Who You Gonna Call? Ghostbusters!


Still awesome.

End post. That’s all I gotta say about this childhood classic of mine.

This film actually came out in 1984, the year before I was born, which means by the time I remember watching it, part II had already come out and I had seen that one as well. I remember thinking to myself how much better the first movie is than the second. Do I still feel that way now?

Absolutely. And I’ll tell you why.

The original Ghostbusters never takes itself seriously, and while the second one may not either, you can see that there was pressure for it to perform just as well or better than the first. It seemed like an attempt to duplicate the original with a new story. It just didn’t work well for me, though this is just me and I’m sure there are those out there that disagree.

Ghostbusters is not always logical, the stars are not devilishly, CW handsome (I don’t know if they were considered so back in the day, but I was -1 years old when it came out, so I just don’t know), and the jokes are nonstop. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is the most memorable villain of the movie, which deviates from traditional movie monsters. Despite all this, the movie is still more consistent than many monster movies. Perhaps the reason for this is screenwriters of traditional monster movies attempt to make the monster scary or too unique, and when they push too hard, the movie loses all hope. However, with Ghostbusters, the film doesn’t get too serious–yet just enough when it has to–and this helps with the “reality” of the monsters. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is a joke, yet believable. Why? Because the Ghostbusters are forced to choose what will destroy them, and Stantz can’t empty his mind, so he thinks of the least threatening thing he can. The least threatening thing becomes the destroyer. This plot device, that is, the characters decide what will destroy them, made the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man believable.

The believability of the final villain, despite it being ridiculous, is something done well in the film from which we can learn as writers. Nothing is off-limits, really, as long as you can make it believable for the readers. Except for garden gnomes. Why people are scared of those things is beyond me. (But, hell. If you can think of a way to make them scary and believable, by all means go for it.) If Ghostbusters can make a giant marshmallow a threatening villain, then anything can be made threatening if handled the right way.

I still enjoy Ghostbusters, despite its age. Until now, I haven’t watched it in many years, but I’m glad I revisited it now.


One thought on “Who You Gonna Call? Ghostbusters!”

  1. I love, love, love Ghostbusters. I was crazy about Egon and Rick Moranis’ character and thought it was just the best thing growing up. My friends and I watch this movie once a month, every month, and it’s never gotten old (granted we are drunk nearly every time, but still). I think that the second (which I also love) isn’t as carefree as the first is because it’s all about the consequences. Oh, you guys saved the town? Cool, but you also fucking destroyed it so you have to pay all the money you’ve made back to the city so that we can repair it. The first Ghostbusters is all about the excitement of a new endeavor, whereas the second is all about all the bad things that it spawned.

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