This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters. The film had its premiere on June 7, 1984, before going into general release the following day. The film was the brainchild of actor Dan Aykroyd, who’s known for his real life interest in the paranormal (I saw a talk with him and his father Peter at the ROM a few years ago about Peter Aykroyd’s book A History of Ghosts). Ghostbusters was originally envisioned by Aykroyd as a futuristic sci-fi film co-starring John Belushi (who died before the film went into production). The draft was rewritten with Reitman regular Harold Ramis to become the modern-set film it is today, with Bill Murray taking the role that was meant for Belushi.
Over the past 30 years, Ghostbusters has become a certified classic and it would be hard to find anyone who has something negative to say about the film. I was extremely young when I saw the film for the first time, with my only memories of that first viewing being the hunt for Slimer in the hotel (and Bill Murray getting slimed), as well as the climax with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. In fact, as a child, I was probably more familiar with Ghostbusters from the 1986-1991 animated series The Real Ghostbusters (which was named such because of a conflict with another animated series, also called Ghostbusters).
Even though it is considered a lesser film by many fans, I admit to having a deep connection with 1989’s Ghostbusters II, which was probably one of the earliest (live action) films I saw in theatres. In fact, there was a time when I would be more familiar with the second film than the first, since my cousin owned a VHS copy of Ghostbusters II, which I would watch frequently. In fact, it probably wasn’t until I bought both films on DVD that I truly began to appreciate the original.
Ghostbusters remains a very popular series to this day, which is probably why there is still a demand for a third film, even though 25 years has passed since the release of Ghostbusters II. While the series already has a spiritual third sequel, in the form of the 2009 videogame, there are still rumblings that a new Ghostbusters film may eventually surface. Other than the nostalgia factor, I don’t really know if we really need a third Ghostbusters film, however the demand for such a film really helps to demonstrate how passionate a fanbase Ghostbusters has.
This afternoon, there will be a 30th Anniversary Global Viewing of Ghostbusters, beginning at 3 PM EST (Noon PST), where everyone is encouraged to simultaneously watch the film and live tweet at the hashtag #GB30. While I probably won’t be able to participate in this event, I would be hard pressed to think that the weekend will conclude, without me putting on the film.
Who are you going to call?