Well folks, this is it. My number one claim to favourite film of all time. A brief history as to "why" sees me at around 5 years old, loving the cartoon, loving the toys, and learning far too late that there was ever a movie. Although to be fair, the movie was released before I even turned 2.
The short synopsis - Misfit parapsychologists Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) end up going into business for themselves as paranormal exterminators.
Their first case involves a demon dog hanging out in one, Dana Barrett's (Sigourney Weaver) fridge. The boys take it seriously, doing research on a character named "Zuul" (the word the demon dog roared at Dana) and the whole thing ends up tying in with what could be an eventual biblical judgment day scenario. As one would imagine, only the "Ghostbusters" would have the know-how to stop it.
A great 'Ghostbusters' cast, however, isn't complete without a few more characters. Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) ends up being the "new recruit" character, and is perhaps the most underrated character in this movie. Some of his delivery is spot on, as he pretty much plays the audience, experiencing all this weird "shit that will turn you white" for the first time.
On top of the fourth Ghostbuster being a side character (poor Mr. Hudson), there's the Ghostbuster's secretary, Janine Milnitz (Annie Potts) who you sort of brush aside when you're a kid, familiar with the cartoon. But as an adult, you really get into her dry delivery, considering she's pretty much a girl with a crush (on Egon) and is as far as annoyingly ditzy as you could imagine.
Lastly, there's Louis Tully (Rick Moranis), Dana's sad and lonely neighbour, who has a thing for her. He is super entertaining, and it's another role that makes you wonder if it had been as good if given to the man they originally wanted for the part, John Candy. Well, I love Candy, the man's a comedic legend, but I daresay we just wouldn't have gotten the same comedic performance. Moranis is great in this, and he's still one of the most laugh-worthy characters for me.
As much as I admire the performances in this movie, there's so much more to love about it, too. The score by Elmer Bernstein, along with that heroic 80's soundtrack, the solid writing (a couple of minutes to get the concept of a proton pack across vs. much longer in the 2016 film), practical effects that often look better than some of today's CG, and just that perfect blend of comedy and horror. I completely recommend this first movie to anyone who may be looking for something solid from the 80s that represents the era well.
This was nominated for two Oscars, including Best Visual Effects and Best Original Song. It didn't win either, losing to 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' and "I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder, respectively. However, as mentioned before, a lot of these visuals still hold up really well, today. Just look at Slimer. And as far as the song goes, it has becomes a Halloween theme song of epic proportions. If you have a Halloween party with Halloween music, and 'Ghostbusters' is somehow missing, you're Halloween party just isn't quite right.
Anyway, all of my general taste in film sort of stems from this. It's why horror-comedy is my favourite subgenre, it's where I found a sort of comfort or "fitting in" when it came to different types of movies, and it even pretty much single-handedly got me into movies as a concept in general. I had seen a few before it, but this was probably the first one that really dug its claws into me - and it wasn't even on the big screen. Although, if you get a chance to check it out on the big screen, I highly recommend it - if only because the audience has so much fun with it.