15 ‘Ghostbusters’ Facts That Came, Saw, And Kicked Ass To Help You Celebrate The Movie’s 30th Anniversary

By: 06.06.14  •  35 Comments

8. William Atherton had a lot of Walter Peck haters. Some people don’t seem to realize the role of an actor, and believe that actors are the characters they play. Unfortunately, people hated Walter Peck so much that on more than one occasion actor William Atherton was accosted by strangers who were angry over the way Peck treated the Ghostbusters.

9. Using the Ghostbusters name provided some problems. Reitman and Aykroyd discovered that “Ghost Busters” had already been used by a 1970s children’s television show, making for some clearance issues. The names “Ghoststoppers”, “Ghost Smashers,” and “Ghostbreakers” were tossed around before they were finally given clearance to use “Ghostbusters.”

10. The film didn’t impress industry insiders. Columbia chairman Frank Price described to Vanity Fair that the response from his colleagues at the screening was less than enthusiastic:

“In any industry audience, everyone roots for failure,” says former Columbia chairman Frank Price. “I sat there laughing in this audience which was deadpan.” Adds Michael Ovitz: “When the film came on, the reaction was horrible. A studio executive came up and put his arm around me and said, ‘Don’t worry: we all make mistakes.’ I was nauseous . . . [but] when the movie came out, it just exploded.”

11. Some of the Ecto-1 scenes were done illegally. Some of the footage from the Ecto-1 montage sequence were filmed without permits, and in one scene Dan Aykroyd is chased down the sidewalk by an actual security guard.

12. Ivan Reitman is Zuul. It’s director Ivan Reitman that provides the voice of Zuul, the demon that possesses Dana.


Columbia Pictures

13. The library scene included both special effects and random accidents. The part with the card catalog drawers sliding open and exploding was done by stagehands behind the catalog, pushing the drawers out and the cards being blown out through a copper tube in the drawer. The bookcase that falls over was simply an accident caused by moving crew members. The scene was kept though because it added to the paranormal mystery and Ivan Reitman enjoyed Bill Murray’s ad-libbing about the incident.

14. The test audience never saw the dimension in Dana’s fridge. According to Ivan Reitman in the DVD commentary, the special effects for the dimension in Dana’s fridge weren’t ready yet at the film’s test screening. The shot simply said “scene missing” before Dana slammed the door.


Columbia Pictures

15. A deleted scene included Murray and Aykroyd as park bums. A scene with Murray and Aykroyd playing bums in the park during Louis’ terrorizing ordeal with the demon dogs was cut. Reitman felt the scene with Murray and Aykroyd playing different characters might be confusing for the audience. It’s a pretty solid scene with Murray channeling his groundskeeper character from Caddyshack.

*Bonus* The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was supposed to rise up alongside the Statue of Liberty. Three suits — each costing a hefty $20,000 — were used and destroyed during the Marshmallow Man scenes. Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis originally wanted the marshmallow menace to rise out of the sea alongside the Statue of Liberty, but the special effects to make that happen would have been too expensive. The falling gobs of marshmallow was actually shaving cream.


Columbia Pictures

Sources: IMDB, Film School Rejects, Vanity Fair, Wikipedia

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