Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.
Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon work at the University where they delve into the paranormal and fiddle with many unethical experiments on the students. As they are kicked out of the University do they really understand their knowledge of the paranormal and go into business for themselves. Under the new snazzy business name of 'Ghostbusters', and living in the old firehouse building they work out of, they are called to rid New York City of paranormal phenomenon at everyone's whim.... for a price. They make national press as the media thinks and pressures everybody the Ghostbusters are the cause of it all. Thrown in jail by the EPA, the mayor takes a chance and calls on them to help save the city. Unbeknownst to all, a long dead Gozer worshiper (Evo Shandor) erected downtown apartment building is the cause of all the paranormal activity. They find out the building could resurrect the ancient Hittite god, Gozer, and bring an end to all of humanity. Who are you gonna call to stop this ... Written by
The shock-reinforced experiment Venkman conducts on the college students parodies the Rhine Experiments, which related to ESP. In the 1930s Duke psychologist J.B. Rhine used Zener Cards (a deck of twenty-five cards, each card having one of five possible symbols) to see if test subjects could sense which card a test administrator was looking at without seeing it themselves. Though Rhine reported one test subject correctly guessed all twenty-five the results have never been duplicated. Though Venkman's experiment seems to be based on Rhine's work, the scene is doubly inspired by the famous Milgram experiment, in which subjects were required to give increasingly powerful shocks to strangers. Ostensibly a study on memory and learning, Milgram actually investigated how far people would submit to authority; the movie applies the same premise to demonstrate an audience's amusement on seeing the "good guy" unfairly parcel out pain. See more »
(at around 22 mins) When Venkman vaults over his office partition to meet Dana, a crewman's legs can be seen moving behind the file cabinets to the left. See more »
Dr. Peter Venkman:
All right, I'm gonna turn over the next card. Concentrate... I want you to tell me what you think it is.
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There are no opening credits for this film, other than the title. See more »
What's that you say? Ghostbusters, one of the most financially successful and over-hyped comedies of the eighties, underrated? Yes. Precicely because it was so over-hyped and made so much money, there has been a stigma attached to this film identifying it as a childish FX piece, when it is nothing of the sort. Most of the lines people remember("He slimed me," "OK. So? She's a dog," "When someone asks you if you're a god, you say YES!") are not its funniest or wittiest lines, which often are missed on first or even second viewing. I laugh every time I observe a gag or a quip that I somehow missed the other 20 times I viewed a scene; "Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole through your head, remember that?" "That would have worked if you hadn't stopped me", or, to the driver of a van from a loony bin, "Dropping off or picking up?" Brilliant.
Not only is Ghostbusters funny, it manages to include some truly scary scenes. And not just lose-your-popcorn moments like the fridge from Hell, but also scenes of quiet, thoughtful chill, like Egon's retelling of how the possessed apartment building came into being, or Winston recalling the Book of Revelation. Which other film has managed to combine the Marx Brothers with HP Lovecraft?
The special effects hold up well, besides some obvious studio sets and models, but what really creates this film's world is the stunning cinematography. Manhattan, perhaps the pinnacle of Gothic architectural evolution, is brilliantly utilised here to create a sense of menacing grandeur. After watching "Ghostbusters" I couldn't imagine the realm of the Old Gods opening into our world from anywhere else. The soundtrack is great, not the overrated theme (Which was in fact lifted from Huey Lewis' "I Need a New Drug"), but the wonderfully blusey "Cleaning Up the Town," the creepy proto-techno chiller "Magic" and also the wonderful score by the late and much lamented Elmer Bernstein.
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