Ghostbusters, the original movie, turns 36 today and received it’s world wide premier 1 day later. To celebrate we asked friend of the site – and Ghostbusters superfan – Charlotte what the films mean to her. Here are her thoughts.
What does Ghostbusters mean to me?
Ghostbusters is pretty much my main obsession in life. From being a young kid I fantasised about being in the HQ, meeting Peter, Ray, Winston, and Egon, learning the laws of parapsychology and becoming an official Ghostbuster. That and then illegally marrying all four of them. They inspired stories in me, opened my mind’s eye to the supernatural, gave me an unhealthy obsession for Dan Aykroyd… they supplied me with all the necessary food groups of life. I owe them for helping me cope with the general day to day anxieties of life. Closing my eyes and imagining a world where they existed, and were friends with me, brought me joy from a young child to where I am today. I know when I start watching the films, I can recite lines and mimic expressions without even seeing the screen. They’ve given me my favourite film of all time… Ghostbusters 2. A sensitive subject, I know. They also taught me numerous lessons, mainly about myself, but also about life itself. In honour of the amazing Ghostbusters Universe, here are the three main gifts I have been given as a fan.
1. Helping My Mental Health
1 in 4 people in today’s society will suffer from mental health problems. It’s not hard to understand with the current state of affairs in the 21st century; we’re constantly met with a barrage of the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s important to be able to hold onto something stable and unchanging when things feel a bit too much. For me, that’s Ghostbusters. Whether it’s watching the films, binging the cartoons or reading the best graphic novel of all time (Ghostbusters Legion of course), it allows me to switch off from the rat-tat-tat of modern-day woes, and focus on this incredible universe.
Luckily for me, I was introduced to the franchise from a very early age, practically the moment I was born, so whenever a bout of sadness may come about in childhood I had a sure-fire way to bust away the blues. My personal journey with mental health has been a bit of a rollercoaster since my teens, and although solutions to my depression may be more complicated than an 80s classic, I know I can rely on the ghostbusting world to take me away from myself and into a positive(ly) charged stream of consciousness. You can concentrate on ghouls, ghosts and goblins, imagine yourself stood alongside the guys in grey with nothing in your brain except how to bust some heads – in a spiritual sense of course.
2. A Relationship With My Brother
Everything I learned of Ghostbusters, I learned from my big brother. We’re like two badly cloned versions of each other, full of defects and one of us probably has a sixth toe. Besides stealing his face, I’ve also stolen all his favourite things. He may very well want to kick my head in, if it wasn’t for the fact we are able to bond so well over our love of the Ghostbusting universe. That and he may not wanna kick something that looks so much like his own head!
I can pretty much thank him for initiating my love of the Ghostbusters films, there’s not a doubt in my mind that the whole reason I was shown the film in the first place was because of my brother being such a massive fan. He collected the toys, the annuals, the equipment that made him a qualified member of the team. I was surrounded by these artefacts from conception, and so by rights, nature and nurture supplied me with a preconceived adoration of the culture. My brother and I get on well, we like pretty much the same stuff, but if there’s one thing that will keep us bonded, it’s a joint love for the whole franchise. Ghostbusters has allowed me to connect with him on a different level, perhaps even on a more adult wavelength as a child, which quickly eroded the 10 year age difference between us and made us pals. It’s something that keeps us connected, on a totally different level, and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.
3. Introducing Me To A Whole New World
I was born in 1993, so Ghostbusters was well on the way to its 10th birthday by the time I was alive to see it. The sequel had been out a while and the cartoon was gracing my television screen. I had plenty of material to delve into, although it was much harder to find then, something I thank the internet for daily… steady streams of glorious ghostly animation. (Plus, DVD boxsets, the 8th wonder of the modern world.)
This whole encounter with bright animation, 1st rate 2nd rate CGI techniques and storylines with subtle hints of current topics, introduced me to a whole new world of 80s greatness. Not being there to witness it first hand sucked but at the same time, being late to the game allowed me to see countless TV reruns and buy VHS from carboots for the price of a pick and mix. I got to experience the full pop culture explosion, after the fact, when things were ripe for the thrifting. This led to exploration of the decade; the music, the fashion, the films, the television. There was a whole decades worth of time out there for me to experience. It subsequently led to an obsession with 80s pop music in my teens, a love for shoulder pads in sixth form, and double denim in my 20’s. Still rocking that by the way. And if I was competent enough to use crimpers, I would be. (I’m lazy. The kind to fall asleep halfway through and burn holes in carpets lazy.)
Ghostbusters was a window to the rest of the world. An obsession with main man Dan Aykroyd also initiated my stalker style romance with his back catalogue so other 80s films such as Trading Places soon became film gold to me. Nothing could ever take the place of the four dudes with unlicensed nuclear reactors on their backs though.
I can’t believe I got through a whole piece without saying Who Ya Gonna Call? Shame on me.
That’s what Ghostbusters means to me. What does it mean to you?
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