Saturday, February 9, 2013

MR Ghostbusters

Time for an all-time classic, one of my favorite movies of all time - if not THE favorite!

They came, they saw, and they kicked ass!

Movie: Ghostbusters
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Release date 1984
Genre Science-fiction/horror/comedy
Country USA

Originally developed by comedian Dan Aykroyd for himself and his friend John Belushi from the Saturday Night Live, the idea went through several steps before becoming this huge pop culture phenomenon it now is.
The concept behind Ghostbusters stayed mostly the same, but Dan Aykroyd rewrote it several times with Harold Ramis, having to cut down several aspects for budgetary reasons.
And it resulted in this near perfect blend of sci-fi, horror and comedy in the end.
So, thank god for rewrites?

The original draft was about these characters called Ghostsmashers, it would have taken place in the future.
The guys would have fought several ghosts and deities (like Gozer...) across time and space.
It would have feature several other comedian friends of Aykroyd in a more serious setting though.
Peter Venkman was originally written for John Belushi, as well as Louis Tully for John Candy. Eddie Murphy was also supposed to have a role.

But in the end Ivan Reitman was brought on board to direct instead of Ramis.
Reitman saw the various budgetary problems the movie would have and Belushi died at the time as well.

Anyways, a couple of new drafts later, the movie was made much simpler.
Just a science-fiction/comedy with some horror elements, no more high concepts.
And the rest is history!~

The story follows three parapsychologists, Dr. Raymond Stantz, Dr. Egon Spengler and finally Dr. Peter Venkman that after all their credibility and losing their jobs at the Columbia University decide to establish their own paranormal exterminator business.

They decide to actually go after ghosts encounters and after meeting one for real at a library, open their services as the "Ghostbusters"in the heart of New York City, in a retired firehouse.
Their first job is at the famous Sedgewick Hotel.
There's been many sightings of a strange slimey green onionhead ghost (Dan Aykroyd used to call "John Belushi’s ghost" during the production) there. The guys are able to catch it and suddenly they pick quick success and celebrity.

To help keep NYC safer, the guys start making lots of publicity and merchandising to pay the bills to keep their nuclear reactor running, which contains all the ghosts captured inside.
They hire some help to join their ranks, Winston Zeddemore. He's the only non-scientist of the crew, meaning an everyday man and the audience's entry point into this world of pseudo-science of supernatural stuff.

Things were going ok for a while...
But trouble's actually arising. All these recent supernatural appearances and concentrated ectoplaysmic means only one thing... Something much bigger is coming ahead.
The return of the demigod Gozer the Gozerian, a Sumerian God of Destruction!

The film is served by an all-time classic cast, a once in a lifetime really.

Peter Venkman is brilliantly played by the inimitable Bill Murray who ad-libbed much of his lines.
He was perfect for the role! And although sometimes I like to wonder how the movie would have been with Belushi in the role instead, you can't deny the success of the series was in due part a lot thanks to Murray.
Dan Aykroyd makes a great Ray Stantz! He's the most enthusiastic by all the stuff that keeps happening to the guys. He's the heart of the franchise.
Harold Ramis didn't plan to star in the film originally, but after a couple of auditions he saw he was better suited to play Egon Spengler than anybody else.
Ernie Hudson come a bit late in the plot as Winston Zeddemore, but he has always been a favorite of mine in the crew. You learn the ropes of the Ghostbusters alongside him. (what are the Proton Packs really, what they do to ghosts afterwards...) I wouldn't have liked a smart talking Winston played by Eddie Murphy, specially opposite to Bill Murray.

The guys are then joined by so many fun colorful characters!
Sigourney Weaver at her funniest, a nerdy geeky Rick Moranis, Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz, William Atherton as the always annoying Walter Peck and many more!

And the ghosts are certainly not the least.
They're all so unique, fantastic and memorable!
The crew was able to achieve these timeless effects with a bland of special FXs, stop-motion, animatronics, costumes and green screen!

And let's not forget Gozer's minions, Zull the Gatekeeper! Vinz Clortho the Keymaster!
And how awesome is the moment the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man appears in the streets...!

The movie is a perfect blend of big budget special effects and comedy unlike anything ever seen at the time - nor ever since.
A dialogue-heavy character based comedy, yet at the same time a big budget blockbuster with lots of heavy incredible effects.

Ghostbusters became a landmark in movie history, a cult classic from the 80s.

It launched a big movie career to an already popular Bill Murray.
The Saturday Night Live actor starred in so many successful comedies after that!

The movie features such a fantastic score.
Elmer Bernstein composed an amazing music. The music in the film is catchy, cult, creepy.
It's such an eerie atmosphere, something almost like straight from one of these horror films from the 80s, yet it just works so well with the comedy situations here.

Not even counting the great theme song by Ray Parker Jr!
There's been a lot of controversy regarding it, Huey Lewis sued Ray Parker Jr because it sounds so similar to his own hit "I want a new drug".
And you know what? Lewis was gonna record the main theme at first, but refused and went on to compose Back to the Future's instead! Personally as much as I like Huey, I prefer the much superior catchier Ghostbusters theme over his drug tune~

Overall, an all-time favorite!
Simply put: Perfect!
No wonder it has became such a cult feature!
The rhythm, the fun story, the characters..
Based on its great dialogue alone, it's such a fun clever hilarious piece!

The Ghostbusters became a big phenomenon!
The hit was instantaneous. An all-time classic, easily one of the greatest amongst so many other clever funny films from the 80s. The popularity of the series lives on to this day!

The franchise got several adaptations since the first one over the decades.
Be it in the form of video games, comics, a sequel, cartoons and many more merchandising!

I give it:
3 / 3 UFOs!