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Throw into the melting pot spectacular special effects, two godfathers of the Second City/Saturday Night Live comedy scene (Ackroyd and Murray), Sigourney Weaver’s sexy foil, a deadpan comedy script and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and you have a recipe for success!
When three parapsychologists (Venkman, Spengler and Stantz) get their funding cut, they decide to set up as professional ghost catchers. In Dana Barrett’s Manhattan apartment, her eggs start to cook themselves and when she opens the fridge, a freaky dog-like creature growls the word ‘Zuul’ and their first client is on board.
Bill Murray plays the laidback flirty Venkman to perfection and while city bureaucrats dismiss their work as the practice of charlatans, they systematically rid the city of a plethora of ghouls, ghosts, ectoplasm and assorted beasts conjured up by a Babylonian demon and ‘channelled’ through Dana Barrett and Louis Tully. The finale, a spectacular fight with a 100-ft marshmallow pays homage to Merian C Cooper’s King Kong of the 1930s and while thousands of cheering New Yorkers wipe marshmallow from their faces, Barrett and Tully are freed from the shackles of the afterlife.
Bankrupt after years of lawsuits and restraining orders, New York in general and Dana Barrett’s infant son specifically start experiencing paranormal activity and Ghostbusters II was born. A painting of Vigo the Carpathian Dana is restoring comes to life and wants to take over the body of the small child as the home for his wicked soul and turn NYC into a bubbling, oozing river of steaming ectoplasm. Held up at every turn by legal red tape and jobsworth bureaucrats, Venkman, Spengler and Stantz do what they do best!
What we’re talking about here is two exceptionally gifted comedy writers and performers who have written a brilliantly funny script and had it delivered to perfection. When you watch a film called Ghostbusters, you shouldn’t expect highbrow costume drama; you should expect a group of super-funny actors with a slick script kicking some supernatural ass. Tie it all up with possibly the catchiest theme tune of the 80s by Ray Parker Jr and you have all the elements needed to sit back and enjoy the madness!
Some of our favourite Ghostbusters quotes…
Spengler: There’s something very important I forgot to tell you.
Spengler: Don’t cross the streams.
Spengler: It would be bad.
Venkman: I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, ‘bad’?
Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
Venkman: Right. That’s bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.
Winston Zeddmore: Hey, wait a minute. Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Hold it! Now, are we actually gonna go before a federal judge, and tell him that some mouldy Babylonian god is going to drop in on Central Park West, and start tearing up the city?
Spengler: Sumerian, not Babylonian.
Venkman: Yeah. Big difference.
Zeddmore: No offense, guys, but I’ve gotta get my own lawyer.
Venkman: He slimed me.
Dana Barrett: That’s the bedroom, but nothing but nothing ever happened in there.
Venkman: What a crime.
Dana Barrett: You know you don’t act like a scientist.
Venkman: They’re usually pretty stiff.
Dana Barrett: You’re more like a game show host.
Venkman: Alright… let’s show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown.
Dan Ackroyd wrote the principle roles for John Belushi, Eddie Murphy and John Candy. Belushi died, Murphy was making Beverly Hills Cop and Candy wasn’t interested!
The trailer for the film was essentially the TV commercial the Ghostbusters use in the film and it included a 1-800 number. If people called it, they got a recorded message from Ackroyd and Murray saying there were out catching ghosts. People did call it. In fact the number took 1,000 calls an hour, 24 hours a day, for six weeks.
Ray Parker Jr was having trouble writing the theme song until he saw an advert for a plumbing company with the strap-line ‘who you gonna call?’
Ron Jeremy appears as an extra in the scene where the containment unit explodes. He went on to star in This Ain’t Ghostbusters XXX. 80s pop-pixie Debbie Gibson also appears as an extra in the Tavern on the Green restaurant scene.
The jail scene was filmed in a real prison which the cast and crew were convinced was haunted. The dailies came back with unexplained scratch marks all over them. To this day, no-one has admitted where the prison is. Speculation includes the defunct New York City Police Department HQ on Queen Street and The Tombs, built as a replacement for the colonial era Bridewell Prison in lower Manhattan.
Bobby Brown’s single ‘On Our Own’ was released on the Ghostbusters II soundtrack and contained this killer line – ‘Too hot to handle, too cold to hold, they’re called the Ghostbusters and they’re in control!’
Unsurprisingly, most of Bill Murray’s one-liners were ad-libbed.
Until the release of Home Alone, Ghostbusters was the highest-grossing comedy of all time.
Have you got any random Ghostbusters trivia? Let us know on Twitter @homeofretro or comment on our Facebook page!
The Stars of Ghostbusters – Where Are They Now?
A Saturday Night Live legend, he starred in Groundhog Day, Rushmore and Charlie’s Angels before being nominated for an Oscar for Lost in Translation. He revived the Venkman character for the Ghostbusters videogame but apparently he is the reason the third movie may never get to production.
An actor, writer and director, he wrote three of Bill Murray’s early comedies, Meatballs, Caddyshack and Stripes (as well as the third Ghostbusters movie) and both wrote and directed Groundhog Day. He directed Analyze This and Analyze That which starred Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal as well as guest-directing episodes of the US version of The Office.
Another SNL royal, he found fame alongside John Belushi in The Blues Brothers and was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Driving Miss Daisy. Hilariously funny in Trading Places with Eddie Murphy, he starred in Dragnet and Grosse Point Blank and he’s now out and about pushing his own brand of vodka!
A three-time Oscar nominee, Sigourney Weaver has starred in some of the most popular films ever made, including the Alien franchise, Gorillas in the Mist, The Ice Storm, Working Girl and most famously for younger audiences as Grace in James Cameron’s Avatar.
Loveable dweeb Moranis had hits with Spaceballs, Little Shop of Horrors, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Parenthood and The Flintstones but essentially retired from the business to look after his children. He writes country music as a hobby.