There are so few teams to root for nowadays. Sure Batman & Robin are always around. Doc & Marty are long gone. Scully & Mulder are a thing of the past. Hell, even Harry, Ron & Hermione have graduated and moved on. There is the FIREFLY gang, more popular than ever but we know that that boat has sailed. But there is a team that has yet to be eclipsed in fandom since their debut back in 1984. I am talking of course about Venkman, Stantz, Spengler & Zeddmore. Collectively they are known as the GHOSTBUSTERS. New York City’s team of science hustlers and paranormal investigators who lit the world on fire in the early 80’s and disappeared after a poorly received but fan-friendly sequel in 1989. Somehow the group has never left our hearts and minds and they live on through rabid fan sites, toy lines, comic books and merchandise. The brainchild of Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis & Rick Moranis,GHOSTBUSTERS was an instant hit and it still stands as the best representation of a rarely well executed genre that pooled together comedy and science fiction in seamless fashion.
After years of debate and false starts, director Ivan Reitman has put the official kibosh on the speculation that there will not be a GHOSTBUSTERS 3 with the original cast. He does speculate that a reboot of the franchise is still possible. Reitman is moving ahead with the sequel to TWINS though. It is cleverly titledTRIPLETS and has added Eddie Murphy to the fray who has not opened a solid comedy since COMING TO AMERICA—the same year the original TWINS was released. That’s right, TRIPLETS is being made while the GHOSTBUSTERS franchise, arguably the best sci-fi comedy ever fails to rise from the grave. When the buzz originally began to swirl of a possible third installment during the mid to late 90’s, Bill Murray was quoted tongue in cheek saying that the only way he would come back is if he played the ghost of Venkman while the other guys continued the battle against the paranormal. Aykroyd continued to fuel the fire over the years assuring us that somehow, some way the sequel would happen. Murray even showed up at the 2010 SCREAM Awards in full Venkman uniform complete with Proton Pack. For that moment, all of us who were waiting to be slimed just one last time thought, “it could still happen.” Sadly, the firehouse is closing down.
Although it has been almost 30 years since the original, GHOSTBUSTERS set the standard for the genre with its dream cast and iconic lore and the movie still holds up. Well ahead of its time, theGHOSTBUSTERS became a phenomenon and one of the most beloved films of its generation. Written by Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Rick Moranis, the movie took all of the wonder and magic of the late 70’s and early 80’s horror & sci-fi flicks and made a mass-market mash-up of hysterical comedy goodness. It was like CADDYSHACK for the paranormal set. The X-FILES before there were X-FILES but written by the National Lampoon. It was epic. And the iconogroaphy lives on at every CON there is with guys (and girls) dressing up as the most famous paranormal investigators of all time. Ghostbusters fans are some of the most rabid and loyal a franchise has ever seen. From the screen accurate custom made jumpsuits to the incredible home-made proton packs, hardcore GB fans and cosplayers do not mess around. It all speaks to a formula of lightning in a bottle that Reitman was able to capture for one hot minute where comedy, sci-fi and the ghost story genre were packaged perfectly and brilliantly. Often imitated, nothing has come close in the past three decades to resemble what many consider to be the movie that started a mash-up of a formula that has yet to be repeated with such cohesion. Murray says that no one wants to see a bunch of guys in their 50’s & 60’s running around chasing ghosts. We beg to differ. Like Venkman says inGHOSTBUSTERS 2, “we’re the one, the only…Ghostbusters!” And until the original films are not relevant anymore, our hopes will live on. For now we will all have to settle for reading our worn out copies of Tobin’s Spirit Guide.
By Jarrett Kruse