Ghostbusters (1984)

ghostbusters poster 1984 movie
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great laughs, good story

Some dated FX, Gozer scene is a letdown

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: Ghostbusters

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Genre(s): Comedy/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror

Release Date(s): June 7, 1984

MPAA Rating: PG

ghostbusters-slimer

It’s slime-time!

Who you gonna call?  When the city of New York begins to have an outbreak of ghosts, a new company called Ghostbusters might just what New York needs.  As the ghost activity increases Ray (Dan Aykroyd), Egon (Harold Ramis), Peter (Bill Murray), Winston (Ernie Hudson), and their receptionist Janine (Annie Potts) find they are busier than ever.  When the ghosts seem to localize around the apartments of Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and Louis Tully (Rick Moranis), the Ghostbusters investigate the demon called Gozer the Gozerian.  Unfortunately, the Ghostbusters actions have caught the attention of a EPA agent named Walter Peck (William Atherton) who threatening to shut the whole operation down.

Directed by Ivan Reitman, Ghostbusters became a giant hit.  The smart blend of comedy, scares, and action was well received by critics.  The movie spawned comics, TV shows, sequels, toys, games, and is considered a modern classic.  The soundtrack was a big hit and Ray Parker, Jr’s Ghostbusters is still a popular novelty song.

ghostbusters-weaver-moranis

Best…night…ever

Ghostbusters works because of the cast.  Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis are great as the “proper” Ghostbusters, but Ernie Hudson also adds a nice touch as their driver/substitute member Winston. Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver are great as the possessed Louis and Dana as they almost portray dual roles once possessed by the Keymaster and Gatekeeper.  William Atherton continues to prove he plays a great weasely character (like he later did in Die Hard) and just oozes slime (and he isn’t even Slimer).

The original movie was very differently cast and I can’t actually picture it with anyone else.  The movie was originally going to be a vehicle for Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi before Belushi’s death.  Winston was supposed to be played by Eddie Murphy and Gozer was planned for Paul Reubens (aka Pee-Wee).  John Candy was supposed to Rick Moranis’ role (which I actually can see) and Sandra Bernhard was wanted for Annie Potts’ role.

ghostbusters-stay-puff

What did you do Ray?

The story for Ghostbusters is extremely smart also.  It is the perfect blend of comedy with action and a hint of horror mixed in.  The horror (except possibly the jump at the beginning in the library) isn’t intense enough to stop kids from watching it, and primarily the film is a comedy.  It seems like the movie is very ad-libbed (especially Murray), but almost all of Murray’s lines were scripted.  This shows the strength of the script since it seems so natural coming from actors.

At the time Ghostbuster also seemed pretty high tech.  Now it has aged a bit, but for the most part the effects still hold up.  Like many big FX movies from the ’80s, there are some bad blue-screen effects. Things like Slimer and the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man actually still look pretty good…I did always think the Gozer lady (Slavitza Jovan) was a bit of a letdown and just her flash and disappearance really didn’t work for me.  The Keymaster and the Gatekeeper also look a bit weak when they turn into claymation creatures, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Ghostbusters is still a classic comedy (with a fun soundtrack).  Kids and adults will still love it.  Even now, Ghostbusters still makes waves.  With a video game “sequel” released in 2009 with an all new Ghostbusters story, and plans for another sequel Ghostbusters is still going strong.  Ghostbusters was followed by the disappointing Ghostbusters II in 1989.

Related Links:

Ghostbusters II (1989)

Ghostbusters (2016)

The Real Ghostbusters—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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