|The 1984 film poster.|
The Ghostbusters franchise is my childhood. Seriously. I am unable to come up with anything critically valid or academically sound because its awesomeness and nostalgic happiness has blown my mind. Everything in this post will have a strict bias and some form of personal attachment. Huzzah!
And I couldn't watch the first Ghostbusters film without watching Ghostbusters II right after it. And then, if you have the gift dvd box set, you can watch the little episodes of the cartoon series they include in the bonus materials (I wish there were more included)!
Not only is Ghostbusters one of the most quotable movies on the planet (Try to go through life without shouting "Don't cross the streams!") but it's really the series that introduced me to the supernatural, and more importantly, the horror genre.
IMDB lumps the film under the fantasy and comedy categories. Sure, it fits the bill for both, but for a kid like me who was born in the 80s and grew up with the franchise, Ghostbusters also introduced me to the paranormal, supernatural, metasciences, psychology, etc., and therefore I'd call it science fiction...and yeah, I'd still call it horror. The films scared the crap out of me but also made me laugh ("Cats and dogs living together!"). The cartoon series (when it was The Real Ghostbusters and before they kiddied it up with a lot of Slimer) scared the crap out of me too (as it did for many others)...remember the Boogeyman and Samhain? I still do. And I haven't watched those episodes since the series ran....so that's like twenty years ago or something. Holy crap.
I'm sure nothing like Ghostbusters ever existed before in the world of film, and Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis penned such an awesome, unique screenplay. Ghostbusters introduced me to the wonder that is Bill Murray as well, and I had a fascination for Ernie Hudson (especially in the second movie. "WIIIIIIIINSTOOOOOON" in the subway, oh my!) too. And for some reason, when they show reruns of the movies on TV, I will always sit down and catch at least some of it. I don't tire of the films at all, no matter where I am or what I'm doing.
And Ghostbusters is kind of inescapable. In 2004 when I lived overseas, me and a girlfriend spent a weekend in Paris and when we'd wind down in our hotel room, the only thing on television we could somewhat comprehend was the cartoon series Extreme Ghostbusters, even though it was dubbed en francais (kinda neat to hear Garret and Kylie and Eduardo and Egon speak French!).
So yeah. I think I've seen every incarnation of Ghostbusters imaginable, and I'm a dork for all of it.
Besides being fun and hilarious, it really is a gateway drug into the world of the supernatural, the occult, parapsychology, and weird mythology. Watching these movies and cartoons showed me that it is fun to be scared, and it's fun to explore what it is exactly that scares me (and the list is looong). And before things got too dark or twisted, something awesome and funny would happen to temper the paranormal weirdness. Things would get spooky, but never too bad that it would scar me for life. It would just turn me on to horror for the rest of my life.
Now let's hope that Ghostbusters 3 comes out and won't suck.
Ghostbusters. Dir. Ivan Reitman. Perf. Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. Columbia Pictures, 1984. DVD.