There was a rumor in late 1977 that The Beatles had secretly come together to record a completely new album. Imagine (no pun intended) your friend on the street tells you the fab four are back, but incognito. The truth is it was all a rumor. It was a great thing for Canadian band Klaatu, as their album sold over a million copies, but sad for those who simply wanted one more trip down Abbey Road. The Beatles never got back together. On a very sad day on December 8, 1980, it would be impossible for them to reunite… or so we thought. In the 90s, to celebrate the release of The Beatles: Anthology, They pulled off the impossible. The four voices we all loved came together for the song Free as a Bird. It was not the same, but it sure felt great to hear that song.
On February 24, 2014, ectoplasm fans across the world lost their Beatle when Harold Ramis passed away. It was another sad day in this dimension. We all realized Peter Venkman, Winston Zeddemore, Raymond Stantz, and Egon Spengler would never reunite again.
In 2016, when director Paul Figg brought us Ghostbusters: Who You Gonna Call? we knew they would try to get most of the group together, but it was not going to be the same. It was not because it was an all-female cast, as the interwebs would make you think (Hell, Leslie Jones deserved an Oscar in my opinion). The issue lies within us fans who wanted our fab four to get together one more time, knowing it was impossible.
…or so we thought… At the screening of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the audience heard a secret Beatles record!
My name is Ian Klink and I am a Ghostbuster at heart. When I was three years old, my parents rented a solid RCA SelectaVision videodisc player from the local library and one of the many record-like films they had was Ghostbusters. As my parents slipped the complicated system into the slot, they had no idea what was about to happen. Their son was not going to just watch a funny movie with a few of the SNL members; their son was about to become a Ghostbuster. I would watch the film seven times a day; so much so, my parents had to keep renting the movie from the library just to shut me up! They rented it so many times the librarians stopped them because no one else in town could have a turn. To stop their proton pack obsessed child from screaming, whose first full sentence was “This chick is toast!” (true story – I would go up to women at the church, tug at their skirts, and say the line!) It was then when they bought a used Hitachi VT-9100A Video Deck and had a family member record a copy of the movie. I watched the VHS so many times they would have to replace it every seven months or so.
Ghostbusters was like a religion to me. Imagine the sheer screech I made when I found out there was not just one, but two, Saturday morning cartoon series (I know, I know. You do not want me to count Filmmations Ghost Busters, but you have to give it credit for being smart business move). I still remember the very day in early 1989 when my mom drove by the local movie theater to show me a Ghost, with two fingers, telling me my fab four were back to save the world, again! Imagine what it was like to be in the theatre last night when I saw not only a great new generation of busters, but I saw my childhood deities on screen again.
I cried. I will not ruin the moment with a spoiler, but if you are a true Ghostbuster at heart, you will understand the exact moment when I cried because you will cry, too. Last night I knew what millions felt listening to the Klaatu record – hope. Hope springs eternal and with the ending after the credits (be sure to stay) we all look forward to new adventures.
The plot is solid. The movie is solid. I do not need to waste time explaining all that happens. You know if you are a fan of the series or just great filmmaking, you will buy a ticket and struggle to remove the smile off your face. Jason Reitman, who is the son of the original director Ivan Reitman and was on the set of the first two films as a youngster, is an incredible filmmaker who is well aware of who the audience is for this film, a mix of young and old, who both want to enjoy busting ghosts.
I might never get a chance to tell them all in person, so I want to take this moment to thank the entire team of thousands who made Ghostbusters: Afterlife a reality. Not just for creating an entertaining, enlightening, and endearing film, but for letting this old man feel like a three-year-old again, holding onto his Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man and Slimmer toys, threading the original film over and over again through the rented RCA SelectaVision videodisc player.