Pondering the paranormal past (and future) of ‘Ghostbusters’by Cherlyn Gardner Strong on Dec. 26, 2009, under General Paranormal, Ghosts and Hauntings, Life, Paranormal
Growing up in the 1970′s, I was heavily influenced by the paranormal. In television and movies, I watched Scooby Doo, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, In Search Of, Night Gallery, The Amityville Horror, The Entity, and The Exorcist, along with a plethora of others. I would read about all things paranormal in my school library. Yes, this all took place pre-internet years. Into the early 80′s, the paranormal was just a daily part of my life. In 1984, however, a blockbuster movie called Ghostbusters was released. Then, things changed.
Intriguing conversations about the paranormal were suddenly replaced by snickers and laughter at my mere mention of ghosts. ‘Have you ever been slimed?’ was a common query. If the querant was an interested young man, he’d put on a grin and follow up with: “Do you want to be slimed?” Talk about some of the worst pick up lines in the 80′s inspired by a movie.
The movie was hilarious, but it wasn’t a favorite of mine for a small part of the last 25 years. In particular, I didn’t like the scene where Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) conducted a highly unethical clairvoyance experiment on two coeds. The the male subject guessed every Zener Card correctly, but he was jolted via electric shock and told he guessed incorrectly. The pretty female participant didn’t get any right, but she was led to believe she was right – so Dr. Venkman could utilize some of the second worst pick-up lines of all time.
I didn’t really like the film due to the way it portrayed paraspsychological research. To me, this film made parapsychology a joke. After a while, I lightened up over the whole Ghostbusters thing. After all, the film’s co-writer, Dan Aykroyd, is a huge believer in the paranormal. It’s apparent that paranormal enthusiasts probably have the best senses of humor around, even if some of us tend to be way before our times in the ‘funny’ department.
Speaking of before our times, the release of Ghostbusters 3 looms in the distant future, possibly in 2012. After 25 years, the paranormal has regained popularity. So, now is the right time to forge ahead with the production of this new installment. All original cast members, with the exception of Rick Moranis, have committed to the Ghostbusters project. Ghostbusters fans are truly disappointed that Moranis has retired from show business. Moranis took a break from acting to focus on raising his children after the death of his wife. That break has turned into full retirement, with no desire to even make a cameo appearance. We’ll hope Moranis changes his mind over the course of the next couple of years.
Rumors are swirling about the Ghostbusters 3 plot. So far, Aykroyd has said that the third installment is more of a “passing of the torch” to younger team of Ghostbusters kind of flick. Ponder the Star Trek movie release earlier this year, then start feeling very old.
There are plans to actually have a couple of women join the formerly all male Ghostbusters team, according to Akroyd himself. Does this mean we can say goodbye to Bill Murray’s portrayal of the womanizing parapsychologist Peter Venkman? Maybe not. Sigourney Weaver stated in a recent interview that Murray’s character would be making an appearance as a ghost in this movie. True? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. We may look forward to Venkman’s ghost making the moves on the living, at least one last time, as the paranormal leaves the ‘old’ behind and keeps pushing forward with the new.