Ghostbusters is perhaps one of the most recognisable films of the 1980’s. The recognisable logo of the foursome now adorns cups, t-shirts and any number of other products. But before all the memorabilia came the film itself, Ghostbusters allowed a generation to embrace the supernatural and laugh with the comedic talents of Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman and Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond Stantz. The basis of the film, ghosts and ghost catching allowed comedic talents such as Murray and Aykroyd to flourish, engaging the audience in the hilarity of what could otherwise have become another horror movie.
The scientific aspects of the film quickly take a back seat to the forefronted comedy. While the science does remain present to an extent it is quickly watered down to accomadate the audience more readily, in one scene we have Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spangler comparing the amount of psychokinetic energy (an energy we are led to believe is emitted by ghosts) to a Twinkie. Another scene, perhaps to quickly perpetuate the film allows Aykroyd to regail the audience with a tale of a mass undersea sponge migration (which we quikcly learn migrated ‘about a foot and a half’). However beneath the mountain of wit and thinly veiled science there lies at least the skeleton of a plot. The ghosts of New York are becoming restless in response to an incredible psychokinetic event promting paranormal investigators Ramis, Murray and Aykroyd to avail themselves in Ghostbusting regalia in an attempt to destroy the pesky poltegeists.
The acting in Ghostbusters is nothing short of astounding and for the most part is vastly superior to any number of modern films of a similar genre. The interaction between Murray and Aykroyd feels nothing short of brotherly, veiled insults and compliments pass easily between the two while one point of the film allows the sharing of a touching moment that serves to compound the tension to great effect. Simeltaneously the interactions between Murray and Weaver (Sigouney) as Dana Barrett, provide humerous thrills throughout. ‘She sleeps above her covers, four feet above her covers’ provides a certain delight to it that films like ‘The Exorcist’ later use to horrify. The style of the film, delightful as it is, at times presents itself stupidly, though this is often quickly counteracted with talk of philosophy i.e. the dead rising from the grave.
The music of the film though is perhaps one of its best features, rising and falling with the tone of the picture. It provides a sorrowful melodic tone when the film rests on one of its few moments of horror, while rising with the comedy urging the audience to laugh along and enjoy it to its fullest. Genuinly the most delightful moment of the film comes with the incorporation of the Ghostbusters theme tune which many recognise as ‘Who you gonna’ call’, it is this uplifting track that assures any and all audiences that the day can still be won, in spite of the doleful interferance of Walter Peck (William Atherton).
The film remains to this day one of if not the truest concept of Sci-fi/Comedy available. Lately we have had attempts made to correct this gap with the emergance of such titles as ‘Paul’. Truely however we must always return to Ghostbusters simply because ‘bustin makes me feel good’.