Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ivan Reitman|
|Produced by||Ivan Reitman
Michael C. Gross
|Written by||Harold Ramis
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Editing by||Donn Cambern
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release dates||June 16, 1989|
|Running time||108 minutes|
Ghostbusters II is a 1989 American supernatural comedy film produced and directed by Ivan Reitman. It is the sequel to the 1984's Ghostbusters and follows the further adventures of a group of parapsychologists and their organization which combats paranormal activities. Despite making $215 million worldwide, the film was not as successful as the original and received mixed reviews.
After saving New York City from the demi-god Gozer, the Ghostbusters—Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman, and Winston Zeddemore—are sued for the property damage they caused, and barred from investigating the supernatural, forcing them out of business. Ray owns an occult bookstore and works as an unpopular children's entertainer with Winston, Egon works in a laboratory conducting experiments into human emotion, and Peter hosts a pseudo-psychic television show. Peter's former girlfriend Dana Barrett has had a son, Oscar, with an ex-husband, and works at the Manhattan Museum of Art. After an incident in which Oscar's baby carriage is controlled by an unseen force and drawn to a busy junction, Dana turns to the Ghostbusters for help. Meanwhile, Dana's colleague Dr. Janosz Poha is indoctrinated by the spirit of Vigo the Carpathian, a powerful seventeenth-century tyrant and magician trapped in a painting in the gallery. Vigo orders Janosz to locate a child that Vigo can possess, allowing him to return to life on the New Year.
The Ghostbusters' investigation leads them to illegally excavate First Avenue at the point where the baby carriage stopped. Lowered underneath, Ray discovers a river of pink slime filling an abandoned pneumatic transit line. Attacked by the slime after obtaining a sample, Ray accidentally causes a city-wide blackout, and the Ghostbusters are arrested. They are found guilty of investigating the supernatural, but before they can be taken away, the slime taken as evidence reacts to the judge's angry outburst and explodes, releasing two ghosts who were murderers that the judge had executed that proceed to devastate the courtroom. The Ghostbusters imprison the ghosts in exchange for the dismissal of all charges and that they be allowed to resume their Ghostbusting business.
Later, the slime invades Dana's apartment and attacks her and Oscar. She seeks refuge with Peter, and the two begin to renew their relationship. Investigating the slime and Vigo's history, the Ghostbusters discover that the slime reacts to emotions, and suspect that it has been generated by the negative attitudes of New Yorkers. While Peter and Dana have dinner together, Egon, Ray, and Winston explore the underground river of slime. While measuring the depth, Winston gets pulled into the flowing river, and Ray and Egon jump in after him. After they escape back to the surface Ray and Winston begin arguing, but Egon realizes that they are being influenced by the slime, so they strip off their clothes. They also learn the river is flowing directly to the museum.
The Ghostbusters go to the mayor with their suspicions, but are dismissed; the mayor's assistant, Jack Hardemeyer, has them committed to a psychiatric hospital to protect the mayor's interests as he runs for governor. Meanwhile, a spirit resembling Janosz kidnaps Oscar from Peter's apartment, and Dana pursues them to the museum alone. After she enters, the museum is covered with a barrier of impenetrable slime.
New Year's Eve sees a sudden increase of supernatural activity as the slime rises from the subway line and onto the city streets, causing widespread paranormal activity with ghosts attacking citizens. In one scene, a woman's fur coat comes to life and runs away. In response, the mayor fires Hardemeyer and has the Ghostbusters released. After heading to the museum, they are unable to breach the power of the slime barrier with their proton packs. Determining that they need a symbol of powerful positivity to rally the citizens and weaken the slime, the Ghostbusters use positively-charged mood slime, and a remix of "Higher and Higher" to animate the Statue of Liberty and pilot it through the streets before the cheering populace. As they arrive at the museum, the slime begins to recede and they use the Statue's torch to break through the museum's ceiling to attack Vigo and Janosz.
Janosz is neutralized with positively-charged slime, but Vigo immobilizes the Ghostbusters and attempts a transfer into Oscar's body. A chorus of "Auld Lang Syne" by the citizens outside weakens Vigo, returning him to the painting and freeing the Ghostbusters. Vigo momentarily possesses Ray, and the other Ghostbusters attack him with a combination of proton streams and positively-charged mood slime. Dressed in full Ghostbusters attire, Louis attacks the weakened slime barrier around the building with a proton stream of his own. This combination destroys Vigo and changes the painting to a likeness of the four Ghostbusters standing protectively around Oscar. Outside, the Ghostbusters receive a standing ovation from the crowd and, at a later ceremony to restore the Statue, the Key to the City from the mayor.
- Bill Murray as Peter Venkman
- Dan Aykroyd as Raymond Stantz
- Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett
- Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler
- Rick Moranis as Louis Tully
- Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore
- Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz
- Peter MacNicol as Dr. Janosz Poha
- Harris Yulin as Judge Stephen Wexler
- Janet Margolin as Prosecuting Attorney "Kitten"
- David Margulies as Mayor "Lenny"
- Kurt Fuller as Jack Hardemeyer
- William T. Deutschendorf and Hank J. Deutschendorf II as Baby Oscar
- Wilhelm von Homburg as Vigo the Carpathian
- Ivan Reitman as the voice of Slimer
Some notable cast members in the film include one of Bill Murray's siblings, Brian Doyle-Murray, who played the psychiatric doctor, Dan Aykroyd's niece, Karen Humber, who played one of the school children, and Ben Stein, who played a public works official for the mayor. Jason Reitman, son of director Ivan Reitman, plays the boy who insults the Ghostbusters at a birthday party. Cheech Marin and Philip Baker Hall also appear in the movie, as the dock supervisor who sees the Titanic come in and as the city police chief, respectively. Bobby Brown also appears in this movie as the doorman to Gracie Mansion when the Ghostbusters go to see the mayor of New York City. In the scene he asks the Ghostbusters for a Proton Pack for his younger brother. While the role of Vigo was played by Wilhelm von Homburg, all his lines were dubbed by Max von Sydow.
After the success of the first film and the animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, Columbia Pictures pressured the producers to make a sequel. Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman were uncomfortable with this, as the original film was intended to be conclusive and they wished to work on other projects; but later agreed.
|This section requires expansion. (March 2012)|
The sequel had what was, at the time, the biggest three-day opening weekend gross in history, a record that was broken one week later by Batman ($40,505,884). Ghostbusters II eventually grossed $112.4 million in North America and $102.9 million internationally for a total of $215.3 million worldwide. However, the film performed below Columbia's expectations, especially in the wake of Batman's higher earnings; thus the studio wrote it off as a commercial flop.
Variety praised the film as having amusing visuals and a clever plot, while Nick Shager of Screengrab criticized the film, claiming that it "Effectively slimed everyone's fond memories of the original". On their show, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave the picture two thumbs down, disappointed that the film didn't try anything new. Siskel stated "The film contains little comic invention. It looks as if the filmmakers, particularly the writers, simply didn't try to do anything special." Ebert confessed that he saw the movie in a theater in Michigan and out of a packed house, there was only one laugh.
The original VHS and Laserdisc versions of the film were made incorrectly: instead of being produced either in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 or panned and scanned at the aspect ratio of 1.33:1, the movie was panned and scanned in a 1.66:1 frame. This is often the version shown on television and it is immediately apparent. Compared to the "proper" pan and scan version at 1.33:1, width is definitely gained on the edges, though very slightly. However, the DVD version was transferred and encoded at the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.
A great deal of merchandise (such as coloring books) came out with the release of this film. As was the case with the Real Ghostbusters cartoon, the makers of this material may have wanted to avoid likeness fees and as a result, the main characters in these bear little resemblance to any other version of the characters.
As a tie-in with the release of the movie, approximately 3,100 Hardee’s fast food restaurants offered a kids meal-deal that included a toy called the “Ghostblaster”, a small noisemaker embossed with the movie’s signature logo on one side and made different sounds when one of two buttons were activated. However, officials at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission deemed that the toy posed a potential choking hazard to small children due to the fact that the toy was operated with small watch-sized batteries and recalled at least 2 million units.
Comic book adaptation
During this period, The Real Ghostbusters comic book produced by NOW Comics ran a three-part adaptation of the film, using the cartoon character designs instead of the likenesses of the actors. The overall story received minor alterations to run as a three-part series, and includes several scenes that were in the shooting script but were not included in the released movie.
Most notable is a scene set after their first visit at the museum (and Ray's first encounter with Vigo). In this scene, Ray is momentarily possessed while driving the Ecto-1A, and as a result tries to crash the car and kill the Ghostbusters. They soon bring Ray around to his senses after speeding through New York streets, and he apologizes, unable to account for his actions. They never connect it to Vigo since, while possessed, Ray never mentions him. The comic panels further reinforce the movie's scene where Ray is briefly hypnotized by Vigo (leading to him being chosen as a host at the end).
In a novelization of the movie by Ed Naha, Hardemeyer rushes at the museum's slime shell, which engulfs him, and the book does not mention him again. In the end credits of the film, he is shown in the crowd outside the museum, singing with them.
|Soundtrack album by various artists|
|Genre||Pop, new jack swing, synthpop|
|Ghostbusters soundtrack chronology|
|Singles from Ghostbusters II|
|Original Soundtrack Album|
|1.||"On Our Own"||L.A. Reid, Babyface, Daryl Simmons||Bobby Brown||4:54|
|2.||"Supernatural"||Jellybean Johnson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis||New Edition||4:34|
|3.||"The Promised Land"||Bobby Caldwell, Paul Gordon||James "J.T." Taylor||4:17|
|4.||"We're Back"||Bobby Brown, Dennis Austin, Larry White, Kirk Crumple Original||Bobby Brown||5:10|
|5.||"Spirit"||Doug E. Fresh, Bernard Wright||Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew||5:03|
|6.||"Ghostbusters"||Ray Parker, Jr.||Run-D.M.C.||4:10|
|7.||"Flesh 'N Blood"||Danny Elfman||Oingo Boingo||4:17|
|8.||"Love is a Cannibal"||Elton John, Bernie Taupin||Elton John||3:54|
|9.||"Flip City"||Glenn Frey, Hawk Wolinski||Glenn Frey||5:12|
|10.||"Higher and Higher"||Gary Jackson, Carl Smith, Raynard Miner||Howard Huntsberry||4:09|
The film also features the original versions of "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr. and "Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson, though neither appears on the soundtrack album.
- BoxOfficeMojo revenue page
- Park, Jeannie (1988-12-25). "FILM; Slime? Don't Worry! The Ghostbusters Are Back". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- Klady, Leonard (1987-05-17). "Ghostly Movie". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- Puig, Claudia (1989-06-20). "Record-Busting Opening for 'Ghostbusters II". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- "Batman Sets Record And So Does Hollywood". The New York Times. 1989-06-27. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
- Dick, Bernard F. (1992) "Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio" (p. 51). The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1769-0.
- "Ghostbusters II". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
- "Ghostbusters II". Variety. 1988-12-31. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Ghostbusters II – Original Soundtrack at AllMusic
- "Bobby Brown: On Our Own (1989)", 80s Music Channel, October 1, 2008, retrieved January 10, 2009.
- Grein, Paul; Goldstein, Patrick (1989-04-09). "Ghostbusters Sequel: The red-hot Bobby Brown, coming off...". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Ghostbusters II|
- Ghostbusters II at the Internet Movie Database
- Ghostbusters II at allmovie
- Ghostbusters II at Rotten Tomatoes