Unsolicited Free Floating Vapors On Feigbusters (GhostFeigers?)
The original Ghostbusters crew had 25 years to make a third movie. For whatever reason, it didn’t happen (and now it can’t happen because Harold Ramis is dead). It’s actually a little weird Sony didn’t force this beloved (and enormously profitable) property into someone else’s hands sooner. I know Murray, Ramis et al had something of a tontine when it came to the rights, but everyone has a price. Chinese Democracy came out before Ghostbusters 3. Do you really believe Axl Rose is more reasonable than Bill Murray?
Still, fans are apoplectic over the announced reboot, as if Paul Feig will simultaneously be erasing the first two movies from history. It’s difficult to comprehend some of the ire. Complaints have already surfaced from die-hards who are upset they’ll now have to share convention space with people cosplaying as Feig’s Ghostbusters; the new technology, you see, will clash with their expertly recreated 1984 proton packs. Guess these costumers never stopped to consider how much some of us detest seeing guys with goatees and backwards Yankee hats parading around as “Ray Stantz.”
I love Ghostbusters so much I’m currently working on a book about its entire history, but I have no problem admitting that up to this point the series has been a rigid boy’s club where female characters aren’t given much to do (even Gozer only takes the form of a woman for about one minute). Paul Feig’s decision to “star hilarious women” in the reboot is refreshing and fun and much needed, and fans who are disagreeing need to cop to their own throbbing sexism. Female-based entertainment is not “a gimmick.” The fictional activity of ghostbusting is not “too rigorous” for women.
Key point: ghostbusting is fucking imaginary. Gender bias in real life is bad enough. Extending it to the land of make believe, that’s insane. “You can pretend to be anything, except this one thing that makes me uncomfortable for some dumb reason, because I’m threatened by change even in a fake world where marshmallow creatures go on rampages.”
I think it’s also worth noting that Katie Dippold, the scribe for Feigbusters, works on “Parks & Rec,” a show I’d consider female-centric but one that also boasts some of the funniest, most fleshed-out, and just plain interesting male characters available. The door swings both ways.
Admittedly, this reboot could crash and burn. Previous experience doesn’t mean jack. Dan Aykroyd has to wake up every day knowing he made Doctor Detroit. Yet, even if Feigbusters turns out to be the new Heaven’s Gate (are my references dusty enough for you?), who cares? It’s just one movie. It’s not meant to replace anything. If it’s really atrocious we can just pretend it never happened, like Rocky V or the Halloween with Paul Rudd or Rob Zombie’s Halloweens or the Dumb & Dumber prequel or Ace Ventura Jr.
My only real investment: I hope they make the Ectomobile cool. I don’t have any suggestions because I’m not really a car person…just make it cool. You know, like stylish but also kinda nerdy. Like the original.
In Praise Of Harold Ramis
Egon Spengler has always been my favorite Ghostbuster because Harold Ramis molded him into a person who could be both intensely smart and deftly funny. It’s clear the other guys die like carp on a dock if Egon isn’t there to do all the math and glue everything together. And yet Egon is no soulless drone; mostly through body language he exhibits many of the endearing ticks we associate with the other allegedly more humorous Ghostbusters.
Egon’s sarcastic: see the way he pokes that guest while investigating the hotel haunting. He’s slick: see the way he signals Venkman like a baseball coach when the Ghostbusters are discussing ghostbusting fees with the hotel staff. Egon’s also dopey: that look he gives in the second movie after he starts his proton pack in the court room, like yeah, y’all didn’t think so, but I’m a bad motherfucker…I vote that the best part of Ghostbusters II. Egon could have turned out another super nerd stereotype but Ramis bucked that, giving him these great little personality flourishes.
After falling in love with Harold’s portrayal of Egon I was flabbergasted to discover how much other great stuff he had his name on. Animal House, Vacation, “SCTV,” Groundhog Day, Stripes…god, he reigns supreme in Stripes. Again, the body language. I think about that scene where he meets Judge Reinhold’s character. The grin, the head bob…it’s like he’s trying to be “the cool guy” who’s on the younger guy’s level, but he’s also mocking him and/or that entire concept. Later, when John Candy gives that speech in the barracks, and they keep cutting to Harold’s sarcastic reactions, how can you not lose your shit?
Offscreen, Harold was apparently a friendly, happy guy who was eager to talk to fans and just enjoy his life. That’s evident when you Google Image Search HR and see that he’s got what appears to be a completely genuine smile in nearly every candid or non-promotional shot. He radiated warmth and good vibes, which is something this world could always use in extra supply.
I’m pretty trampled by Harold’s death. He left us with plenty to chew on, though, and because of that he’ll never really die.
Nice working with you, Dr. Spengler. See you on the other side.
Bizarre Soft Drinks I Have Recently Encountered: 1980s Blockbuster Edition
WHAT IT IS: Ghostbusters: The Energy Drink, a carbonated tribute to the greatest horror comedy of my childhood (sorry, Gremlins).
WHERE IT WAS DISCOVERED: Amongst my birthday gifts.
WHO MAKES IT: Boston America Corp, who brag on their website about offering “the world’s most creative impulse items.” Hey, I’m not arguing.
HOW IT TASTES: The contents of the “Slimed!” can proved Rockstar-ish, which is probably what Slimer would taste like if you could lick him. From what I can gather via Google it’s the same exact liquid in each can, but if I’m wrong may Walter Peck come down from bureaucrat heaven and smack me silly.
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Officially licensed Ghostbusters imagery. This ain’t no “Ghostflippers” nonsense!
NOTES: The can lists a fax number. That seems superfluous. I’m not sure what I’d want from a Ghostbusters-themed energy drink (maybe a Stay Puft marshmallow flavor?) but this stuff gets the job done. It’s tart enough, no wretched aftertaste, and it reminds me of Harold Ramis. Win/win.
Need This Pic On A T-Shirt
No idea from whence this image originates. I am obviously obsessed with it, though. Wouldn’t it be weird if Rihanna started banging Harold Ramis? Not even dating him—if it was just a sex thing, and they made no bones about it. Always half-naked in the tabloids, roaming nude beaches together, acting lasciviously on hotel balconies, etc. Man, if you think Chris Brown is nuts now…
“According to testimony, Brown finally decided he had to kill Ramis after Rihanna Instagrammed her latest tattoo—a rendering of new beau Harold in his iconic Ghostbusters jumpsuit, inked on her inner left thigh.”
“Pundits are unsure how the trial will affect box office returns for Stripes 2: Buggin’ Out In Barbados, which opens this weekend in select cities.”
We’re All Gonna Get Laid: A Look Back At Caddyshack Three Decades Later
Thirty years ago this weekend, a movie came along that slammed a collection of words together no one in the world previously thought to connect: raunchy golf comedy. The movie in question? Harold Ramis’s Caddyshack, a ramshackle production that defied the odds to become a cult classic amongst even the most casual fans of sports and Chevy Chase. Quite an accomplishment when you consider just how much of the film is taken up by the presence of an animatronic gopher who dances suggestively to the music of Kenny Loggins.
Caddyshack taught us much about the party habits of tunnel-burrowing rodents, but it taught us so much more about love. Namely, you can fool around with whomever you want if you work at a golf course (even yourself, so long as you’re strategically positioned behind a flower bed), but you’d better promise to do the right thing if you end up getting a girl from Ireland pregnant. Also, you can be a prematurely balding jackass in polyester pants who constantly spouts word salad and still end up with a woman as lithe as Cindy Morgan even if she continues to seriously question your sanity as her clothes are hitting the floor.
Ah, Cindy Morgan. The first heavenly Hollywood body I was ever left alone with, content to rewind, pause, stare at, and “contemplate” her beauty as much as my sweaty little twelve year old heart desired. This was the earliest of many adolescent nights circa 1991 wherein my parents left me, their only child, at home with a handful of rented properties from Movies Ahoy! while they enjoyed an evening on the town. Ever the cad (read: pervert), I dutifully scanned the TV Guide movie listings before being shuttled to the video store so I could try to pick out features with maximum boob potential.
“What ho?” I said to myself as I came across the blurb for Caddyshack. “This motion picture appears to have female nudity, adult themes, and Bill Murray! Surely this will be a victorious selection. Sorry, Dragnet.”
Indeed, Caddyshack was a victorious selection, fulfilling TV Guide’s promises in spades. Naturally, what I most remember from that first viewing is the rush of excitement brought on from seeing Miss Morgan drape her taught, naked, and sun-kissed torso all over Mark Hamill stand-in Michael O’Keefe midway through the movie. I didn’t realize it at the time, but part of the attraction lay in the confidence and boldness with which Morgan played her stupidly named character Lacey Underall. She knew what she wanted, she knew how to get it, and she wouldn’t even let a commanding presence like Ted Knight control her.
Defying Ted Knight? There’s nothing sexier. Ted Knight’s been dead for over a decade, and I’m still afraid I might run into him on the street some time, where he’ll growl at me and start cursing about Kevin McCarthy. He certainly thunders up a storm in this film, albeit to no real results. You know you’re watching fiction when motherfuckers fail to respect the proclamations of the man born Tadeus Wladyslaw Konopka (that’s right; the Poles can officially claim the star of “Too Close For Comfort”).
But I digress. The only time Lacey Underall seems vulnerable or ill at ease in Caddyshack is when she’s alone with Chevy Chase’s idiot golf savant character Ty Webb. He jokes about hunting dolphin with a bow and arrow and later accuses her uncle of molesting collies. Lacey is obviously troubled by this behavior, but she still goes to bed with Chevy’s toothy golf stud. This is a great example of the old adage: a beautiful woman will always sleep with a nonsense-spewing athlete before she sleeps with a white kid with an afro named Danny.
Another memorable aspect of Caddyshack is, of course, the legendary Rodney Dangerfield, who, as the crass Al Czervik, burns all who dare cross his path. In the middle of his career-defining performance, Rod busted through one of Hollywood’s last barriers to deliver mainstream cinema’s first and only Amelia Earhart blowjob joke. Amelia Earhart blowjob jokes were pretty common up to that point in other venues, such as bowling alleys and Pizza Hut bathrooms, but in the medium of film? That was dangerous territory. Clearly, it did not take, as evidenced by the lack of aviator fellatio jokes in even the most overcharged of Tarantino productions.
Conversely, there was nary a nob-bobbin’ joke in the recent biopic Amelia, although I suppose it was implied Gore Vidal’s dad was getting his royal penis cleaned nightly by flight’s most famous female. That sure burned up Richard Gere’s character.
Again I digress. A handful of raunchy golf comedies have been made in the years since Caddyshack, but no one knows how they measure up as no one has bothered to watch any of them (including Caddyshack II). The educated guess is that Caddyshack stands head and shoulders above all else in its field, especially in terms of what it taught us about Cindy Morgan’s body and casual sex amongst upwardly mobile roustabouts in Davie, Florida.
The real-life sexcapades of Tiger Woods came close to trumping Caddyshack in the realm of testosterone-soaked golf clubbing; alas, none of those women Tiger canoodled with had an ounce of Lacey Underall’s intoxicating swagger, and coverage of the story sorely lacked a mush-mouthed Bill Murray muttering falsities about the Dalai Lama.
At least there were no gyrating gopher puppets in Tiger’s carnival of whore fucking.
Pretty Much Everywhere, There’s Gonna Be Ghosts
Geek biscuits flipped this past weekend after MTV posted a chat with Harold Ramis that broached the subject of Ghostbusters 3 (which Egon is currently writing the first draft of with two guys from “The Office”). Harold sez GB3 will indeed revolve around the oft-considered plot point of the old Busters showing the ropes to a new generation of hot young Busters. Can’t wait to see Ernie Hudson wielding that nutrana wand one more time.
Fanboys are continuing to freak over this news, clogging up message boards and comment areas with their commands regarding who the new Busters should be. “No Seth Rogan or Ben Stiller!” they shout through congealed mustard stains on their lips. “Sarah Silverman as the sexy recruit Venkman tries to boink!” they salivate as their tiny boners gently rub against the same pair of Jamz they were wearing when they saw House Party 2 back during the first Bush Administration. “Janine DP scene with Aykroyd and Jude Law!” they whine through clenched teeth as beavers forcefully gnaw at their privates.
Look, I understand. I love Ghostbusters, and they gotta pick the right people here so as not to fuck the shit up royally (like when they replaced Corey Feldman with Adam Carl in Ninja Turtles II—that was bullshit!). I’m only gonna make one suggestion casting-wise, and then I’m gonna STFU. Makers of Ghostbusters 3: What Giant Thing Will We Make Walk This Time?, please consider the following five words when casting for the rookie group of g-busters: Arthur the Haitian Weather Man.
They could raise the price of movies to $35 a ticket, and I’d still pay to see ninety minutes of that guy trying out proton packs, laughing at Bill Murray, and reacting to ghosts. Harold Ramis, you have the power. Make it so.
In Arthur’s absence, I will accept this master of entertainment:
Who ya gonna call? Those muscles!