Movie buffs will be able to easily guess the answer to that question, found in one of the most famous movie theme songs. It’s the “Ghostbusters” ― a motley crew of paranormal exterminators featured in the classic 1980s comedy starring Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. The film still makes “best comedy” lists and is known for its quotable lines, many of them courtesy of Bill Murray and his delightfully dry sense of humor (“I think we’d better split up.” “Yeah … we can do more damage that way.”). “Ghostbusters” was another movie I was embarrassed to admit I hadn’t yet seen, and so I decided to watch it and review it next so I could cross it off my movie bucket list.
The film follows a trio of dysfunctional parapsychologists, led by Peter Venkman (Bill Murray). When they lose their jobs at a university due to doubts about the value of their work, they decide to venture into the private sector and open up their own paranormal investigation and extermination business called “Ghostbusters,” based out of an abandoned fire station. Things seem to be going well, and the crew even reaches a certain level of celebrity in New York City. However, a client (played by Sigourney Weaver, of “Alien” fame) brings them a case that might reach beyond their power to handle. After a series of mishaps, ancient demons are unleashed upon the city, and the Ghostbusters will have to save the city from apocalyptic destruction.
The film was released in 1984, so some of the special effects are now understandably a bit dated, particularly with some of the ghosts that appear. However, this didn’t really detract too much from the film for me, since the main focus is on the humor and dialogue, which are still just as funny 30 years later. Bill Murray is a master of deadpan delivery, which makes his lines even funnier. Some of the best were: “Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back” and (describing the apocalypse) “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together ― mass hysteria.” Rick Moranis, who also appears in Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs,” has a funny supporting role as Sigourney Weaver’s character’s awkward, love-struck neighbor.
I liked the movie’s creative concept ― “paranormal exterminators” ― and the film’s famously funny ending, which features the apocalypse in the form of a giant “Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.” It’s absolutely the least scary thing to ever terrorize the streets of New York City (a city that has definitely been terrorized plenty of times by various monsters, aliens, robots, etc. throughout film history), which makes the scene even funnier. There are plenty of gags throughout the film, including a battle with a crusading EPA lawyer who believes the Ghostbusters should be shut down, and a hearse repurposed as the group’s ghost response vehicle. I had a lot of fun watching “Ghostbusters” for the first time and of course still have the theme song stuck in my head (“I ain’t afraid of no ghost!”). 😉
I still have quite a few movies left on my bucket list, and I’m planning to keep revisiting the bucket list for my blog from time to time. I always appreciate recommendations for films to add to the list!