SS210’s A Look Back: The Ghostbusters Franchise

hollywood-movie-newsWith the 30th Anniversary and the Summer 2013 Ghostbusters 3 filming just around the corner, I thought now would be a perfect time to take a “SS210’s Look Back” at the Ghostbusters franchise. From movies to toys to comics to cartoons Ghostbusters was everywhere in the 1980s. Please share your thoughts on the past success of this franchise, or the future direction of where the franchise is heading!

Ghostbusters is a 1984 American supernatural comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as three eccentric parapsychologists in New York City, who start a ghost catching business. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis co-star as a potential client and her neighbor. It was released in the United States on June 8, 1984 and made US$238,632,124 in the United States.[2] The American Film Institute ranked Ghostbusters 28th in its AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list of film comedies.

The film was followed by a sequel, Ghostbusters II in 1989, and two animated television series, The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters.

Plot

Following their first encounter with a ghost, misfit parapsychologists Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) lose their jobs at Columbia University. Unable to research their discovery, the trio establish a paranormal exterminator service known as “Ghostbusters” in a retired firehouse. Lacking customers and faced with dwindling funds, they are eventually hired by the Sedgewick Hotel to investigate a haunting. At the hotel, they capture their first ghost and deposit it in a “containment unit” located in the firehouse basement. Paranormal activity begins to increase in New York City, and the Ghostbusters become celebrities containing it, while at the same time becoming increasingly burdened by the hectic schedule. The group later hire a fourth member, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), to help them cope with the demands.

The Ghostbusters are hired by Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), whose apartment is haunted by a demonic spirit called Zuul, a demigod worshipped as a servant to Gozer the Gozerian, a Sumerian shape-changer god of destruction. Venkman takes a particular interest in the case, competing for Dana’s affection with her neighbor, Louis Tully (Rick Moranis). As they investigate, Dana is possessed by Zuul, which declares itself “The Gatekeeper”, and Louis by a similar demon called Vinz Clortho, “The Keymaster.” Both demons speak of the coming of the destructive Gozer, and the Ghostbusters plan to keep the two apart. Thereafter, the Ghostbusters’ office is visited by Walter Peck (William Atherton), a lawyer representing the EPA, who arrests the team for operating an unlicensed nuclear device in their basement and orders their ghost containment grid deactivated, unleashing hundreds of captured ghosts onto the city. Freed from the Ghostbusters’ custody, Louis/Vinz advances toward Dana/Zuul’s apartment while the escaped ghosts create havoc throughout the city.

Consulting blueprints of Dana’s apartment, the Ghostbusters learn that it was built by mad doctor and cult leader Ivo Shandor, who designed the building as a gateway to summon Gozer and bring about the end of the world, claiming humanity was too sick to survive after the horrors of World War I. The Ghostbusters are brought to the mayor’s office and freed in order to combat the paranormal activity, but are unable to prevent the arrival of Gozer, who initially appears as a woman (Slavitza Jovan). Briefly subdued by the team, Gozer disappears, but her voice echoes that the “destructor” will follow, taking a form chosen by the team. Venkman, holding that this means that whatever they imagine will appear as a destroying force, urges his comrades to avoid giving form to the destructor by clearing their minds. Unable to keep his mind blank, Stantz remembers a beloved corporate mascot from childhood, “something that could never, ever possibly destroy us,” whereupon the destructor arrives in Stantz’s chosen form of the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and begins laying waste to the city. To defeat this manifestation, the team decides to merge the energy streams of their proton packs (against which they were advised earlier in the film) while directing these against Gozer’s entrance. The plan succeeds, banishing Gozer back to whence it came, sealing the gateway between the worlds, and destroying the Marshmallow Man in a single explosion. Soon thereafter, Dana and Louis are freed from the ashen remains of their possessors. As hundreds of New Yorkers wipe the melted marshmallow goo from their brows, the Ghostbusters are applauded by the city’s population.

Cast
Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman
Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond “Ray” Stantz
Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett
Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler
Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore
Rick Moranis as Louis Tully
Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz
William Atherton as Walter Peck
David Margulies as Mayor Lenny
Slavitza Jovan as Gozer Paddi Edwards as Gozer (voice)

The cast also includes Alice Drummond as a librarian, Jennifer Runyon as an ESP volunteer, and director Ivan Reitman provides the voice of Zuul and Slimer. Roger Grimsby, Larry King, Joe Franklin, and Casey Kasem make cameo appearances in the film.

I remember as a kid watching this for the first time and I was simply blown away. This was truly a great film to be enjoyed by all ages. I thought the plot was pretty solid. My favorite scenes would have to be the film’s beginning intro with Ray’s famous “I got a idea…do exactly as I say…GET HER!!” scene. In addition to and among many others, would also be Dana Barrett’s (Sigourney Weaver) estranged neighbor, Louis Tully’s (Rick Moranis) hilarious opening “Oh hey Dana, it’s you, I was just working out, I play the tape at high-speed so I can twice the work out in half the time” line. Also the Stay Puft finale was epic.

The casting was fantastic as well. Just like Star Wars’ Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, I can’t imagine anyone else playing the roles of Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson). They simply were the Ghostbusters.

Production

Development

The concept was inspired by Aykroyd’s own fascination with the paranormal and it was conceived as a vehicle for himself and friend John Belushi, fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus.[3] The original story, as written by Aykroyd, was very different from what was eventually filmed; in the initial version, a group of “Ghostsmashers” traveled through time, space, and other dimensions combating huge ghosts (of which the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man was one of many). Also, the Ghostbusters wore SWAT-like outfits and used wands instead of proton packs to fight the ghosts. Ghostbusters storyboards show them wearing riotsquad-type helmets with movable transparent visors.[4] In addition to a similar title, the movie shares the premise of professional “exterminators” on a paranormal mission with The Bowery Boys slapstick comedy Spook Busters (1946, directed by William Beaudine).

Aykroyd pitched his story to director/producer Ivan Reitman, who liked the basic idea but immediately saw the budgetary impossibilities demanded by Aykroyd’s first draft.[5] At Reitman’s suggestion, the story was given a major overhaul, eventually evolving into the final screenplay which Aykroyd and Ramis hammered out over the course of three weeks in a Martha’s Vineyard bomb shelter in May–June 1982.[6] Aykroyd and Ramis initially wrote the script with roles written especially for Belushi, Eddie Murphy, and John Candy; but Belushi died during the writing of the screenplay, and neither Murphy nor Candy would commit to the movie, so Aykroyd and Ramis made some changes and polished a basic, science-fiction-oriented screenplay for their final draft.[5]

In addition to Aykroyd’s high-concept basic premise, and Ramis’ skill at grounding the fantastic elements with a realistic setting, the film benefits from Bill Murray’s semi-improvisational performance as Peter Venkman, the character initially intended for Belushi.

For the test screening of Ghostbusters, half of the ghost effects were missing, not yet having been completed by the production team. The audience response was still enthusiastic, and the ghost elements were completed for the official theatrical release shortly thereafter.

Casting

Louis Tully was originally conceived as a conservative man in a business suit played by comedian John Candy; but with Candy unable to commit to the role, it was taken by Rick Moranis who portrayed Louis as a geek.[5] Gozer was originally going to appear in the form of Ivo Shandor as a slender, unremarkable man in a suit played by Paul Reubens;[7] but the role was played by Yugoslav model Slavitza Jovan. The demonic voice of Gozer was provided by Paddi Edwards, supposedly after Bill Murray joked that the line “choose and perish” sounded like “Jews and berries” when spoken with Jovan’s Slavic accent.

Wow…wands instead of proton packs?? Talk about dodging a bullet.

Release

Box office

Ghostbusters was released on June 8, 1984 in 1,339 theaters and grossed $13.6 million on its opening weekend[8] and $23 million in its first week, a studio record at the time.[9] The film was number one at the box office for five consecutive weeks, grossing $99.8 million.[10] After seven weeks at number one, it was finally knocked to second place by Prince’s film, Purple Rain and had grossed $142.6 million, second only to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as the year’s top moneymaker.[11] However, Ghostbusters regained top spot the next week, and then again six weeks later.[12] It went on to gross $229.2 million at the box office, making it the second highest-grossing film of 1984, behind only Beverly Hills Cop.[13] At the time, these figures put it within the top ten highest-grossing films of all-time.[14] A re-release in 1985 gave the film a total gross of $238.6 million ($516 million in today’s dollars[15]) surpassing Beverly Hills Cop[16] and making Ghostbusters the most successful comedy of the 1980s.

Critical response

Ghostbusters received mainly positive reviews from critics and is considered by many as one of the best films of 1984. It currently holds a 94% “Certified Fresh” approval rating on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 46 reviews; the sites consensus called the film “An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, with Bill Murray’s hilarious deadpan performance leading a cast of great comic turns.”[21] Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four and wrote, “This movie is an exception to the general rule that big special effects can wreck a comedy … Rarely has a movie this expensive provided so many quotable lines”.] Newsweek magazine’s David Ansen wrote, “Everyone seems to be working toward the same goal of relaxed insanity. Ghostbusters is wonderful summer nonsense”. In his review for TIME, Richard Schickel praised the three lead actors: “Of the ghost wranglers, the pair played by Writers Aykroyd and Ramis are sweetly earnest about their calling, and gracious about giving the picture to their co-star Bill Murray. He obviously (and wisely) regards Dr. Peter Venkman as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop fully his patented comic character”.[24] Pauline Kael had problems with the chemistry between the three lead actors: “Murray is the film’s comic mechanism … But nobody else has much in the way of material, and since there’s almost no give-and-take among the three men, Murray’s lines fall on dead air”.[25] In her review for The New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote, “Its jokes, characters and story line are as wispy as the ghosts themselves, and a good deal less substantial

Soundtrack

The film’s theme song, “Ghostbusters”, written and performed by Ray Parker, Jr., sparked the catchphrases “Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” and “I ain’t afraid of no ghost.” The song was a huge hit, staying #1 for three weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and #1 for two weeks on the Black Singles chart. The song earned Parker an Academy Award nomination for “Best Original Song”. According to Bruce A. Austin (in 1989), this theme “purportedly added $20 million to the box office take of the film”.[33]

The music video produced for the song became a #1 MTV video. Featuring actress Cindy Harrell, directed by Ivan Reitman, produced by Jeffrey Abelson, and conceptualized by Keith Williams, the video integrated footage of the film intercut with a humorous performance by Parker. The video also featured cameo appearances by celebrities who joined in the call-and-response chorus, including Chevy Chase, Irene Cara, John Candy, Ollie E. Brown, Melissa Gilbert, Jeffrey Tambor, George Wendt, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon, Peter Falk, Lori Singer, and Teri Garr. The video ends with footage of the four main Ghostbusters actors in costume and character, dancing in Times Square behind Parker, joining in the singing.

From critic reviews that claimed Ghostbusters to be the greatest comedy of the ’80s, to one of the most iconic film soundtracks in movie history “Who you gonna call?”, there is no denying the film’s place in movie pop culture. Not to mention giving movie goers one of the coolest vehicles in a film this side of the Batmobile…the Ecto 1!

Critical reception

Reviewers at Allmusic have awarded both the Original Soundtrack Album and the Original Motion Picture Score 4 out of a total 5 stars. Evan Cater describes the Original Soundtrack Album somewhat pejoratively as “a very disjointed, schizophrenic listen” that “does very little to conjure memories of the film”. However, he notes that there are exceptions to this, namely Ray Parker Jr.’s title track “Ghostbusters”, Mick Smiley’s “Magic”, and the two inclusions from Elmer Bernstein’s score.[34] Jason Ankeny describes the Original Motion Picture Score as “epic in both sound and scale”, noting that it “ranks among Bernstein’s most dazzling and entertaining efforts, evoking the widescreen wonder of its source material”, concluding that “his melodies beautifully complement the wit and creativity of the onscreen narrative

Legacy

The film became a cultural phenomenon and an instant classic. The American Film Institute ranked it 28th in its list of the top 100 comedies of all time (in their 100 Years… 100 Laughs list),[43] and nominated it for its lists of the 100 greatest movies in 1998[44] and 2007[45] and the 100 most heart-pounding movies (in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Thrills).[46] The title song was nominated for AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs,[47] and two quotes were nominated for AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes: “We came. We saw. We kicked its ass.” and “He slimed me.”, both spoken by Venkman.[48] In 2005, IGN voted Ghostbusters the greatest comedy ever.[49] In 2006, Bravo ranked Ghostbusters 76 on their 100 Funniest Movies list.[50] Entertainment Weekly ranked it as the Funniest Movie of the Past 25 Years.[51] In 2008, Empire magazine ranked the film #189 on its list of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.[52] In 2009, National Review magazine ranked Ghostbusters number 10 on its 25 Best Conservative Movies of the Last 25 Years list.[53] In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted Ghostbusters the 44th greatest comedy film of all time

From comic cons to Halloween parties across the country, Ghostbusters fans show just how strong this ’80s comedy legacy is.

The Sequel: Ghostbusters 2

Ghostbusters II is a 1989 American supernatural comedy film produced and directed by Ivan Reitman. It is the sequel to the 1984 film Ghostbusters and follows the further adventures of a group of parapsychologists and their organization which combats paranormal activities. The film was a box office success despite mixed reviews

Plot

After being initially hailed as heroes for saving New York City from Gozer five years earlier, the Ghostbusters were sued by numerous city and state agencies for the property damage at 55 Central Park West. A judge issued a restraining order barring them from investigating the supernatural, forcing them out of business. Ray Stantz owns an occult bookstore and co-operates with Winston Zeddemore as unpopular children’s entertainers, wearing their old Ghostbuster uniforms; Egon Spengler works in a laboratory at Columbia University conducting experiments into human emotion; Peter Venkman hosts a little-watched pseudo-psychic television show named “World of the Psychic”; and Dana Barrett, having broken up with Peter years earlier, and now divorced from a subsequent marriage, works at the Manhattan Museum of Art restoring paintings and raising her infant son Oscar at a new apartment. After an incident in which Oscar’s baby carriage is controlled by an unseen supernatural force and drawn to a busy junction on First Avenue, Dana turns to the Ghostbusters for help, prompting an awkward reunion of herself and Peter. Meanwhile, Dr. Janosz Poha — Dana’s colleague at the art gallery — is brainwashed by the spirit of Vigo the Carpathian, a seventeenth-century tyrant trapped in a painting in the gallery. Vigo orders Janosz to locate a child that Vigo can possess, thus gaining physical form upon the approaching New Year.

The Ghostbusters’ investigation leads them to conclude that the supernatural presence originates from under the city streets, prompting them to illegally excavate First Avenue at the point where the baby carriage stopped. Lowered underneath, Ray discovers a river of pink slime filling an abandoned subway line. Attacked by the slime after obtaining a sample, Ray accidentally causes a blackout, and the Ghostbusters are arrested. At their trial they are defended poorly by Louis Tully (who acts as their lawyer in repaying them for having saved him in the earlier film) and found guilty. However, the judge’s angry outburst at sentencing prompts the slime sample presented as evidence to release the ghosts of two murdering brothers whom the judge had previously sentenced to death by electric chair. Thereafter the Ghostbusters imprison the ghosts in exchange for the dismissal of all charges and the rescinding of the restraining order; having done so, they recommence their Ghostbusting business, busier than ever.

After the slime invades Dana’s apartment, seemingly to abduct Oscar, she seeks refuge with Peter, and the two begin to renew their relationship. Investigating the slime and the history of the painting of Vigo, the Ghostbusters discover that the slime reacts both to positive and negative emotions and even “dances” to music, but suspect that it has been generated by the bad attitudes of New Yorkers. While Peter and Dana have dinner together and Louis and Janine attend to Oscar (becoming enamoured with each other in the process), Egon, Ray, and Winston explore the underground river of slime. While measuring the depth, Winston gets pulled into the flowing river, giving Ray and Egon no choice but to jump in after him. When they escape back to the surface (at the museum) Ray and Winston begin arguing, but Egon realizes it is because they are drenched in negatively-charged slime. In only their long undergarments and dripping in slime Egon, Ray, and Winston go to the restaurant where Peter and Dana are eating, talking loudly and causing a major disturbance. Egon, Ray, and Winston are carried out of the restaurant by police.

The Ghostbusters go to the mayor with their suspicions, but are dismissed; whereupon his scheming assistant Jack attempts to have them committed to a psychiatric hospital to protect the mayor’s interests. As they are committed, a spirit resembling a Mary Poppins-like version of Janosz kidnaps Oscar from Peter’s apartment, prompting Dana to break into the museum by herself; whereupon the museum is covered by impenetrable slime.

New Year’s Eve sees a sudden increase of supernatural activity as the slime, rapidly increasing in volume in the subway line, rises through the ground and onto the surface of the city, causing a demon to invade Washington Square Park; a fur coat returning to life to attack its owner; a film monster bursting out of a movie screen at a cinema; and the arrival of the Titanic and its long-deceased passengers and crew in the harbor. Realizing the truth of the situation after having spent the night talking to the ghost of former mayor Fiorello La Guardia, the present mayor fires Jack and has the Ghostbusters released, whereupon they approach the museum. Their initial attempts to enter are unsuccessful, the wave of negativity that has generated it proving too powerful to penetrate it with their proton packs. Determining that they need a symbol of equally-powerful positivity to break through the slime, the Ghostbusters use positively-charged mood slime from their slime blowers, an adapted NES Advantage Controller, and a remix of “Higher and Higher” to animate the Statue of Liberty and pilot it through the streets of New York, using its torch to break through the museum’s ceiling to attack Vigo and Janosz.

Janosz is easily defeated by being sprayed with positively-charged slime; but Vigo immobilizes the Ghostbusters and attempts a transfer into Oscar’s body, whereupon a chorus of “Auld Lang Syne” from outside the building weakens him sufficiently to free the Ghostbusters and return him to the painting. Vigo momentarily possesses Ray; whereupon the other Ghostbusters attack him with a combination of proton streams and positively-charged mood slime. Dressed in full Ghostbusters attire, Louis (who caught a ride on bus commandeered by Slimer) attacks the weakened slime barrier around the building with a proton stream of his own. This combination destroys Vigo and changes the painting to a likeness of the four Ghostbusters surrounding baby Oscar. The movie ends with the Ghostbusters receiving a standing ovation from the crowd and, at a later ceremony to restore the Statue, the Key to the City from the mayor.

I went to go see this film the same summer the 1989 Batman film hit theatres. I remember enjoying it but it didn’t blow me away like the above mentioned Batman film did. One of my favorite scenes would have to be Ray and Winston performing at little kids birthday parties for a living, and the underground ghost train running over Winston followed by Egon’s hilarious “Did you see the train number” line.

Development

After the success of the first film and the animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, Columbia Pictures pressured the producers to make a sequel.[2] Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman were uncomfortable with this, as the original film was intended to be conclusive and they wished to work on other projects; but later agreed

Reception

The sequel had what was, at the time, the biggest three-day opening weekend gross in history,[4] a record that was broken one week later by Batman ($40,505,884).[5] Ghostbusters II eventually grossed $112.4 million domestically and $102.9 million globally to a total of $215.3 million worldwide

Critical response

Despite the record-breaking opening, Ghostbusters II received mixed reviews.[6] Based on 35 reviews, the film holds a 51% “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes and a 56% at Metacritic. Variety praised the film as having amusing visuals and a clever plot, while Nick Shager of Screengrab criticized the film, claiming that it “Effectively slimed everyone’s fond memories of the original”.[7] On their show, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave the picture two thumbs down, disappointed that the film didn’t try anything new. Siskel stated “The film contains little comic invention. It looks as if the filmmakers, particularly the writers, simply didn’t try to do anything special.” Ebert confessed that he saw the movie in a theater in Michigan and out of a packed house, there was only one laugh. Later they would deem it one of the worst films of 1989

I admit, this was no masterpiece, but “one of the worst films of 1989′ seems a bit harsh. All in all, I’m glad the film was made. I didn’t really care for the “ooze proton packs’ for what it’s worth.

The Real Ghostbuster’s Cartoon Series:

The Real Ghostbusters is an American animated television series based on the 1984 film Ghostbusters. The series ran from 1986 to 1991, and was produced by Columbia Pictures Television, DiC Enterprises, and Coca-Cola Telecommunications. “The Real” was added to the title after a dispute with Filmation and its Ghost Busters properties.[3] The series continues the adventures of paranormal investigators Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Egon Spengler, Dr. Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore, their secretary Janine Melnitz and their mascot ghost Slimer.[4]

There also were two ongoing Real Ghostbusters comics, one published monthly by Now Comics in USA and the other published weekly (originally biweekly) by Marvel Comics in the United Kingdom, and a popular toy line manufactured by Kenner (the toyline lasted longer than the television series itself).

Plot
The series follows the continuing adventures of The Ghostbusters, secretary Janine, accountant Louis, and their mascot Slimer, as they chase and capture rogue spirits around New York and various other areas of the world.

Broadcast

The show originally aired on ABC for its full run, except for the third season which ran on syndication at the same time as the second season ran on ABC. Later, reruns of the show appeared on the USA Network’s USA Cartoon Express from September 16, 1991[9] to September 11, 1994. Fox Family Channel also reran the series from August 17, 1998 to October 1, 1999.

Spin-offs

Slimer!

At the start of the third season in 1988, with the series renaming, it was given an hour-long time slot. In addition to the regular thirty-minute Real Ghostbusters episode, a half-hour Slimer sub-series was added that included 2–3 short animated segments focusing on the character Slimer. At the end of its six season run, 147 episodes had aired, including the syndicated episodes and 13 episodes of Slimer, with multiple episodes airing out of production order.[24] The segments added several characters as friends of Slimer, plus an antagonist, Professor Norman Dweeb, a prototypical mad scientist usually accompanied by a pink poodle named Elizabeth. Dweeb wants to capture Slimer to experiment on him and to gain personal glory. Dweeb also made three appearances in the main series, one a clip show from the last two seasons. One of the ghosts from the Slimer cartoons, the Sleaze, also reappeared in The Real Ghostbusters to be captured a second time.

Extreme Ghostbusters

Main article: Extreme Ghostbusters

In 1997, a sequel cartoon entitled Extreme Ghostbusters, was created by Columbia TriStar Television and Adelaide Productions. It premiered on September 1, 1997 and ran for forty episodes until its conclusion on December 8, 1997. Set several years after the end of The Real Ghostbusters, the series opened by saying the team has disbanded due to a lack of supernatural activity. Only Egon remains in the firehouse, along with Slimer, to care for the containment system while teaching classes at a local university. When supernatural events begin occurring in New York, Egon recruits four of his university students as a new team of Ghostbusters, and Janine, also one of Egon’s students, returns to manage the office. The original Ghostbusters return for the two-episode season finale to celebrate Egon’s 40th birthday, leading to them reluctantly working together with the younger generation to solve one last case

I absolutely loved this cartoon series growing up. I spent many a Saturday mornings sitting in front of the TV, with a nice bowl of Captain Crunch cereal, watching this cartoon. Even later in high school, I would watch this show at 7am while waking up and getting ready for school. I am also proud to say I own the enire series on DVD. It truly is, one of the best cartoons of the ’80s.

Many didn’t like the fact that the character designs did NOT reflect their movie counter parts, but I really loved this series. From the writing to the voice acting to the animation. DIC Animation Stuidos really captured the spirit of the live-action films in my humble opinion.

The Toys and Comics:

There have been many toy lines for the Ghostbusters franchise. From Hot Wheels to the cartoon line to the recent collector packs. This is one of those toy lines that I keep telling myself as a collector that I want to get into, but sadly as of now I have not. I did however have some as a kid and really enjoyed them. To-date I have yet to read one single comic.

The Video Games:

Ghostbusters: The Video Game is a 2009 cross-platform action game based on the Ghostbusters film franchise. Terminal Reality developed the Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 versions, while Red Fly Studio developed the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii versions, and Zen Studios developed the Nintendo DS version.[2][8] The game was released after several delays in development and multiple publisher changes.[9] In North America, all versions of the game were published by Atari,[3][10] while publishing in Europe for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 versions was handled by Sony Computer Entertainment.[11]

The game follows the player’s character as a new recruit in the Ghostbusters, a team of parapsychologists who pursue and capture ghosts. The game features elements of typical third-person shooters, but instead of using a traditional gun, players are equipped with a “Proton Pack”, a laser beam-like weapon, and a ghost trap to fight and capture ghosts.[12] The game’s plot is set two years after Ghostbusters II, around Thanksgiving in 1991, with the Ghostbusters team training the player’s character while investigating paranormal activities in New York.

Many of the principal cast members from the films were involved in the game’s production. Each of the actors who portrayed the Ghostbusters in the films, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson, lent their voices and likenesses to the in-game characters.[13] Aykroyd and Ramis, who wrote the films, also aided in minor script doctoring for the game.[14] Other film cast members, such as William Atherton, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Annie Potts lent their voices and likenesses to the game’s characters as well. Max von Sydow also reprised the voice of Vigo the Carpathian. Ghostbusters: The Video Game also contains the soundtrack from the original Ghostbusters film, along with various characters, locations, and props featured in the films.[13] Ghostbusters creator Dan Aykroyd has said, “This is essentially the third movie.”

I have played this game and I can tell you being a fan i really enjoyed this game. It is pretty much the unofficial part 3 to the movies. It takes place several years after the end of Ghostbusters 2. The controls are solid, the story was better than the movie sequel and the voice acting was hilarious. I highly recommend this game.

There were also some older games that spanned from the Atari 800,Atari 2600, an arcade game, Sega Master System, NES,Commodore 64, and Gameboy that had mixed reviews as well. I have never played the old school Ghostbuster game’s, but I hear they are not that bad.

When it was announced that Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis were moving forward without Bill Murray on the Ghostbusters 3 project I had mixed feelings. On one hand I applaud them for moving forward and no longer being held hostage by Murray. On the other hand I can’t imagine a Ghostbusters film with no Peter Venkman. This franchise launched him into super stardom, why could he simply shoot a few scenes? What is he afraid of? This IS his legacy. Murray has mentioned age being a reason.

I think that might have been acceptable had it not been for Harrison Ford putting on the hat and whip in the 2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. That being said, at the end of the day I will gladly support this film with my movie ticket purchase and am excited for what the future of the franchise has in store.

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