One of the all-time great comedies is turning thirty.
On June 8, 1984 Ghostbusters was released onto movie screens across the country and would subsequently become not only one of the biggest hits of the summer, but of the decade.
Ghostbusters wouldn’t just be a hit comedy, but a phenomenon. Director Ivan Reitman and the cast would make this goofy supernatural comedy based around the scientific and the paranormal into a comedy classic. That entire summer would be all about Ghostbusters.
Thirty years later Ghostbusters is still held with great affection by those original fans who first saw it in that summer of 1984. But it’s not just those original fans that have kept it alive. The movie has continued to attract new younger fans each passing year. It’s become a franchise with toys, cartoons, video games, merchandise and of course t-shirts.
Once anyone watches that original film they’re hooked. It’s guaranteed that Ghostbusters will always be a film favorite by subsequent generations.
There’s just something about Ghostbusters – the idea, the execution, the comedy – that has made it something of a timeless comedy. Something not many comedies attain. I was trying to think of a recent comedy that in thirty years time could potentially be as celebrated as Ghostbusters is and have come up blank. Is there any comedy from nowadays that could do that? Even something that came out in the last ten years? I don’t know. Would people be marking the 30th anniversary for The Hangover with the same level of excitement?
It’s not many thirty-year-old movies that get re-released in theaters, which is apparently the plan in August. Not to mention all the other Ghostbusters merchandise, blu-rays and events that Sony supposedly has plan to mark the occasion.
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts – all the actors are terrific. The story is fun and allows plenty of room for the cast to deliver some truly hysterical moments and memorable lines. Ghostbusters might be one of the most quote worthy comedies ever.
There’s some surprising sparks between Murray and Weaver. Moranis is hilarious as the ultimate geek. The initial trio of Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis alone as three pals trying to go into business is comedy gold, even before they get into having to save the city from Gozer the Destructor.
But it’s not just the actors and the humor – which should be enough to make Ghostbusters last as long as people still watch movies. There’s something special about the idea of ghosts in New York City and guys having to fight them with cool proton packs. There has to be a reason why that premise still resonates with people. So much so some fans continue to hold out hope for a third film or a remake, which I won’t get into again.
When Aykroyd came up with the story idea he tapped into a concept that seems tailor-made for something for kids to get excited over. I couldn’t have been the only little kid that following Halloween who was dressed up as a Ghostbuster.
I remember first seeing Ghostbusters and absolutely loving it! It’s amazing thinking back how popular and extensive its exposure was that summer. That ghost logo was everywhere, everyone was talking about the movie, Ray Parker Jr. was constantly on the radio.
Of course I had to go see it again. That was back when movies actually hung around and you could go see something months after it first came out. Not like today when movies are around for a week or two then disappear to make room for the newest one.
I’m not going to turn this into a Ghostbusters review or lovefest. Longtime Haphazard followers know what a fan I am of it. Watching a few scenes again today it still hasn’t aged a bit to me.
Before this anniversary I was actually reminded of Ghostbusters quite recently. Of course the recent passing of Harold Ramis made fans stop and reflect on him and the film. While rewatching it I did have a somber feeling when Ramis appeared onscreen for the first time with his stethoscope in the library.
But on a more cheerful note I got word last week my eight-year-old nephew was asking his mother about this movie he heard about called Ghostbusters and if it has scary parts in it or not. She told him to ask his uncle about it since he really liked that movie and knows all about it.
So to commemorate this thirtieth anniversary I’m going to set out and arrange a Ghostbusters movie night for us at some point. I’ll be sure to warn him about the scary parts before they come up. There are few things that could give him a shock. The monster arms coming out of the chair bit could be frightening to a kid.
Oh maybe it might be a good idea if I try to talk over some of the bad words when they crop up. His mom would kill me if he starts running around calling people “dickless”.
I’ll get on my ghostbusters t-shirt, make some popcorn and introduce him into the wonderful world of ghostbusting and hopefully recruit another fan to the film. I’m betting he’ll love the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and he’ll be wanting his own proton pack by the time it’s over. Maybe he’ll even start singing the theme song! I’m sure that shouldn’t drive his parents too crazy….