I was 9 years old when Ghostbusters came out, so I might've been too young for this film, but thankfully, my parents let me watch anyway.
I wasn't alone. My brother was 6; my sister was 4. I can't remember whether we all piled up and went to a movie theater (unlikely) or the drive-in theater a mile from our house (more likely), or whether we rented this one on glorious VHS (most likely, and most glorious). Point being, my parents didn't care.
I bring this up because I was looking at reviews of Ghostbusters on Netflix and couldn't get over how many uptight parents see this film as inappropriate for children based on the sexual content and language.
So, the demonic hell-dogs are cool for a 9-year-old? How about the ghost of the old woman in the library — the one that transforms into a vicious she-beast? General freaky things? Glowing red eyes? Decomposing bodies driving taxicabs? Parents are dumb.
At one point in the '80s, a neighbor had the Ghostbusters computer game, which had a simple premise: capture ghosts, make money, and buy more crap. I usually got stuck with the VW Beetle and not enough money to do anything except drive around, but sometimes, I did well enough to buy the bambalance. Of course, no video game is a substitute for buying the real thing. I miss that game.
I'm told I look like the main character in the modern Ghostbusters video game. I'm also told that game is reminiscent of the classic PC game, but after playing the demo and getting frustrated, I'm not so sure. I just wanted a bambalance.
So here's a question I've often pondered. When the Ghostbusters are told to choose the form of the destructor, and Venkman says, "So if you think of J. Edgar Hoover, J. Edgar Hoover will appear and destroy us," how come J. Edgar Hoover doesn't show up? Does Ray think of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man before Venkman thinks of Hoover? These are important questions, people.
These two films are best viewed as a double feature. At least that way, you don't have to try to make a special event of sitting through the vastly inferior sequel, which I still enjoy for some reason. Maybe that's because I enjoy seeing a bit more of these characters and how they ended up a few years later.
Another upside: I can't look at Viggo Mortensen in any film without shouting, "He is Viggo!" Sometimes, I follow this with the optional: "You are like the buzzing of flies to him!" I don't care if I'm watching Lord of the Rings or The Prophecy or A History of Violence. I never said I was easy to hang out with.
Strangely, I don't come back to Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 often. Even though I enjoy both films, I sort of forget they're there. The films are classic, though, and I'm glad to have an excuse to revisit both in the same night.
Maybe someday I'll get to watch all three.