I've been blogging here long enough now that I feel it's time to confess who I really am—a super-mega, ultra Ghostbusters fan.
Maybe it's because it's one of the first "adult" movies I was allowed to see, or the extra thrill of seeing it at home on the VCR my dad RENTED from the movie store so we could watch the wiggly, soundtrack-compromised rental VHS in all its glory...
...whatever the reasons, Ghostbusters occupies a special place in my heart as a near-perfect action comedy, the kind we don't get anymore without it being all winky-faced and self-referential and, "Look, ha ha, we're in an action movie, how silly." This is a master work from a pile of gifted comedians who played it absolutely straight so we could have the benefit of the cheers and thrills, as well as the laughter.
I know I'm not alone, because in celebration of the film's 30th anniversary (whaaaat?), it is being re-released theatrically for this weekend only. I have plans to be there, popcorn in hand, seeing the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in all his silver screen glory. It will take a lot of will power not to shout along with every line of the film and maintain my good theatre-goer manners, but I wonder if it even matters in a case like this. The very idea of sharing my thirty-year affair in the dark with a bunch of strangers who also know all the characters' last names is pretty thrilling. Maybe we'll all be murmuring, "That's a big Twinkie!" along with Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson).
Now, the cynical types may pooh-pooh these kinds of (rather obvious) money grabs from beloved franchises that have stood the test of time, but I can't say I blame Hollywood or theatre owners for doing what works in this fragmented, on-demand era of entertainment. Because, as we can never recognize it while living through a golden age, the films of the 1980s are just beginning to prove themselves as classics, even though we might giggle at the occasional man-perm or giant shoulder pads.
The market for nostalgia is pretty strong for things from childhood, no matter when you grew up. And because I'm a child of the eighties, I will be yelling, "Annnnnd the flowers are still standing!" right alongside Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) when he's yanking the tablecloths away and fighting ghosts. And my seven-year-old son will be yelling along with me.
Who ya gonna call?
Image (movie still) from Ghostbusters.net