WHEN:8:00pm EST on February 9th, 2013
WHERE: Number 1
FORMAT: DVD on a Phillips Tube TV
COMPANY: The whole of my immediate family
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Relaxed. I am drinking a Coke imported from Mexico, because it was in a glass bottle.
REACTIONS OF NOTE:
- This was the first movie in a long time that I have watched with my mother where I was not asked what was going on or what was going to happen… often.
- My sister and mother were not sure if the courtroom scene was in this movie.
- It is kind of weird to watch a movie that other people have seen almost as many times as I have.
- It is also weird to watch a movie that other people can quote.
The other day I was thinking about how awesome and diverse all of the ghosts that appear in The Real Ghostbusters are. A lot of them are creepy, yet still pretty damn interesting to look at. I decided that this week I was going to see of I could draw any parallels between the cartoon and the movie that inspired it. The only problem was that I didn’t really see any ghosts in Ghostbusters. You would think that a movie called Ghostbusters would be overflowing with ghosts, but it isn’t.
There are a total of four ghosts in the whole movie. The Librarian ghost, Slimer, the ghost that pops out of the subway, and the taxi cab zombie ghost. That’s it. There is one ghost that is in the movie that isn’t even real. Ray has a dream about an oral encounter with a ghost, but that was a dream and doesn’t count. Ray’s dream ghost is also the most human-looking ghost. They librarian ghost was human-looking, until he turned into a British person.
Poor dental hygiene.
Slimer does show up three times in the movie, though. In the Sedgewick Hotel, a hot dog cart, and then again at the end of the movie. So, that should count for something. Every other creature we see is of divine stature. Vinz Clortho and Zuul are demi-gods and Gozer is an extra-dimensional god, or god-like entity. I get confused on Gozer’s status sometimes.
Are you there, David Bowie? It’s me, Ty.
There is one part of the movie where I am not sure if what is going on is demi-god powers, ghosts, or the recruitment of ghosts. When Zuul abducts Dana in her apartment, a bunch of hands burst out of the chair and molest her. The hands are all different, and they don’t look like Zuul’s or Vinz Clortho’s, but they do share some similarities in their overall look.
Zuul got handsy, heh heh.
So there are hardly any ghosts in Ghostbusters. You would think that this revelation would sour the movie, but you would be wrong. Ghostbusters has never been about ghosts. What a movie is about is not to be confused with what happens in the movie. Ghostbusters is about understanding the unknown and how that understanding can be feared by others. It is also about sex.
Walter Peck does not even try to understand what the Ghosbusters are doing. He does not want to believe in the ethereal plane and is absolutely certain that the Ghostbusters are scamming their clients. He breaks police procedure by not even presenting Egon or Janine with the proper papers, just a manila envelope. The envelope remains sealed through their entire interaction at the firehouse and does not appear again. Legally this provides the Ghostbusters a gigantic advantage in a court of law and would possibly throw out any sort of case against them. Peck was also spurred to such fervency by Venkman being rude. Impoliteness is the number one cause of not following procedure.
The lack of ghosts is not a bad thing. Ghosts and ghostbusting is the backdrop of everything else. Titanic did the same thing. There was this big, dumb, poorly acted love story in the middle of my disaster movie. I came for the destruction porn, not to see Gilbert finally empty his grapes. Steamy car windows aside, an interesting backdrop for your story to take place in front of does wonders for your movie. Hell, it got people to kill themselves over Avatar. The love(ish) story between Peter and Dana is a little one-sided. Peter wants Dana, she does not want him, and he has to run himself ragged catching ghosts all around the city. It is not like he has much of a personal life with Egon’s Twinkie Equation, after all.
Oh dear, would you look at that? It turns out it only takes you six weeks to become cynical about a movie you actually like.