Ghostbusters is a 1984 American science fiction comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as three eccentric parapsychologists in New York City, who start a ghost catching business. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis co-star as a potential client and her neighbor, respectively. It was released in the United States on June 8, 1984 and made US$238,632,124 in the United States.
After losing their academic positions at Columbia University, a trio of misfit parapsychologists — Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) – establish a paranormal exterminator service known as “Ghostbusters” at a retired New York City firehouse. While still facing dire straits after setting up the company, they are summoned by the Sedgewick Hotel to investigate a haunting. At the hotel, they capture their first ghost and deposit it in a “containment unit” located in the basement of their office. Paranormal activity soon increases in New York City, and the Ghostbusters become celebrities containing it, while at the same time becoming increasingly burdened by the hectic schedule. To satisfy increased demand, they hire a fourth member, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson).
The Ghostbusters are hired by a woman named Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), whose apartment at 55 Central Park West is haunted by a demonic spirit called Zuul, a demigod worshiped as a servant to Gozer the Gozerian, a Sumerian shape-changer god of destruction. Venkman takes a particular interest in the case, competing for Dana’s affection with her neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis). As they investigate, Dana is possessed by Zuul, which declares itself “The Gatekeeper”, and Louis by a similar demon called Vinz Clortho, “The Keymaster”. Both demons speak of the coming of the destructive Gozer, and the Ghostbusters plan to keep the two apart. Thereafter the Ghostbusters’ office is visited by Walter Peck (William Atherton) of the EPA, who arrests the team for operating an unlicensed nuclear device in their basement and orders their ghost containment deactivated, unleashing hundreds of ghosts onto New York City. Freed from the Ghostbusters’ custody, Louis/Vinz advances toward Dana/Zuul’s apartment while the escaped ghosts create havoc throughout the city.
Consulting blueprints of 55 Central Park West, the Ghostbusters learn that it was built by a mad doctor and cult leader named Ivo Shandor, who designed the building to summon Gozer and bring about the end of the world saying humanity was too sick to live. The Ghostbusters are brought to the mayor’s office and freed in order to combat the paranormal activity; but are unable to prevent the appearance of Gozer, who initially appears as a woman (Slavitza Jovan). Briefly subdued by the team, Gozer disappears; but her voice echoes that the “destructor” will follow, taking a form chosen by the team. Venkman, holding that this means that whatever they imagine will appear as a destroying force, urges his comrades to avoid giving form to the destructor. Unable to keep his mind blank, Stantz attempts to imagine “something that could never, ever possibly destroy us”; whereupon the destructor arrives in Stantz’s chosen form of the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and begins laying waste to the city, including stepping on and destroying a church. To defeat this manifestation, the team decides to merge the energy streams of their proton packs (against which they were advised earlier in the film) while directing these against Gozer’s entrance, at the risk of their own lives. The plan succeeds, destroying Gozer and the Marshmallow Man in a single explosion. Thereafter Dana and Louis are freed from the remains of their possessors, and the Ghostbusters are applauded by the city’s population.
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First Published: Dec 23, 2011 – Last Updated: May 24, 2013