The new Ghostbusters is finally here, and it’s a blast. The movie is full of nice touches and little gags, like the fact that Abby (Melissa McCarthy) and Erin’s (Kristen Wiig) book is indeed for sale on Amazon, and one of the best things about the movie is that it pays homage to the original in a variety of ways, both obvious and subtle. Here’s a spoiler filled look at the nods both to the original and its cast.
The Entire Third Act
The third act of the 2016 movie mirrors the original in a lot of ways. The most obvious is an Art Deco building turning out to be the focal point of a supernatural event, but there are loads of nods elsewhere. Patty’s (Leslie Jones) demand that Rowan (Neil Casey) take a more “friendly” form riffs on Ray Stantz’ (Dan Aykroyd) attempt to make Zuul friendly by thinking of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Slimer once again eats an entire hot dog cart’s worth of food, and they even save the day by triggering total protonic reversal with an unlicensed nuclear accelerator, although this time, the nuke is on the roof of the Ecto-1. There’s even a Ghostbusters II nod, as Slimer carjacking the Ecto-1 isn’t the first time the ugly little spud has gotten behind the wheel.
In a scene much like the original, the gang runs around a firehouse, gleeful about the space. Reality sets in, though, after thirty years of gentrification adds up to a monthly rent that is five-figures. Hook and Ladder 8, the original building located in the Tribeca neighborhood, is easily worth $21,000 a month in rent. In fact, it just underwent a $6 million renovation.
Harold Ramis’ Bust
The movie features cameos from most of the cast of the original, although Walter Peck has clearly been shipped off somewhere by the EPA and Rick Moranis passed on a cameo. And yes, despite his sad passing, Harold Ramis does manage to show up, if you’re paying attention. Early on in the movie, a bust of him is quickly visible in Columbia’s physics department. There’s no more fitting tribute to Egon. And there is a Ramis elsewhere in the movie: One of the metalheads pestering Rowan in a scene is Daniel Ramis, Harold’s son.
Erin Echoes Louis Tully
If Erin’s window-pounding frenzy as she tries to get the mayor’s attention feels familiar, there’s a reason: Louis Tully did exactly the same thing in the original movie before being possessed.
Holtzmann’s Egon Connection
Kate McKinnon’s Holtzmann is probably the breakout character from this movie; even people who didn’t like it loved her character. And McKinnon throws in a bunch of nods to Egon, ranging from Ramis’ glasses from the original movie to Egon’s hair from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. Holtzmann even shares Egon’s love of junk food: Just like his inability to resist Cheez-Its in the original, Holtzmann has a thing for Pringles.
The ghosts themselves are nods to the movie in their own way. The first ghost we meet is a tribute to the librarian ghost, at least in the sense that she seems harmless until she suddenly very much isn’t. And the second, found in the subway, went to the hereafter the same way the Scolari brothers from Ghostbusters II did, via the electric chair. And in a tribute to another movie about haunted New York, when that ghost gets dumped on a train headed to Queens, it resembles a shot from Adrien Lyne’s Jacob’s Ladder.
“Listen! Do You Smell That?”
If you have a sharp ear, you’ll pick up on a number of small tributes to the original hidden in the dialogue throughout the movie. Here are a few examples:
- Chris Hemsworth has a gag that pays tribute to Ray’s character-defining line early in the original, with a twist. Where Ray seems to smell through his ears, Hemsworth’s Kevin covers his eyes when he hears a loud noise.
- If you look fast in the Times Square scene, as the area reverts to its scuzzy past, you’ll see a Hostess billboard referring to this scene from the original featuring a really big Twinkie.
- In the mayor’s office, Abby mentions “Mass hysteria!” Although, apparently we’re not quite at the point where cats and dogs are living together.
- Dan Aykroyd’s surly cabbie ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
- Annie Potts is still asking people what they want over the phone.
Another touch is that Ray Parker Jr.’s classic has a lingering presence in the movie. If you pay attention to the soundtrack during the Time Square battle, there’s an orchestral version of it. Rowan even taps out a few notes before chucking the Mercado’s grand piano at the team.
“It’s Called Garfield”
When Erin mentions her, ah, unique hair color at the end of the movie, it’s a subtle reference to both Bill Murray’s turn as the animated cat, and Lorenzo Music, who voiced Garfield in his cartoon as well as Venkman in The Real Ghostbusters.
And Finally, Tributes To Those We Lost
Originally, Aykroyd intended to star in Ghostbusters alongside John Belushi, who sadly died before the movie could get started. Slimer was always intended to be a tribute to Belushi, and in a nice touch, when he appears alongside a female Slimer, it’s a nod to Belushi’s iconic role in Animal House. There’s also a subtle nod to John Candy, one of Aykroyd’s friends from their SCTV days who passed on a role in the original: The dean of Abby’s “university,” Thomas Shanks, is named after one of Candy’s SCTV characters.
Well, those are the easter eggs we were able to find. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comment section.