“There Is No Dana, Only Zuul” (#97)

It’s about time we got around to Ghostbusters on the podcast. Ivan Reitman’s supernatural sensation is the granddaddy of the fantasy-action-comedy blockbuster, creating the formula that family-friendly genre pics are still using to this day.

1983’s top grossing films consisted largely of adult-oriented fare — Tootsie, Flashdance, Risky Business, Trading Places, Mr. Mom. Return Of The Jedi is the only film in the top ten not grounded in some semblance of reality. Then, in 1984, Ghostbusters made a killing, dominating the year’s box office — a couple slots above a nastier horror-comedy (Gremlins). Slowly but surely, the way was paved for other big movies to mix the macabre with comedy and eye-popping special effects. Without Ghostbusters, the world would probably never get The Addams Family or Men In Black (both previously covered on the podcast).

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It’s easy to forget these days that every franchise started with something original. Ghostbusters was a pretty kooky idea dreamed up by Dan Akroyd, certainly not poised to be the biggest hit in a year that also saw the release of The Terminator, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Beverly Hills Cop, The Karate Kid, and Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom. We had fun digging into Ghostbusters and its even sillier 1989 sequel, plus the cartoon and toys that were a favorite of mine in childhood. So instead of recapping that, I’ll leave you with a few choice lyrics from Ray Parker Jr.’s theme song (and the eyebrow-raising music video), neither of which entirely got the memo that this is a franchise for kids.

I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost
Ooh, I hear it likes the girls
Hm, I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Who you gonna call?

Mmm, if you’ve had a dose of a
Freaky ghost, baby
You better call

Lemme tell ya something
Bustin’ makes me feel good!



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