Introduction/review for the Cutting Room, Episode 16
By Thomas Dettloff
(Tom singing) An invisible man... Sleeping in your bed... Help me here guys! Who ya gonna
That's right, folks. When you can't get Huey Lewis to do your movie's theme song there is only
one other man to call... Ray Parker Jr. His song is just one of the many things that this film can
brag about. Ghostbusters is one of the most adorable films the Reagen era has to offer. It also
manages to throw a couple of thrills and more importantly chills in for good measure.
In the early 1980's Saturday Night Live alumnist Dan Aykroyd imagined a film that would bring
3 members of the Hollywood comedy community together to make an r rated horror/comedy
that would include Aykroyd, John Belushi and Eddie Murphy. This sounds like a studios dream,
doesn't it? Well, unfortunately Belushi died and Murphy went on to make Beverly Hills Cop but
Aykroyd was left with an idea the studio wanted to get behind. They changed their condition to
the film being a more family friendly picture so Aykroyd got to work with Harold Ramis and
changed the story to fit Aykroyd, Ramis and their good pal Bill Murray. Murray, like Aykroyd
was 5 years removed from a very succesful run on SNL and they both have had good success
on the big screen with Aykroyd starring in The Blues Brothers and Trading Places while Murray
had Stripes and Meatballs! That's right Meatballs!
So the three men went to work in 1983 with Stripes and Meatballs director Ivan Reitman and
put together one of 1984's biggest smash hits... Ghostbusters. A few minor casting changes
aside.. one being Ernie Hudson taking over the Winston Zeddimore role for Eddie Murphy and
Rick Moranis replacing John Candy as nosey neighbor Louis. This turns out to be a very solid
And so it goes... Three Doctors making their stay at a New York City University begin to
investigate strange happenings of the paranormal around the city. Thrown off campus the
three Doctors decide to open up their own business eliminating ghosts and ghouls all over the
metropolitan area. They wanna help you! Led by Murray's Dr. Venkman and Aykroyds and
Ramis's lovable and nerdy Spangler and Egon they get off to a very slow start until a lovely
lady played by Sigourney Weaver comes strolling through the door allowing Murray to put on
his boyish and comedic charm. Her apartment is located right in the middle of spook central
and it's up to the Ghostbusters to chase Gozar and Zoul outta New York City before they not
only bring the big apple down but the whole God Damn world with them.
Reitman directs the gang almost perfectly knowing each of their signature moves and
expressions to a tee and he manages to make every supporting character very memorable
from Rick Moranis to William Atherton's annoying pencil necked EPA investigator Peck. Even in
smaller roles Like the Mayor and a stiff hotel manager all do a sensational jobs under Reitman.
Reitman also has the difficult task at combining horror and comedy together and he does a fair
job. At times I grew tired of Murray's act which seemed to be the same thing he did in their
previous two films together but Ramis is great and Dan Aykroyd always brings something
different to the table. He seemed to understand acting better at this point than Murray although
Murray would take a huge leap over him beginning in the 90's as he would go on to work for
Wes Anderson, Jim Jarmusch and Sofia Coppola.
The horror in this film is light but effective. Keeping in mind that this a PG rated film Reitmnan
had to really find ways to keep the audience terrified and he works his magic toward the end of
the film with his direction of Sigourney Weaver and her demonic possession as the Gate
Keeper. This is pretty scary stuff in my opinion and I really remember it scaring the hell outta
me when I was a kid.
I had a great time watching this and it really brought back so many childish experiences that I
actually performed a cannonball jumping into a pool over the weekend. I am so looking forward
to Mini-Mummy's reaction to this film so I an gonna ask him right away..
Did this movie scare you at all?