Why Ghostbusters?


It’s a name that evokes all kinds of emotion and claims of its godlike status among film, and I can’t help but wonder why that movie so damn particularly?

As soon as the remake was announced (besides the misogyny) fans got their underwear in a twist because the original was “the funniest movie ever made” and therefore remaking it with a different focus would be nothing short of blasphemy.  In the interests of full disclosure, let me say I really disliked the original Ghostbusters.  I thought the main character was a creep and couldn’t get behind him as the protagonist.  In film noir (my favorite genre), you expect the protagonist to be a creep; it comes with the territory.  In a movie like Ghostbusters, you need to get behind the protagonist at some level, and when the movie opens with him sabotaging his own research so he can try to get into a student’s pants, well… most of my goodwill went out the window there.  But that’s neither here nor there.

I genuinely want to know what makes it the funniest movie. Why not Horse Feathers or something else with the Marx Brothers?  Why not an Abbott and Costello movie, like The Naughty Nineties, where we get the famous “Who’s on First” routine?  Why not a screwball comedy like Bringing Up Baby or It Happened One Night?  Why not The Producers, Young Frankenstein, or even God help me, Blazing Saddles?  Is it the supernatural element?  Is it the action?   Is it a generational thing (if that’s the case, let me ask why not BeetleJuice? It’s even supernatural!)

Or is it because people like to hate on environmentalists (and by extension the EPA)?  For that matter, William Atherton, who played Peck of the EPA still has trouble going out without someone yelling “dickless” and challenging him to a fight.  Obviously, other actors have trouble with people not recognizing that they are in fact, actors, but still… I have to ask, why Ghostbusters so damn particularly?  Everyone’s got a movie they’re irrational about (mine is Bram Stoker’s Dracula— we’re talking Clue levels of hate here.  And for that matter, why not Clue?)… but I’m incredibly detailed regarding why I love or hate movies that I have illogically strong feelings for.

So, I might be opening a can of worms here, but I’ll be honest with myself… I don’t have that big of a following.  I’d love to know exactly what makes Ghostbusters the funniest movie of all time, and why it elicits such a visceral response from people.  The usual litany of house-rules… no spam, I don’t mind cursing but try not to talk like Scorsese protagonist, put thought into your comments, and don’t harass people.  Thanks!


PS Happy Halloween!


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