Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Ghostbusters (1984)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Ghostbusters (1984)

In director Ivan Reitman's sci-fi fantasy comedy - it told about a trio of eccentric parapsychologists called upon to investigate hauntings in various NYC locations; it featured Ray Parker Jr.'s catchy theme song tune and the catchphrase: "Who ya gonna call? - Ghostbusters!" and the film's logo: a red-lined "No Ghosts" sign; its tagline was: "They're Here to Save the World":

  • in the pre-title screen prologue, librarian employee Alice (Alice Drummond) was terrorized by an unseen phantom in the basement of the New York Public Library - books floated and changed places in the aisle's stacks, and the contents of the card catalogue drawers situated along a wall were tossed into the air; the title screen (with the Ghostbusters logo) was displayed with a view of the exterior of Columbia University in NYC
  • in the film's opening, Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) conducted an ESP test (to identify symbols on 80 cards) in his Columbia University Department of Psychology office with two paid student volunteers; he always accepted whatever answer the cute female (Jennifer Runyon) provided ("Incredible! Five for five. You can't see these, can you?...You're not cheating me, are you?"), but electrically shocked her male counterpart for every response, before he became pissed-off and left
  • an unorthodox group of three unusual Columbia University parapsychologists: Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), were called upon to investigate a recent sighting in the basement of the New York Public Library stacks, where an elderly librarian (Alice Drummond) had already been terrorized
  • the trio first encountered the ghost themselves after they were contacted to visit the sight of the ghostly presence; Ray calmly noted a purplish ghost, now in the form of an elderly lady (Ruth Oliver) before them: "A full torso apparition, and it's real" - he suggested: "We've got to make contact. One of us should actually try to speak to her"; Peter Venkman volunteered and approached the figure: "Hello, I'm Peter. Where are you from - originally?"; the gray-haired ghost turned and shushed him, with her finger to her lips. When that didn't work, Ray decided to take charge and yelled: "Ready? Get her!"; suddenly, the elderly library worker turned toward them, and was transformed into a screaming spectral hag (with effective special effects) - a great scare!
The Purplish Elderly Ghost in the NYC Library's Basement
  • the trio of parapsychologists, after discovering that their funding at Columbia had been revoked, decided to go into the offbeat business for themselves as paranormal, supernatural exterminators to eliminate poltergeists, spirits, ghosts, and other haunts, by developing an eco-containment system, and using weapons and tools such as a Psychokinetic Energy Meter (PKE) and proton pack weapons; after acquiring start-up capital by mortgaging Ray's childhood's ancestral home, the group, now known as "GHOSTBUSTERS," used the funds to purchase and set up their headquarters and services in an abandoned, unused, and dilapidated "fixer-upper" firehouse
  • meanwhile, classical concert cellist-musician Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) lived at 55 Central Park West in a huge, ominous-looking residential building known as the Ivo Shandor Building (with statues of scary growling dog-creatures on its roof); upon her return via taxi with a bag of groceries, she was pestered by her nerdy accountant neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) who lived across the hall, and invited her to his 4th year work anniversary party
  • after entering her apartment, Dana happened to be in her living room, where she listened to a TV commercial from the newly-established trio of "Ghostbusters" advertising their services in blue coats in front of a firehouse
  • in her kitchen, she noticed that her eggs in the carton were trembling, leaping out, breaking and cooking themselves on her countertop. She also heard a loud dog-like growl coming from her refrigerator - she opened it, saw bright light emanating from an "other-worldly" spiritual temple, and a small demonic dog-creature (in close-up) growled a single-word: "ZUUL" (voice of director Reitman)

Dana's Groceries

Spiritual Temple In Dana's Refrigerator

Demonic Dog-Creature Growling
  • two days later at the firehouse (emblazoned with a GHOSTBUSTERS banner header), Ray drove up in an old, dark blue ambulance that he had purchased for $4,800 as their business car, although he rattled off a long list of needed repairs; Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) had been hired as their new secretary, although business was non-existent - no calls, no messages, and no customers
  • shortly later, Dana entered the firehouse to summon help from the Ghostbusters; Venkman insistently volunteered to accompany Dana back to her apartment - to investigate - but mostly to seduce her; after a haphazard search of her place when she noticed he was only interested in her and declared his mad love for her, she threw him out of the apartment
  • the Ghostbusters were hired for their second job to immediately remove a gluttonous greenish phantom ghost named Slimer from the upscale Sedgewick Hotel; after donning their uniforms and equipment, they drove in their ECTO-1 vehicle to meet the Hotel Manager (Michael Ensign) who informed them that the ghost was prowling on the hotel's 12th floor, and he wanted to keep the problem discreetly away from the guests
  • when they exited the elevator on the 12th floor, they mistakenly zapped a chambermaid's (Frances E. Nealy) cart in the hallway and almost killed her; they were confronted by the ghost in the hotel's corridor, where Ray first saw the "disgusting blob" creature feeding itself from a food-service cart; he tried to zap it with his proton pack gun but missed; Venkman came face to face with the creature in another hallway that vengefully covered him in ectoplasm during an aggressive attack; on the ground, Venkman delivered a one-liner exclamation to Ray: "He slimed me!" after being covered in dripping slime; Ray was jubilant: "That's great! Actual physical contact! Can you move?"

Slimer Spotted at Food-Service Cart

Slimer: "Disgusting Glob"

Ray's Proton-Pack Gun Missed
  • shortly later, the creature was spotted and cornered in the hotel's ballroom, where the three Ghostbusters carefully fired at the screaming and fleeing Slimer without crossing their unstable beams, but caused extensive damage; when that strategy failed, they were able to bring the ghost down from the ceiling and contain or capture it in a trap box positioned in the center of the room
  • Venkman made a statement to congratulate himself and to brag to the Hotel Manager - "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass" - paraphrasing a famous Latin phrase, about capturing their first ghost; Ray also boasted: "Sir, what you have there is what we refer to as a focused, non-terminal repeating phantasm, or a Class Five full roaming vapor. Real nasty one, too!"); however, the manager refused to pay a specially-offered price of $5,000 for entrapment, proton-charging and storage of the beast, until threatened with the release of the ghost back into the hotel

The Ghost Containment Box That Trapped Slimer Inside

Venkman to the Sedgewick Hotel Manager: "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass"
  • news reporters, interviewers, and DJs described how there was growing spectral activity and the brisk need for the Ghostbusters' services; as they became famous, during a montage sequence, a series of parody covers of various newspapers and magazines (USA Today, The New York Post, Time Magazine, Omni, the Atlantic, the Globe) proclaimed their heroic fame; they were forced to hire a fourth Ghostbuster Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson)
  • Venkman provided information to Dana about her case - he had discovered that Zuul was the minion (or servant) of the ancient, shape-shifting Sumerian god of destruction, Gozer; she asked quizzically: "What's he doing in my icebox?"
  • skeptical and pompous EPA agent Walter Peck (William Atherton) arrived with suspicions about how the Ghostbusters had established an unlicensed storage facility for captured ghosts; he threatened to investigate the dangerous environmental impact of the ghost-catching business and their limited, custom-built storage facility by issuing a court order - prompting Venkman to throw him out; simultaneously, Spengler was expressing his own concerns about the storage unit's capacity, as he compared the growth of paranormal activity to an enlarged Twinkie
  • after lightning struck the top of Dana's apartment building, the statuesque dog-like gargoyle creatures on the rooftop crumbled - opening up the stones' surfaces to reveal real-life terror dogs underneath
  • after returning home, Dana was attacked by three clawed arms grabbing her in her chair; she was dragged into her kitchen where one of the Terror-Dogs from the roof growled at her; meanwhile, Louis was pursued from his apartment by another Terror-Dog into nearby Central Park and Tavern-on-the-Green where he was finally cornered outside the ritzy restaurant

Dana Attacked and Possessed in Her Apartment

Terror-Dog in Dana's Kitchen

Terror-Dog Chasing Louis into the Apartment Hallway
  • Dana became possessed by ancient demi-god Zuul (the "Gatekeeper") after their apartment building had become a gateway for hell (through her refrigerator), while Louis had also become possessed; when Venkman arrived for his date with Dana, he had to pretend to be the "Keymaster" in order to be allowed inside her apartment; he was seduced by the possessed Dana writhing atop her bed, who proposed: "Do you want this body?...Take me now, sub-creature" - but he refused ("I make it a rule never to get involved with possessed people. Actually, it's more of a guideline than a rule"); then after she insisted: "I want you inside me" - he again rejected her: "No, I can't - it sounds like you got at least two people in there already. It might be a little crowded"); when he attempted to have her relax so he could talk to the real Dana, she angrily denied twice that she was Dana: "There is no Dana, only Zuul!" and began to rise and levitate above her bed; later, he described her: "I find her interesting because she's a client and because she sleeps above her covers... four feet above her covers"

Venkman: "That's a different look for you, isn't it?"

Dana Seductively Stretching Out on Her Bed

Venkman Seduced by Dana Possessed by Zuul: "Take me now, sub-creature"

Dana Levitating 4 Feet Above Her Bed
"There is no Dana, there is only Zuul"
  • similarly, her neighbor Louis had also become possessed by 'The Keymaster' (aka Vinz Clortho), and with flaring reddish eyes, he was rambling, ranting and raving as he ran back through the park; an NYPD Police Captain apprehended Louis, put him in a straitjacket, and brought him in a van to the Ghostbusters HQs for testing, where he claimed his identity: "Vinz Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer"
  • after EPA agent Peck's first visit with the Ghostbusters when he was thrown out, he returned to the HQ, accompanied by Con Edison Man (Larry Dilg) and a court order, to present arrest and search warrants, and to search the firehouse and deactivate and shut down their illegal and dangerous containment unit; the shutting down of the containment unit storage facility had devastating consequences; the destructive blast released hundreds of captured ghosts back into NYC, represented by pink strands or bolts of psychokinetic, paranormal energy zapping out into the sky
  • while briefly jailed, the Ghostbusters realized that the Ivo Shandor building where Dana and Louis lived was functioning as an antenna to attract and concentrate spiritual energy to summon Gozer and bring about supernatural chaos and the apocalypse; Ivo Shandor was the architect and designer of the building, and also the insane leader in the 1920s of a Gozer-worshipping cult that performed bizarre rituals on the rooftop intended to bring about the apocalyptic end of the world
  • meanwhile, Dana and Louis were reunited respectively as Zuul - the Gatekeeper and as the Keymaster, and they shared a passionate kiss, before proceeding to the building's rooftop to open up a gateway to the ghostly-spectral dimension, and await the arrival of Gozer
  • in City Hall, the Ghostbusters spoke to mayor Lenny Clotchof (David Margulies), as Peck accused them of being con-men and using nerve gas to cause ghost-hallucinations: ("These men are consummate snowball artists. They use sense and nerve gases to induce hallucinations. People think they're seeing ghosts, and they call these bozos who conveniently show up to deal with the problem with a fake electronic light show"); when Raymond retorted to Peck: ("Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by dickless here"), Venkman confirmed: ("Yes, it's true. This man has no dick"); they convinced the Mayor to release them to deal with the dangerous ghost problems, prove themselves, and save NYC
  • before entering the building, an earthquake broke apart the street and swallowed up a police car as well as the Ghostbusters; once atop the skyscraper where the doors of the Temple of Zuul had opened up (and Dana and Louis were transformed into Terror-Dogs), they were confronted by the monstrous god Gozer first appearing in the shape of a woman, the Gozerian (voice of Paddi Edwards, and portrayed by supermodel Slavitza Jovan)
  • Raymond stepped forward to threaten Gozer: "As a duly designated representative of the city, county and state of New York, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension"; Gozer angrily responded: "Are you a god?...Then die," blasting them with lightning bolts from her fingertips; 4th Ghostbuster Winston angrily chastised Raymond for his stupidity for answering wrongly: "Ray, when someone asks you if you're a God, you say YES!"
  • Venkman threatened Gozer: "All right. This chick is toast...Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown" - and the Ghostbusters, with a second blast of "full-stream" strength in their proton-pack charges, neutronized the "nimble little minx"; afterwards, Ray explained her extermination as "a complete particle reversal"; however, their victory was short-lived, as Gozer's booming, disembodied voice demanded that they choose or select her next physical form: "Choose the form of the Destructor!"; Ray tried to clear his mind, but was the only one to think of something

Gozer Blasting Them With Her Fingertips

The Ghostbusters' Retaliation
  • the climax featured the legendary visual image of the evil, menacing, tall monstrous 'destructor' - a giant, 100 foot tall Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, selectively imagined to be harmless by Ray: ("I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never, ever possibly destroy us. Mr. Stay Puft") - Venkman's reaction: "Mother pus-bucket!"
  • the Marshmallow Man - a gigantic, 10-story tall figure terrorized the streets of New York City, resembling King Kong (or Godzilla) as it lumbered through the narrow avenues
The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man
  • to combat the new manifestation of Gozer, Spengler - against his own earlier danger warning, suggested a "radical" idea. He proposed that the team members cross their proton energy streams at the dimensional gate in order to generate a positive energy influx big enough to destroy the gateway door, and to obliterate Gozer's portal; the strategy was successful - a massive, catastrophic explosion destroyed Gozer's Temple of Zuul, closed the gateway doors to Gozer's dimension, banished Gozer, and incinerated Gozer's avatar as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, although everyone was covered in marshmallow goo

Blasting the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man

Crossing The Streams to Destroy the Temple of Zuul
  • on the rooftop, the previously-possessed Dana and Louis emerged from the burned, hardened, but broken wreckage of the Terror Dog statues (with roasted hair), and were freed and rescued; everyone exited to the street level to depart in the Ecto-1, while Louis was ignored and taken away in a Red Cross ambulance
  • at the end of the credits, the gluttonous, greenish hotel apparition Slimer flew through the air and attacked the camera before the screen faded to black

Dr. Venkman's Biased ESP Test

Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd)

Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis)

Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver)

Louis Tully (Rick Moranis)


The Firehouse HQ of the GHOSTBUSTERS

Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts)

ECTO-1 Ambulance Vehicle

Inside the Sedgewick Hotel

Zapping a Housecleaning Lady's Cart

Venkman Following Slimer's Attack Spewing Ectoplasm: "He slimed me"

USA Today Parody Issue

Time Magazine Parody Issue

EPA Agent Walter Peck (William Atherton)

Spengler's "Twinkie" Comparison

The Terror-Dog Gargoyles Atop the Ivo Shandor Building

The Terror-Dogs Came to Life

Louis Tully Possessed by the "Keymaster"

Louis Claiming He Was: "Vinz Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer"

Pink Bolts of Energy Escaping From the Firehouse

Gatekeeper-Zuul and Keymaster Sharing a Passionate Kiss

Venkman Regarding EPA Lawyer Peck in the Mayor's Office: "This man has no dick"

Earthquake Split Open the Street in Front of the Apartment Building

Redirected Lightning Bolts Opened the Temple of Zuul on the Rooftop

Gozer With the Two Terror Dogs

Gozer Atop the Skyscraper


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