My day off, I’m browsing Netflix, I can’t make a decision, who am I gonna call? Sherlo– I mean, Ghostbusters! With all of its cheesy 1984 charm, Ghostbusters has found a place on the movie shelves of our hearts alongside other generational classics like Top Gun and Back to the Future. Here, three scientists get fired from their jobs, round up their lifesavings, move into an old fire hall, and dedicate their lives to hunting ghosts and being nerds. Amen, brothers, amen.
Who are the Ghostbusters? The team is comprised of Dr. Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Dr. Spengler (Harold Ramis), and Winston (Ernie Hudson). They dawn their grey jumpsuits and jet-pack-looking nuclear reactor backpacks and strut the streets of New York, hitting up one ghost-sighting after another. Their most curious case belongs to a lovely Miss Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), whose fridge is haunted not by one single spectre, but by an ancient god. On his way to take Dana out for a date, Venkman discovers she has been possessed, and he begins looking into the possibility that the apocalypse may be close at hand. In fact, it is. The Ghostbusters become the only souls in New York capable of bringing down the terrible god, Gozer before the entire world meets its doom.
As you can imagine, the cheese rating is off the scale. Nevertheless, Ghostbusters owns its dairy splendour, baking it into a fine meal of sarcasm, dry humour, and shenanigans. It embraces the 80s like Canadians embrace their maple trees, serving up scenes with Twinkies, outrageous curls, neon workout leotards, and a world without Google. The special effects are also something to behold. The ghosts are so real I can almost feel their rubber coatings, and the laser beams look like juicy acid rainbows. All this adds to the glamour and charm of Ghostbusters. A remake or re-mastered version wouldn’t have the same feel. It would be like glamming up the Mona Lisa with rhinestones.
Each Ghostbuster fills their unique role in the film, whether he is the smart scaredy-cat, the overly ambitious womanizer, or the token black guy. Sigourney Weaver also plays her part as the pretty, smart, object of possession. Literal, Exorcist possession. The camera work complements their talents and the ghosts’ freaky-but-not-frightening appearances with slow zoom ins and slightly-off-centre frames. It’s a fairly revolutionary piece of cinematography when you look closely, and just one more reason to call Ghostbusters a classic. I give it 8 ecstatic, bouncing rabbis out of 10.
Click here for the trailer.