Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

It's slime time again as Ghostbusters returns

  • Print

Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman came up with the seminal tag line "Coming to save the world this summer" for the film's pre-release poster as a way of "focusing that this movie is perhaps larger than you expect."

The quirky horror comedy starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis about a group of university parapsychologists who open a ghost-removal service was one of the blockbuster hits during the summer of 1984. Ghostbusters has grossed nearly $300 million worldwide, earned two Oscar nominations -- for visual effects and original song -- spawned 1989's Ghostbusters II, two animated TV series and several video games.

But in a recent phone interview, Reitman acknowledged that "there was very little expectation of the movie by all prognosticators, there were prognosticators in 1984, even though there are far less now," he said, laughing. "It was one of those movies that was pretty low on the focus list, so I was trying to do something that at least indicated that perhaps there was going to be something special going on, and the idea of saving the world wasn't such a common idea -- now the world gets saved primarily by Marvel."

For its 30th anniversary, Sony Pictures Entertainment has re-released Ghostbusters in more than 700 locations in the U.S. and Canada, including SilverCity St. Vital in Winnipeg, for a weeklong engagement. And the new digital restoration of the film arrives on Blu-ray Sept. 16. The anniversary edition will also include Ghostbusters II and a figurine of one of the most popular ghosts from the film, Slimer.

Rory Bruer, president of distribution at Sony, said that Ghostbusters is "a big part of our DNA and one of the most beloved movies that we have ever released. It's fun to see it in a theatre with a lot of fans around."

The film has been restored over the years, but the 30th-anniversary edition marks the first 4K digital restoration.

"The technology has advanced to the point that we are able to really bring out a lot of the detail from the original negative," said Rita Belda, a film restoration executive at the studio, who added that the original negative was in "fairly good shape considering that it is 30 years old."

'Feel-good quality'

Reitman believes Ghostbusters has endured because it has a "feel-good quality that creates something that is more timeless. When I think of my childhood, that movie was The Wizard of Oz or Singin' in the Rain -- films that make you happy. I think Ghostbusters is a movie that finally, when you end up watching it, makes you happy. You are surprised by it all the time. It made you laugh, made you scream, and it made you happy."

Hudson, who played Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore, takes a more serious approach to its appeal.

Ghostbusters, he said, deals with "an issue that we all have -- that primal fear of what's on the other side. We are all at one point afraid of what's in the closet when you turn off the light. It was the first time a movie dealt with it in a very smart and comedic way."

Over the years, Hudson has encountered several members of Ghostbusters clubs all over the world who dress as the characters, complete with backpacks and equipment, and even convert their cars into Ectomobiles.

"I was doing a play on Broadway six or seven years ago, and guys would put on their Ghostbusters suits with their backpacks and traipse across New York and wait outside the stage."

With an original story idea by Aykroyd, Ghostbusters came together rather quickly. The first time Reitman met Aykroyd at Art's Delicatessen in Studio City to discuss the comedy was May 1983; the film was released just 13 months later.

"Dan Aykroyd wrote this amazing outline that was originally intended for John Belushi and he to star in," said Reitman. About a year "after John passed, Aykroyd sent it to me and thought I would be an appropriate director to put him and Bill Murray together. It took place in the future in outer space, and there were all sorts of teams of ghostbusters fighting each other."

Reitman told Aykroyd over that lunch that it would be too expensive to make and didn't have an emotional through line. "But it has great ideas in it. Why don't we tell the story of the Ghostbusters?"

The director brought in Ramis, with whom he had worked on Animal House, Meatballs and Stripes, and the three wrote a draft at Aykroyd's house in Martha's Vineyard.

On the first day of production, Reitman recalled, "I was on the streets of Manhattan shooting with the four guys. Seeing them in full regalia, I just had this special feeling. I thought, 'This looks so unusual and wonderful, I think this can work.'"


-- Los Angeles Times

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 29, 2014 D7


Updated on Friday, August 29, 2014 at 9:40 AM CDT: Adds video

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Key of Bart - Four Little Games

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • horse in sunset - marc gallant

View More Gallery Photos


What do you think of the government's announcement that there will be no balanced provincial budget until 2018?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google