Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic? Have you or your family ever seen a spook, specter or ghost? If the answer is “yes,” then don’t wait another minute. Pick up the phone and call the professionals…
So I know this is a little unusual to start Horrorfest off with as it isn’t a classic Horror film but instead a horror, comedy, & parody fusion. But it is one of my favorite movies, and as I was unable to review it last year; and adhering to my plan to be a little different and unusual this year; I thought it would be a great opening.
So I just love everything about Ghostbusters. So much that last year I dressed up as one for Halloween. Sadly they don’t make the original costume (those new ones are ugly), in female form (except the stupid shorty mini skirts), so I had my own made. I even made my own pack.
Pretty cool right?
So I can’t remember when I first really watched Ghostbusters. It seems like they have been part of my childhood for as long as I can remember. And I am such a hardcore fan, that I went to the rerelease in theaters, in full costume.
It was hard picking a quote for the beginning of the review as there are just so many great ones:
But I eventually went with the most famous one, although it is from the song, rather than the movie.
Anyways, that is enough of my back story for this post, let’s move on to the review!
So the film was thought up by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. They envisioned Ghostbusters throughout the country, time, space, and even using wands.
After Belushi’s death, the script was a bit reworked, and still sent out. Ivan Reitman liked the idea, but felt there needed to be a lot of changes and hired Harold Ramis to take it on.
A lot of the script was ad-libbed, especially Bill Murray’s part. I guess that is what happens when you get a bunch of comedians together.
They asked many people for different roles, but settled on Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray. They wanted Eddie Murphy, but he declined for Beverly Hills Cop. But with his refusal they gained Ernie Hudson.
They wanted other actors to play Egon Spenglar, but when they just couldn’t find the right fit, they went with Harold Ramis. And the perfect quartet was born.
So the film starts out in the New York Public library:
But what should be nice time in a quiet space, turns paranormal as library books float throughout the area. And then, no NOT THE CARD CATALOGUE!!!
Frightened and screaming, the librarian goes running, screaming. I have to admit that this is super creepy, I remember this freaking me out when I first watched this.
We then cut to our logo.
So Dr. Peter Venkerman (Murray), Dr. Raymond Stanz (Ankroyd), and Dr. Egon Spengler (Raimis); all reside in the Paranormal Studies Department at the University. Peter is currently working on an experiment with two students.
He is doing an experiment on ESP, but in reality is trying to get in the female student, Jennifer’s, pants.
But before he can make a serious move, Ray interrupts them with the news that there was a ghostly apparition at the library.
Now let me start and say how much I love Egon Spenglar. I just love how he is so nerdy, unemotional, and speaks in a monotone at every time and at every moment.
Peter Venkman: “Spengler, are you serious about actually catching a ghost?”
Egon Spengler: “I’m always serious.”
He makes me laugh so hard!
They go there and question the librarians, Peter crossing the line a bit, but you know Peter:
“Dr. Peter Venkman: Back off man, I’m a scientist.”
They continue down to the area where they saw the “spector”. They collect ectoplasmic residue, with Peter still upset over missing his date for “ghost boogers”. Ew! All I can think of, being a librarian, is she got it all over the card catalog. It would take FOREVER to fix it all. Aw!!!
They continue on when they find symmetrical stacking, and are almost knocked over by a bookcase. (This was actually an accident and ad-libbed.)
They find the ghost, and at at first Peter tries to get her to calm down, sort of romancing her. She shushes them and when Ray tells them to go get her, but then they end up running away.
They head back to the college, Peter disgusted with Ray’s plan
Dr. Peter Venkman: Hee hee hee! “Get her!” That was your whole plan, huh, “get her.” Very scientific.
They return to the college to face bad news. They are fired by the university and the college is shutting that area of study down.
Egon takes it in stride like he always does, Peter is never serious, and Ray is heartbroken. But Peter has another idea:
Dr Ray Stantz: Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities. We didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college. You don’t know what it’s like out there. I worked in the private sector. They expect results.
Dr. Peter Venkman: For whatever reasons, Ray. Call it fate. Call it luck. Call it karma. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that we were destined to get thrown out of this dump.
Dr Ray Stantz: For what purpose?
Dr. Peter Venkman: To go into business for ourselves.
Dr Ray Stantz: [Ray thinks it over and takes a drink from Peter’s flask] This ecto containment system that Spengler and I have in mind is gonna require a load of bread to capitalize. Where are we gonna get the money?
They end up mortgaging Ray’s house that was left to him by his parents. From there they go looking for places. Ray settles on an old firehouse
Dr. Peter Venkman: [evaluating a site for their business] What do you think, Egon?
Dr. Egon Spengler: I think this building should be condemned. There’s serious metal fatigue in all the load-bearing members, the wiring is substandard, it’s completely inadequate for our power needs, and the neighborhood is like a demilitarized zone.
Dr Ray Stantz: Hey. Does this pole still work? [slides down a fireman’s pole] Wow. This place is great. When can we move in? You gotta try this pole. I’m gonna get my stuff. Hey. We should stay here. Tonight. Sleep here. You know, to try it out.
[Venkman looks at Spengler. Spengler slowly shakes his head. Venkman turns to the real estate agent] Dr. Peter Venkman: I think we’ll take it.
Ray may be a super scientist, but he is a horrible negotiator. However, he has since made me want an old firehouse to convert.
Meanwhile, classical musician Dana Barrett is just about to discover something strange about her building. At first it seems normal…she is approached by her next door neighbor, Louis (Rick Moranis), who I think is absolutely hilarious. He is nerdy, an accountant, health foodie, and tries so hard to be liked by all.
“Louis: Listen, that reminds me, you shouldn’t leave your TV on so loud when you go out. The creep down the hall phoned the manager.
Dana Barrett: That’s strange, I didn’t realize I’d left it on. [unlocks her door]
Louis: [droning on] Well yeah, you know what I did? I climbed on the ledge and tried to disconnect the cable, but I couldn’t get in, so you know what I did? I turned my TV up real loud too so everyone would think all our TVs had something wrong with them.
Dana Barrett: [abruptly closing her door] Bye, Louis.
Louis: [alone again] Okay, so I’ll see you later, huh? I’ll give you a call! I’m going to go have a shower. [tries to go back into his apartment but he’s locked himself out]
Hmm, very odd, but Dana doesn’t really think about it. In fact she is distracted by the Ghostbusters’ commercial on TV.
I just LOVE this commercial, it is hilarious. You have Ray who is super gung-ho about it, Egon who has no social skills and sounds as if he is reading off a cue card, and Peter who doesn’t give a hoot. Hilarious!
Meanwhile, no one has been coming into Ghostbusters. Their secretary Janine does nothing all day but read.
Sounds like a good job to me! But of course, the Ghostbusters don’t like it. They want clients!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Janine, any calls?
Janine Melnitz: No.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Any messages?
Janine Melnitz: No.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Any customers?
Janine Melnitz: No, Dr. Venkman.
Dr. Peter Venkman: It’s a good job, huh? [Janine smiles] Type something, will you? We’re paying for this stuff! And don’t stare at me, you got the bug-eyes…[pause] Janine, sorry about the bug-eyes thing. I’ll be in my office.
Janine enjoys the job for more than being able to read all day, she is in love with Egon. But as he is a typical nerd he has no clue.
Janine Melnitz: You’re very handy, I can tell. I bet you like to read a lot, too.
Dr. Egon Spengler: Print is dead.
Janine Melnitz: Oh, that’s very fascinating to me. I read a lot myself. Some people think I’m too intellectual but I think it’s a fabulous way to spend your spare time. I also play racquetball. Do you have any hobbies?
Dr. Egon Spengler: I collect spores, molds, and fungus.
Meanwhile, back to Dana. She has encountered her first foray with the supernatural. Her fridge has another world in it and is talking about Zhul. When she unpacks her groceries they are flying everywhere, the eggs cooking on the counter.
She decides to see the Ghostbusters, but is a little weirded out by how unprofessional they seem. I mean they are sitting around eating Cheez-Its and Chunky bars.
They check her out and when it appears that she has nothing do do with it; Egon decides to look up what Zhul means, Ray sets out to the Hall of Records to see if it has anything to do with the building; and Peter decides to head to the apartment.
While there he tries to put the moves on Dana, but she is too tough and is taking nothing from him. Peter looks the apartment over, not really knowing what he is doing, and there appears to be nothing supernatural at all.
Later the crew are hanging out eating, and knowing that this is the end if they don’t get a paying client soon. Luckily they are saved by a call to get a ghost at the Sedgwick Hotel.
Janine Melnitz: [answers the phone] Hello, Ghostbusters… Yes, of course they’re serious… You do?… You have?… No kidding! Just gimme the address… Oh sure, they will be totally discreet. Thank you! [hangs up] WE GOT ONE!
They head out to the hotel, the manager not at all pleased with how loud and brash they are. They pretend to be exterminators, but while they are heading up they realize they have never tested anything out.
Dr Ray Stantz: You know, it just occurred to me that we really haven’t had a successful test of this equipment.
Dr. Egon Spengler: I blame myself.
Dr. Peter Venkman: So do I.
Dr Ray Stantz: Well, no sense in worrying about it now.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.
They turn everything on, but step away just in case the person blows up.
Luckily no one dies and they go searching for the ghost, destroying everything along the way.
Egon just cracks me up, I cannot get enough of him.
This is when the Ghostbusters first meet Slimer. Now I know a lot of people love him, but I have to admit I have always hated Slimer. I thought he was gross and disgusting, and such. Ugh, ultimate torture to be slimed by him.
They do manage to get themselves together enough to capture the little booger.
After this, things start hitting the big time for the Ghostbusters, with them getting calls out of the wazoo.
This causes them to need extra help, hiring Winston Zeddermore, (Ernie Hudson). He’s just a regular guy like us all, and I think that makes him an even more enjoyable character. Just your average joe caught up in the paranormal.
So in Egon’s research, he has found out some things on the architect of the building. He was involved with the occult, and a worshipper of Gozer, Zhul being a key part in this.
Peter decides that with this extra man, he can go see Dana; flirting with her.
She’s not really interested, but does play along, agreeing to dinner.
Back at headquarters, they discover someone from the EPA, Walter Peck. He wants to study everything, but Peter pushes him off, Peck threatening to come back with a court order.
If that wasn’t enough, Egon thinks they might be having a problem with the spirit world.
Dr. Egon Spengler: I’m worried, Ray. It’s getting crowded in there and all my data points to something big on the horizon.
Winston Zeddemore: What do you mean, big?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Well, let’s say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning’s sample, it would be a Twinkie… thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds.
Winston Zeddemore: That’s a big Twinke!
Meanwhile back at Dana’s place, Louis is having a party. He invites Dana, and is heartbroken to hear that she already has plans. She heads into her apartment and gets on the phone when she is attacked.
This scene used to creep me out so much as a kid, and it still is 100% freaky! Can you imagine having that happen to you?
Meanwhile, at Louis’ party he invited just clients in order to write the whole thing off. His one date gets really bored, but he convinces her to stay. I can’t understand why he is trying so hard to win Dana when he has this blonde, supermodel type that loves him. People are weird
Anyways, Louis ends up being attacked and possessed by the other gargoyle dog, Zhul’s mate.
When Peter returns for his date, their is no Dana, but Zhul. Zhul is the lock and is looking for the “keymaster” to wield “his key” and unlock her “gate”, allowing Gozer to walk about and take control of the Earth. I have to give them points for slipping that right past the kids. I never realized what Zhul was asking Peter until I was much older.
So Zhul wont let Peter in until he says he is the keymaster. And to be honest, I think if I was Peter I wouldn’t want to go in there. Possessed Dana is so creepy!
Peter calms her down by shooting her up with some drugs, weird how he was just carrying that around on his date…
So possessed Louis is wandering around looking for the gatekeeper. I love when he talks to the horse, just hilarious. The cops catch him and drop him off at Ghostbusters headquarters so they can deal with him.
To make things even more intense then dealing with two possessed people, a building that is a gateway for some serious paranormal activity, the dreaded Peck arrives. He wants to shut the grid off, and no convincing can stop him.
What a jerk! He doesn’t have any clue what will happen next and he does this.
This causes a HUGE explosion, destroys the Ghostbusters Headquarters, sends Louis off as he has seen his sign, releases ghosts, and wakens Dana who destroys a section of her building to reach the top.
All are arrested and while waiting, look at a blueprint, trying to get a plan together.
The are taken out of jail and are sent to see the mayor. Hopefully they can plead their case and get out of there.
Meanwhile, Louis and Dana have met up and the key has opened the lock.
At the mayor’s office the Ghostbusters, Peck, and the mayor argue again and again. The mayor decides to side with the Ghostbusters and they head out.
Everyone is cheering for them as they mug it up for the crowd, but soon they grow unahappy as they have to climb twenty-two flights of stairs to reach Dana’s apartment, the gateway.
They find a staircase and climb up. There they find Dana and Louis who have turned into the gargoyle dogs. Their transformation opens the temple doors and Gozer comes out.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Go get her, Ray!
Dr Ray Stantz: Gozer the Gozerian… good evening. As a duly designated representative of the City, County and State of New York, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension.
Dr. Peter Venkman: [Sarcastically] That oughta do it. Thanks very much, Ray.
Gozer: [to Ray] Are you a God?
Dr Ray Stantz: [Ray looks at Peter, who nonchalantly nods yes] No.
Gozer: Then… DIE! [Lightning flies from her fingers, driving the Ghostbusters to the edge of the roof and almost off; people below scream]
Winston Zeddemore: Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say “YES”!
Dr. Peter Venkman: All right! This chick is TOAST!
They try to destroy her
But she is too fast for them. Gozer has them choose the form that the destructor will be in. They all close their mind, buuut……..
And they save the day getting Dana and Louis out.
This is just a fantastic movie, hilarious, fun, and creepy, all the elements you want in a Halloween film. And of course that fantastic song. I cannot say enough just how awesome this film is.
And just a little extra fun!
Well that’s our opening review! I hope you all enjoy it and keep coming back for more! And of course, a facebook banner. I make them every year and use them all October long!
For more on Ghostbusters, go to When You Least Expect It
For more ghosts, go to She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)
For more horror-comedy, go to I’m the Chosen One. And I Choose to be Shopping: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
For more horror-parody, go to A Modern Mummy: Under Wraps (1997)
For more Nostalgia Critic, go to Return of the Fandom