Ghost Busters is a lavishly produced ($32 million) but only intermittently impressive all-star comedy lampoon of supernatural horror films.
Originally conceived as a John Belushi – Dan Aykroyd vehicle called Ghostsmashers before Belushi’s death in 1982, Ghost Busters under producer-director Ivan Reitman makes a fundamental error: featuring a set of top comics but having them often work alone.
A Manhattan apartment building inhabited by beautiful Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and her nerd neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) becomes the gateway for demons from another dimension to invade the Earth.
To battle them come the Ghostbusters, a trio of scientists who have been kicked off campus and are now freelance ghost catchers for hire. Aykroyd is the gung-ho scientific type, Bill Murray is faking competency (he’s had no higher education in parapsychology) and using the job to meet women, while Harold Ramis is the trio’s technical expert.
Within the top-heavy cast, it’s Murray’s picture, as the popular comedian deadpans, ad libs and does an endearing array of physical schtick.
1984: Nominations: Best Song (‘Ghost Busters’), Visual Effects