12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies: Ghostbusters II

Ghostbusters II (Ivan Reitman, 1989).



The discovery of a massive river of ectoplasm and a resurgence of spectral activity allows the staff of Ghostbusters to revive the business.

(the imdb)




The sequel had the biggest three-day opening weekend gross in history —

What a record, what an achievement! Nothing can break their stride!


— a record that was broken one week later by Batman ($40,505,884).

Wikipedia is tearing my loyalties apart.





Are there actually still people who believe the world is ending in 2012? Have not all the times the world hasn’t ended convinced you yet? We all think we live in the endtimes. It’s so vain. We can’t picture the future without us. Let me give you a timeless hint about the future: there is a point where you’re not in it. I’m sorry but it is a plain fact. There are also no zombies, no vampires, and no endless life. (I’ll give you pirates: there are pirates.) It sucks, but them’s the breaks. You end and the world doesn’t. Internalize it, embrace it, and live with it. Make your time matter and stop hollering about extinct cultures whose soothsaying abilities self-evidently did not include calculation of their own demise.


Hey, it beats the ectoplasm sample from the first film. Wait, no it doesn’t, at all.


Though Wilhelm von Homburg physically played Vigo, his voice work was all dubbed by living fucking legend Max von Sydow. Sorry for the king-sized cuss but it’s in his contract that he be introduced that way.


Swedes are so super-weird. For several years in the mid-1970’s, Ingmar Bergman paid a man to act like a cat and live in his home. Very awkward when he watched you shower. Bergman, I mean. I kept expecting to accidentally break down and flash back to coldly sitting beside my father’s deathbed, thinking with quiet despair of my secret lover instead of focusing on my dad’s mortal illness. It’s like, “You are totally ruining my shower, Mr. Bergman.”

That thing about Bergman was just story-tellin’. I never met the guy. But it sounded possible, didn’t it? That’s the power of Swedish weirdness.

Look, it’s Santa outside the museum! So holiday-y! This is actually the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House on Battery Park. There is no Manhattan Museum of Art. The museum at which Dana works is sort of a conflation of several actual museums in the city. The Customs House used for the exterior shots is currently home to the American Indian Museum and a United States Bankrupty Court.


They used the last name of the twin boys cast as Oscar, Deutschendorf, as the computer’s dredged-up surname of Prince Vigo. Cute. P.S.? My monitor still looks almost exactly like that. Who would like to be Santa and send me a slick flat screen?



Scotty and I used to say this to each other in lieu of “of course” as often as we could remember.





The twins who play Oscar are John Denver’s nephews. I don’t know if I could put down a blood relative of John Denver. He was just such a good person. I’d picture him in Heaven, making a sad face and shaking his head, like he’s sorry that I apparently am so mean that I just can’t be reached. I don’t want to make John Denver bummed out in Heaven. Do you?


For me, this is the cleverest line in the movie.



Annie Potts is doing just great. Not that you asked. Jerk.

No, seriously, she’s like a professor in residence at her old college and does all kinds of acting and cool stuff. She really is doing great. Pretty neato stuff.


Bill and Brian Doyle-Murray in a fun onscreen moment together. Even though they pop up in each other’s movies from time to time, they don’t often share scenes.


Funny story about how Peter MacNicol got the part of Janosz Poha: I have no idea. He’d been in Sophie’s Choice, which is the bummer movie to beat all bummer movies. You think Beaches is bad? Throw in the Holocaust. Now you’re in the big leagues, right? and that’s not even striking distance of how gigantic a bummer Sophie’s Choice is. That’s only the alley behind the theater putting on an off-Broadway production based on the Nobel Peace Prize winning book of how much a bummer that movie is. He does a super-fun job in this, though, right?


Cannibal Girls is a Canadian Comedy horror film directed by Ivan Reitman and stars Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, and Ronald Ulrich.

Thanks, wikipedia! Have you donated yet? Pony up, man, it’s changed the way we think as people. Nothing is unknowable now.

Cannibal Girls was a low-budget Canadian flick released in 1973 to not so wide fame. It actually was shown at Austin’s big-ol’-look-how-cool-we-are-and-PS-we-are-vegans South by Southwest festival this year in March. Could this spell an Ivan Reitman renaissance for the near future? Fingers crossed, loosely sketching maple leaves in the air.


My name is Bookman. I’m a library policeman.

Psst, it’s Ben Stein. Pass it on.



Cheesiest, most glorious part. Lord, how corny and marvelous.


So what is the deal, you are asking, with the new Ghostbusters movie rumors? Deal is, everyone’s up for it (why wouldn’t they be?) and the cast could include the old team’s new super-cool comedy friends like the Wilson brothers, new SNL cast members, and maybe finally some effing Steve Martin up in this piece!

(Good advice for everyone at all times. I love this line.)

The most cheering and interesting thing I’ve heard was Bill Murray talking about it while he was supposed to be promoting something else, when he suggested they get a girl Ghostbuster in it. He dropped Tina Fey as a name, but I think Poehler is better suited for the uniform. I can see Tina in a different, more straight man or even blocking antagonistic role. They need the loose madcap shenanigans of Amy Poehler to fit with the dynamic of the team itself. Am I crazy? Please don’t answer.



There will be plenty of slime. Not just plain old slime, but good slime and bad slime. Although no one will explain the distinction, it seems that the citizens of New York will be implicated. According to Mr. Reitman, ”Our theory in the film is that when people are mean and nasty, it creates a negative psychic energy.” Mr. Ramis adds, ”Slime is our metaphor for the human condition.”

(JEannie Park. “Slime? Don’t Worry! The Ghostbusters Are Back.” December 25, 1988. The New York Times.)

Oh, dude. Way deep.


Holy cannoli, like can you even handle it? The Cutest. What ever happened to Rick Moranis? Did Americans tar and feather him and run him back to Canada on a rail after Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves or what?


Yes, you can get this as a tattoo. Please do it, actually. Nickel in the mail if you do. Pictures or it didn’t happen.


Dan Aykroyd is a firm true believer in the paranormal. Harold Ramis thinks it’s highly unlikely. Ivan Reitman’s own kid is the one who, at the beginning, tells Ray and Winston at the birthday party, “My dad says you guys are full of crap.”


As for the possibility of a Ghostbusters III, Mr. Ramis says, ”I doubt it very much. It’s so hard to get everybody together. And we’re so much older. There’s a lot more hair dye being used this time. When it’s face-lift time, we’ll have to quit.”

(Ibid.)

Let’s see if time tells on that one, Doctor Spengler.

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One Response to “12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies: Ghostbusters II”

  1. Jed Leyland Says:

    Dan Akroyd has reason to believe in paranormal. He has webbed toes and is married to Donna Dixon.

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