Ghosts Vs. Gremlins- Ghostbusters AND Gremlins turn 34 today!
Hey kiddie’s! Remember when you were 13 on this day 34 years ago and you had to choose between which awesome looking movie YOU wanted to see? It’s some what rare now a days that TWO big tentpole movies are released on the same day but, back when I was a whippersnapper, it happened more often than nowadays. In June of 1984… June 8th, to be exact, two huge films were released on the same day. I remember it like it was 34 years ago… I was playing with my friends in the front yard of my old house and my grandma was going to take us ALL to see Gremlins. When we arrived at the theatre, Gremlins was sold OUT but, Ghostbusters hadn’t yet. It was close but, there were still seats available. This was LONG before the wonderful pick-your-own-seat options we have now so, we were stuck finding the best seats we could. Seeing Ghostbusters was a magical, (partially) life changing ride for me… It solidified (even more than it already had) that I wanted to make movies but, it also got me very interested in the afterlife and parapsychology. It was a film that covered ALL genres… action, sci-fi, horror, comedy, romance… all wrapped up into one movie. Pure cinema at its finest.
I loved Ghostbusters. I’ve seen it so many times I can recite it verbatim, even down to the music cues. I lost count but, when it was first released, I saw it at least 35 times, in the theatre. Who knows how many times I’ve seen it IN a theatre, let alone on TV/cable/DVD. I adore the movie. So much so, I boycotted the disastrous “remake” for a long time. I did, finally, see it to my surprise… It wasn’t funny at all. I was NOT a fan and it had SO much potential. To show you how much I love Ghostbusters… I traded the Vanna White issue of Playboy I had acquired with a friend of mine who had the Making of Ghostbusters book, which, to this day, is still out of print. Best decision I ever made EVER! Now, I don’t have to explain what Ghostbuster is or what it’s about. It’s pretty much common knowledge by now so, I’ll shoot you some trivia you may or may not know about one of the greatest films ever made, in my opinion.
Here’s some fun facts:
The part of Louis Tully, played by Rick Moranis, was written for John Candy. Candy turned the part down.
Eddie Murphy was never even thought of for casting, though most think he was supposed to play the role of Winston Zeddmore which went to Ernie Hudson.
The original script had the Ghostbusters traveling across dimensions fighting spirits. The Stay Put Marshmallow Man showed up much earlier in the script and he was just one of over 50 giant creatures the GB’s would have to fight. Ivan Reitman figured out the budget, had they done the original draft, would have cost $300 million dollars… and that was in 1983!
The movies special effects were never quite finished. It was released with quite a few unfinished effects sequences that the studio considered “good enough.”
Sigourny Weaver’s audition consisted of writhing around on the couch and growling and barking like a dog. Though it creeped out director, Ivan Reitman, he hired her almost immediately.
The “crossing the streams” thing was thought of during production. The script never really had a way to kill Gozer so, they fit that whole idea in as they shot.
John Belushi was always supposed to be Peter Venkman but, due to his untimely death, Bill Murray replaced him.
The initial script was titled “Ghost Smashers” in 1981.
I eventually saw Gremlins too. Enjoyed the film a lot… It was good to see Spielberg produce a fun, dark, creepy film. It didn’t effect me the way “Ghostbusters” did but, it’s a staple to watch during the Christmas season. Here’s some fun facts about Gremlins:
The set for Kingston Falls is the Universal Studios backlot, the same one used for “Back to the Future” (1985).
One of the studio notes to director Joe Dante and producer Steven Spielberg, after seeing the first cut, was that there were too many gremlins. Spielberg suggested cutting them all out and calling the film "People".
In Cantonese, mogwai means devil, demon, or gremlin. The Mandarin pronunciation is mogui.
This film and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) are credited with inspiring the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating. Many felt the movies were too violent for a PG rating, but not violent enough for an R.
At the start of the film the town’s cinema is showing "A Boy's Life" and "Watch The Skies", which were the working titles for Steven Spielberg's “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977).
After watching Tim Burton's earlier short films, Steven Spielberg considered him to direct the film. He decided against it because at the time Burton had never directed a full-feature length film.
So, there ya have it… two iconic films, one release date. That same year, the biggest box office draw was Eddie Murphy’s “Beverly Hills Cop” but, Ghostbusters and Gremlins gave it a run for its money. OK… there’s a bunch of useless trivia for you, folks. Thanks for reading! And remember, if there’s something strange, in your neighborhood… WHO YA GONNA CALL?