As a true child of the '80s, of course I have seen 1984's Ghostbusters numerous times. I used to watch the cartoon TV show and had a serious pre-K crush on the nerdy, skinny, bespectacled one (shock, shock). I haven't seen the movies all the way through since probably the early '90s, however, so now that I'm reviewing ghosty classics, it's time to revisit. Properly. With booze. I vaguely remember it being awesome. I hope not to be disappointed in this endeavor.
Here is a stone lion outside the New York Public Library. Old Lady Librarian is going to reshelve the fuck out some shit in the creepy basement stacks. Books are floating around, rearranging themselves. GHOST, DO YOU PROPERLY KNOW THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SYSTEM, BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T, THAT IS FUCKED UP AND NOBODY WILL FIND THOSE BOOKS. Cards start flying out of the physical card catalogs and the librarian finally notices something's going on, screams, and starts to run. God, I love libraries and ghosts. That's probably why the one time I wrote (most of) a screenplay, there was a quasi-ghost-in-a-library plot point. Bright light, screaming. Now the Ray Parker, Jr. song. I hope Ray Parker, Sr. was proud of his son's claim to fame: one mediocre-but-catchy-and-iconic song on a movie soundtrack.
Inside the Psychology Department building on a campus somewhere,we see a door labeled Paranormal Studies Lab. Three names: Dr. Egon Spengler (my cartoon crush), Dr. Ray Stantz, and Dr. Peter Venkman in addition to some graffiti that says "VENKMAN BURN IN HELL." We hear Bill Murray. He's doing some kind of ESP testing with a guy with big hair. He shocks the guy for guessing the symbol on the card wrong. He tells the other participant, a hot chick, that she's right about what's on the card when she's not right. He does it again. What a sleaze. Bill Murray shocked him even when he got it right! The dude gets mad about the shocks and argues with Bill about the worth of the $5 he was earning by volunteering for this study. I worked in a psych lab one summer, and we paid participants $10 to do some experiment listening to words and shit. There was probably more to it than that, but the part of the job I liked was transcribing women talking to their babies and getting to use phonetic transcription AKA my bachelor's degree.
|Full disclosure: a good friend of mine is in a book club with this name and has a CROSS-STITCHED BOOKMARK that says this on it. I am so jealous.|
Peter is skeptical about the worthiness of their ghost-catching/research attempts. Back in the lab, the dean is moving all their shit off-campus. The Board of Regents is OVER IT. No more funding, not real science, blahblahblah. Ray is sad, but Peter's like, let's just open a business. They go and get some money, apparently they've taken out a third mortgage on Ray's house. Professional paranormal investigations! They find a crappy old firehouse building for their office and living conditions. Egon calls it a DMZ, but Ray is pumped about the fireman's pole.
Sigourney Weaver, having had a few years to recover from her horrible space abandonment, carries some groceries and an instrument case into her apartment. Rick Moranis is her neighbor and is wearing an awesome velour sweatsuit. He's an accountant and wants Sigourney to come to his party. Apparently her "TV" was too loud while she was gone. Sigournz sees the dudes' Ghostbusters' "supernatural elimination" commercial, seems amused, but turns off the TV. She's bought some Stay-Puft Marshmallows FORESHADOWING. The ghost starts cracking her carton of eggs/kind of cooking them on the counter. RUDE. There's a growling coming from her fridge. A bright light, a demon and some kind of paranormal gateway is open in there. She screams and shuts the door. Gotta clean that shit out every once in a while, bro.
Ghostbusters headquarters is getting set up. Ray's found them an old ambulance. JANINE!!! Annie Potts is cranky and awesome at the front desk. Look at those old computers! Egon claims "print is dead." Janine is interested in Egon. He collects mold for a hobby, obvs. Sigourney Weaver shows up to sample their ghostbusting wares (AKA BILL MURRAY'S DICK). Peter jumps over some shit to greet her. The team interviews her and their instruments tell them she's not lying. Ghostbusters drink Budweiser and eat Cheez-Its during meetings.
Peter volunteers to "check out" her apartment, which she hasn't been back to since the fridgecident. He's carrying in some kind of antennae hooked up to a cassette player or something, it looks like. THE 1980S. She tells him he's more like a game show host than a scientist because of all the sleazing he's doing up in here. Peter opens the fridge, and there's just regular food and shit in there, which he criticizes. There was a voice that said "Zul" before. He's not getting any readings from his "equipment." He tells her he's madly in love with her. She rejects him because of his sleazy mcsleazyness. Moranis sees him in the building's hallway and looks awkward.
The GB boys eat dinner in the firehouse. Janine gets a real call and gets excited. She sounds the alarm and they suit up and head out in the newly painted Ghostbusters ambulance. The job is at the Sedgewick Hotel. They come in with their jumpsuits and equipment. The concierge is very nervous. The twelfth floor has had some increased paranormal activity recently. A guest asks if they're cosmonauts (COLD WAR!), but Peter says they're exterminators. Isn't there a black guy? Where is the black guy team member? Their machines are untested, but they're on it anyway. Gonna try to catch those ghosts. They shoot their lasers at a poor housekeeping lady. Because this is a ghost movie, they decide to split up. Ray is just smoking in the hallway because the '80s. He comes upon a green floating ghost (SLIMER!) gorging himself on a room service cart. That's some shitty animation. Ray tries to shoot and capture him, but misses. Next, Peter sees Slimer. Slimer slimes Peter, Ray's excited about the samples, and Egon calls them to investigate a ballroom in the hotel. They encounter Slimer hovering around a chandelier, which they quickly destroy with their lasers. Egon says they're not supposed to cross their gun stream thingies.
The Buster boys attempt to shoot and catch Slimer a bunch, destroying shit around the ballroom. The concierge is nervous about the clear destruction he hears happening inside. Bill Murray pulls out a tablecloth from under a table setting. Two of them shoot and contain Slimer in the trap thingy on the floor. They've caused a pretty big mess, but they get $5000 for this case anyway. On the news, we hear about all sorts of ghost reports for the GBs. Montage of them responding to emergencies. Larry King cameo! Look at his hair color! Media frenzies, lots of ghost-catching. Casey Kasem is reporting on them. TOO SOON, GHOSTBUSTERS.* Sigourney pays attention to all the media reports. Ray has a sexy ghost dream at some point. Oh, is this a succubus situation?
Oh, look! It's the black guy. He tells Janine he'll believe anything if there's a steady paycheck. His name is Winston. They hire him with no ceremony and immediately ask him to take care of their trapped ghosts. Peter shows up outside the orchestra building or whatever to hit on whatshername. Some fellow musician with nasal spray looks on their conversation disapprovingly. Peter says Zul was a god worshiped by Hittites. She calls her fridge an icebox. He goads her into a date/meeting Thursday night. She tells the music dude that Peter's "just a friend." Back at the firehouse, Ray shows Winston how to load ghosts into the storage system. Peter's a dick to Janine. A guy from the EPA comes in and gets all slimy. The EPA guy is worried about noxious waste or some shit. Peter is a dick to him, too. There are concerns about the electrical grid supporting the ghost storage unit or something. Something about a Twinkie.
|Very concerned about the building's pet policy right now.|
The police outside the building don't stop Peter from getting in. He sees Louis' apartment has been destroyed. Peter knocks on Dana's door. She answers it, clearly possessed (in a sexy way). She asks if he's the "key master." The second time she asks, he says yes. Inside her apartment, she says she's Zuul and there's slime everywhere. They have to prepare for the coming of "Gozer, the Destructor." She writhes on the bed and says, "Take me now, sub-creature." He doesn't want to fuck a possessed lady. He tells Zuul he wants to talk to Dana. I love how deadpan and unperturbed he is by everything. Classic B.Murrz. Zuul levitates her body after he demands to speak to Dana. Louis runs through the park, muttering about key masters and destroyers. He says he's "Vince" the key master, apparently. All the prisoners are going to be released (I'm guessing these are the ghosts in storage).
The cops come by GB HQ with Louis, whom they apparently picked up in the park.. Egon's sensors go crazy. Janine likes Egon so much. Louis has on a straight jacket and is clearly possessed. Some computer program shows he's a gargoyle dude. Coffee? YES, HAVE SOME.** He's waiting for a sign. Janine claims she "usually very psychic" and is worried something bad is going to happen and hugs him.
|Fucking environmental "protection"|
|ISAAC AND I JUST GOT AROUND TO STARTING OITNB, GUYZ.|
The local cardinal shows up and the mayor kisses his ring. Gross. The Church won't "take a position." The dudes warn the mayor that some Old Testament shit is about to happen. The mayor is convinced, kicks out the EPA, and gives the Ghostbusters his full support. Dark clouds spread out from Dana's building. People pray in the streets. An awesome '80s song about "saving the day." Peter loves the crowds cheering for the team as they head into Dana's building with all their gear. It's all dark cloudy and lightning-y up there. The ground opens up in the street in front of the building and pieces of the building break off. The smoke clears, and the Ghostbusters are okay and head into the building to applause. I'm guessing the elevator is out as they hike up many, many flights of stairs. Zuul and Vince have apparently done it on the stone altar on the roof. You know, like you do. The GBs finally make it to the 22nd floor. Obviously, Dana's not in her apartment and it's all burnt up and destroyed. They find the mystical stairs and go up them.
The key/gate people get struck by purple lightning on the roof as the GBs arrive. There's a column of light of some kind. Dana/Zuul is getting repeatedly struck by lightning and turns into a gargoyle thing like from before. So does Louis. The gargoyles scamper up a newly opened passageway to a pyramid thing with smoke and it's peach and there's a light and dry ice and shit. Gozer, now representing as a sexy lady, pets the gargoyles. Peter encourages Ray to "go get her." Gozer asks if Ray is a god and zaps the dudes. They nearly fall off the roof, much to the horror of the spectators below. "When someone asks if you're a god, you say yes," says Winston. Sage advice. Now Peter's pissed. They pull out their guns and try to shoot her simultaneously. She jumps out of the way before they can get their shit together. They re-aim and she disappears. They think for a minute that they got her, but all signs point to no, not so much.
|Let's have fun.|
They line up at the weird gateway and spray their laser pee streams across each other's. An explosion occurs. The top of the building's all jacked up. Marshmallow debris covers everything. Take that, EPA guy!
|SEE WHAT I DID THERE?|
*I originally blogged this when he was "missing" or whatever. R.I.P., Casey. I'll never forget you on Saved by the Bell.
**In high school, my brother and I knew some dudes in our hometown of Vancouver, WA with a ska band called "Yes Have Some" after this quote. I believe the tape (THE '90S) had this exchange from the movie at the beginning.
***Not because he does more crimes, duh, but because he would have the experience of being disproportionately targeted for criminal activity and is perhaps statistically more likely to have direct experience with the criminal "justice" system. USA! USA!
****I was going to poorly photoshop Bill Murray's face onto Mt. Rushmore, but now I am too lazy. Just imagine that I did it.