Who You Gonna Call? Ghostbusters

One of my favorite Halloween themed movies has got to be the original 1984 “Ghostbusters”. Since I’m personally not the biggest fan of horror or scary movies, I think this comedy is the perfect Halloween time movie. The original “Ghostbusters” is a 1984 American supernatural comedy directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. 

“Ghostbusters” was released on June 8, 1984 and became a cultural phenomenon. It is well known for its blend of comedy, action and horror, and Bill Murray’s performance. In the movie, Peter Venkman, Raymond “Ray” Stantz and Egon Spengler are scientists at Columbia University investigating the paranormal. Following their first encounter with a ghost at the New York public library,  the dean fires them and dismisses the credibility of their research. In response, they create “Ghostbusters”, a paranormal investigation service. They convert a disused firehouse and develop  high-tech equipment to capture and contain ghosts, and transform a car into the “Ectomobile” to support their business.

Seeing their television ad,  skeptical cellist Dana Barrett calls them after a paranormal encounter in her kitchen. Recounting the event, she describes opening her refrigerator and seeing a creature that utters a single word: “Zuul.” Venkman reassures her and becomes romantically interested, while Ray and Egon research her claims. Business is slow until they are hired to remove a ghost from the Sedgewick Hotel.

There, Egon warns the group never to cross the energy streams of their proton pack weapons as that could cause an explosion. They capture their first ghost and deposit it in a special containment unit in the firehouse.Soon their business booms as paranormal activity increases across New York City. To cope with demand, they hire a fourth member, Winston Zeddemore. 

The original film earned $282.2 million during its initial run, making it the second-highest-grossing film of that year, and the highest-grossing comedy of all time at that point. It was the number-one film in theaters for seven consecutive weeks and was one of only four films to gross more than $100 million that year. 

With its effect on popular culture, and a dedicated fan following, the success of “Ghostbusters” launched a multi-billion dollar multimedia franchise. This includes the popular animated television series, “The Real Ghostbuster” (which itself spawned a media franchise), its sequel series “Extreme Ghostbusters”, video games, board games, comic books, clothing, music, books, food, toys, collectibles, and even haunted attractions. “Ghostbusters” was followed in 1989 by a sequel, “Ghostbusters II” which fared less well financially and critically. Repeated attempts to develop a further sequel had ended following Ramis’s death in 2014. A 2016 reboot, also called “Ghostbusters” was released. A second direct sequel, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”, is scheduled for release in 2021.

By Cody Schneider