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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 33.33%
Average: 5.88%
Pretty Bad: 1.96%
Total Crap: 1.96%

3 reviews, 135 user ratings

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Ghostbusters (1984)
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Brett Gallman

"They came, they saw, and still kick ass."
5 stars

If I had a theatrical bucket list of movies I'd like to see on the big screen before I die, it'd number in the hundreds. However, if someone forced me to whittle it down to around five, "Ghostbusters" would definitely make the cut. Perhaps not the most magnificent cinematic achievement of the 20th century, but it's an especially important film to me personally since it was one of my first 'favorite movies of all time" (a title which changed hands approximately 47 times between the ages of 5 and 12).

This is a movie that once compelled me to beg my parents for action figures and proton packs and even introduced the word "ectoplasm" into my vocabulary, which was surely impressive among the monosyllabic hordes on the playground. Of course, my verbal superiority was thwarted when I broke my arm trying to slide down a pole in an attempt to mimic Pete Venkman.

As such, it should come as no surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to check out "Ghostbusters" when it played in theaters earlier this month. The big screen presentation wasn't so much of a revelation as it was just a confirmation of what we've all known for years: this kooky story about a bunch of parapsychologists-turned spook-exterminators is very, very funny. Still so funny, in fact, that it's still able to elicit unending giggles and genuine roars of laughter for a solid 105 minutes even when all of the punchlines were rehearsed before I entered first grade.

Everyone remembers the Ray Parker theme song, Slimer, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man stampeding through downtown New York, and all of the other wizardly effects; all that stuff is fine and eventually made a lot of people rich when the franchise was licensed out to toys, cartoons, and video games. But the incredible comedic ensemble is what drives the original film. Though it feels like a star vehicle for Murray, whose dry wit and sarcastic demeanor drive the story, he's perfectly matched by Aykroyd and Ramis. Though Venkman was always the childhood favorite, I've especially come to appreciate Ramis's terminally staid and dorky Egon. Seriously, there's deadpan, and then there's Egon Spengler, a man whose hobbies and interests extend to collecting "spores, molds, and fungus."

For whatever reason, that line killed me this time around--along with just about all the rest of them, as there's nary a clunker to be found in the script, which is one of the most instantly quotable of all time. In fact, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find an actor that doesn't get at least one memorable moment, from Ernie Hudson (who has the easiest job interview of all time as the fourth Ghostbuster) to slime ball antagonist William Atherton, who plays the meanest prick this side of Billy Zabka as the sniveling EPA agent insistent on shutting the guys down (man, was Reagan-era Hollywood weird--could you imagine a film where the "go green"guy is the enemy these days?).

With the exception of Murray and Sigourney Weaver (most attractive demonically-possessed lady ever, by the way), the cast is littered with people whose talents are missed these days, such as Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, and, sadly, even Aykroyd himself (a quick check of his last decade or two will swiftly reveal why he's so eager to get the oft-rumored "Ghostbusters III" going). The same can pretty much be said for director Ivan Reitman; this was his fifth feature, and he's never quite recaptured these heights. At this point, he may already be known as the guy whose sperm eventually produced Jason Reitman.

Back in '84, though, "Ghostbusters" was like the bastard child of the offbeat schlock from "Cannibal Girls" and the bouncy humor of "Meatballs" and "Stripes" A perfectly reigned-in farce under Reitman's watchful eye, it's is just as impressive as a big-budget fantasy film as it is an infectious laugh riot.

"Ghostbusters" also started a minor obsession with the city of New York for me; the film's final line is Hudson proclaiming his love for the city, which is maybe a bit unexpected. However, there's something to enjoy about the city's eventual love affair with its heroes, who are ostensibly a bunch of zany outcasts who got kicked out of their stuffy university but still managed to triumph anyway. For all of their paranormal activity, they're really just a bunch of average guys who smoke a lot, dream of supernatural fellatio, and pontificate about Twinkies and God (in that order). Just average joes like the rest of us, perhaps--it's just that they sometimes happen to have unlicensed nuclear accelerators strapped to their backs.

Obviously, I could keep going all day, and maybe I have a future as one man "Ghostbusters" traveling roadshow; actually, that's a terrible idea, especially if it involves sliding down a pole. Just stick with the professionals.

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originally posted: 10/29/11 13:59:00
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Austin Film Festival For more in the 2005 Austin Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/29/20 Anne tries too hard 2 stars
4/08/20 Honor Whitelow Kick ass mivie for its era 4 stars
8/14/19 bored mom Creative, clever, funny, and beautifully filmed. It's the perfect Lovecraftian comedy LOL 5 stars
9/27/17 morris campbell OVERRATED IT SUCKS 1 stars
3/23/15 Jerry Spray This is Bill Murray and Dan Akyroyd at their best. 4 stars
2/02/13 dr.lao An enjoyable view, and a source for great quotes long afterwards 5 stars
12/11/12 Nellie One of the best movies ever. It never gets old. 5 stars
4/30/12 Jeff Wilder Earns its status as a legitimate comedy classic. 5 stars
1/28/12 Kathryn Martinez Still LOVE it! It's a classic! 5 stars
10/29/11 Nathan Forester Ghoulish fun for all 5 stars
9/28/09 good fella loved murray in stripes & especially goundhog day but this film is so not funny 2 stars
6/22/09 art OVERRATED! 1 stars
10/02/08 Shaun Wallner I really enjoyed this film. 5 stars
3/02/08 Pamela White always a classic with Murry 5 stars
4/06/07 movieman good movie 4 stars
3/21/07 man hilarious 4 stars
12/06/06 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
11/15/06 chris well dated now yawn 3 stars
9/15/06 Booksworm I love this movie. I loved the TV series.(Both of them.) I even loved the sequeld 5 stars
8/27/06 Mark Radburn GhostBusters is a classic, ignore the people who hate it they have no heart 5 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist One of my favorite childhood cult classics!! 5 stars
7/25/06 Lilly no ghosts 2 stars
6/22/06 Arty yikes! 1 stars
5/20/06 John Aster Habig Murray is hysterical 2 bad Belushi couldn't play his part as planned but either man works 5 stars
8/26/05 ES 'Let's split up', 'Yeah, we can do more damage that way.' = one of the comedy classics 5 stars
8/18/05 tony it was yuck! but i kinda liked it! 3 stars
7/12/05 Richard Haynes A great and now legendary comedy classic. 4 stars
5/31/05 John Aster Habig very funny but why pick on the EPA 4 stars
3/25/05 indrid cold Wildly original and funny. Some of the best dialog I've every heard. 5 stars
1/10/05 keithers.. Rent it, and see how the Ghostbusters show the prehistoric bitch how they do things downtow 5 stars
1/04/05 Jacob Best. Movie.... EVER! 5 stars
11/07/04 Shams Huque Classic! 5 stars
9/04/04 T.B. The Best Comedy I ever seen! 5 stars
6/16/04 franknutz i love this movie! and the cartoon get that on dvd 5 stars
5/26/04 ray awesome! 5 stars
5/06/04 J.Peckerfoot classic stuff.rick moranis' tracksuits are funny! 5 stars
12/27/03 Dr. Egon Spengler I was in the movie. I enjoyed it heartedly. 5 stars
11/20/03 HorrorScribbler Pretty funny. Great cast. Murray at his smarmiest, Moranis at his nerdiest. 5 stars
10/27/03 Two-G - horror_blood2 (aka Double G) wow actually a good movie with bill murray! 5 stars
9/21/03 CAT BLUES i loved the movie so erie and cool dan was a little kooky but i loved it 5 stars
9/06/03 I Would It's a pity that such a good film bogs down in the last 20 minutes. 4 stars
8/31/03 Kitty Kelso slimer reminds me of my dog, when hes really there 2 remind us of john belushi. go dan!! 5 stars
8/30/03 Kitty B. dan aykroyd+bill murray r pur genious!!! 5 stars
8/26/03 Eloise you gotta love it...... 5 stars
8/19/03 Roger Thornhill Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! 5 stars
6/10/03 Vicious It's blody classic, with Murray and Akroyd at their best. 5 stars
4/06/03 Hobbes you smell something? 5 stars
4/01/03 Mr. Do great 5 stars
3/24/03 Jack Sommersby Very entertaining, but the laughs peter out in the second-half. 3 stars
2/19/03 Matthew Jones FUNNY! LOVED Ecto-1 (I want one of those!) 5 stars
2/13/03 Deanna That's a big twinkie 5 stars
2/07/03 Turtle Perfect in every way, shape, and form AND you've got Harold Ramis. Best movie EVER! 5 stars
12/20/02 rotten s. milk My absolute favorite 1980's movie. Who ya gonna call? 5 stars
11/01/02 Jay Who ya gonna call?!! 5 stars
10/21/02 Jay I dare anyone who doesn't like this movie to smash my penis and balls with a steel shoe!!!! 5 stars
10/10/02 Justin Who ya gonna call?! 5 stars
10/10/02 chris One of the funniest movies ever! 5 stars
8/05/02 Kyle No Andrew, THIS IS NOT OVERRATED! Fuck, you piss me off.. 5 stars
7/06/02 Lindsey This is nothing if not a good, entertaining movie, and certainly one for repeat viewings. 5 stars
7/04/02 gary vidmar Freakin' hilarious. William Atherton was his usual spectacular self as the bad-guy. 5 stars
6/19/02 Charles Tatum Funny...if you are twelve years old 3 stars
4/08/02 Justin Cool Movie. Awesome Song. 5 stars
4/03/02 Butterbean I loved it then and love it now! Sorry that I can't say the same about the sequal. 4 stars
11/29/01 The $1.98 Pyramid Fun-filled scenes with great actors. What more could you ask for? 5 stars
8/30/01 Henry Ginsberg Apart from Bill Murry it's generaly anoing. 3 stars
8/17/01 Monster W. Kung A masterpiece it's not, but funny and entertaining it still is. 4 stars
8/10/01 E-Funk The best comedy of the 80's. So many one-liners, so little running time. Awesome. 5 stars
8/10/01 Mr. Hat :) 4 stars
7/28/01 Henry Ginsberg Amusing in parts ,but generaly irritating . 3 stars
7/15/01 Peck Good movie 4 stars
7/10/01 Fish Eye Cats and dogs living together - Mass Hysteria!! 5 stars
6/28/01 R.W. Welch The best spook comedy since Abbott & Costello met Frankenstein. 5 stars
6/20/01 C This Absolutely fantastic! 5 stars
6/20/01 Jason "I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing...what do you mean bad?" 5 stars
6/15/01 BrainPan tjuhsjjmh Macedonia! 5 stars
6/10/01 Po "Yes it's true. This man has no dick." 5 stars
6/09/01 Turtle THE GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL-TIME! Sorry it's all in caps. 5 stars
4/30/01 Steph Williams This is a great movie!! Its so much fun! 4 stars
4/23/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) A landmark in 80's pop culture...remember when this was the best movie EVER, bar none? 5 stars
3/03/01 Josh A fun diversion 4 stars
2/16/01 James Must see. There is a reason that GB became the highest-grossing comedy of all time! 5 stars
2/14/01 Josh Worms Sucks-All-Ass compared to Ghostbusters! 5 stars
2/14/01 big burrito This movie is SO FUCKING AWESOME!!! 5 stars
2/13/01 Scott 2 Hotty This movie beats all the deadbeats on the floor 5 stars
2/09/01 Chris Whenever I see this movie I get this hot feeling behind my skull. Won't the voices stop? 4 stars
2/09/01 Scott Sifferman This movie is #1, just like me 5 stars
2/09/01 Pete I never leave my room! I just watch this movie! 4 stars
2/09/01 Brian I think I will "get funky" to this movie...better than drunken master 5 stars
2/09/01 Travis Those guys think that the firestation sucked. They should see my room! 4 stars
2/09/01 Chris Great movie...we should make a DivX file of it :-) 5 stars
2/09/01 Brian That movie was nothing! I am a murderer! 4 stars
2/09/01 Raytard It was better than the symphony! 5 stars
2/09/01 Scott Olson This movie just never got the Dave Mattewsesque groove.... 4 stars
2/09/01 Billy Fucking Awesome 5 stars
2/09/01 Scott This movie is #2! I am #1! 4 stars
2/09/01 Bob this movie kicks ass 5 stars
2/09/01 Scott This movie is #2! I am #1! 4 stars
2/09/01 Jason The Best Movie of All Time! it's so funny! 5 stars
2/09/01 Greg I give this movie 4 head-jobs! 4 stars
2/09/01 Brigid Dirty! That Slimer was sooooo gross! 4 stars
2/09/01 Becca I was confused by the "Twinkie" comment 4 stars
2/09/01 Betty Good movie, not quite FUCKING awesome 4 stars
2/09/01 Al I was deeply offended by the 'Go to Hell Comment" 4 stars
2/09/01 Mike Radish 4 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog Oh man, Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, and Moranis; great fuckin' film. 4 stars
12/21/00 fifu this is great movie one of my favorites 4 stars
11/15/00 The EVIL Penguin Who are you gonna call? Who do you think?! 4 stars
11/14/00 Ray The DVD won't rip right, dag nambit! 5 stars
10/29/00 Big Al funnist action movie ever 5 stars
10/13/00 Andrew M Who you gonna call...? 5 stars
10/13/00 Josh One of the top 10,000 movies of all time. 4 stars
10/13/00 Jason One of the best movies of all time!!! 5 stars
9/22/00 Turtle "Bustin' makes me feel good!" 5 stars
7/31/00 Andrew A. This movie pretty much defined my childhood. A definite must-see for any lover of comedy 5 stars
5/03/00 matt "We came, we saw, we kick it's ---" 5 stars
1/19/00 Jedi15 One of my favorite comedies! "Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown." 5 stars
11/29/99 Crystal Fleming Very funny and good plot 5 stars
11/26/99 Matthew Bartley Classic 80's flick despite cack effects 5 stars
11/21/99 Gary Durso I want a proton pack for Christmas! 4 stars
10/11/99 Weird Andy Many laffs. Also worth checking out:"GOATbusters." 4 stars
7/09/99 Jon L Funny line after funny line 5 stars
6/23/99 Thethug266 Freaky ghosts 5 stars
5/04/99 Big Dog I am the gate keeper 5 stars
10/29/98 Silent Rob A classic. I always wonder what it would have been like with Belushi.... 4 stars
9/28/98 katherine this is a fun film. 4 stars
9/05/98 Badass Holds up well today 4 stars
8/30/98 Johny I dug it then and now 5 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Not aging well. 3 stars
8/21/98 Mike F I haven't seen in in a while. but I liked it. 4 stars
8/21/98 The Man With The Helmet NOBODY steps on a church in MY town! 4 stars
8/18/98 zubilicious i think it is one of the best 80's flicks out there. a good movie for any age. 5 stars
8/17/98 J-Guy (The MFC) good flick. kids will like it too. 4 stars
8/16/98 {{{OZ}}} It's good, but not as good as everyone makes out. Aykroyd's finest hour 4 stars
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  08-Jun-1984 (PG)
  DVD: 02-Aug-2005

  N/A (PG)
  DVD: 29-Oct-1999

  15-Nov-1984 (PG)

Directed by
  Ivan Reitman

Written by
  Dan Aykroyd
  Harold Ramis

  Bill Murray
  Dan Aykroyd
  Sigourney Weaver
  Harold Ramis
  Rick Moranis
  Annie Potts

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