Ghostbusters was released in 1984, and to this date remains one of my personal favourite films of all time. It’s sequel isn’t bad either, but no where near as good as the original. The film is about three New York scientists, Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) who after getting thrown out of their research positions at the university decide to go into business as Ghostbusters, or as it’s more technically put, Professional Paranormal Investigations and Eliminations.
Things don’t start off too well for the guys however, until a call comes in from the Sedgewick Hotel asking them to get rid of a ghost that has been up to mischief. The Ghostbusters turn up at the hotel, and track down the class 5 free roaming vapour, otherwise known as a Slimer! Venkman has a close encounter with said ghost (“he slimed me!“) before they finally manage to capture the ghost using some unlicensed particle accelerators (proton packs) and a custom designed ghost trap. They also end up destroying the hotel ballroom in the process. After this work picks up for the Ghostbusters, and they end up hiring a fourth member, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), to help them out.
The main plot of the movie really centres around the haunting (and subsequent possession) of Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver). All the hauntings that the Ghostbusters are taking care of are actually the result of a massive psychic energy build up caused by Gozer the Gozarian, a prehistoric demon god, who just so happens to be trying to push it’s way into our reality via Dana’s fridge.
Unfortunately Dana, and her neighbour Louis Tully (Rick Moranis), end up becoming possessed by two spirits named Zuul (the gatekeeper) and Vinz Clortho (the keymaster). When the two meet up, they open a rift to allow Gozer through, and for their trouble get transformed into some freaky hell hound type creatures.
The Mayor of New York orders the Ghostbusters to get rid of Gozer, which takes them to the top of Dana’s apartment block for an ending climactic battle. Gozer combats their attack by getting the Ghostbusters to choose the form of their destruction. Unfortunately, Ray chooses the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, which appears as a massive giant monster hundred of feet tall. Egon suggests the only way to dispose of Gozer is to cross the proton pack streams, despite his warning earlier in the movie that this would be bad (Definition of bad: Imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light). Obviously, crossing the streams works, the day is saved and Dana and Louis are returned to their human forms.
The film has aged very well. There’s not much in the way of excruciatingly bad fashion, the effects still look quite good, and it is still hilarious. Well, I think it is anyway!