Ghostbusters Facts You Might Not Know

With Halloween coming up and the reboot on the horizon, it's the perfect time to revisit the supernaturally funny classic, Ghostbusters! Cinefix has put together seven facts you might not know, but even if you do, it's more than enough excuse to bust out the DVD/Blu-ray and change your ringtone to Ray Parker Jr.!:

The rare Ghostbusters facts featured in the video are:

Even though Sigourney Weaver is a big deal, she had to audition for the role of Dana Barrett/Zuul the Gatekeeper in Ghostbusters! Though Sigourney's a big star, Ivan Reitman and the team wanted to be sure that she would be able to do a comedy movie. Sigourney agreed to the audition and performed the scene in which a possessed Dana hovers over her bed! As soon as Ivan realised Sigourney would be willing to bark like a Dog, she got the part!

The role of Louis Tully was originally written for John Candy. John and Harold Ramis worked on Stripes and SCTV together, and Harold wanted John to be apart of Ghostbusters. However, John couldn't get a handle on the character, he had his own notion of playing Louis as a German guy who had Rottweiler furbabies. The team even went as far as far as storyboarding Ghostbusters with John Candy in the role. Luckily, Rick Moranis was waiting in the wings and snagged the role and then proceeded to crush it!

Breakout star Slimer is, in some ways, meant to be the ghost of John Belushi. John was meant to have been in Ghostbusters, but sadly passed away before shooting began. So, Dan Aykroyd (Dr. Ray Stantz) drew inspiration from John and his character John "Bluto" Blutarsky in Animal House for Slimer. Slimer's healthy appetite was Dan's tribute to his dearly departed friend!

Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman provides the voices of Slimer and the demon voice that comes out of Dana when she's possessed by Zuul!

Once Ghostbusters became a massive hit, a sequel was inevitable. But the way Ghostbusters II starts of was really how the first Ghostbusters movie was meant to begin. Dan Aykroyd had written a 40 page treatment for Ghostbusters over several years, again, originally with John Belushi and himself in mind for it. The core idea of guys who are like Firefighters but whose job was to take down monsters was always there, but the first movie was supposed to take place in the future, with the Ghostbusters already well established, and at a point where the team were sort of bored with busting ghosts because they'd done too good a job cleaning up New York. In the end, things changed a lot during the writing process with Harold Ramis, and the first film does become a origin story. However, the idea of The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was there from the beginning! Mr. Stay Puft was just one of several large scale monsters that they wanted to do. Budget and time limitations stripped away a lot of those ideas, particularly because they were writing Ghostbusters largely while they were shooting Ghostbusters, including coming up with the idea of crossing the streams there on the stage on shoot day! They planted the idea of crossing the streams earlier on in the movie, when they were busting Slimer (poor Slimer!), and realised that they needed a way of closing the story, and came up with the crossing the streams scene at the end of Ghostbusters!

During the montage, in the scene where Bill Murray (Dr. Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Dr. Ray Stantz) and Dr. Egon Spengler are running through the Rockefeller Center, they were really being chased! The production didn't have permission to shoot there, so the boys in grey are actually running away from a Rockefeller Center security official. Additionally, when the reporter talks about a spectral locomotive, the man in the background is not an extra, just a random person.

What about the packs? Running around with the Proton Packs isn't a fun as it looks! Most people don't realise that each Proton Pack weighs around 30lbs, fully loaded with batteries. Even though the guys had rubber versions of the famous Ghostbusters packs and lighter kits for stunts, but the Ghostbusters carry around the heavy packs a good deal of the time, and reportedly, some Ghostbusters complained about it a lot more than others.

At the end of the first Ghostbusters film, after the Ghostbusters bust the The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, the melted Marshmallow is actually shaving foam! The props team mixed 500 gallon batches of shaving cream for the famous sequence and dumped it out of laundry bags onto people in New York as well as the Columbia back lot where they split filming the piece for this sequence. In fact, it's menthol shaving cream. Nobody had noticed that was the kind they gotten, and one of the people on set did have a skin reaction to it. BUT, that person wasn't Dan Aykroyd! He LOVED it, and kept asking for more and more shaving cream to be put on him for his shots, and of course, hilarity ensued!

Additionally, from ShortList Magazine:

30 things you (probably) didn't know about Ghostbusters

Do you believe in things that go bump in the night? Are you convinced you spy an apparition of Great Auntie Beryl whenever you use Uncle Brian’s outside loo?

If so, you’re in good company – not that we’ve ever spied on your elderly family members, mind, that’s strictly between you and her. Peter Venkman, Raymond Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore are just a few of the folk who don’t think you’re crackers.

Ah, Ghostbusters: arguably the greatest film of the 80s, comedy or otherwise, and a cinematic staple that speaks to the wide-eyed innocent in us all.

But how much do you really know about this masterpiece? Did you know any of the following Ghostbusting facts? Read on, read on…

Dan Aykroyd was the initial driving force behind the film. His family, especially his grandfather, whom Aykroyd says once attempted to construct a radio that reached the spirit world, were fascinated by ghosts.

Aykroyd’s first treatment was 40 pages long and was written with himself and fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus John Belushi in mind. Belushi died while Aykroyd and Harold Ramis were writing the screenplay.


Originally, the story was set in the future and focussed on a worldwide coterie of Ghostbusters. It was director Ivan Reitman decision to concentrate on one group of Ghostbusters working out of a fire station in New York.

Eddie Murphy and John Candy were originally scheduled to appear. Murphy was to have played Winston Zeddemore and Candy was down to star as hapless Louis Tully. Due to a clash with filming Beverley Hills Cop, Murphy had to back out, while Candy eventually declined the role.

After Belushi’s death, and before Bill Murray was confirmed to appear, both Michael Keaton and Chevy Chase were linked with the part of Peter Venkman.

During her audition Sigourney Weaver began to imitate a dog. Such was her enthusiastic portrayal; Reitman knew she was perfect for the role of Dana Barrett immediately.

According to Reitman, Aykroyd and Ramis had distinct roles for the three leads, Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler. Venkman (Murray) was to be the mouth of the group; Stantz (Aykroyd) the heart and Spengler (Ramis) the brains.

The original title was Ghost Smashers.

Columbia Pictures paid production company Filmation a licence fee to use the name Ghostbusters after it emerged Formation had made a short-lived show in 1975 called The Ghost Busters.

Christopher Walken, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd and Jeff Goldblum were all considered for the role of Dr. Egon Spengler. Having got so close to the character during writing, Ramis felt compelled to play the part, thus resurrecting his dormant acting career.

Danny DeVito, Chevy Chase, Terri Garr, Irene Cara, John Candy, Carly Simon, George Wendt, Jeffrey Tambor, Peter Falk and Al Franken all appear in the video to Ray Parker Jr.’s iconic title track.

Heavyweight broadcaster Larry King, 80s pop queen Debbie Gibson and rotund porn star Ron Jeremy all appear at some point in the film.

Slimer was known on set as Onion Head due to the foul stench it emitted. It was audiences that came up with the name Slimer. In the sequel and subsequent cartoon series he is credited as Slimer.

Aykroyd jokingly referred to Slimer as the ghost of John Belushi. Says Reitman: “He’s just a party guy looking to have a good time.”

Despite being perceived as a New York movie, only three weeks of filming took place in The Big Apple.

Shaving foam was used instead of marshmallow for the memorable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man explosion at the film’s end.

When it came to shooting the final scene, the ending still hadn’t been clearly sketched out. It was only when discussing what to do that the idea of ‘crossing the streams’, which was in an earlier draft of the film, was hit upon.

For years after the film first screened, William Atherton, the actor who plays Walter Peck, the Ghostbusters’ nemesis, was routinely abused in public, to the point that he was involved in a number of altercations in bars. He was even shouted at by a bus of tourists in downtown New York.

The exterior shots of the Ghostbusters firehouse were shot outside real life New York fire station Hook and Ladder #8, in Tribeca. It was the subject of a recent successful campaign to save it from the municipal axe. A Ghostbusters sign proudly hangs inside. The interior shots were filmed in Los Angeles.

The film opened in America on 8 June 1984, and was the highest grossing film that week. It held top spot for eight weeks in total, seven of them consecutively. It re-opened for two weeks in August 1985, breaking into the top ten both weeks.

One of Bill Murray’s favourite scenes is the experiment with the cards and administering electric shocks. Based upon a real case study, the Milgram Experiment, the purpose of this scene was to see how the audience would react to a hero who handed out unfair electric shocks.

Ivan Reitman knew the film would be a success when audience members at a screening at Colombia Studios both laughed and screamed when the first ghost made its appearance onscreen.

Incredibly, only one car was used for Ecto 1. It eventually gave up the, ahem, ghost midway through filming of Ghostbusters 2.

The romance between Egon and kooky secretary Janine, which is hinted at in the finished film, never got off the ground as most of these scenes were cut.

Ray Parker Jr. was the subject of a lawsuit from Huey Lewis after the release of the theme tune. Lewis claimed the song plagiarised his hit I Want A New Drug. The matter was settled out of court.

Sandra Bernhard (Janine), Michael McKean (Louis) and Paul Reubens (Tozer) were all considered for parts, but declined for one reason or another.

To give an indication of how big he was, the Stay Puft Man was meant to originally emerge from the River Hudson next to the Statue of Liberty. The plan was abandoned after it proved too difficult to shoot.

Reitman’s Broadway experience – he was involved in staging the musical Merlin with illusionist Doug Henning – came in handy when it came to staging the shot of Dana levitating and rotating 360 degrees. The director also provided Dana’s gravelly voice in this scene.

The scene in which the Ghostbusters are jailed was filmed at an actual jail – Aykroyd claimed the building was haunted.

Methyl Silos, Chinese food starch, was used as slime in the drawers in the opening library scene.

Original source: Radio Times


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