Since I'll be attending this screening tonight, it made sense to feature this monster hit comedy for this week's Flashback Friday. I had planned to write about Ghostbusters sometime this year anyway because it is twenty-five years old. Gosh, I feel old! Twenty-five years felt like eternity when I was a 12 year old! When I think about how long it seemed to take from birth to twelve years old, versus the thought that I started college twelve years ago...I keep wanting to slow down the clock some. Time is speeding by too quickly! Make it stop!
Anyhow, I first saw the trailer to Ghostbusters when my parents took the family to see Romancing the Stone at the movie theater. Cue scary music. I remember my brother getting scared when the previews came on. When I saw the title Ghostbusters, I knew it would be a comedy, and thus not scary. It was a must see film for me and I was annoyed that the kids in the neighbourhood all saw it before I did and acted out scenes from the movie as well as quote dialogue. When I finally got to see it, I was blown away. I was absolutely nuts for the movie. It was all I could think about and I wanted to be a Ghostbuster.
That Halloween, I even made my own Ghostbuster costume for a church party. When I wrote "Venkman" on a nametag, my dad asked why I couldn't just be myself. Because, dad, Venkman is funny and cool! I totally wanted to be as funny as Venkman. Bill Murray's genius as a comedian is that he always looks serious. He doesn't smile much. He kind of resembles a human bulldog, if you think about it. Thus, with his serious demeanor, you never expect him to say the kind of funny things he does. That's my favourite kind of comedian (serious demeanor, hilarious and witty commentary).
For my birthday that year, I received the Ghostbusters Original Soundtrack. I really liked the song "Saving the Day." I also like the instrumental music, and the theme song by Ray Parker, Jr. I bought the movie novelization and read it, disappointed by the changes (such as when Winston tells the white judge in the movie: "I have seen shit that will turn you white!" The novel version was watered down to: "I have seen jazz that would boggle your mind!" Lame! The phrase in the movie got a laugh, the line in the novel would not have).
The Ghostbusters logo is probably my all time favourite product logo ever created. I used to draw that logo all the time on my homework papers and notebooks. I even created my own Ghostbusters laminated button to wear. Like I said, I was a nut about the film. My parents couldn't believe how much I loved this movie. Whenever I wanted to see it in theaters, my dad didn't understand why I'd want to see it again. I saw it five times in a theater, which was unusual for me back then (in my life, there might be less than ten films that I've seen at least five times in a theater).
In the seventh grade, this movie basically bonded me with my group of friends, even though we also shared being Air Force dependents as well. One of the guys in the group was named Ian, but I thought of him as Egon (played by Harold Ramis). There was a classmate (Todd Magee) who reminded me of the nerdy Louis (Rick Moranis). But the biggest bond was with a classmate who had the same first name as me. He was also a Ghostbusters fan. When I visited him a few years ago, he showed me a picture of himself in a Ghostbusters costume his mother made for him to wear for Halloween in 1984. We were in the same group of friends around that time, but he didn't become my best friend until I moved away and he was only one of two people who kept in touch through letter writing.
For another example of how crazy I was about this film in 1984 (my seventh grade year), in my Speaking and Listening class, we had to stand up in front of the class and give a 30 second commercial of a product we thought of. My commercial was on "Stay Puft Yogurt." My pitch was that now, people could eat the actual contents of Mr. Stay Puft, who was melted in the climatic scene of Ghostbusters. I remember some people groaning with my presentation, while others laughed.
In terms of movies, Ghostbusters had so many quotable lines. Ones I would repeat at various times included: "Does anyone want to play Parcheezi?", "Okay, who brought the dog?", "Are you the gatekeeper?", "Are you the keymaster?", "Someone blows their nose and you want to keep it?", "You're right, no human would stack books this way," "Take me now, subcreature," "Okay, so my girlfriend's a dog," "dogs and cats, living together. Mass hysteria!", "You will have saved the lives of millions of registered voters," "Back off man, I'm a scientist," "Your girlfriend has the corner penthouse of Spook Central", "get her!", "you can keep your five bucks!", "I collect spores, molds, and fungus," "sorry about the bug eyes thing", "if there's a steady paycheck, I'll believe anything you say," "I'll go over to Miss Barrett's apartment and check her out", "You know, you don't act like a scientist. More like a game show host," "we got one!", "he slimed me", "I've quit better jobs than this", "there's something strange about that man", "do I? Yes, have some!", "Nice shootin', Tex," "you didn't say the magic word," "yes, its true, this man has no dick," "what about the Twinkie?" "yeah, its a sign alright. Going out of business," "are you a god? Then die!", "let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown," "it just popped in there," "no one steps on a church in my town," "smells like burnt dog hair," "who turned out the lights?", and "I love this town!"
In the end, though, all that "I love you" talk in the movie was a bit too mushy for me. The villain was lame (Vigo wishes to be born into the infant so when he reaches a certain age, he can unleash armaggedon and become ruler of the world). They should've thought of something more original. Thus I understand why this movie made exactly half the amount of the first film and why no third film was ever made.
Oh, but wait a minute. Dan Ackroyd keeps talking up a third Ghostbuster movie. He had an idea nearly a decade ago, which didn't sound all that great. His idea was that hell has emerged to incorporate New York City and the original Ghostbusters would train a younger group in how to be Ghostbusters. I think Ackroyd really wants another Ghostbusters movie because his film career has been pretty crappy (he played Britney Spears' dad earlier this decade in Britney's film debut, Crossroads). He wants Bill Murray on board, but Bill has been the most reluctant of the group to want to do another one. But why does it have to depend on him or any of them? None of the actors have been in a hit film in awhile. It is time to have a new cast if they are going to do it. I would love to see Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Justin Bartha, and Queen Latifah as Ghostbusters.
As for a storyline, I would hope that it would not feature an end of the world scenario, though maybe with the Mayan calendar of 2012, it might be okay if they incorporate that into the movie. I'd love to see what they could do with the special effects technology of today. After all, it has greatly improved since the sequel was released twenty years ago. A new Ghostbusters movie will most likely happen at some point in the future. The trick is coming up with a killer script and storyline. I personally would love to have a crack at a storyline. With all my personal study about spiritual ideas, I think I might be able to come up with something interesting enough. But would it be funny?
Anyhow, I look forward to the screening tonight in Portland's Living Room. Witnessing the audience reaction is almost half the fun of watching the film (I have the DVD set, which I could watch at anytime, but I've decided to wait until the screening since I haven't seen either film in years).