By: Mike Dodd
It’s been a Hell of a time to be a “Ghosthead” in the last few years. We’ve gotten our hands on video games, tons of new toys, comic books and now we’re about a month away from a new movie.
Despite all of this, there remains a certain part of the Ghostbusters fandom that isn’t all that excited about this for whatever reason.
There are a variety of reasons, some good, others insane, but everyone seems weary of having another aspect of their childhood ruined, and who can blame them really.
So why am I excited for this movie?
The year was 1986. My parents had bought me a brand new VCR/TV combo and had recently learned the art of video piracy (Don’t break the law kids!), and the first movie they dubbed for me was Ghostbusters. In the short time of a few hours, I learned about ghosts, ghostbusting and the importance of giant Twinkies.
This movie spoke to me on so many levels as a child. It sparked a united curiosity in both science and the supernatural. I never had the privilege of seeing the original Ghostbusters in a movie theater as a child and I even missed out on seeing the sequel during its original theatrical run as well.
Now is my time. It’s 2016, I’m finally able to see a new Ghostbusters film in theaters and couldn’t be more excited to be on the ground floor when it happens. As a nerd, I could not be happier to be a part of this strong fandom at this particular time.
The film has so much promise; really funny people, modern special effects and even cameos by most of the original cast.I first learned of the reboot a few years ago like everyone else and at first, I also had my reservations. I wasn’t one of the types to immediately cry “my childhood is soon to be ruined” but remained cautiously optimistic about it. The director Paul Feig has had a few hits on his hands and his handpicked casts have all had some memorably funny moments.
I looked at this movie and this renewed fandom as a chance to reconnect with my inner geek and my inner child. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a fan of the “Robocop” franchise and I survived the reboot of 2014…barely. I was bitter about it, but eventually learned to lighten up and take it for what it was. This time around, rather than worry about what COULD happen, I wanted to be excited about what WAS happening with one of my childhood franchises. I could still be disappointed with the final product, but I wanted to walk into that theater with a smile and a set of expectations.
This fan cut trailer actually did A LOT in the way of endearing the movie by using music from the original, and I think once I saw this, I became assured in my comfort.
The trailer came out in March and despite the controversy, I really enjoyed it. The thing that stood out to me the most was the cool remix of the original theme song. Music connects me to a film more then I realized, and once this dropped into the new trailers, I felt something. I liked the way the universe and the characters seemed to be portrayed, I liked the way it felt. It felt familiar enough and different in very important ways. I really liked what they did with the equipment and am absolutely in love with the new Proton pack design. There have been a few trailers released since March and we got better looks at the gear. I love the new trap design, like even better then the 84 version. The new Ecto 1 also is a nice update/redesign on the original, and I’m looking forward to getting one as a toy or a LEGO build.
Did I mention Proton pack DUEL WIELD PISTOLS?!?!
I also really like the designs of the new ghosts as they do feel distinct from the originals incarnations. I always thought the best ghosts from the 84 movie were Slimer and the cab driver. I never cared for Gozer’s look truthfully. I do like the visual of the ghosts trapped in the paintings and what appears to be a ghoulish carnival walking the streets as well. The big bad “Rowan” appears to be an animated version of the no ghost logo, and I’m still on the fence about that, but I’ll wait until I see it fully in context.
I am relatively new to the actresses Kate MacKinnon and Leslie Jones. I decided to take a look at some of their stuff on Youtube and had a few good laughs, much more so than most of my peers do. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Kristen Wiig but after seeing a few Youtube skits from her, especially her impersonations, I totally think she’ll do fine. The final actress I actually have the most faith in is Melissa McCarthy mostly because of her work on “Gilmore girls” and “Mike & Molly”. I’ve enjoyed McCarthy over the years and when she has the right stuff, she can do absolute wonders with it. I also think having Chris Hemsworth is also kind of inspired. That man can be quite funny when you let him take off the Thor cape and ham it up for a good time.
I’m not quite sure what to expect with the humor in the new movie though. The original had a certain wit about that I really enjoyed. It didn’t find it necessary to be raw or edgy for the sake of being edgy. I hope the new one has some of the wit and does something unique with it’s writing to set it apart and on its own. I’ve always been a fan of the smart ass one liners so I am hoping we get something like
“That’s a big twinkie” or “Back off, man. I’m a scientist.” I’m sure I’ll have a few laughs and something that will stick with me.
The movie itself does seem to be a familiar retelling of the origin story of the Ghostbusters, and I’m ok with that. If this movie does prove to be successful enough for a franchise, then I hope they’ll branch out and do original stories in the sequel. I’d even be cool with the idea of adapting ideas from the cartoons. Just imagine the Ghostbusters fighting the boogeyman or Samhain or…Cthulhu. The trailer seems to point that the bad guy is using a machine of some sort to spawn paranormal entities, and I like that idea. I am hoping that image of the building swarmed in green turns into something really cool and we get something really neat out of what I would expect to be the final battle.
One of the more fun aspects of being a geeky adult is having a little bit of spare money to throw down on some collectibles, and Ghostbusters certainly has my attention in that department. Toymaker Mattel currently holds the Ghostbusters license, and they are well known for putting together some finely crafted Ghostbusters figures, which are usually aimed at the adult collector. Recently, I was sent a set of the 4 highly detailed and articulated female Ghostbusters and I was not disappointed in the slightest with what I received.
One of the biggest reasons that I got hyped up for this movie came about from the return of a childhood favorite…Ecto Cooler. I was one of the fortunate few to receive the Ecto cooler media kit that looked like a ghost trap. The media kit had a small bucket of slime and a juice box and a can of Ecto cooler. After cooling it to near polar temperatures, what I got was well worth the 20 year plus wait. It was citrus flavored deliciousness delivered from Slimer himself.
There are also tie in foods with marshmallows and Twinkies and so much more. It’s sad that most of it is US exclusive, but if you’re clever and know people then you too can have a taste of nostalgia reborn. I am holding for a tie in with McDonalds like they did back in the day. I miss those days of awesome fast food tie-ins.
The media tie-ins are coming fast and furious as well. There is going to be a new game for the PS4 and Xbox one coming out in July, but its connections to the new movie seem to be loose at best.
A new Ghostbusters pinball machine was just released into arcades and is totally worth your time if you fancy yourself a pinball wizard. Ghostbusters board game maker, Cryptozoic, released a classic trading series to commentate the 84 movie and they include random cards that are even autographed by the cast. I managed to snag a card autographed by director Ivan Reitman and a card that is meant to be a replica of actual ecto plasm on a medical microscope slide.
There hasn’t been a better time to be a “Ghosthead” truthfully. We have so much to look forward to with both classic and new Ghostbusters riding high.
One of the fanpages on Facebook, Proton charging, posted something a while back and it really stuck with me. The post was along the lines of “This is the Ghostbusters for this generation to grow up on. Let them enjoy it as much as we enjoyed ours,” or something to that effect. I’m glad that I’ll be in on the ground floor when a new wave of Ghostbusters stuff hits shelves, and I’m hoping that the new generation of fans will be just as happy as I was seeing it the first time. I am anxious to see a new generation of cosplayers take on Holtzman and Yates as people once took on Stanz, Venkman and company. I’m hoping to see epic showdowns between new and old Ghostbusters at conventions. Speaking of which, did you know the Ontario Ghostbusters is one of the few groups to have a full set of the new uniforms? That’s pretty bad ass.
On July 15 2016 we find out for sure if this new Ghostbusters will be able to stand on its own. Only then can we all pass judgment on it. Be it good or bad, I’ll give it a fair chance to win me over. I want to laugh, be scared and most of all, have a good time because….busting makes me feel good.
Special thanks to the Ontario Ghostbusters!