Discuss all things Ghostbusters here, unless they would be better suited in one of the few forums below.
By Slime Lord
#4989206
I've always been curious as to what the films would've been like had they been rated R and had more explicit content. With more graphic and gory violence, harsher swearing including the F-bomb, more blatant sexual content, etc.? Not that these things would've made the films better as these things obviously don't automatically equate to a good film, and the GB films are certainly just fine without them. But it's interesting to ponder. The original two films certainly pushed the boundaries of what one could get away with with a PG rating back then, and certainly there's moments in those films that absolutely wouldn't fly today in a PG-rated film (to say nothing of quite a bit of sex-oriented humor and innuendos present in them). There were moments of absolute terror that put to shame any R-rated Horror film, with moments like Dana being kidnapped by the monster hands in the chair in the first film and the impaled heads on the pikes in the second. But you got to wonder how much farther this all would've gone with an R-rating? I wonder how some of the most intense moments or more risque humor might've been within the context of an R-rating. Even both animated series at times pushed the limits a bit and could sometimes teeter into R-rated territory. Extreme Ghostbusters had an episode that had creatures very clearly inspired by the Cenobites from Hellraiser, of all things.

Funny enough, I still think an animated series could've well happened even if the first film had been rated R. Quite a few R-rated films back then still had animated series and toylines aimed at kids, such as the likes of RoboCop, Rambo, Police Academy, etc. and believe it or not even The Toxic Avenger of all things. Even the likes of Aliens, Predator and Terminator 2 had toylines aimed at kids. So even if Ghostbusters had originated as an R-rated film, it's still possible it may have led to an animated series and/or toylines. Certainly interesting to speculate what could've been in an alternate timeline where Ghostbusters may have been an R-rated film and if it's lasting impact might've been the same. I'd imagine it likely would've still been a big hit and pop culture milestone, albeit in a considerably different way.
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By One time
#4989207
That’s an interesting question.

Further sexualizing the content of the movie would have diminished its appeal in my view. It wouldn’t have added anything thematically and would have been a distraction. For adults, the blowjob scene in GB1 works as a suitable gag, but as an 8 year old kid I found it confusing or on the edge of what’s suitable. Showing even more explicit sexual content just wouldn’t suit the “contrast the mundane with the absurdly supernatural” theme of the movie.

Horror on the other hand I agree. Not goofy, cute scares like we have in the franchise but genuine terror. I’ve read here before that real terror would have boosted the comedy more. Someone mentioned the movie Hellraiser, imagine at the scariest, most horribly bleak and terrifying part of that movie, where demons are gonna tear people to shreds using chains and hooks, Venkman shows up with an insanely funny line and saves them. All that fear the movie built up inside you relieved in an instant.
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By DancingToaster
#4989211
One time wrote: December 10th, 2023, 10:11 pm That’s an interesting question.

Further sexualizing the content of the movie would have diminished its appeal in my view. It wouldn’t have added anything thematically and would have been a distraction. For adults, the blowjob scene in GB1 works as a suitable gag, but as an 8 year old kid I found it confusing or on the edge of what’s suitable. Showing even more explicit sexual content just wouldn’t suit the “contrast the mundane with the absurdly supernatural” theme of the movie.

Horror on the other hand I agree. Not goofy, cute scares like we have in the franchise but genuine terror. I’ve read here before that real terror would have boosted the comedy more. Someone mentioned the movie Hellraiser, imagine at the scariest, most horribly bleak and terrifying part of that movie, where demons are gonna tear people to shreds using chains and hooks, Venkman shows up with an insanely funny line and saves them. All that fear the movie built up inside you relieved in an instant.
Agreed about the suggestive content. Not sure I'd want to see more horror content, either, though the idea of relieving the fear with comedy works; it already works pretty well in the movies. I know that GB wasn't initially intended to be a movie specifically for kids, but one of the reasons I think that it ended up being successful with kids is that it makes something scary into a problem that's solvable by "normal people" (well, normal enough :cool: ) who don't have magical powers or special abilities.
Making it R-rated with more sexual content would make it inaccessible to a demographic that it can (and does) appeal to. More graphic or terrifying horror content could work to an extent (the cartoons and the video game do this a bit) as long as the comedy mitigates it, but keeping it PG-13 is fine IMO.
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By Threadender
#4989252
For me, a scarier Ghostbusters film would be desirable.

Most supernatural movies require the use of magic or luck to defeat the creature. That doesn't always work, and you wind up with a twist. Furthermore, the supernatural does not touch a significant number of people. It is usually set in a house, an abandoned school, a hospital, or on lake property. You will be unaware of it unless you walk into these locations.

When something tries to infiltrate our plane of existence, however, shit hits the fan in the world of Ghostbusters. The existence of ghosts becomes all too real. Places that were said to be haunted are now definitely true. It is not centered in one location. As park benches chase joggers, zombie-like taxi drivers drive like maniacs, the monster beneath your bed finally comes out to say hello, and you get a visit from your dog who died 20 years ago, everyone becomes a witness to the paranormal.

And on days when the world isn't ending, you might be the one to contact the firehouse. The concept of the otherworldly knowing no limitations is horrifying to me. And I just loved it!
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By Slime Lord
#4989573
One time wrote: December 10th, 2023, 10:11 pm Horror on the other hand I agree. Not goofy, cute scares like we have in the franchise but genuine terror. I’ve read here before that real terror would have boosted the comedy more. Someone mentioned the movie Hellraiser, imagine at the scariest, most horribly bleak and terrifying part of that movie, where demons are gonna tear people to shreds using chains and hooks, Venkman shows up with an insanely funny line and saves them. All that fear the movie built up inside you relieved in an instant.

I don't think there's anything "cute" or "goofy" about some of the truly frightening moments the films have had. Dana being kidnapped by the demon hands bursting out of the chair in the first film and the zombie cabbie, and in GB2 the impaled heads and ghost Janosz snatching Oscar. No way PG-rated films made these days would have scenes like that.

Also the slime oozing in the bathtub in GB2, which is actually a bit on the gruesome side as well with how it looks like loops of intestines. Wonder if that was intentional.
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By One time
#4989717
Slime Lord wrote: December 18th, 2023, 11:51 pm
One time wrote: December 10th, 2023, 10:11 pm Horror on the other hand I agree. Not goofy, cute scares like we have in the franchise but genuine terror. I’ve read here before that real terror would have boosted the comedy more. Someone mentioned the movie Hellraiser, imagine at the scariest, most horribly bleak and terrifying part of that movie, where demons are gonna tear people to shreds using chains and hooks, Venkman shows up with an insanely funny line and saves them. All that fear the movie built up inside you relieved in an instant.

I don't think there's anything "cute" or "goofy" about some of the truly frightening moments the films have had. Dana being kidnapped by the demon hands bursting out of the chair in the first film and the zombie cabbie, and in GB2 the impaled heads and ghost Janosz snatching Oscar. No way PG-rated films made these days would have scenes like that.

Also the slime oozing in the bathtub in GB2, which is actually a bit on the gruesome side as well with how it looks like loops of intestines. Wonder if that was intentional.
Agreed, it was scary. Cute/goofy are perhaps the wrong words to use. But GB was never horrifying. Hellraiser on the other hand is a terrifyingly bleak movie. The scares aren't 10 second jump scares but build up over a long period of desperately bleak and terrorized states of mind. Or Exorcist. Watching movies like that I just wish the Ghostbusters turn up and blast the evil away with a funny line.

Tho Ghostbusters is a comedy underneath though, you can't extended bleak terror to elevate the comedy.

I always wanted the GB franchise to be scarier than we have had in GB1 and GB2 (and AF). That would give extra weight to the levity of say a Venkman sarcastic remark when the GB come in to save the day. Difficult on a director tho.
By Alex Newborn
#4989735
We just need to trust Ivan's expertise and instincts on this one.

In the 1985 book Making Ghostbusters, author Don Shay wrote in a sidebar on p.18:

"In the first Aykroyd-Ramis collaboration, the graffiti [on the door to the lab] read: ‘Venkman sucks c**ks in Hell!' —an amusing reference to one of the shocker lines from The Exorcist. An occasional R-rated expletive — strictly for humorous effect — was also to be found in the early Ghostbusters drafts. In the end, however, Ivan Reitman opted to take the high road with regard to language and taste."

This is followed by Ivan's own thoughts on the decision:

"Most contemporary comedies are pretty much on the raunchy side —and because of Animal House, my films seem to be lumped in with all those others. But I don't really see them that way. Stripes was R-rated, but fairly mild; and Meatballs was really a sweet little film. As for Ghostbusters, l thought it would benefit —both creatively and economically —from not being particularly raunchy. It has an edge to it but it's the kind of film parents are comfortable taking their five- and six-year-olds to see. " ~Ivan Reitman

AN
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