Movies

Questions Begging To Be Asked When You Re-Watch ‘Ghostbusters II’

When Ghostbusters II was released in 1989, during the blockbuster summer that also gave us Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, it was viewed as something of a disappointment. Fans and critics were split on whether the film was a worthy successor to the 1984 original or if it suffered from “sequel-itis” by retreading beloved moments from the first movie. (Like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man? How about the Statue of Liberty coming to life???)

But thanks to multiple airings on TV over the years, fans have come to appreciate Ghostbusters II for what it is — a solid sequel with some great lines that inevitably suffers when compared to the still brilliant original. When viewed today, there are some funny scenes but also several moments that will have you scratching your head and wondering what the filmmakers were thinking. With Ghostbusters II newly released on Blu-ray, and news of an all-female franchise reboot (or will it be another sequel?) brewing, we thought we’d offer up some questions you’ll no doubt ask yourself when you rewatch the sequel to one of the greatest comedies of all time.

1. So nobody could save baby Oscar when his carriage started rolling down the street? I get that New Yorkers were hardened, uncaring jerks back in 1989. But come on. It’s a runaway baby carriage, not a bus. Surely somebody could’ve grabbed it.

2. Does Dana visit Egon whenever anything even remotely strange happens? Sure, the baby carriage taking off by itself is a little odd. But it’s no eggs cooking themselves on the counter-top or demon dog in the fridge which is what sent Dana to the Ghostbusters in the first movie. Staircase a little creaky? Better go bother Egon!

3. So Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” theme song was also a hit in the movie universe? Did Huey Lewis sue the Ghostbusters like he did Ray Parker Jr.? Is that why Winston and Ray have resorted to performing at birthday parties for ungrateful yuppie larva?

4. What country is Janosz from?

5. Where did the Ghostbusters get their construction worker uniforms? They just have some laying around the firehouse in case they want to pose as city workers and dig a big hole in Midtown?

6. So the Judge doesn’t believe in ghosts, huh?  Even though everyone saw the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man walking through Manhattan only five years ago?

7. No, seriously, what country is Janosz from? Surely he’s not from the Upper West Side as he tells Venkman. Somewhere in Eastern Europe perhaps? Hopefully Janosz will return for the third Ghostbusters outing so we can finally find out.

8. When exactly did the Judge give the Scoleri Brothers the chair? The 1950s? They look like hot rod-driving greaser punks. The skinny one’s rocking a pompadour. They might as well be wearing black-and-white stripes and have ball-and-chains attached to their feet.

9. Why did the Ghostbusters go to the trouble of changing the logo on the firehouse, Ecto-1, and their costumes? Yes, the ghost holding up two fingers is a wink to the audience that we’re watching a sequel. But to the citizens of New York City, it just looks like the ghost is giving the peace sign. If the gang was so cash-strapped that they were resorting to performing at children’s parties and hosting low-rent public access TV shows, it’s safe to say investing in a new logo isn’t the best use of their newfound funds.

10. Did Janine get a makeover for the second movie so she would look more like her counterpart from the ‘Real Ghostbusters’ cartoon? If so, it kind of failed. This is what cartoon Janine looks like:

And this is what Janine looks like in Ghostbusters 2:

What happened? She looks like Edna Mode’s redheaded sister.

(Janine and Edna — separated at birth??)

11. Is the ghost train that runs through Winston stuck in purgatory along with the doomed souls onboard? If so, does it get to go to train heaven at the end of the movie?

12. Does the mayor seriously still not believe the Ghostbusters? Even after Gozer, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, and everything else that happened in the first movie? Are we supposed to believe that New York City has really moved on from what happened in 1984? New Yorkers still talk about the 2003 blackout, and that happened 11 years ago. If a giant marshmallow man in a sailor suit waddled through the Upper West Side before being taken down by a group consisting of three ex-Columbia parapsychologists, you can bet New Yorkers would be talking about it for years to come.

13. Who’s running Ray’s Occult Bookshop while he’s traipsing around in the sewers? Didn’t seem like he had much of a staff. Who will supply the oddball denizens of the East Village with copies of ‘Tobin’s Spirit Guide’??

14. We can all agree that “Ghost Nanny Janosz” is the scariest part of the movie, right? 

15. What’s Slimer’s deal in this movie? Is he a bad guy like in the first movie? Or is he basically the firehouse pet like in the ‘Real Ghostbusters’ cartoon? It’s never established why Slimer hangs around the home of the people who have incarcerated him for the past five years. He’s just there, eating their food and then later driving a bus for some reason.

16. So if Vigo inhabits Oscar, he’ll still be a baby, right? Won’t he have to wait until he’s a grown-up to take over the world? Couldn’t the Ghostbusters just toss Demon Vigo Baby into the containment unit and call it a day? Seems like a pretty dicey long-game you’re playing, Vigo.

17. Wouldn’t the people of New York be terrified of a giant walking Statue of Liberty? Stay-Puft was stepping on churches and cars only five years ago. How is a walking statue animated by ghost slime supposed to inspire the citizens of New York?

18. So they control the Statue of Liberty with a Nintendo Advantage joystick? How exactly does that work? Was Ray controlling the legs by running on a Power Pad?

19. Is Vigo supposed to be scary when he takes over Ray’s body? Because he just looks kind of tired and bloated. Seems like taking over, say Egon or Winston’s body would’ve been the way to go there. The years of smoking and eating takeout Chinese food haven’t exactly been kind to poor Ray.

20. If Vigo is hurt by a crowd of New Yorkers singing, does that mean that he’s basically The Grinch?

21. How did they get the Statue of Liberty back on its pedestal? Because it’s back in place when the Ghostbusters get the key to the city during the end credits.

22. Finally, who exactly painted this masterpiece? And by the movie’s logic, doesn’t that mean the Ghostbusters’ souls are now trapped in the painting like Vigo’s? Is that why there was never a third movie?

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