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1984, Dir. Ivan Reitman
107 min. Rated PG.
Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson.

Review by Noel Wood

Who the hell came up with this idea anyway? Let's take a bunch of washed-up comedians from SNL and SCTV and put them in a slapstick farce about exterminators who catch supernatural apparitions. Now that's quite a concept, let me tell you. Hey, Bill Murray is still kind of funny, but Aykroyd, Moronus, and Ramis just don't have it anymore. They didn't really have it years ago when this spectre spoof first came out. That's why Ramis sticks to directing, a niche he still does all right with. Aykroyd and Moronus haven't learned their lessons yet though. Did anyone see "Big Bully" or "Celtic Pride"? I didn't think so.

Food for thought: Bill Murray is comic relief in a cast that features a bunch of comedians. Isn't that sad?

So this is the product of a pre-Ah-nuld Ivan Reitman, whose name was forever tainted when he met that Austrian musclehead. (See KINDER- GARTEN COP: IT'S NOT A TUMOR, IT'S JUST CRAP.) Oh, did he do wonders to try to perk our interests by using big-budget special effects. Ohh...see-thru ghosts. THAT's never been done before. Then there's the scene where Pete Venkman gets "slimed" by the little green menace who later becomes an ally to the 'busters. You know, they could have SHOWN Pete get slimed. Rather, we get to see the "after" shot of Bill Murray rolling around covered in in Nickelodeon Brand GAK.

Actually, I digress. I like GHOSTBUSTERS. I liked it when I was a kid and it's still pretty funny today. But I think my hostility for this spook-fest stems from the phenomenon that was GHOSTBUSTERS and all the crap that followed. For instance:

1. A really lame sequel that Reitman actually put his name on and the ENTIRE cast reunited for, proving that these guys have NO integrity (and that includes Sigourney "too old for the obligatory ALIENS bra shot so I'm passing the buck to Winona Ryder" Weaver.)

2. A really lame cartoon series that featured a blod Egon, a thin Ray, and a Pete with the voice of Garfield. What the hell?

3. A really lame cartoon series that had nothing at all to do with the movie featuring a talking car, a gorilla in a safari outfit, and a villian with the oh-so-clever name "Prime Evil". This series forced the aforementioned movie-based cartoon series to change its name to "The Real Ghostbusters" as if we're too fucking stupid to tell the difference.

4. That god damned Ray Parker Jr. theme song that NEVER left your head. What ever happened to that guy anyway?

5. A stupid video game with aforementioned annoying song playing throughout in a stupid computer version. All Commodore 64 owners are bound to sympathize.

6. The pointless search for yet another theme song by yet another black musician leading to even stupider versions of the Ghostbusters theme by Bobby Brown and Run-DMC.

So I guess the rationale is that Ghostbusters isn't that bad as a movie as long as it's JUST a movie. Just like JURASSIC PARK and MEN IN BLACK and all the other fun movies that got really old when the countless merchandising dollars came-a-calling.



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