Ghostbusters relived in 2012

By Moira Sullivan

Gozer, the destructor with Dana and Louis trapped within her servants

Twenty-eight years ago, a New York tale of ghouls and goblins infiltrating and haunting libraries, courtrooms, buses and the subway became one of the most beloved films in modern movie history. Made on a budget of $32 million it has grossed 10 times over that worldwide and was nominated for two Oscars for special effects and best song -- the film is Ghostbusters. There are so many things I like about this film, that I find myself watching it about four times a year. On Halloween, I’ll watch it once more.
First of all some of the "Saturday Night Live" talent is in this: Bill Murray, Rick Moranis, and Dan Aykroyd , co writer of the film. Sigourney Weaver did Ripley and Zuul skits for SNL—Ripley being her role in Alien, and Zuul from Ghostbusters, the demigod and servant to the Sumerian shape shifter Gozer the Gozerian, the destructor, played by Serbian model Slavitza Jovan.

The story of Ghostbusters begins with three scientists –more on the sociopathic side - that try to make their living doing pseudo science off of university grants. They are fired from the university and decide to open a business catching ghosts, and buy a hearse, rent a condemned building, and hire a secretary and another assistant called Janine Melnitz played by Annie Potts and Winston Seddmore – played by Ernie Hudson. Their secret weapon is a "proton pack" with a stream that captures ghouls, which is then trapped in a container and kept in a facility in their building.   

Their first client is Dana, (Sigourney Weaver) who complains about a monster in her fridge. Dr. Peter Wenkmen (Bill Murray) comes home to visit and leaves when Dana feels he's more on the "game show side". In truth there is a monster in her fridge who later embodies her, with its twin that takes over her neighbor Louis played by Rick Moranis. Dana is the gatekeeper and Louis is Vinz Clortho, the key master. Dana’s apartment is the threshold in a haunted building built by a demented mad doctor called Ivo Shandor who wanted to bring about the end of the world. Meanwhile the Ghostbusters find trouble with the EPA with their ghost catching compartment in the building and are forced to shut this machine down unleashing all the ghosts they have captured with their ghost detectors. The mayor of New York finally grants them permission to take on the haunted house and rid the town of the ghosts.
The timing in the script makes it one of the humorous films of the 80s and it doesn’t seem to have aged. It’s a definite New York made product with lots of crowd scenes of willing extras subjected to earthquakes, falling debris and a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The Canadian Czech director Ivan Reitman is behind this film and the sequel, and also provides the voice of Zuul.
“There is no Dana Only Zuul” is one of his lines before Dana levitates above her bed. The ensemble cast is brilliant in a film that takes a look at paranormal activity with a script of memorable lines that make it a good choice for a sing along at the Castro in Halloweens to come.

For Movie Magazine , this is Moira Sullivan wishing you Happy Halloween from San Francisco.
© 2012 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 10/31/12
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