.

    With this analogy, believe it or not, you then get a spooky parallel with the French Revolution. The French Revolution was born out of a specious cry for Liberty and the blood of untold numbers of opponents who perished famously by the blade of the guillotine. In one instance even, some of the architects of the revolution Christened a lady of the night the godess of Liberty and took her to a church where they put her on the altar. Ghostbusters 2 concludes with our heroes spraying a lady of liberty with blood. This blood gives her life and this goddess trounces the bland superstitious vague medieval European bad guy and his altar back to Europea.

    As slime the movie makes no sense. When it becomes blood it makes so much twisted sense you want to cry yourself to sleep every night for the rest of your life. The villain of the story is completely Dracula and Peter MacNichol is just Renfield right? MacNichol actually played Renfield in Brooks' Dracula: Dead and Loving it. In this light the Ghostbusters themselves become weird vampires who offer the blood of the dead to their weird liberty goddess. They are the ones practicing human sacrifice to a Kali like goddess and their evils are projected onto almost nonexistent Vigo. Dan Aykroyd even transforms into Vigo right at the end to give you a clue who the real villains are. So that little thing makes sense now and it also ties into and makes the bizarre scene in the first film where Aykroyd has sex with a ghost for no apparent reason make sense. I think anyone will agree that Ramis and Aykroyd vampired the blood out of the ghostbuster concept for this sequel so I'll just extend their vampire-ism to other areas. Plus, Egon has sex with blood even.

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