Sunday, October 10, 2010
Movie of the Week
Starring- Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis
I have probably watched this movie more times than any other, and for me that is saying a lot. As a kid I was obsessed with everything Ghostbusters- especially this film. As I got older I began to re-appreciate it because I finally understood how funny it was, many of the jokes having gone over my head as a kid. The jokes were the brainchild of writers and stars Aykroyd and Ramis and the great improvisation of Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman. Originally penned by Aykroyd as a more surreal space/time ghost adventure for he and John Belushi, the film took on a more real world tone after Belushi died and Ramis was brought in to co-write. The version that director Ivan Reitman finally filmed is equal parts comedy, science fiction, summer blockbuster and going into business story.
The film follows three parapsychologists, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler who decide to take their knowledge outside of the university setting and go into business as ghost exterminators and eliminators. Along the way they meet client and Peter's would-be girlfriend, Dana Barrett (Weaver), who has had a spiritual encounter with a ghost named Zuul in her refrigerator. The story culminates with the Sumerian god Gozer returning to Earth to bring about the end of the world, but not before Dana and her neighbor Louis are possessed and turned into dogs, the Ghostbusters get arrested and a giant Marshmallow Man terrorizes New York City.
Like so many other classic comedies, Ghostbusters is loaded with hilarious scenes and memorable quotes. The strength of this movie is obvious to all because it spawned a sequel, a great cartoon, toys (most of which I still own) and a hit theme song by Ray Parker, Jr. Aykroyd and Murray were already household names because of their time on Saturday Night Live, but this movie made them icons. I will never be able to see a tall stack of books or a twinkie or a marshmallow for that matter and not instantly think of moments from Ghostbusters. The phrase "Who you gonna call?" has, since 1984, necessitated the answer- "GHOSTBUSTERS!" What else do you need to know?
Things to watch for-
William Atherton as a great weenus- Walter Peck
Slimer (said to be the ghost of John Belushi)
The bag of Sta-Puft marshmallows on Dana's counter
A couple of wavy lines
The magic word
The Gate Keeper and the Key Master
"I collect spores, molds and fungus."
Here's a photo of me as Dr. Peter Venkman