Ghostbusters never really hit our screens, yet we’re still as big fan boys as everyone else. There’s Ray’s childlike wonder (“You gotta try this pole!”), Egon’s clinical lack of emotion, Peter’s endearing cynicism, Winston’s sod-it-it’s-a-job attitude. But beyond marshmallow men, inter-dimensional fridges and a great dickless gag, Ghostbusters is full of lessons no other “kids” film has ever dared teach…
Lesson 1: You don’t have to be handsome to be sexy. Bill Murray’s no hunk – he slouches, he’s got a belly, his face is scratched to shit – but he’s attractive to women. He’s confident, unflappable and charismatic, which beats Prince Charming cheekbones any day.
Lesson 2: It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than get permission. The guys have unlicenced nuclear accelerators on their backs and run their containment unit off the city grid. But it’s only when their services are shut down that everything goes shithouse – all the red tape they have to go through slows things down, and once they succeed, they’re not only forgiven but actually hailed as heroes.
Lesson 3: People without mates have a really shit time. Everyone who faces anything alone – Walter Peck, Louis Tully – has a terrible time, while the ‘Busters manage to make gags even when facing doom, because they’ve got each other’s backs. Imminent death leads to the film’s only moment of sincerity between the buddies: “See you on the other side, Ray.” “Nice working with you, Dr Venkman.”
Lesson 4: Common sense sucks. The idea of crossing proton streams is inconceivable, as it’ll result in “every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light”. But ultimately, how do they save the day? By sticking a middle finger up at common sense, throwing sensibility out of the window, and crossing those proton streams. There’s definitely a lesson in there somewhere. Ghostbusters. It isn’t just a film. It’s a guide to life.