Ghostbusters II

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Ghostbusters II
Ghostbusters ii poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Produced by Ivan Reitman
Written by
Based on Characters created 
by Dan Aykroyd
and Harold Ramis
Music by Randy Edelman
Cinematography Michael Chapman
Edited by
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
June 16, 1989
Running time
108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $37 million
Box office $215.4 million[1]

Ghostbusters II is a 1989 American supernatural horror comedy film, produced and directed by Ivan Reitman. It is the sequel to the 1984 film Ghostbusters, and follows the further adventures of the four parapsychologists and their organization which combats paranormal activities. Despite mixed reviews,the film was a box office success grossed $215 million worldwide, becoming the eighth-highest-grossing film of 1989.


Five years after saving New York City from the demi-god Gozer, the Ghostbusters—Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman, and Winston Zeddemore—have gone their separate ways after having been sued by the city for property damage 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 on the Columbia University campus, 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 a violinist that she married then divorced when he received an offer to join the London Symphony Orchestra. In order to take care of her baby, Dana quit performing and now works as a restorer at the fictional Manhattan Museum of Art, working to prepare a malevolent-looking portrait of a legendary sixteenth-century tyrant named Vigo the Carpathian of Moldavia for an upcoming exhibition.

After an incident in which Oscar's baby carriage is controlled by an unseen force and drawn to a busy intersection, Dana turns to the Ghostbusters for help. Meanwhile, Dana's colleague Dr. Janosz Poha has become increasingly infatuated with the glowering image of Vigo in the painting and falls under its spell. Vigo, whose spirit inhabits the painting, orders Janosz to locate a child that he 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 vast 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 by pulling an electricity cable. After this, the Ghostbusters are detained. They are found guilty of investigating the supernatural, but before they can be taken away, the slime taken as evidence reacts to Judge Wexler'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 ghost busting 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 underground.

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 as a nanny 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 response, the mayor fires Hardemeyer and has the Ghostbusters released, after Hardemeyer reveals he had them committed. 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 flaming 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. The positive feelings accompanying 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.



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 (also performing on the soundtrack). 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, his dialog was 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.[2] 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. Eventually, they agreed and created a script.[3]


Box office[edit]

During its release, Ghostbusters II was the biggest three-day opening weekend gross in history,[4] a record that was broken one week later by Batman ($40,505,884).[5] Ghostbusters II eventually grossed $112.4 million in North America and $102.9 million internationally for a total of $215.3 million worldwide.[6]

Critical response[edit]

Based on 36 reviews, the film received a 50% "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes.[7] At Metacritic the film received a score of 56/100 based on reviews from 14 critics, signifying "mixed or average reviews".[8]

Variety praised the film as having amusing visuals and a clever plot, while Nick Shager of Screengrab criticized the film, opining that it "Effectively slimed everyone's fond memories of the original".[9] On their show, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave the picture two thumbs down, disappointed that the film did not 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 stated that he saw the movie in a theater in Michigan and out of a packed house, there was only one laugh.[10]

Home media[edit]

The Blu Ray version, released in September 2014, was scanned and mastered in 4K and preserves the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. An earlier DVD version was also transferred in the correct scope ratio. The VHS and Laserdisc releases of Ghostbusters II were made differently, however: instead of being produced in either the original 2.35:1 or panned and scanned at 1.33:1, the movie was panned and scanned in a 1.66:1 frame. This version, often shown on television, shows slightly more image at the edges than a "proper" pan and scan version at 1.33:1.


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[edit]

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[citation needed] 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.

Video game sequel[edit]

The video game takes place two years after the events of Ghostbusters II and was released in 2009.


Ghostbusters II
Ghostbusters II Soundtrack.jpg
Soundtrack album by various artists
Released 1989
Genre Pop, new jack swing, synthpop
Length 45:40
Label MCA Records
Ghostbusters soundtrack chronology
Ghostbusters Ghostbusters II
Singles from Ghostbusters II
  1. "On Our Own"
    Released: May 1989
Original Soundtrack Album[11]
No. Title Writer(s) Performer(s) Length
1. "On Our Own"   L.A. Reid, Babyface, Daryl Simmons[12][13] 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
Total length:

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.

The album was made available in digital form on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BoxOfficeMojo revenue page". Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Park, Jeannie (1988-12-25). "FILM; Slime? Don't Worry! The Ghostbusters Are Back". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  3. ^ Klady, Leonard (1987-05-17). "Ghostly Movie". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  4. ^ Puig, Claudia (1989-06-20). "Record-Busting Opening for 'Ghostbusters II". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  5. ^ "Batman Sets Record And So Does Hollywood". The New York Times. 1989-06-27. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  6. ^ Dick, Bernard F. (1992) "Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio" (p. 51). The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1769-0.
  7. ^ "Ghostbusters II (1989)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Ghostbusters II Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Ghostbusters II". Variety. 1988-12-31. Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  10. ^ Murphy, Jim. "Batman/Honey, I Shrunk the Kids/Tummy Trouble/Ghostbusters II/Kung-Fu Master!" (June 24, 1989). Television: Siskel & Ebert. Burbank: Buena Vista Television.
  11. ^ Ghostbusters II – Original Soundtrack at AllMusic
  12. ^ "Bobby Brown: On Our Own (1989)", 80s Music Channel, October 1, 2008, retrieved January 10, 2009.
  13. ^ Grein, Paul; Goldstein, Patrick (1989-04-09). "Ghostbusters Sequel: The red-hot Bobby Brown, coming off...". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 

External links[edit]