Film Follies, How Have You Not Seen That?

How have you not seen that- Ghostbusters

Who you gonna call? If you know the answer to that question then feel free to move on from this particular post. But if you didn’t instinctively shout out the title of a particular nineteen eighty-four horror comedy film and startle those around you then you should know what my follow up question is going to be. That’s right its time for another edition of How Have You Not Seen That? Today we’re going to talk about the iconic comedy Ghostbusters because I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
To begin with, Ghostbusters puts together one of the greatest comedy casts of the eighties. Saturday Night Live alumni Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray are just heading into their primes here, leaving behind their groundbreaking tenures on television and transitioning to what would become prolific careers on the silver screen. They are joined by Second City Television staples Harold Ramis and Rick Moranis. Moranis retired early from Hollywood to spend more time with his children after his wife’s death but his film career is no less brilliant for being brief, to miss his performance in this film would be to deprive yourself of one of his great performances. As for Ramis, his contributions to comedy as a writer and a director are legendary but this is one of the few chances to see him show off his acting chops. For the Female lead, Ghostbusters gives us an intra-Alien/Aliens Sigourney Weaver. And while she has had a long career full of notable roles it is during this period that she was arguably the most sought-after actress in Hollywood. This hall of fame cast is rounded out by Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and William Atherton character actors of the highest caliber who make every second of screen time they get count.
This is a film that spun off two more movies and two animated TV shows as well as other numerous media tie-ins. It proved two things true that Hollywood knew with complete certainty were wrong before this film came along. That you could make a special-effects driven comedy and that the casts of SNL and SCTV could translate their success from the small screen to the silver one. Because of that, it was added to the National Film Registry. And let’s not forget about the movie’s theme song which won an Oscar and started a trend of tie-in music videos.
But Ghostbusters influence goes beyond just film, it’s important to understand its lasting cultural influence as well. I already opened with one of the films signature lines “Who you gonna call?” but it is not the only great quote to come from this film. Lines like “Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say ‘YES’!” and “Don’t cross the streams” are still in wide pop-culture circulation today more than thirty years after the film’s premiere. And I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t already seen it but sufficed to say the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is one of the greatest and most unexpected moments in film history.
In the end, there is really no excuse not to take the hour and forty-five minutes to sit down and watch what AFI lists as one of the top one hundred comedies ever made. Honestly, if you haven’t seen this PG-rated classic comedy by the time you’ve hit high school you have no one but yourself to blame when your friends incredulously ask How Have You Not Seen That?

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