• Pablo Lario

Who You Gonna Call? Ghostbusters!



Who You Gonna Call? Ghostbusters! Yeahhhh!


Wow! It's already been 35 years since its premiere? Ghost of Jesus!


This wonderful, but spooky, very spooky, but funny, very funny movie... (I should stick to the script, right?) One of the most hilarious and greatest paranormal activity franchises the world has ever seen. With that being said let's take a look at the upcoming "Ghostbusters 3"(Is this true? You know who to call now, mom? No! Not the plumber, mom! Mom!)


With the increase of VHS in the 80s, stylistic chaos was allowed and movies like Star Wars or The Exorcist were complete hits at that time, but among all those movies, there were two mainstream films that changed the way we see movies: The Gremlins (1984) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). Both were questioned in the media for their "excessive violence" (For F*** Shake! Excessive violence? Really? If they knew what was coming) and their producer, a man called Steven Spielberg , suggested that a new classification for films PG-13 and PG-14 should be contemplated (What a genius!).


This "film restriction" allowed identifying the films that were not for all audiences, but whose content was far from being labelled R. The effect was immediate: extravagant sub genres such as those that included hot and sexy nannies, nerds in search of losing their virginity, or men going in spaceships to space became something casual in the classic town cinemas. Among that wave of fantastic productions that topped the world, Columbia Pictures opted for a film that rewrote the rules of the game: The Ghostbusters (1984) directed by Ivan Reitman.


The first adventure of these specialists in "paranormal activity" became an unexpected success that extended the limits of American comedy (Comedy + Ghosts + Possible destruction of human kind: Instant cinema success!). Not only do we owe this film a catchy song, we also owe them the popularity of one of the great Hollywood comedians, Bill Murray, as well as learning new terms for our personal dictionary such as ethereal plane, telekinetic activity and ectoplasmic entities (Thank you, ectoplasmic entity killers!).


But, it's not about the words and the catchy songs why we remember this great franchise with such joy: It's because of its characters.


The actors who played the main characters of "The Ghostbusters" were one of the greatest successes of the film. The charisma of Bill Murray or the delivery of screenwriters Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis were ectoplasmic and legendary. However, at first (and many don't know about it), Murray's name was not among the chosen to participate in the project. WHAT?!


The original idea was that John Belushi, Eddie Murphy and John Candy accompanied Aykroyd and Ramis. However, the circumstances were not favorable. John Belushi passed away before filming (R.I.P) and Murphy and Candy did not want to participate. To substitute them: Belushi, Michael Keaton and Chevy Chase were in the mix, but all three declined the proposal. Just like that, Bill Murray got the job to be a Ghost Buster. What would have been of the franchise today if charismatic Bill didn't play the role of Peter Venkman in such a ghostly movie?


As we celebrate the 35 year anniversary, another curiosity of the film, the inclusion of the film's director, Ivan Reitman, in the project. How was he in the movie you ask? Really simple. He was the man responsible for dubbing (Don't confuse with dabbing. We're in 2019!) our beloved green ghost "Slimer" (also known as Onion Head , Little Spud, or just The Green Ghost for short), which was a tribute to Belushi.


The movie was so popular, that it got a little brother. What a surprise!


Clearly, the movie of the ghost hunters has gone down in history for its script, its soundtrack, its characters and of course for its special effects. For 1984, the result in that field was outstanding and the film stands the test of time in that regard. The merit of the great work in terms of special effects is even greater given that the budget allocated for this was limited. However, those responsible for the film were able to optimize resources to the maximum and used techniques that were not very advanced but effective to achieve an excellent result. In particular, some of the objects that sometimes float as a sign of paranormal activity in the film were raised through codes, giving up more expensive computer techniques . A similar example happened in the first installment of Star Wars and confirms the ingenuity of those responsible.


The story of The Ghostbusters develops its plot in New York City, which became great product placement for the city. However, the film was shot mostly in Los Angeles. WHAT?! For example, the headquarters of "The Ghostbusters" was an abandoned fire station in LA, not in New York (Sorry for crushing your dreams, New Yorkers).


More secrets! I need more secrets! I'm getting addicted to this... MORE SECRETS!


During the film, The Ghostbusters offer their services to New Yorkers through a television ad. In the advert, a telephone number was provided, which soon became a success among the users. In the film, the number had a prefix of 555, which in fact has no validity. However, Ivan Reitner decided to change it and enable a real number that began with 800. Thus, fans who called the number of The Ghostbusters in real life could enjoy a recording of the actors Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. The line recorded 1,000 calls per hour every day for 6 weeks! Holy S***!


And who doesn't remember the iconic car, our favorite busters used to go on to save the city? The ghost hunting car has become one of the historical vehicles within the world of cinema: A 1959 model Miller-Meteor Cadillac ambulance. The car had to be restored and conditioned for the movie. After the second installment of "The Ghostbusters", the Ecto-1 was in very bad condition. But, after years in a ruinous situation, the actors of the film asked that the vehicle be restored as a tribute. We all love you, Ecto-1!


And what about Mr Giant Marshmallow Ghost? It is one of the most memorable moments of the film and therefore a huge challenge for the special effects unit. In total, $ 20,000 were allocated to the creation of the doll, which was subsequently destroyed after the recording. We'll always remember you, chubby-white-Michelin-man-looking thing.


The friendly ghost franchise has been a success everywhere it goes and everywhere it has been. The success of the film motivated the launch of a host of related products: Action figures, t-shirts, posters and even video games have adopted the image and plot of The Ghostbusters. The universe around Ghostbuster has also been adapted to the Lego world and there are spectacular recreations of the characters and scenarios (Why is there always a Lego for everything? Just stop it!)


Trying to take advantage of the pull of the film, Filmation launched an animated series, inspired on its own 1975 series, The Ghost Busters, and not on the plot of the films. In the same way, "The Real Ghostbuster", another series of animation that was inspired by the well-known films was also released. The circle of adaptations and sequels was completed later with the second "The Ghostbusters." Thus, it is well documented that the world of Ghostbusters had much more to offer than just one film and will surely continue to offer possibilities for new products in the future.


A couple months ago, a sequel of the original franchise has started production. Ghostbusters 3, baby! They're back! (No one wants to remember the 2016 film really) We'll need to wait and see what new adventures the amazing team have in store for fans. I've heard the main guy from Stranger Things is gonna appear (Not 11. She's a girl with short hair, man), so...


For now, all we can say is: Congratulations! Happy 35th Anniversary, my lov... I mean Ghostbusters! Gotta Catch Them Al'!

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