[Last Film I Saw] Ghostbusters (1984)

Ghostbusters poster

Title: Ghostbusters
Year: 1984
Country: USA
Language: English
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Director: Ivan Reitman
Writers:
Dan Aykroyd
Harold Ramis
Music: Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography: László Kovács
Cast:
Bill Murray
Sigourney Weaver
Dan Aykroyd
Harold Ramis
Rick Moranis
Ernie Hudson
Annie Potts
William Atherton
David Margulies
Slavitza Jovan
Alice Drummond
Larry King
Jennifer Runyon
Steven Tash
Michael Ensign
Timothy Carhart
Rating: 7.3/10

My belated visit to the 80s classic ultra-popular American supernatural comedy directed by Ivan Reitman, indisputably his most successful directorial work to date, the Hollywood veteran is now in the inevitable course of being eclipsed by his son Jason Reitman, who is already a two-times Oscar-nominated director (JUNO 2007 and UP IN THE AIR 2009).

The film stars Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as a trio of nerdy parapsychologists in New York, after being dismissed by the university, they initiate a service knows as Ghostbusters to deal with the more and more frequent paranormal activities in the city, things then trace back to Gozer, a Sumerian amorphous god of destruction, who is going to wreck havoc on the city, with the aids of its two servants, Zuul the Gatekeeper and Vinz Clortho, the Keymaster, two ferocious dog-shaped demigods.

The core trio (later joined by Ernie Hudson as the fourth member to appear politically corrected) predates the current trend of brain-is-the-new-sexy, Peter Venkman (Murray) more or less is a philanderer and particularly disarming in his aloof attitude to the gravitas of their cause. Raymond Stantz (Aykroyd) has a more guileless mindset, a man-boy hybrid will lovably bring about a beast of a giant marshmallow man. Egon Spengler (the late Ramis) is the geek among geeks, a stern-looking scientists with fully-functional apparatus to bust some ghosts. Peter’s new love interest is Dana (Weaver), their first client soon to be possessed by Zuul, so is her neighbour Louis Tully (Moranis), as the receptacle of the Keymaster.

The special effects are very much 1980s, but they are also the brainchild of a genuinely extraordinary creation, massively uproarious in its pokerface seriousness (not to mention its contagious theme song by Ray Parker Jr. The wacky script written by Aykroyd and Hamis is the mainstay of its distinctiveness, Murray’s iconic personification of his on-screen image is droll to watch, Weaver is beguilingly titillating after the possession and Moranis’s loquacious improvisation slightly overstays its welcome, but appropriately dovetails itself into the demigod.

Very rarely a comedy can blend well with its spectral fodder and family-friendly closeness, GHOSTBUSTERS is far from being a perfectly executed masterpiece, or a cutting-edge cinematic pioneer, but its common-or-garden stance effectively boosts the “everyone can be a hero” message, no wonder it has been an enormous crowd-pleaser and bred into a beloved franchise since the inception. I may skip its 1989 sequel but a long-delayed third instalment doesn’t seem to a bad idea at all, or the latest rumour is the BRIDESMAIDS (2011) helmer Paul Feig is eyeing for an all-female reboot, it sounds much more enticing, Bill Murray even gives his own suggestion of the casting, see here.

Weaver as Dana

Weaver as Dana

Ghostbusters  2

all fire up!

the late Ramis

the late Ramis

Moranis

Moranis

black face is a must

black face is a must

Dana's possession

Dana’s possession

the giant marshmallow man

the giant marshmallow man

Gozer as an exotic woman, Slavitza Jovan

Gozer as an exotic woman, Slavitza Jovan

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