Ghostbusters, the movie

Some may call 1984’s Ghostbusters cheesy. Or juvenile. Or shallow.

To them I say, What’s your point? It’s funny. Really, really funny.

Miss McDowell, from a display, in a Main Avenue storefront, celebrating 200 years of the Ashtabula  Library.
Photo of Miss McDowell (alive, not a ghost), from a display in a Main Avenue storefront, celebrating 200 years of the Ashtabula Library.

I have one small quibble with the movie. The library ghost? Not a librarian. I spent the late 1980s and early 1990s working in libraries, one of which has its own ghost. Miss Ethel McDowell, head librarian of Ashtabula’s downtown library for sixty-two years, died shortly after her 1968 retirement.  She’s rumored to have returned to the place she loved the best.

Rearranging books in the stacks (especially in the basement)? It happens.

Symmetrical book stacking? I can buy that.

But nobody, and I mean nobody, dead or alive, who ever alphabetized and filed catalog cards would ever screw with the catalog drawers like the New York Public Library’s ghost does. I promise. Miss McDowell certainly wouldn’t.

Ghostbusters’ library ghost is not, and never was a librarian, despite her shushing of Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler. Maybe a pissed off patron. Overdue fines can be a killer. Or so I’ve heard.

Other than that, the movie is close to perfect. It’s got ghosts. It’s got shape-shifting ancient demon-gods. It’s got Bill Murray. It’s got a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Did I mention it’s funny?

What’s not to love? You can have your DeLorean. I want the ECTO-1. (Although, it would be even cooler fitted with a flux capacitor.)

Ghostbusters wraps up my Seton Hill University Readings in the Genre: The Haunted course. Taking a night off from meeting deadlines to watch—and laugh—at this movie—and justify it as homework—was a bonus. And, just what I needed this week.

I might be back over the summer with a non-schoolwork related post or two, but I’m not counting on it. Time is never on my side. If not, I’ll be back in the fall with Monsters. I’m looking forward to it.

The term started with chocolate analogies (both Lindor Truffles and Hershey Bars), and ended with the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I think it’s time to make S’Mores.

7 thoughts on “Lagniappe

  1. Thank you for providing me with a perfectly acceptable excuse to make S’Mores this evening. And, also, for not writing a heavy duty post about one of my favorite films. I appreciate your easy approach to this week’s assignment. Can’t wait to join you for Monster’s next term. Peace, love, and happy haunting.


  2. Brenda

    Hah! That’s funny you would say that! I too had that same reaction when I saw those catalogue cards go flying. “Oh, jeez, that’s a huge mistake and in more ways than one.” Okay, yes, I’ve worked in a library.

    Nay-sayers regarding Ghostbusters? Really, what is their point? The flick is nothing but low-brow pap? Dude! Sign me up, man, I’m so there!! A box of Dots and Jr. Mints in hand and a huge smile on my face.

    And yes, the Ecto 1 is THE BEST! A refitted, ancient ambulance; that cheesy siren; the list of needed repairs at its purchase; the way the power packs came out of the back…all hilarious! Additionally, the hilarity of the dialogue/repartee is simply exquisite and…OMG!…the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Who on earth, other than the genius Dan Aykroyd, can come up with this stuff??!!

    S’Mores? Awesome!
    Next time I watch Ghostbusters it’ll be with a batch of s’mores in a plate in my lap.


  3. Ryan

    I don’t remember mentioning S’Mores at all, but with how busy I’ve been, I can’t really remember how I got home from work today. Anyway, mmm S’Mores! Haha!

    I loved the movie too, and realize now that I’m older, a lot of the jokes make a lot more sense. I really liked the movie as a kid, but I wonder what my young mind made of some of the jokes. One example is when Dana says, “I want you in me,” and Peter replies, “No, I can’t. Sounds like you’ve already got at least two people in there.” I’m assuming I didn’t know what that meant when I was little, but it’s very funny.


  4. Cody Langille

    The movie is funny, and is even funnier now. I hadn’t watched it for over 15 years or more, and I’m not sure I got all the humor when I was younger. Now it’s just a gem. Very entertaining to say the least. Sure there are little imperfections, but that’s what makes it unique. Overall I think the story and characters are wonderful. I


  5. Lynn Hortel

    I’ve never even worked in a library. And, ask my son. When that part came on with the catalog cards flying everywhere, I said, “like that would happen.” At no other time during the movie did I express disbelief.


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