Before “Ghostbusters” was released in 1984, the science fiction genre was either primarily categorized as action/adventure, blended with aspects of horror, but what this film did was ascertain plausible scientific elements in a comedic approach.
How could this film not be considered as a comedy with Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman,
Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond Stanz and Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler? To take a line from “Spies like Us,” another ‘80s comedy movie starring Dan Aykroyd that’s a whole lot of doctors.
Behind the helm is Ivan Reitman, known for directing well-known comedies of the ‘80s as well. He features great footage of city landscape of New York City, making the city itself a supporting character with its residence and giving the film of its grandoise.
Dismissed from the world of academia, the guys go into business for themselves into the events of the unknown and unexplained, or as it’s known today as paranormal activities.
Mr. Murray’s character can be considered as the mouth of the company as his charm and charisma gets the company recognized by the masses.
Mr. Aykroyd’s character is the heart of the company as he’s the one who finance the company and finds the perfect company’s vehicle that suits the company, the Ecto-1.
Mr. Ramis’ character is the brain who wants to sample and analyze each specimen while running around with the ghost tracker.
The company hires true New Yorker assistant Janine (Annie Potts) and expands the crew with the hiring of off-the-street applicant Winston (Ernie Hudson). As the new face, Mr. Hudson lends credibility to what the company’s doing in regards to its mission as well as lending the religious component of the film.
Their first client is Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) who’s been traumatized by the events of her penthouse in which strange circumstances occurs around her. Ms. Weaver, who was for her works in drama and the iconic strong woman as Ripley in “Alien,” proves her comedic chops in this film.
Also impacted is her neighbor, Louis Tully (Rick Moranis). This would become his breakthrough role as a comedian with his dead-pan portrayal as tax accountant Louis who tries to be too cool while pinning for his neighbor Dana.
Business is doing well for them as there’s an up tick in phenomena that everyday people encounter which ties into the plot of the story. The men become celebrities as they go across the city capturing these entities and safely storing them for concealment.
Memorable ghosts include Slimer the green being who’s lust for life and trial of slime can’t help but bear in mind another comedian, who would become the crew’s first successful on site capture. Leading up to the final being they have to deal with in the memorable giant marshmallow man Stay Puft as he rampages through the city.
If there’s to be a human foil to the Ghostbusters then it would have to be William Atherton as Walter Peck, an E.P.A. agent who does not believe in them and wants to shut them down.
The film was ahead of its time in the special effects from the creation of the entities, to portraying how the Ghostbusters contraption would work to the film’s finale. The effects give the film an homage to prior special effects of prior year in working with stop animation while making do before C.G.I.
Whether you consider the film as a comedy, science fiction or both, the film features memorable lines from its stars as they don’t try to outdo one another but work together as an ensemble that makes the film a classic
After 30 years laters, fans are still asking, “Who you going to call?” Followed by the response of “Ghostbusters!”
Classification: Blu-Ray Vault – 2008 Edition
Movie Grade: 4.25 out of 5 stars
This film prove that science fiction didn’t need to be primarily action, adventure or even horror, but can have some funny aspects in the world of science as they explore things that go bump in the night in New York City.
Blu-Ray Grade: 4 out of 5 stars
It features Commentary from director Ivan Reitman, Actor/Writer Harold Ramis and Associate Producer Joe Medjuck. A 1984 featurette of cast and crew. Seeing the film from different angle, views and from the storyboard. A segment on estoring the Ghostbuster vehicle, a look at the video game and other previews.
Rating: PG (1984), PG-13 (By today’s standards)
Timing: 1 Hour, 45 Minutes
Genre: Science Fiction, Comedy, Action
- Director: Ivan Reitman
- Writer: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Rick Moranis (uncredited)
- Actors: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, William Atherton, Annie Potts and Rick Moranis.